Funny, It Doesn't Sound Jewish: How Yiddish Songs and Synagogue Melodies Influenced Tin Pan Alley, Broadway, and Hollywood, Volume 1

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State University of New York, Jul 9, 2004 - Music - 306 pages
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While numerous studies have explored the African roots and wide influence of jazz and blues, little has been written about the musical influence of another group of immigrants who fused old-world practice with American popular idioms. With wit, intelligence, and lucidity, Jack Gottlieb chronicles how Jewish songwriters and composers transformed Yiddish folk and theater songs, as well as synagogue modes and melodies, into the popular music of mid-twentieth-century America. Drawing on numerous musical examples and a variety of historical and archival sources, plus a lifetime of experiences as a composer working simultaneously in the fields of synagogue, popular, and concert music, Gottlieb carefully and compellingly documents the Jewish influences on American popular music. An accompanying CD provides numerous musical examples, many of them rare, including a never-before-released recording of Leonard Bernstein at the piano, singing Marc Blitzstein's "The New Suit (Zipper Fly)."

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Funny, it doesn't sound Jewish: how Yiddish songs and synagogue melodies influenced Tin Pan Alley, Broadway, and Hollywood

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In his introduction to this meticulously researched study of Jewish-influenced theatrical and popular music from 1914 to 1964, scholar and composer Gottlieb observes, "For the first time since ancient ... Read full review

About the author (2004)

Author and composer Jack Gottlieb has lectured on the Jewish contribution to American popular music throughout the United States, Canada, and Israel. He is past president of the American Society for Jewish Music and has received wide recognition for both his synagogue and secular music. He has been a reviewer and author of articles on music as well as an annotator for concert program and record jacket notes. His choral, chamber, and theater and cabaret works, as well as his sacred music--including Songs of Godlove, over 50 solos and duets--are available in print. His recordings appear on the Naxos, Albany, and other labels. He lives in New York City.

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