The American Popular Ballad of the Golden Era, 1924-1950

Front Cover
Princeton University Press, 1995 - Music - 366 pages

In this pathbreaking book, Allen Forte uses modern analytical procedures to explore the large repertoire of beautiful love songs written during the heyday of American musical theater, the Big Bands, and Tin Pan Alley. Covering the work of such songwriters as Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Richard Rodgers, and Harold Arlen, he seeks to illuminate this extraordinary music indigenous to America by revealing its deeper organizational characteristics. In so doing, he aims to establish it as a unique corpus of music that deserves more intensive study and appreciation by scholars and connoisseurs in the broader fields of American popular music and jazz.


Expressing much of the traditional tonality associated with European music in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the love songs of the Golden Age are shown to draw on a rich variety of elements--popular harmony, idiomatic lyric-writing, and Afro-American dance rhythms. His analyses of such songs as "Embraceable You" or "Yesterdays" in particular exemplify his ability to convey the sublime, unpretentious simplicity of this great music.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Introduction
3
The Harmonic Language of the Popular Ballad
6
Rhythmic Features of the Popular Ballad
18
Melodic Design Descriptive Categories
24
The Lyric Its Qualities and Melodic Roles
28
Form Nomenclature and Templates
36
The LargeScale View A Primer
42
Ballads of Jerome Kern
52
Ballads of Richard Rodgers
177
Ballads of Harold Arlen
209
Ballads of Richard Whiting Walter Donaldson Harry Warren Jimmy McHugh Vincent Youmans Duke Ellington and Kurt Weill
237
Ballads of Hoagy Carmichael Arthur Schwartz Vernon Duke John Green Burton Lane and Jimmy Van Heusen
275
Ballads of Kay Swift Bernice Petkere Ann Ronell Dana Suesse and Ruth Lowe
310
Concluding Reflections
331
Notes
337
Bibliography
349

Ballads of Irving Berlin
86
Ballads of Cole Porter
117
Ballads of George Gershwin
147
Copyright Credits
351
Index
359
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1995)

Allen Forte is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is the author of many works, including most recently Introduction to Schenkerian Analysis.

Bibliographic information