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About this product
- DescriptionWithout any formal training in music composition or even the ability to tate melodies on a musical staff, Irving Berlin took a knack for music and turned it into the most successful songwriting career in American history. Berlin was the first Tin Pan Alley songwriter to go uptown to Broadway with a complete musical score (Watch Your Step in 1914); he is the only songwriter to build a theater exclusively for his own work (The Music Box); and his name appears above the title of his Broadway shows and Hollywood films (iIrving Berlin's Holiday Inn), still a rare hor for songwriters. Berlin is also table due the length of his 90+ year career in American Song; he sold his first song at the age of 8 in 1896, and passed away in 1989 at the age of 101 having outlived several of his own copyrights. Throughout his career, Berlin showed that a popular song which appealed to the masses need t be of a lesser quality than songs informed by the principles of classical music composition. Forty years after his last published song many of his songs remain popular and several have even entered folk song status ( White Christmas, Easter Parade, and God Bless America ), something other 20th-century American songwriter can claim. As one of the most seminal figures of twentieth century, both in the world of music and in American culture more generally, and as one of the rare songwriters equally successful with popular songs, Broadway shows, and Hollywood scores, Irving Berlin is the subject of an ermous corpus of writing, scattered throughout countless publications and archives. A ted performer and interpreter of Berlin's works, Benjamin Sears has unprecedented familiarity with these sources and brings together in this Reader a broad range of the most insightful primary and secondary materials. Grouped together according to the chrology of Berlin's life and work, each section and article features a critical introduction to orient the reader and contextualize the materials within the framework of American musical history. Taken as a whole, they provide a new perspective on Berlin that highlights his musical genius in the context of his artistic development through a unique mix of first-hand views of Berlin as an artist, critical assessments of his work, and more general overviews of his life and work.
- Author BiographyBenjamin Sears is a singer who, along with pianist Bradford Conner, specializes in the Great American Songbook and the songs of Irving Berlin in particular. With Conner he has recorded four CDs of Berlin's music, featuring over fifty first-time recordings, with two more in process. Together they reconstructed Berlin's first two shows, the classic Dietz & Schwartz revue The Band Wagon , and created a database of the complete lyrics of Yip Harburg. Sears has written on Berlin, Ann Ronell, the partnership of Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby, and has contributed pieces on women songwriters to The American National Biography and the upcoming second edition of The Grove Dictionary of American Music. Sears & Conner lecture regularly on American songwriters and the great performers of their music.
- PublisherOxford University Press Inc
- Date of Publication19/04/2012
- SubjectMusic & Dance
- Series TitleReaders on American Musicians
- Place of PublicationNew York
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintOxford University Press Inc
- Content Note12 photographs and 3 musical examples
- Weight434 g
- Width164 mm
- Height245 mm
- Spine21 mm
- Edited byBenjamin Sears
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