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Dance and Dancers Music Theatrical Production

About The Collection > Music

> Blues
> Charles Griffes
> Manuscripts
> Marches
> Opera
> Operetta
> Photographs
> Piano Music
> Popular Music
> Programs
> Ragtime

Treasures of the American Performing Arts 1875-1923 looks at music in several ways: through sheet music, early sound recording of opera, and a close-up of an American classical composer, Charles Griffes (d. 1920), shown in manuscripts, music scores, programs, and photographs.

During the period under consideration, opera remained the preferred entertainment medium of the upper classes followed by symphonic and concert music. The general public far preferred operetta and musical theatre. Songs and piano music were always an important part of the American musical scene, but especially in popular music to 1900.

Around the turn of the century there was an outburst of musical activity with the beginnings of ragtime, a style that characterized the era to 1918. The early twentieth century also saw the apotheosis of the march under John Philips Sousa and the cheerful songs of George M. Cohan and Harry Von Tilzer. In 1912 "Memphis blues" introduced a new style drawing on Afro-American folk roots. Songwriters like Irving Berlin and Jerome Kern flourished in Tin Pan Alley in the second decade of the century.


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