Check-in
Workshop
Nov 12, 2021 10:00 AM - 11:50 AM(America/Chicago)
20211112T1000 20211112T1150 America/Chicago The Great American Songbook

Since the term Great American Songbook (GAS) first appeared in print, its usage has expanded, its connotations have broadened, and its prestige has grown. In recognition of the term's emergent ubiquity, and building on a foundation of scholarship hitherto focused chiefly on individual composers, performers, or songs, this workshop probes the varied connotations and social constructs of the label, and the research opportunities that arise from them. Seven scholars present short position papers treating methodological challenges and offering case studies that resonate with themes of racial, ethnic, sexual, national, and musical identity; and a distinguished practitioner reflects on his experience. Jeffrey Magee examines the protean formation of the GAS, and its exclusionary implications, especially since the 1970s, as a repertoire, a concept, and more recently a brand. Judith Tick considers how the success of Ella Fitzgerald's first songbook album, devoted to Cole Porter (1956), obscured the challenges she faced because of the perceived incompatibility of the "white" world of Broadway tunes and the "black" world of vocal jazz. Lisa Barg discusses the legacy of Billy Strayhorn, who as a Black, gay composer, lyricist, and arranger, was denied the visibility and prestige available to his white counterparts. Elizabeth T. Craft traces common tropes of GAS reception to the career of George M. Cohan, who negotiated Irish Americanness while fashioning an enduring patriotic identity for himself and Broadway. Nate Sloan investigates why rockers like Bob Dylan, Rod Stewart, and James Taylor turned to the GAS for their most recent releases, and how their song choices and interpretations shape ideas of canonicity in this corpus. Daniel Goldmark explores the inconsistent preservati ...

AMS 2021 ams@amsmusicology.org

Since the term Great American Songbook (GAS) first appeared in print, its usage has expanded, its connotations have broadened, and its prestige has grown. In recognition of the term's emergent ubiquity, and building on a foundation of scholarship hitherto focused chiefly on individual composers, performers, or songs, this workshop probes the varied connotations and social constructs of the label, and the research opportunities that arise from them. Seven scholars present short position papers treating methodological challenges and offering case studies that resonate with themes of racial, ethnic, sexual, national, and musical identity; and a distinguished practitioner reflects on his experience. Jeffrey Magee examines the protean formation of the GAS, and its exclusionary implications, especially since the 1970s, as a repertoire, a concept, and more recently a brand. Judith Tick considers how the success of Ella Fitzgerald's first songbook album, devoted to Cole Porter (1956), obscured the challenges she faced because of the perceived incompatibility of the "white" world of Broadway tunes and the "black" world of vocal jazz. Lisa Barg discusses the legacy of Billy Strayhorn, who as a Black, gay composer, lyricist, and arranger, was denied the visibility and prestige available to his white counterparts. Elizabeth T. Craft traces common tropes of GAS reception to the career of George M. Cohan, who negotiated Irish Americanness while fashioning an enduring patriotic identity for himself and Broadway. Nate Sloan investigates why rockers like Bob Dylan, Rod Stewart, and James Taylor turned to the GAS for their most recent releases, and how their song choices and interpretations shape ideas of canonicity in this corpus. Daniel Goldmark explores the inconsistent preservation and availability of archival materials and suggests how private and public institutions might pool their efforts to benefit performers, researchers, and collectors. Walter Frisch revisits the early 1960s, which marked an inflection point in the canonization of the GAS, with Variety's retrospective list of "Golden 100" songs and television variety and sing-along shows that promoted the repertory. Pianist and singer Eric Comstock shares his perspective and deep experience as a purveyor of the GAS in concert halls, nightclubs, and recordings.

+ 3 more speakers. View All
No moderator for this session!
No attendee has checked-in to this session!
Upcoming Sessions (Local time)