Tin Pan Alley
a place (in Manhattan), a genre of music, and a songwriting style
"Smoke Gets in Your Eyes"
(1933) TPA - Jerome Kern; AABA, changes meaning of smoke, questioning rise to melody and too cliche falling answer
"Blah Blah Blah"
TPA - George & Ira Gershwin; ABAB or ABA(BA) film Delicious, deliberately inept writing
"I Got Rhythm"
(1930) TPA - George & Ira Gershwin; AABA, symmetrical hook with syncopated rhythms, gapped scale, Ethel Merman
"My Funny Valentine"
(1937) TPA - Rodgers & Hart; AABA', moody minor mode, gently words cut against the music
A Trip to Chinatown
(1891) "The Bowery" Gaunt & Hoyt; comic waltz song, "New York" "Irish" bluster :: added (1892) Charles K Harris; sentimental waltz song, payola, meaning of chorus inflected by plot in the verses; emphasized key words (over, leaving, vanished)
an opera in three acts by Carl Maria von Weber, first important German Romantic opera, especially in its national identity and stark emotionality; plot based on German folk legend, and many tunes inspired by German folk music
The Black Crook
first important American musical; based on Der Freishcutz; big box office draw through spectacular sets, stagecraft through a transformation scene, the French ballet troupe or half-dressed women
(1878) Gilbert & Sullivan; extremely popular, model for America, for whom it seemed to satirize England; respectability; G&S and prestige issues
"We Sail the Ocean Blue"
(1878) Gilbert & Sullivan; men's chorus, establishing number and combination with "Gaily Tripping" camp
(1878) Gilbert & Sullivan; music hall waltz song - dance, which sets apart the next songs
(1878) Gilbert & Sullivan; not a dance, rather, in a lofty style gives Ralph's highborn status away
(1878) Gilbert & Sullivan; play on good breeding and class system, "hardly ever" exchange; recitative/aria structure like opera; compare matter of fact verbal style to Ralph's lofty language
She Done Him Wrong
(1933) adapted from Mae West's 1928 play Diamon Lil; saved Paramount from bankruptcy; Mae West's persona kidding about sexuality, derived from NYC drag queens
"A Guy What Takes His Time"
(1933) She Done Him Wrong - Mae West - blues number, middle section cut without any musical logic by Hays after film was released as show of power
I'm No Angel
(1933) released after She Done Him Wrong; Mae West association with black women blues singers - physical display of wealth and female desire
(1933) choreographed and musical numbers directed by Busby Berkeley; backstage musical; saved Warners from bankruptcy; technological advances with pre-recorded sound allowing Berkeley to innovate camera technique
"Young and Healthy"
(1933) 42nd Street - fetishization of women's bodies; kaleidscopic figures; ordinary space vs extraordinary space; audience applause conventions
(1936) RKO pairing Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers in 1934 Gay Divorce (formerly Gay Divorce); sublimating sex through arguments and dance (like MacDonald and Eddy in song); integrated dance film musical; "walking into" dance; Astaire and dancer's masculinity
(1934) Cole Porter; TPA musical, topsy-turvy, American vs British, Ethel Merman, songs define relationships; tap dance; gay subtexts; anxeities about pre-integrated musicals in a post-integrated musical world (1987 revival)
"I Get a Kick Out of You"
(1934) Cole Porter; big hit, first solo number in the show; bittersweet tone; wistful love; love as a high (champagne, cocaine, plane) with meandering triplet melody that drops off in disappointment; internal rhyme schemes in the lyric as overcoming boredom
(1934) Cole Porter; seems to justify unlikely pairing in the plot, overwound clock; tap dance
"Kate the Great"
(1934) Cole Porter; dropped from show at Ethel Merman's request because of allusions to lesbian behavior
"All Through the Night"
(1934) Cole Porter; replaced harder to sing song; warm genuine love, allusion to night, obsession
"You're the Top"
playful one-upmanship, couple song that establishes distance - best friends, but not romantic
The Merry Widow
(1905) Franz Lehar; mega-hit, much revived; European "sophistication," private vs. public, fashion - hats and corsets; musical mix: Viennese Waltz as personal nostalgia, Parisian can-can as inadequate city life, folk music as shared notion
(1905) Franz Lehar; partial basis for melody in "I Love You So", "folk" melody uses pentatonic scale, manipulates high note as "unattainable" Vilia
(1905) Franz Lehar; folk dance
"I Love You So"
(1905) Franz Lehar; "Merry Widow Waltz" - Viennese waltz as personal connection
(1910) Victor Herbert; American operetta; New Orleans as liberating exotic plane; inter-racial story removed from 1935 film with Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy; camp; sex as competition; MacDonald's post-Code career
"Tramp Tramp Tramp"
(1910) Victor Herbert; backwoods hero number
"Italian Street Song"
(1910) Victor Herbert; coloratura, "ethnic" Italians
"Ah Sweet Mystery of Life"
(1910) Victor Herbert; secret song, and combination with "Tramp Tramp Tramp" at end of film
(1927) Kern & Hammerstein; Edna Ferber novel; James Whale film, Paul Robeson; 2 issues: make believe/reality (river/land) and black/white, with 2 marriages failing; 2nd act problem - happy ending not possible; issues of dialect in performance; Julie as "tragic mulatto" - racial blending
"Opening: Cotton Blossom"
(1927) Kern & Hammerstein; problematic opening lyric -- "******s" vs "colored folk" and the film "fix" by fading up
"Where's the Mate"
(1927) Kern & Hammerstein; re-harmonizing "who cares if my boat goes upstream" - Ravenal as a wanderer
(1927) Kern & Hammerstein; fantasy vs reality
"Ol' Man River"
(1927) Kern & Hammerstein; basis in spiritual tradition ("Deep River"), symbolic silent all knowing river; River Jordan as crossing over (death/paradise or freedom); Robeson changed lyrics in concert tours to reflect his persona
"Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man"
(1927) Kern & Hammerstein; and its reprise: "gives away" Julie; "black" song taught to white Magnolia (awkwardness of blending in shimmy); imitation of blues form - diegetic? No. Book song, diegetic land.
(1943) Rodgers & Hammerstein; landmark "integrated" musical, presents clean myth of American West; marriage stands for larger "marriage" of Cowman and Farmer (and of state and nation); evil (Jud) weeded out; assimilation of "other" (Ali Hakim); use of ballet to show dream; differences from Lynn Rigg's play, Agnes de Mille and choreography innovations, "American" ballet style; remythologizing American past
"Oh What a Beautiful Mornin'"
(1943) Rodgers & Hammerstein; nature images, connection between Curly and Laurey, Waltz song that makes it sound old-fashioned
(1943) Rodgers & Hammerstein; story about sophisticated city affirms community and innocence, evolution of dance -- waltz, two-step, ragtime (tap)
"It's a Scandal"
(1943) Rodgers & Hammerstein; Ali accepted into community over trouble with women, marriage, and propriety; musical comedy style; Ali and Jewishness
(1943) Rodgers & Hammerstein; Jud as outsider, Curley as cruel?
(1943) Rodgers & Hammerstein; Jud and race; opera style doesn't "fit" with rest show; dissonant writing
(1943) Rodgers & Hammerstein; Agnes de Mille, basis in her old work - Rodeo by Aaron Copland, and work from Striptease (dead-eyed dancer) as the saloon girls; body doubles; "kills" main character at the end of Act I; difference from tap dance in earlier musicals, developed American Ballet (vernacular dance(
"The Farmer and the Cowman"
(1943) Rodgers & Hammerstein; dance; establishing community that will unite; shotgun wedding; gendering cowman as male and farmer as female
(1943) Rodgers & Hammerstein; sung at wedding, marriage trope; expansive form; evocation of landscape in lyrics and music (form, women's chorus, held note in melody)
Singin' in the Rain
(1952) Freed & Brown, Comdem & Green; basis in film history, body and voice doubles, buddy film, easing into musical numbers; songs from period; overcoming Great Depression
"Fit as a Fiddle"
(1952) Freed & Brown, Comdem & Green; Hollywood truth and lies