American Music of the 1930

American Music of the 1930

American popular music from the 1930’s reflects the cultural and social characteristics that shaped the American identity during the period. The music of the thirties is important when trying to understand the American people during a time of new technology, a massive growing in the population of cities, and a large scale depression. Over the course of the thirties, American taste in music changed dramatically. In the mainstream it moved from the bland and unchallenging “sweet” sound of Guy Lombardo and the Jazz Age dance bands to the more rhythmically involved horn arrangements of the Swing Era such as Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey. Early jazz and blues first heard in the thirties clearly demonstrate the emergence of significant musical forms by great artist like Louis Armstrong and Fletcher Henderson. The second set of songs from the middle of the decade to the end represents the emerging modern forms of American popular music. One can hear the fine-tuning of rhythm and blues in works by Ellington, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Cleo Patra Brown. The swing era is known by recordings of Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw. There was also a newly emerging team in the film industry. The record industry and radio grew in strength and also influenced the decade. The trademark sound of the Glen Miller Orchestra “Moonlight Serenade” would provide a generation with musical memories of American life during the Second World War. Many Americans were forced to relocate in search of employment after the collapse of the economy. They moved from rural areas to urban factory towns, from city to city and state to state in search of work. Many of these people felt as if they had been torn from their social and cultural roots. This seemed to welcome recorded music as a statement of their cultural experiences and old identities. Historian William Kenney concluded, “”?whether consciously or not, almost all citizens found in…


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