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Chapter 5 - Popular Music

Tin Pan Alley as National Barometer

from Part I - Genre and Medium

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 January 2021

Tim Dayton
Affiliation:
Kansas State University
Mark W. Van Wienen
Affiliation:
Northern Illinois University
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Summary

When war broke out in August 1914, it was viewed with a mixture of disbelief and disinterest by Americans The government’s official stance of neutrality was widely supported by the general public, but at the same time there were also voices arguing for preparedness, and once Congress declared war on Germany in 1917, voices against American involvement were quickly silenced. This fundamental shift in public opinion from neutrality to total support for the war effort is mirrored in American sheet music from 1914 to 1919. During the war over 30,000 songs were composed and copyrighted, many in editions of thousands of copies. Sung in parlors, theaters, and bars, these songs — though not a part of official propaganda — had an undeniable impact on the American public’s attitude toward the country’s involvement in the war.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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  • Popular Music
  • Edited by Tim Dayton, Kansas State University, Mark W. Van Wienen, Northern Illinois University
  • Book: A History of American Literature and Culture of the First World War
  • Online publication: 23 January 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108615433.006
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  • Popular Music
  • Edited by Tim Dayton, Kansas State University, Mark W. Van Wienen, Northern Illinois University
  • Book: A History of American Literature and Culture of the First World War
  • Online publication: 23 January 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108615433.006
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Popular Music
  • Edited by Tim Dayton, Kansas State University, Mark W. Van Wienen, Northern Illinois University
  • Book: A History of American Literature and Culture of the First World War
  • Online publication: 23 January 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108615433.006
Available formats
×