Tin Pan Alley: Artists’ Contribution To World War Ii

827 words - 4 pages

What’s your favorite song? Sweater Weather? Counting Stars? How about Royals? Although it has always had a place in humanity's cultures and hearts, music wasn’t always as bold, flashy, and prominent as it is in this day and age; it took time to gradually evolve into what we consider to be “popular”, and many believe that one street in New York City was the start of such a great American evolution. Tin Pan Alley, one street among hundreds, and a piece of tragically overlooked American History; dating back to the late 1880's to past World War II, Tin Pan Alley played a critical role in peoples lives and attitudes throughout the early part of the 20th century.
Built in the period of about 1852 to 1853, the buildings that stand to this day along 28th Street in New York City harbor incredible American history (A Brief-ish History of Tin Pan Alley). The first music publishers, thought to be M. Witmark and Sons, "set up shop" after a transition from 14th Street to 49-51 West 28th Street in 1893 (A Brief-sh History of Tin Pan Alley), becoming the first of what would come to be a "... revolving door of musicians, writers, song-sellers, and Broadway and vaudeville performers” (The Daily Guru 2013). The name “Tin Pan Alley” was allegedly traced back to the author of a newspaper article, named Monroe Rosenfield, who compared the sound of all of the cheap pianos played together to the sound of hundreds of people banging tin pots and pans together. As Broadway and vaudeville became more popular than minstrel shows, the writers and producers of Tin Pan Alley sold music to performers to get it to circulate; the process went like this: composers wrote the music, publishers published it, "song pluggers" (salesmen) sold it to famous performers who performed it on stage, other performers and even ordinary people saw it and wanted to buy it. "Song pluggers", as they were called, bribed stage stars to listen to - just listen to, not even buy- their music (Young and Meyers).The artists of Tin Pan Alley settled on 28th street to be near their customer, making the buying and selling of music easy.
After the war that changed forever the path that America was on- the American Civil War-, over 25,000 new pianos were sold every year nationally, and more than 500,000 adolescents were learning piano by the end of...

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