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Jazz in Search of Itself$
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Larry Kart

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780300104202

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300104202.001.0001

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Singers and Songmakers

Singers and Songmakers

(p.277) Part VIII Singers and Songmakers
Jazz in Search of Itself

Larry Kart

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on and discusses the relationship between jazz and pre-rock 'n' roll American popular songs. For a good deal of jazz's history the majority of its harmonic and structural frameworks were taken or borrowed from American popular songs—though “taken” and “borrowed” may imply that there was a distance between jazz and Tin Pan Alley when instead it was more a matter of difference than distance, and a difference that at times was not easy to detect. Furthermore, jazz's musical habits and its emotional atmosphere had a significant influence on the emotional tone, rhythmic traits, and melodic and harmonic flavor of a great many American popular songs—the very same songs that jazz musicians often would immediately put to fervent use.

Keywords:   musical habits, pre-rock 'n' roll, American popular song, Tin Pan Alley, emotional atmosphere

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