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Midtown, 1906: The Case for an Alternative Tin Pan Alley

Midtown, 1906: The Case for an Alternative Tin Pan Alley Jane Mathieu Midtown, 1906: The Case for an Alternative Tin Pan Alley That piano sounds like a tin pan. Matter of fact this whole street sounds like a tin pan alley.1 Monroe Rosenfeld was tired. The noise of untuned secondhand bleeding through thin cubicle walls; the dozens of screeching vaudevillians sight-reading, shouting, singing; and the thumping rhythm of tapdancers reached critical mass for the songwriter and sometime journalist. Turning to his friend Harry von Tilzer, Rosenfeld uttered the words that would go on to mark and define popular song for decades. At least that’s one version of the story. The mythical origins of the name and development of Tin Pan Alley have produced a number of similar tales, always full of noise, of labor, and of industry; stories and sounds always resonating among the bricks, brownstones, and concrete of Street in Midtown Manhattan. Though Tin Pan Alley has come to denote more than a physical location, it is forever linked to 28th Street through this sensorially evocative origin myth. The sonic particulars of its description evoke the abuse of , the directionality of tinny bright banging projected across an architecturally defined space, bouncing from brick exterior to hard http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Music University of Illinois Press

Midtown, 1906: The Case for an Alternative Tin Pan Alley

American Music , Volume 35 (2) – Aug 30, 2017

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Publisher
University of Illinois Press
Copyright
Copyright © University of Illinois Press
ISSN
1945-2349
Publisher site
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Abstract

Jane Mathieu Midtown, 1906: The Case for an Alternative Tin Pan Alley That piano sounds like a tin pan. Matter of fact this whole street sounds like a tin pan alley.1 Monroe Rosenfeld was tired. The noise of untuned secondhand bleeding through thin cubicle walls; the dozens of screeching vaudevillians sight-reading, shouting, singing; and the thumping rhythm of tapdancers reached critical mass for the songwriter and sometime journalist. Turning to his friend Harry von Tilzer, Rosenfeld uttered the words that would go on to mark and define popular song for decades. At least that’s one version of the story. The mythical origins of the name and development of Tin Pan Alley have produced a number of similar tales, always full of noise, of labor, and of industry; stories and sounds always resonating among the bricks, brownstones, and concrete of Street in Midtown Manhattan. Though Tin Pan Alley has come to denote more than a physical location, it is forever linked to 28th Street through this sensorially evocative origin myth. The sonic particulars of its description evoke the abuse of , the directionality of tinny bright banging projected across an architecturally defined space, bouncing from brick exterior to hard

Journal

American MusicUniversity of Illinois Press

Published: Aug 30, 2017

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