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American Music Timeline

American Music Timeline

Part III: 1900-1920

by David Johnson
1900 1904 1907 1911 1912 1916 Next: The Twenties

1900

Symphony Hall built in Boston

1900

"Country" music of southeastern U.S. features guitar, fiddle banjo, harmonica - direct descendant of English, Scottish, Irish ballads, folk songs

"Western" musical genre spreads through western states, features steel guitars and large bands; singing cowboys

Based on Mississippi River boat music and black, French, Spanish piano music, jazz develops in New Orleans brothels, honky-tonk bars

1904

George M. Cohan's musical play, Little Johnny Jones, followed by Forty-five Minutes from Broadway, 1906, help create indigenous American musical theater

1907

Florenz Ziegfeld launches Ziegfeld Follies, elaborate musical stage shows, through 1931, starring such performers as Billie Burke, Fannie Brice, W. C. Fields, Eddie Cantor, Will Rogers

1911

Popular songwriter Irving Berlin completes "Alexander's Ragtime Band," his first hit; culmination of ragtime craze

1912

Composer, band leader, "father of the blues," William Christopher Handy publishes Memphis Blues, helps inaugurate new style based on rural black folk music

1916

President Woodrow Wilson issues executive order making "The Star-Spangled Banner" the national anthem. Congress confirms it, 1931

Charles Albert Tindley, first black gospel composer to be published, releases New Songs of Paradise, collection of 37 gospel works





Information Please® Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Did you know?
The first official national flag, also known as the Stars and Stripes, or Old Glory, was approved by the Continental Congress on June 14, 1777.

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