Broadway rhythm: the sound of the city

Symonds, Dominic (2008) Broadway rhythm: the sound of the city. In: Music on Stage, 18 - 19 October 2008, Rose Bruford College, London.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Paper)
Item Status:Live Archive


By the time the Golden Age of American Musical Theatre had established itself, it was very definitely something that was located at least romantically in 'Broadway': Broadway the street, a central thoroughfare and a nexus of commerce and entertainment, had grown 'up' Manhattan island; Broadway the theatre industry had grown up (matured) into a globalised commodity and lifestyle market; and Broadway the sound had grown up (developed) into a very recognisable idiom. The notion of Broadway is now loaded with all sorts of signification, and a good degree of that becomes reflected in its main product: Broadway song. This paper will look at the three of these elements (Broadway, Broadway and Broadway) in relation to one another, seeing in the forms, orchestrations, rhythms, cadences and performances of Broadway song both patterns of urban commodification and patterns of aspirational migration. Concentrating on seminal songs such as 'Give My Regards to Broadway' (Cohan, 1904), 'Swanee' (Gershwin / Caesar, 1919) and 'New York, New York' (Bernstein / Comden / Green, 1944), and drawing on theoreticians such as Berman, Bachelard and Deleuze and Guattari, I will discuss Broadway song in terms of the 'sound of the city'.

Keywords:Broadway Rhythm, Broadway, Performance Cartography, New York, Musical Theatre, Song
Subjects:W Creative Arts and Design > W310 Musicianship/Performance studies
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts (Fine Arts)
ID Code:22454
Deposited On:09 Mar 2016 14:47

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