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32 Pages

Harmonic Relations: American Popular Harmonies (1925–1950) and Their European Kin

This article explores intersections between the avant-garde music of early twentieth-century Europe and the autochthonous American popular ballad, links between the two seemingly disparate repertoires of music that are apparent in the domain of harmony. I regard this study as part of a much larger study that would encompass the etymology of tonal harmony in American vernacular art music, including jazz. The present instalment is restricted to the American popular ballad of the wonderfully creative period 1925-1950, while the remarkable European music to which I will refer stems from the preceding quarter century.