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Chapter Nine: The 1920s

The War to end war finally ended, with an armistice at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. The decade of the 1920s was a crucible for light music, into which a number of ingredients were poured, to be mixed and mutated in the process. If American music was one such ingredient, it was certainly modified on reacting with the British ingredients, which included not only the music itself, but also the new sound technologies and even the indigenous British institutions. The dance enthusiasms of the 1920s reflected the dismantling of the barriers between the sexes, which now seemed to have little point or justification. Of the pre-war dances, the close-contact ones still had some life in them. The craze for dancing in the clubs and restaurants suggested that the 1920s would be years of plenty for performing musicians, for the demand for dance bands seemed to be insatiable.