The composition of art song in America began slowly in the Colonial and Federal periods, expanded greatly in the 19th century, and has become a distinguished and highly regarded addition to the classical music repertoire in the 20th and 21st centuries. Francis Hopkinson — , Philadelphia native and signer of the Declaration of Independence, is usually considered the first important American song composer. In the 19th century, many Americans composed songs for amateur musicians to sing at home usually called parlor songs. In the middle of the century Stephen Foster — emerged as one of the best known American composers of songs. While many of his vocal pieces were written for minstrel shows , the simple but effective melodies of his "songs for the hearth and home" are widely popular, often mistaken for American folksongs. By the end of the 19th century, serious American composers were travelling to European countries to study, especially with German and French composition teachers, and they gained a thorough understanding of Romantic style, including an understanding of the Lieder tradition. American songs written between and are often dismissed as sounding too "derivative", although the compositional craft shown in these works is quite high.
He wrote primarily for the Broadway musical theatre , but important as well are his orchestral and piano compositions in which he blended, in varying degrees, the techniques and forms of classical music with the stylistic nuances and techniques of popular music and jazz. George Gershwin made piano rolls for player pianos, played the piano in nightclubs, demonstrated sheet music for a music publishing company, and worked as an accompanist and a Broadway rehearsal pianist. He thereafter made a living writing with his lyricist brother Ira popular songs and Broadway musicals and composing important and popular jazz -influenced classical compositions.
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This would soon change. These years brought striking innovation in musical composition. Among the exhaustive list of isms — impressionism, nationalism, serialism et al — lies one that is not hugely referred to in music, yet not unimportant in the career of Charles Ives. Transcendentalism, the American literary, political and philosophical movement of the late 19th century, inspired Ives to compose one of his most well-known works, the Second Piano Sonata, also known as the Concord Sonata , which he completed in Transcendentalism began as a protest against conventions in society, in the intellectual world and in spiritual beliefs.
This is a list of American composers , alphabetically sorted by surname. It is by no means complete. It is not limited by classifications such as genre or time period—however, it includes only music composers of significant fame, notability or importance. Some further composers are included in Category:American composers. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Wikipedia list article.