Music again - Jones College Prep

WWI Music
Joanne Huang
To Serve or Not to Serve
• Eager male musicians to fight:
Maurice Ravel, Anton Webern, Bela Bartok, George
Butterworth, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Gustav Holst
-what does this say about musicians?!
- trained soldiers in music skills
• Eager female musicians:
women instrumentalists filled gaps in hotel
orchestras and other ensembles “You’d Better Be
Nice to Them Now”
Lili Boulanger founded the Franco-American
Committee of the National Conservatory to offer $$$
and morale to musicians fighting in the war
Longing to Stay
• Reluctant musicians:
Alban Berg (2nd __ __) was asthmatic and basic
training was too much for him  inspired his
Expressionist opera, Wozzek (a soldier who
was driven to murder and suicide by an
inhumane army captain and a sadistic army dr)
Arnold Schoenberg discharged for poor health
Irving Berlin (Tin Pan Alley Composer) was
drafted and wrote, “Oh! How I Hate to Get Up
in the Morning”
To Play or Not to Play
• Berlin Philharmonic decided that works by composers from
enemy nations could be performed, as long as the
composer had died before 1914
• Pittsburg Symphony banned all German music while
Chicago Symphony continued to showcase German
repertory until 1917, Arnold Schoenberg could not go to NY
to perform
• Artistic loss resulting from bans and restrictions
• Debussy refused to sign a proclamation banning
performances of German music in France (1916)
• Many musicians changed their names ex: Basil Hindenburg
became Basil Cameron in England
• United States exhibited hostility to foreign-born
• Wilson had a speech addressing hyphen-Americans: people
who had become naturalized US citizens but who still
acknowledged their ancestry with terms such as “GermanAmerican”. “Italian American”, etc
ex: German-born Karl Muck had been conductor of the
Boston Symphony Orchestra since 1960
Star Spangled Banner Affair
Must prove he never served for Germany + Swiss citizen
arrested w/o specified charges & accused of being alien so
had to be imprisoned for the “duration of the war”
The “Christmas Truce” of 1914
• December 24th, 1914 (Xmas Eve): A spontaneous,
unsanctioned cease-fire across the trenches
• Enemies all sang carols together known to both
sides—”Silent Night”, “O Christmas Tree”, “O
Come All Ye Faithful”
• Listened to both sides perform music like German
and British anthems
• Was not repeated in 1915, no more holiday spirit
To Create or Not to Create
• Debussy (France) and Schoenberg (Germany)
suffered creative blocks during wartime
• In other cases, it prompted creativity:
-support charity: Belgium’s King Arthur refused to let
Germany invade Belgium yet they did so Hall Caine
and London’s Daily Telegraph gathered essays + other
contributions for a charity book called King Albert’s
Book  proceeds donated to Belgium fund
England’s Edward Elgar wrote a choral piece for this
book called Carillon, Debussy overcame writer’s block
and composed Berceuse heroique
Edith Wharton: The Book
of the Homeless
• Support American hostels for refugees and
also helping a group that assists Belgian war
• Igor Stravinsky contributed a piece called
Souvenir d’une marche boche (Recollection of
a Kraut March)  recollection is a phrase from
a Beethoven symphony = irony?
Commemorating the Fallen
• Memorial pieces that usually contained a short
poetic quotation, or an epigraph (I feel like
epitaph would also work)
• Elgar used dedicatory titles “To the Fallen”, “To
Women”, and “The Fourth of August”
• Ravel wrote Le Tombeau de Couperin
• Tombeau: a “tombstone” or “grave” in French,
but is used in music to describe a lament
Why is the Packet so
• The finale of Le Tombeau de Couperin is “Toccata” and
dedicated to Captain Joseph de Marliave, who died during
the war
• Who would perform it for the first time? The pianist,
Marguerite Long
• ….His now widow.
• The finale sounds like loops and spirals of a plane as it is in a
dogfight and a sudden silence before end of piece = stall in
the engine
• Toccata: Baroque era characteristic that describes virtuosic,
animated pieces that often sound improvised
Works About and For
• Some responded to the war in general, not
specific towards any group of people or
• Sometimes subtle references
• Pianist Paul Wittgenatein wrote music for disabled
veterans, his right arm was amputated from a war
injury  commissioned pieces for the left hand
only (composers who wrote these pieces for him
used to be his enemies)
Popular Music—From Tin
Pan Alley to the Trenches
• NY Evening Post asked “New Songs of War,
Vulgar and Cheap?” They said the songs were
vulgar and cheap but produced morale and
other sentiments that gave it quality. It is
better for people to sing “shabby, faulty”
songs than no songs at all.
• Much of music was sentimental—war time
experiences, tributes, distance between
battlefield and home
It’s a Long, Long Way to
Tipperary—Jack Judge
• Became famous when Irish regiment sang it while
marching through France
• George Curnock (reporter for London’s Daily Mail)
witnessed this and reported about it
• Became a favorite song of British forces
even played @ Buckingham Palace after armistice was
• Ironically, Judge never ever even went to Ireland but his
grandparents had lived there so he heard stories about it
• Air of longing despite peppy rhythm, verse-chorus form,
duple meter suited for marching, our recording has
fermatas but soldiers singing would have omitted them
Worship and
• Wartime music conveyed religious faith or deep
feelings of grief
• France’s Rheims Cathedral was destroyed by the
Germans, which was an observation post but also
where French kings have been declared king by the
Church  Cathedrale de Reims showed French
• John Jacob Niles discovered African American troops
and was inspired by their singing  “Grave-Diggers”
• Songs addressed losses to come and aftermath
Laughing it Off?
• Comic songs produced laughter for the soldiers
• Famous ex: Quand Madelon (When Madelon)
-a duple meter song that became popular
-Madelon was a flirtatious waitress in a bar who
cheers up her soldiers. When a corporal asks for
her hand in marriage, she says, “why settle for
one man when I can love the whole Regiment? I
need my hand to pour everyone a drink!”
• Existing songs were rewritten with new lyrics, the
grimmer = the better
ex: “The Hearse Song” do you remember?
Music to Persuade
• Constant repetition and simplicity = good
• Songs have these elements so they can be
used as propaganda
• Some families were pacifists, varying reasons,
don’t want children being sent to fight and die
I Didn’t Raise My Boy to
Be a Soldier—Alfred
• Dedicated to every mother, everywhere (subtitle)
• Tempo is marziale = march-like = recruiting tune
for parents??
• Probably most influential pacifist song but also
called “anti-military propaganda”
• Song withdrew when Lusitania sunk, and USA
entered war
• Verse-chorus form, chromaticism during verses is a
emphasis on mother’s pleas, barbershop harmony
Recruitment Songs
• Encouragement, recruit and sustain soldiers’
• Promoted patriotism and support for the war
• Ex: America’s “What Kind of American Are
You?” sheet music was “in your face” pg. 126
Anthems and Patriotic
• Sung for morale, especially when soldiers are leaving
• England’s “God Save the King” and USA “Star
Spangled Banner” are in triple meter so not really fun
for marching but still played with increasing regularity
• Theatrical entertainments also organized near
encampments—singing, dancing, and skits
EX: Germans tried to justify Belgium invasion with
plays that showed Flemish lasses and German soldiers
together (Flemish are Germanic race that deserved
independence from Belgium)
Music for Marketing or
the Corniest Songs Ever
• Shortages of consumer goods and restrictions on
• Rationing schemes were limited, but encouraged
citizens with songs
• “Keep Cool! The Country’s Saving Fuel! (And I Had
to Come Home in the Dark)” Save fuel by walking,
not driving
• “I’ll Do Without Meat and I’ll Do Without Wheat
But I Can’t Do Without Love”
Over There—George M. Cohan
• Cohan describes this piece as “all he’d done was to dramatize
a bugle call”  bugle associated with military call
• Donated the royalties from the song to war charities
• Patriotic references: “Son of Liberty, Yankee Doodle, redwhite-and blue”
• Internal rhymes, verse-chorus form, duple meter for marching
• FUN FACT: Nora Bayes, the singer of a popular version of “I
Didn’t Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier” also sang “Over There”
• British adjusted last two lines
Groundbreaking Music
• Americans had mixed feelings about non-white
combatants in USA armed forces, even though
soldiers of colored served in Revolutionary War
• WWI Colonel Linard of American Expeditionary Force
sent “Secret Information Concerning Black American
Troops” to the French military leadership to tell them
not to treat black as equals or else they will expect
that treatment when they come back to the USA
• French didn’t listen to him
Groundbreaking Music
• “The Ragtime Volunteers Are Off to War”
• “They’ll Be Mighty Proud in Dixie of Their Old Black
• “When the Lord Makes a Record of a Hero’s Deeds, He
Draws No Color Line”
• “You’ll Find Old Dixieland in France”
• Native Americans received less attention from
condescending, patronizing, stereotype-filled?
On Patrol in No Man’s
• Written by James Reese Europe with the helf
of Noble Sissle and Eubie Black
• Europe had been born in Alabama (the person,
not the continent) and moved to DC, where he
was living a few doors from John Philip Sousa
• Europe studied piano and violin b/c members
of Sousa’s Marine Band gave music lessons to
African American children w/ musical promise
On Patrol in No Man’s
• He led a NY professional orchestra and helped found the Clef
Club, a union for black musicians, which appeared at Carnegie
Hall (1912—first time a black orchestra appeared there)
First black orchestra to have a contract w/ major label
• Enlisted as a private for the NY National Guard and was called
upon to develop the finest band in the US Army
• Encountered racism and segregation in USA so were
transferred to French Army as US reinforcements
On Patrol in No Man’s
• Europe was first African American to lead his
troops into combat in WWI, No Man’s Land,
suffered gas attack, wrote a song the next day
• Looks like Tin Pan Alley song:
-repeated refrain: synonym for a repetitive chorus
in verse-chorus form
• We do not have the nuances Hellfighters added
On Patrol in No Man’s
• Voice and instruments simulate mortar attack
• Drums mimic explosions
• Bright tempo goes on = life goes on?
• Lyrics have contemporary sayings to ease the soldiers
• Genuine military terms
• During repetition of refrain, instruments stop and
listeners hear sounds & shouts and also German pleas
of “Comrade”
Happy Ending
• Tin Pan Alley never heard a piece like this
• It resembles the Expressionism settings in
classical music
• One of the band’s most popular pieces
Never Mind
• Europe’s name is not really known to us
because he died at a young age
• His mentally unstable drummer, Herbert
Wright, felt unappreciated so while Europe
reasoned with him, Wright stabbed Europe
• NYC officials made his funeral public– the first
one granted to a black American in the city’s
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