Thursday, 24. January 2019, Selby Auditorium, Michael Lasser, Music Historian: America's Songs I and II


The Florida Center for Partnerships for Arts Integrated Teaching (PAInT) and the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County will bring Music historian, Michael Lasser to Sarasota. He will talk about how songs illustrate historical moments and historical change in the 20th century. His topic, “Illuminating History: The American Popular Song,” will include the following  talking points:

Songs between 1914 and 1919 (World War I), illuminate the ways in which American attitudes toward the War changed.
Songs between 1942 and 1945 (World War I), show the evolution of attitudes on the home front in terms of how the lyrics shaped and reflected the emotional lives of the women who remained behind. This will give the audience an intensity that the WW1 songs lack.
The ways in which a single song fit differently in two different decades. “I’ll Be Seeing You,” the song, for example, flopped in 1938 but was a huge hit in 1944. Lasser will explain (and get the audience to talk about) why this one song failed during the Depression but succeeded during the War.
The differences in assumptions in the 1920s and 1930s by comparing Pollyanna songs from each decade.
The 1930s and 1940s were dark decades right next to one another, so one might assume the songs from both decades were similar. In fact, they were strikingly different. Lasser will use a couple of songs to illuminate the differences and explain why.


This PAInT/Arts and Cultural Alliance community event will help to promote understandings of the benefits of Arts Integration pedagogy and arts in schools and community.

Michael Lasser, Music Historian: America's Songs I and II

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