American Music Timeline American Music Timeline
Part III: 1900-1920
by David Johnson

1900 1904 1907 1911 1912 1916 Next: The Twenties

1900
Symphony Hall built in Boston
1900
"Country" music of southeastern U.S. features guitar, fiddle banjo, harmonica - direct descendant of English, Scottish, Irish ballads, folk songs


"Western" musical genre spreads through western states, features steel guitars and large bands; singing cowboys


Based on Mississippi River boat music and black, French, Spanish piano music, jazz develops in New Orleans brothels, honky-tonk bars
1904
George M. Cohan's musical play, Little Johnny Jones, followed by Forty-five Minutes from Broadway, 1906, help create indigenous American musical theater
1907
Florenz Ziegfeld launches Ziegfeld Follies, elaborate musical stage shows, through 1931, starring such performers as Billie Burke, Fannie Brice, W. C. Fields, Eddie Cantor, Will Rogers
1911
Popular songwriter Irving Berlin completes "Alexander's Ragtime Band," his first hit; culmination of ragtime craze
1912
Composer, band leader, "father of the blues," William Christopher Handy publishes Memphis Blues, helps inaugurate new style based on rural black folk music
1916
President Woodrow Wilson issues executive order making "The Star-Spangled Banner" the national anthem. Congress confirms it, 1931


Charles Albert Tindley, first black gospel composer to be published, releases New Songs of Paradise, collection of 37 gospel works
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Next: Popular music, jazz, and the blues

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