Cabaret: a historical and musical perspective of a struggling era

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Candice S. Burrows (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
David Holley

Abstract: A historical time rich with change, the turn of the twentieth century was not without its hardships as well as its accomplishments. Musically speaking, it was a celebrated and popular time of diversified and large orchestrated symphonies and operas. Yet, as classical music was at a zenith of popularity, it was an uneasy and confusing era. Closing in on the accepted, supported and successful romantic style of music was a social revolution that affected all art forms and worldwide attitudes. World War I was looming and the Second Industrial Revolution was about to explode initiating change and fears throughout civilization. Art forms have always reflected the times of which they exist, and this critical time of 1880-1933, like any other era, mirrors a highly diversified time of enormous change and renaissance. This study is an examination of what the cabaret genre consisted of during this fifty year period. I explain the beginning, the peak and the slow but constant changes which occurred through the onset years in France, Germany and eventually America. I introduce and detail the idea that there are really two forms of cabaret that eventually amalgamate into one idea. I present the effects of world history and events that utilized the Cabaret as a tool of expression for a generation and will surmise those effects have indeed provided a bridge to many of the musical styles and entertainment venues that we hold in present day society. In the recital portion of my dissertation, I perform a selection of cabaret songs which show specifically different styles and languages that depict the essence of the Cabaret genre style as it has evolved from its inception in 1881. These works, garnered by research of Cabaret history, provide tangible evidence of the musical stylistic changes which occurred through Cabaret`s roots in France, to its height of popularity in Germany and how it was perceived and developed in Britain and America.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2010
Cabaret, Kabarett, Le Chat Noir, Music history, Sprechtstimme, Vocal styles
Music-halls (Variety-theaters, cabarets, etc.) $xHistory.
Popular music $xHistory and criticism.

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