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The Great American Songbook Foundation
The Great American Songbook Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with a mission to inspire and educate by celebrating the Great American Songbook.
The Great American Songbook is the canon of the most important and influential American popular songs and jazz standards from the early 20th century that have stood the test of time in their life and legacy. Often referred to as "American Standards," the songs published during the Golden Age of this genre include those popular and enduring tunes from the 1920s to the 1960s that were created for Broadway, musical, and Hollywood musical film. Learn more.
Here are a few selections from the Great American Songbook!
Categorized by songwriters and themes
You'll find over 500 selections of songs from the Great American Songbook categorized by songwriters from Cole Porter to Duke Ellington and themes from optimism to the magic of love. These resources are perfect for music students, teachers and people looking for music inspiration! Note: There are thousands of songs in the Songbook canon. These are suggestions to start your journey into the Great American Songbook.
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Composers of the Foundational Era
The foundational period of the “Great American Songbook,” represents the most important and influential American popular songs and jazz standards of the early 20th century that were created for Broadway musicals, Tin Pan Alley, and Hollywood musical films. These songs are sometimes referred as “American Standards" and were written by songwriters including (but certainly not limited to):
Harold Arlen, Irving Berlin, Johnny Burke, Sammy Cahn, Hoagy Carmichael, Vernon Duke, Duke Ellington, Gus Kahn, George and Ira Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Dana Suesse, Burton Lane, Billy Strayhorn, Frank Loesser, Lerner and Loewe, Hugh Martin, Johnny Mercer, Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hart, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim, Jule Styne, Jimmy Van Heusen, Fats Waller, Harry Warren, Vincent Youmans, and many more.
Who should I listen to in order to have a better understanding of this music?
A few examples of performers who sing the music of the Songbook:
Michael Feinstein, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, Betty Hutton, Lena Horne, Doris Day, Barbra Streisand, Judy Garland, Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Louis Armstrong, Rosemary Clooney, Nat King Cole, Peggy Lee, Bobby Darin, Sarah Vaughn, Dinah Washington, Patti Page, Michael Buble, Harry Connick, Jr. and many more.
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Where can I find sheet music?
- The Great American Songbook Foundation Library & Archives
- Your local library
- University libraries
- Sheetmusic Plus