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WORDS AND THEIR STORIES(24) - Tinpan Alley

时间:2006-03-09 16:00来源:互联网 提供网友:sqp   字体: [ ]
    (单词翻译:双击或拖选)

WORDS AND THEIR STORIES - Tinpan Alley1
By Susan Kelen

Broadcast: Sunday, October 10, 2004

Now, the VOA Special English Program Words and Their Stories. Today, we tell about the expression, tinpan alley.

For many years, the expression 'tinpan alley' represented American popular music and writers and publishers of songs who made it great. It was first used in the late 1800s on busy, crowded 28th street in New York City.

At that time, offices of music publishers lined both sides of the street. Music from pianos inside the offices filled the air. The music was played by piano demonstrators called song pluggers. They played and sang the songs for orchestra2 leaders, singers and stars of musical plays, anyone who could use songs in public performances.

One day, a reporter from a New York newspaper visited the office of music publisher Hurry Woncuser. The reporter, Monroe Rosenfeld, was planning a series of stories about American popular music. During the visit, he heard someone playing Mr. Woncuser's piano. The piano was old, and made songs like clanging metal. To Mr. Rosenfeld the piano sounded like tinpans clashing3 together. "Tinpan music. " he commented, "why? " He said at last, "The whole street is a tinpan alley. " Mr. Rosenfeld used this expression when he wrote his stories about the music publishing business. And from that time on, 28th street in New York City was known as tinpan alley.

Tinpan alley is linked to an exciting period of American popular music that lasted from about 1880 to 1930. In earlier years, American publishing companies mainly dealt with serious music. But toward the end of the century, some young men decided4 to change this. So they went to New York City, where they could find performers to sing and sell their songs.

On tinpan alley, American popular music developed. From publishing companies on this street came love songs, sad songs, and silly songs, songs that were Ragtime5, Jazz and Blues6. From tinpan alley, came such great composers as George Gershwin , Irving Berlin , Jerome Kern , Cole Porter and Richard Rodgers.

It was there the composers learned their trade. They learned what the public wanted and what would make a song sell. The end of tinpan alley as the center of American music business came around 1930 after records, radio, and talking movies were created. Yet the name, tinpan alley still is linked to the creators of popular music who got their start on the street of songs.

This VOA Special English program Words and Their Stories was written by Susan Kelen. I am Warren Scheer.


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 alley Cx2zK     
n.小巷,胡同;小径,小路
参考例句:
  • We live in the same alley.我们住在同一条小巷里。
  • The blind alley ended in a brick wall.这条死胡同的尽头是砖墙。
2 orchestra 90OyN     
n.管弦乐队;vt.命令,定购
参考例句:
  • He plays the violin in an orchestra.他在管弦乐队中演奏小提琴。
  • I was tempted to stay and hear this superb orchestra rehearse.我真想留下来听这支高超的管弦乐队排练。
3 clashing f0a3b35cf1ccf7ff091e8028b8ccbcb5     
n.冲突, 抵触, 撞击声 vt.使 ... 发出撞击声 vi.引起冲突
参考例句:
  • A gong, clashing faintly in the distance, seemed to be in another world. 外面送来锣鼓声,隐隐约约的,好像隔了一个世界。 来自汉英文学 - 家(1-26) - 家(1-26)
  • These clashing perspectives permeated the Middle East dispute and prevented any real bargaining. 这些互相冲突的观点浸透在中东的纠纷之中,并防害了任何真正的谈判。
4 decided lvqzZd     
adj.决定了的,坚决的;明显的,明确的
参考例句:
  • This gave them a decided advantage over their opponents.这使他们比对手具有明显的优势。
  • There is a decided difference between British and Chinese way of greeting.英国人和中国人打招呼的方式有很明显的区别。
5 ragtime 7kJz0m     
n.拉格泰姆音乐
参考例句:
  • The most popular music back then was called ragtime.那时最流行的音乐叫拉格泰姆音乐。
  • African-American piano player Scott Joplin wrote many ragtime songs.非裔美国钢琴家ScottJoplin写了许多拉格泰姆歌曲。
6 blues blues     
n.抑郁,沮丧;布鲁斯音乐
参考例句:
  • She was in the back of a smoky bar singing the blues.她在烟雾弥漫的酒吧深处唱着布鲁斯歌曲。
  • He was in the blues on account of his failure in business.他因事业失败而意志消沉。
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TAG标签:   word  story  word  tinpan  alley
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