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Tin Pan OperaOperatic Novelty Songs in the Ragtime Era$
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Larry Hamberlin

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195338928

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195338928.001.0001

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Scheming Young Ladies

Scheming Young Ladies

(p.73) Chapter 3 Scheming Young Ladies
Tin Pan Opera

Larry Hamberlin

Oxford University Press

The novelty songs in this chapter and the next two use opera, an arena in which women had come to exert some degree of autonomy, to comment on the first wave of feminism. The fictional women in the songs in Chapter 3 study singing, aspire to be on the musical stage, or already sing professionally. The students are portrayed as naïve victims of male music teachers, and the professionals and would-be professionals are vain and empty-headed as best, conniving and duplicitous at worst. Much of the animus directed toward professional singers had to do with the supposed indecency of feminine self-display in public.

Keywords:   opera, novelty songs, feminism, singers, music students, music teachers, professional singers

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