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2023 Spring

Classes are free for members

The American Songbook

Instructor: Bob Tredwell

Fridays • 3/24-5/12 • 11:00 AM-1:00 PM

Class size 5-25 students
13 seats remaining
Location: Zoom only

The American Songbook is a collection of about 1,000 popular tunes composed during, say, the lifetime of Bing Crosby (1903-1977).  The most striking thing about this music is that it was performed “on-the-fly”: the melody and chords provided only an outline that each musician filled in to suit his own taste.  We’ll listen to a lot of this music and learn how it was played.  Incidentally, we’ll look at the popular music in the related forms around it…blues, country, and show music…all with an eye to what made this music special.

Bob Tredwell has taught Senior College courses from code-breaking to herring fishing. Previously unknown to his fans, in his youth he took music lessons from the pit-pianist at the local burlesque theater and found sympathy throughout college by his piano playing. Now too old and stiff to play, he can at least reflect on the popular music of the first half of the last century.


COVID REQUIREMENTS:  Masks are required in classrooms, unless waived by the instructor.  We recommend carrying a mask at all times while on the campus to use as needed.