Saturday, July 09, 2016

Triumph of the vernacular …

… From Hemingway and Hammett to Gershwin and Armstrong: How American Speech Became Art - The Atlantic. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

From October 1926 through December 1927, American speech patterns found electronic tools that would capture their subtle nuances and allow them to go viral. Breakthroughs in microphone design enabled jazz singers to croon and whisper, and the days of shouting vocalists would soon be gone. The spread of electrical recordings aided in this process—just listen to the difference to popular music before and after the arrival of these technologies. At the same moment, the launch of the first U.S. national radio network created a powerful platform for these innovations. The rise of talking films sealed the deal. All these changes took place over the span of just a few months.

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