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date: 16 October 2019

Advertising, music inlocked

  • Robynn J. Stilwell


Though advertisements probably provide the most commonly heard kind of music in contemporary urban society, such music is the least noticed and least studied. Music has been part of advertising since the first Street cries . With the advent of cheap, widespread print media in the 19th century, and of radio and television in the 20th, the possibilities of advertising, and of its associated music, grew enormously.

Most of the history of advertisement music survives in art composition. A 13th-century three-voice motet in the Montpellier Codex (no.319) records street cries, as do the madrigals of Janequin, Orlando Gibbons and Berio, and operas ranging from Cherubini's Les deux journées to Gershwin's Porgy and Bess. Engravings and written documents show that instruments (particularly noisy, attention-grabbing instruments like drums and trumpets) were used in conjunction with the voice, but how they were used is not known. The recorded history of advertisement music begins only when music printing became inexpensive....

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Studia musicologica norvegica
Journal of the American Musicological Society
The New Grove Dictionary of American Music