Catalogue


Marigold : the music of Billy Mayerl /
Peter Dickinson.
imprint
Oxford [England] ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1999.
description
xviii, 302 p. : ill. 24 cm. + 1 sound disc (digital : 4 3/4 in.)
ISBN
0198162138
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Oxford [England] ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1999.
isbn
0198162138
general note
For CD contents, see p. x-xi.
Includes audio CD.
performer
On CD: Billy Mayerl, piano.
catalogue key
3520625
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [279]-283), discography (p. [237]-255) and indexes.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2000-07-01:
Dickinson's detailed biography treats a man who today would be considered a pop star/celebrity, but whose overall impact was rather limited. A child piano prodigy, London-born Mayerl grew up to be one of the UK's best-known popular novelty pianists of the post-WW I years. Greatly influenced by the US's syncopated music as performed in ragtime, popular songs, and what he considered jazz, Mayerl became the driving force in an effort to bring syncopated music to Britain. In addition to his tremendous success as a performer, Mayerl was a prolific composer, founder of a popular school that taught his piano techniques through the mail, a frequent BBC radio performer, organizer of an extensive fan club, and until about the time of WW II an English entertainment celebrity. He played for, composed for, and taught music to people who considered classical forms too serious and jazz too hot. Mayerl promoted syncopation but not improvisation and cautioned his followers never to lose the melody. Dickinson offers some analysis of Mayerl's performing and compositional techniques as well as biographical details. The accompanying CD includes 29 original Mayerl performances, and appendixes list concert programs, radio performances, compositions, recordings, and earnings. For large libraries supporting music and popular/mass culture in England between the wars. C. M. Weisenberg; University of California, Los Angeles
Reviews
Review Quotes
'Essential contribution to the safe garnering of that vast harvested swathe of twentieth-century music, the entertainment tradition... a good model for the critical analysis of light music... we have here the authoritative account of a figure who deserved one.'Stephen Banfield, The Musical Times, Summer 2000
'Essential contribution to the safe garnering of that vast harvestedswathe of twentieth-century music, the entertainment tradition... a good modelfor the critical analysis of light music... we have here the authoritativeaccount of a figure who deserved one.'Stephen Banfield, The Musical Times, Summer 2000
'recognition of Mayerl has been taken a stage further by this fine new book - the first to do him full justice ... The book's title suggests that this is a study of the music; but it is every bit as much a detailed biography, eloquently set against the social history of the time ... Not theleast attraction of the book is a superbly produced CD of his own recordings of his music in chronological sequence ... in producing this admirable survey of a unique musician, Peter Dickinson has done a great service not just to Mayerl, but to the wider field of British music in all itsmanifestations.'Andrew Lamb, Gramophone, March 2000
'recognition of Mayerl has been taken a stage further by this fine newbook - the first to do him full justice ... The book's title suggests that thisis a study of the music; but it is every bit as much a detailed biography,eloquently set against the social history of the time ... Not the leastattraction of the book is a superbly produced CD of his own recordings of hismusic in chronological sequence ... in producing this admirable survey of aunique musician, Peter Dickinson has done a great service not just to Mayerl,but to the wider field of British music in all its manifestations.'Andrew Lamb, Gramophone, March 2000
'there is enough here to keep the most avid devotee enthralled for quite some time.'Mike Harth, The Billy Mayerl Society Journal no 12, December 1999
'there is enough here to keep the most avid devotee enthralled for quitesome time.'Mike Harth, The Billy Mayerl Society Journal no 12, December 1999
'The book is a fitting memorial to a unique man.'The Stage, 5th Oct. 2000.
'the most telling details are of the time itself, making the book, among other things, a fascinating work of social history.'Alan E.Williams
'the most telling details are of the time itself, making the book, amongother things, a fascinating work of social history.'Alan E.Williams
'comprehensive and definitive volume ... Dickinson has produced a highly-readable biography of a man who became a national institution. Happily, he has also avoided too much technical jargon thus making the text accessible to the layman as well as the academic connoisseur ... deserves a placeon the shelves of all discerning musicologists and students of social history.'This England, Spring 2000,
'comprehensive and definitive volume ... Dickinson has produced ahighly-readable biography of a man who became a national institution. Happily,he has also avoided too much technical jargon thus making the text accessible tothe layman as well as the academic connoisseur ... deserves a place on theshelves of all discerning musicologists and students of social history.'This England, Spring 2000
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, July 2000
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
Billy Mayerl, as pianist-composer-celebrity-educator, was one of the most brilliant figures in British music from the 1920s to the 1950s. Born in London, he became known in childhood as the Wonder Boy Pianist playing for silent films and was captivated by American popular music. With theSavoy Havana Band, he made an immediate impact on the earliest days of broadcasting and was known as the pianist with the lightning fingers. Mayerl's own compositions, in both quality and quantity, are the most significant contribution to the genre of novelty piano, which succeeded ragtime and overlapped with early jazz. The pace of these dazzling, cinematic sketches in rag form perfectly encapsulates the hedonism of the jazz age. ButMayerl also wrote more contemplative pieces belonging to the English pastoral tradition: he was never just the composer of Marigold. Between the wars he became a familiar figure on the Music Halls, playing two pianos at once and taking requests, and he composed for musical comedies involving some of the best-known British stars. As if this frantice pace was not enough, he started his Billy Mayerl School in 1926 to teachsyncopated piano playing and there were branches across England and abroad. This book which contains a full CD of Mayerl's historic playing is the first detailed study of his work and should ensure a permanent place for Mayerl and his music.
Long Description
Billy Mayerl, as pianist-composer-celebrity-educator, was a unique figure in British music from the 1920s to the 1950s. While known to several generations as the composer of Marigold, Mayerl's accomplishments were amazingly varied. One of the most significant contributors to the genre of novelty piano, which succeeded ragtime and overlapped with early jazz, he also wrote more contemplative pieces belonging to the English pastoral tradition. Between the wars he became a familiar figure in the music halls, playing two pianos at once and taking requests; meanwhile he was composing for musical comedies involving some of England's best-known stars. He also started the Billy Mayerl School in 1926 to teach syncopated piano playing and branches opened across England and abroad. This book--which includes a full CD of Mayerl's historic playing--is the first detailed study of his work and should ensure a permanent place for Mayerl and his music.
Main Description
Billy Mayerl, as pianist-composer-celebrity-educator, was one of the mostbrilliant figures in British music from the 1920s to the 1950s. Born in London,he became known in childhood as the Wonder Boy Pianist playing for silent filmsand was captivated by American popular music. With the Savoy Havana Band, hemade an immediate impact on the earliest days of broadcasting and was known asthe pianist with the lightning fingers.Mayerl's own compositions, in both quality and quantity, are the mostsignificant contribution to the genre of novelty piano, which succeeded ragtimeand overlapped with early jazz. The pace of these dazzling, cinematic sketchesin rag form perfectly encapsulates the hedonism of the jazz age. But Mayerlalso wrote more contemplative pieces belonging to the English pastoraltradition: he was never just the composer of Marigold.Between the wars he became a familiar figure on the Music Halls, playing twopianos at once and taking requests, and he composed for musical comediesinvolving some of the best-known British stars. As if this frantice pace wasnot enough, he started his Billy Mayerl School in 1926 to teach syncopated pianoplaying and there were branches across England and abroad. This book whichcontains a full CD of Mayerl's historic playing is the first detailed study ofhis work and should ensure a permanent place for Mayerl and his music.
Main Description
Billy Mayerl, as pianist-composer-celebrity-educator, was a unique figure in British music from the 1920s to the 1950s. While known to several generations as the composer of Marigold , Mayerl's accomplishments were amazingly varied. One of the most significant contributors to the genre of novelty piano, which succeeded ragtime and overlapped with early jazz, he also wrote more contemplative pieces belonging to the English pastoral tradition. Between the wars he became a familiar figure in the music halls, playing two pianos at once and taking requests; meanwhile he was composing for musical comedies involving some of England's best-known stars. He also started the Billy Mayerl School in 1926 to teach syncopated piano playing and branches opened across England and abroad. This book--which includes a full CD of Mayerl's historic playing--is the first detailed study of his work and should ensure a permanent place for Mayerl and his music.
Bowker Data Service Summary
Billy Mayerl became known by playing for silent films. With the Savoy Havana Band, he made an impact on broadcasting, and his own compositions are a significant contribution to the genre of novelty piano. This is a detailed study of his work.
Table of Contents
Chronology
Introduction
Early Life and Environment
From Southampton to the Savoy
London, Marriage, and Jazz Confusions
Syncopation at the Queen's HallThe Music of the Savoy Years
Mayerl on StageThe Music around Marigold
The Song-WriterThe Billy Mayerl School
The Club: Piano Transcriptions
Other Music of the 1930s
The 1940s and 1950s
The Man and his Legacy
Appendices:Queen's Hall Progammes
Analysis of Mayerl's BBC Broadcasts
Mayerl's PRS Earnings, 1926-1998
Mayerl's Desert Island Discs
DiscographyList of Works
Bibliography
Index
Contents of the CD:Original Mayerl recordings of
Six Pianolettes (1925)The Jazz Master
The Jazz Mistress
Eskimo ShiversAll-of-a-Twist
Virginia Creeper
Jazzaristix
Four Piano Exaggerations (1926)Loose Elbows
AntiquaryJack-in-the-Box
Sleepy Piano
Marigold: solo
Marigold: duet with Mrs Mayerl
Chopsticks
Hollyhock
Honky Tonk
Puppets Suite (1927)Golliwog Judy
Punch Limehouse Blues: transcription of song
Four Aces Suite (1933)Ace of Clubs
Ace of DiamondsAce of Hearts
Ace of Spades
Railroad Rhythm
Harp of the Winds
Insect Oddities (1940)Wedding of an Ant
Ladybird Lullaby
Praying Mantis
Beetle in the Bottle
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem