The Rehearsal

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Before the Great War there were lesser ones; and there were some that never really happened. On the border between Mexico and the United States, in 1914 and 1916, two of the latter occurred. In retrospect it is clear that these served in part as a rehearsal for America’s participation in the war in Europe. They served also to rehearse the music industry, in all its manifestations, for the wartime activity to come. This article traces musical America’s response to the evolving narrative on the border, with data compiled from analysis of the Myers Collection (University of Illinois) and the Driscoll Collection (Newberry Library) and from copyright searches, and with two case studies: songs by Irving Berlin and by Ernest R. Ball and J. Kiern Brennan.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)507-534
Number of pages28
JournalAmerican Music
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 27 Mar 2017

Bibliographical note

© 2017 by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details


  • border war
  • mexico
  • sheet music
  • popular music
  • Irving Berlin
  • Ernest R. Ball
  • J. Kiern Brennan

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