Academic Musician Presents Study for Gig Musicians

Share Article

Michael G. Cunningham’s “Gilded Songs” explores more than 50 years of gig music

News Image

Michael G. Cunningham’s study of mid-20th century music “Gilded Songs (Berlin to Bacharach): The Gig Instrumentalist's Guide to the Golden Era of American Popular Song (1920 to 1979)” (published by AuthorHouse) present’s an expert's take on the music that, devoid of lyrics, speaks best for an era.

An experienced professor of music, Cunningham covers more than 50 years of independent musical history, presenting lists of comparisons of such greats as Kern, Berlin, Rodgers, Gershwin and Porter. He also delves deeper, exploring what he calls tiers of composers, each time drilling deeper to tease a form of musical DNA from each musician.

An excerpt from “Gilded Songs (Berlin to Bacharach)”:

[Gig musicians, while being able to play many of these songs from memory, are frequently in the dark as to the composer, lyricist and time period of origin. This problem has also been compounded by the universal tendency to associate songs with their performers, and not the creators. And when one focuses on the actual song composers, further problems are presented by the existence of two rival performance rights organizations.

Since this book is aimed at gig musicians, as opposed to gig singers, songs in this perspective are treated as pieces of music, not textual messages.”

The book closes with a master list of all pre-rock popular songs by half-decade, 1920 to 1979.

About the Author
Michael G. Cunningham was born in Warren, Mich. in 1937 and holds music degrees from Wayne State University, the University of Michigan and Indiana University. After limited teaching appointments at four different universities, he remained a professor of theory/composition at the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire from 1973 to 2006. Information on his various music textbooks can be found at

AuthorHouse, an Author Solutions, Inc. self-publishing imprint, is a leading provider of book publishing, marketing, and bookselling services for authors around the globe and offers the industry’s only suite of Hollywood book-to-film services. Committed to providing the highest level of customer service, AuthorHouse assigns each author personal publishing and marketing consultants who provide guidance throughout the process. Headquartered in Bloomington, Indiana, AuthorHouse celebrated 15 years of service to authors in Sept. 2011.For more information or to publish a book visit or call 1-888-519-5121. For the latest, follow @authorhouse on Twitter.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Marketing Services
Email >
Visit website