GASP faculty member Emily Gale presents a free public lecture on her work:
My scholarship on sentimental song in the United States concerns music often overlooked by scholars in both musicology and popular music studies, and consequently also by librarians and archivists. This is music that is understood as too ordinary, too everyday to warrant serious study or consideration. In recent years, my research has been enriched immensely by the wide array of musical ephemera available for purchase on eBay, the online auction house. I have found eBay to be an endless treasure trove of resources that illustrate the degree to which popular music enters our lives as objects as well as performance. On a modest budget, I have collected Tin Pan Alley song sheets, mid-nineteenth century songsters, drink coasters decorated with song lyrics, pamphlets that were tucked into six packs of beer, songbooks, and satirical musical magazines—artifacts with significant research value, many of which I would have never discovered in a conventional archive. These objects—my growing personal museum of sentimental musical ephemera—have taught me to think about song as an ever-present aspect of day-to-day life in the context of US consumer culture. They also raise important questions about how music as a practice of everyday life intersects with concerns of race, class and gender. In this presentation, I will share curiosities from my eBay-acquired collection as they pertain to my research on sentimental song in the United States and my teaching of popular music in general.