Course Description

This course will feature brilliant archival images and recorded audio/video performances of many of the greatest popular songs of the Twentieth Century.  We’ll learn exactly how and why “Tin Pan Alley”— aka, the American popular song industry— was originally invented to fulfill North America’s massive need for mainstream musical entertainment. We’ll then explore the careers and stories of many of the visionary people who invented and performed American popular music– and have a special opportunity every week to sing many of the greatest, most beloved and enduring popular songs ever written accompanied by Jordan on his piano with vocals, with projected song lyrics! This course will cover a century of the greatest popular songs now known as “standards” of The American Popular Songbook— songs that have become the instantly familiar soundtrack of the 20th Century… and our lives! 

Course Director

Jordan Klapman
Mr. Klapman’s is a music educator and he currently presents several original popular music history lectures and lecture series throughout Toronto and beyond at universities, cultural centres, private residences, churches, synagogues, and schools. For more than a decade, he has lectured at venues ranging from Ryerson University’s LIFE Institute, to the Miles Nadal and Prosserman JCCs, to numerous community centres, and continuing education groups.

Jordan leads several of his own bands, performing and has recorded with many of Canada’s top award-winning jazz, cabaret, and pop musicians including Adi Braun, Judy Marshak, Sharon Smith, Donna Greenberg, Tony Quarrington, Tim Boyle, Warren James, Ken Whiteley, Heather Bambrick, Christopher Plock, Julie Michels, Henry Heillig, Tom Skublics, Glenn Anderson, Tony Quarrington, Jonno Lightstone, Bill Bridges, Tanya Wills, Ron Johnston, John MacMurchy, Steven Cole, and many others.

Jordan Klapman

Term and Time

Fall 2024 – starting September 13
12:50 pm on Friday afternoon
Room TBA in York Hall

Course Outline

Two weeks before the course starts, you can download a printable PDF giving the 10-week detailed course outline.

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Lecture Notes

Links to resources such as additional reading or play lists are provided here as the Course Director makes them available during term. Like the course outline, lecture notes open in a new browser tab so that you can download and print them.


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