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Alec Wilder on Irving Berlin’s “Puttin’ On The Ritz.”

Berlin keeps you totally off-balance until the fifth bar, where he sensibly lands on a whole note tied to a half note and then whips you with the title phrase in eighth notes. The release, again sensibly, he leaves for the most part unrhythmic. The structure is straight A-A-B-A. It’s a marvelous song.

Wilder: American Popular Song (Oxford)

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