Jerome David Kern was a famous American composer of popular music. He is the one who is considered to be “The father of American Musical Theater”. He was born in New York City in 1885 and died in 1945. His mother, a pianist, was his first music teacher. Later, Kern studied at the New York College of Music, he also got the music education in Europe. Kern returned to America after his work in London Theater and worked in a music publishing company as a song plugger and pianist. He was linked to the music company, rising to vice presidency (Jerome Kern, 2012).
Jerome Kern made a great contribution to the development of the American folk music. In one of his books, David Ewen he calls Kern a great composer and a genius. His invention of “musical” by integrating music, drama and ballet and setting it into the present contribute to the birth of rock music (Jerome Kern: Biography, 2012).
Kern wrote more than 700 songs which are used in over 100 stage works. The main genres of his compositions are musical theatre, popular songs and film music. The Red Petticoat was his first creation. Some of his main works in Broadway Musicals are The Show Boat, which is the first Broadway musical that was written and showed the significance of writing songs as part of play’s story line; and Roberta, which is an Oscar Nomination for Best Music (Jerom David Kern, n.d.). The music of Jerome Kern makes a certain impact on the listeners. It is said that once his song is heard or reheard it will never be forgotten. Kern gave artistic importance to American popular music. His creative work led to the development of the first truly American theater music. Jerome Kern’s goal was to bring modern art to music.
Kern is one of the greatest men who influenced the generation of composers. Some of the musicians he influenced are Richard Rogers and George Gershwin. Roger said that the moment when he heard Kern’s music first changed his life (Hyland, 1998).
“Kern's songs are like black and white drawings. They need no color, no decoration. A Kern song is always in balance, perfect in form and pleasing in design”, said one critic.