Western music was first brought to national attention by John Lomax in his 1910 publication, Cowboy Songs and Other
Frontier Ballads. With the advent of radio and recording devices the music found an audience previously ignored by
music schools and Tin Pan Alley
. Many Westerners preferred familiar music about themselves and their environments.
With the romanticization of the cowboy in the following decades, the music attracted a much greater audience. Hollywood
and New York City began composing fully orchestrated four-part harmonies for their motion pictures and recordings,
something far from its folk roots but still Western. In its heyday, the 1930s and 1940s, the most popular recordings
and musical radio shows such as the National Barn Dance of the era were of Western music. Western swing also developed during this era.