In the article “What Did We Do to Be So Black and Blue?”, Scott DeVeaux discusses issues involving jazz and race – more specifically, the involvement of white musicians in what many people consider a “black music”. He starts the article with his first exposure to jazz history (392). Flipping through a textbook, he sees that all the pictures were of black musicians…except for the final author’s page, which revealed a picture of a white author. DeVeaux finds himself thinking “what’s he doing there?” and then realizes he can ask the same thing about himself, “what am I doing here?” (392, 393). He answers this question by reviewing three books: Gene Lees’ Cats of Any Color, David Meltzer’s Reading Jazz, and James Lincoln Collier’s Jazz: The American …show more content…
Collier objects to this by claiming that there is no direct evidence that jazz was created by the black community (409). Creoles played an important role in early jazz, but in general, they were very different from other African Americans. They even saw themselves as “inheritors of a European tradition” (410). Because of this, Collier believes that jazz did not originate from “the experience of black Americans” like DeVeaux says (406). Collier did not consider Creoles to be a part of the generalized black experience, so jazz should not be considered “black”. DeVeaux’s rebuttal nullifies Collier’s reasoning. DeVeaux says that even though the Creoles disliked being associated with black African Americans, they were still of African descent (411). DeVeaux also brought out that they were just as likely as other black Americans to be called racist names, so the general black experience should be expanded to include them (411). DeVeaux also criticizes Collier for being selective. Collier doesn’t talk about important black musicians who were highly influential in early jazz. DeVeaux cites cornetist Chris Kelly as an example, who Collier only mentions as that – an important cornetist. He also lists off others, including the Dodds brothers, Joe “King”, and Buddy Bolden (411). Collier conveniently left them out so that they wouldn’t …show more content…
Some people consider jazz to be a “black music”, so white musicians should not be included in the history of it. Others think it’s unfair to call jazz a “black music” or that white musicians need to be given more credit in jazz history. DeVeaux argues that jazz music has origins in traditional African musical culture and is based on the experience of African Americans, so it should be considered black music. But at the same time, he also argues that white musicians did play an important role in jazz, both from a consumption and production standpoint. This fact should not be ignored because to do so would be to rewrite history. This should never be done even if doing so might be considered good for social movements. DeVeaux sensitively found a middle ground, so his argument could mean unity for critics who before could only see jazz as either black or white. This article also encourages unity within music and could increase equality in jazz for musicians. Through this groundbreaking article that destroys racial barriers, DeVeaux has successfully answered the question he posed for himself at the beginning of his
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African-American music is a vibrant art form that describes the difficult lives of African American people. This can be proven by examining slave music, which shows its listeners how the slaves felt when they were working, and gives us insight into the problems of slavery; the blues, which expresses the significant connection with American history, discusses what the American spirit looks like and teaches a great deal from the stories it tells; and hip-hop, which started on the streets and includes topics such as misogyny, sex, and black-on-black violence to reveal the reactions to the circumstances faced by modern African Americans.
The word “jazz” is significant to America, and it has many meanings. Jazz could simply be defined as a genre or style of music that originated in America, but it can also be described as a movement which “bounced into the world somewhere about the year 1911…” . This is important because jazz is constantly changing, evolving, adapting, and improvising. By analyzing the creators, critics, and consumers of jazz in the context of cultural, political, and economic issue, I will illustrate the movement from the 1930’s swing era to the birth of bebop and modern jazz.
“Together the matrices of race and music occupied similar position and shared the same spaces in the works of some of the most lasting texts of Enlightenment thought..., by the end of the eighteenth century, music could embody differences and exhibit race…. Just as nature gave birth and form to race, so music exhibited remarkable affinities to nature” (Radano and Bohlman 2000: 14). Radano and Bohlman pointed out that nature is a source of differences that give rise to the different racial identities. As music embodies the physical differences of human, racial differences are not only confined to the differences in physical appearances, but also the differences in many musical features, including language, tonality and vocal expression. Nonetheless, music is the common ground of different racial identities. “In the racial imagination, music also occupies a position that bridges or overlaps with racial differences. Music fills in the spaces between racial distinctiveness….” (Radano and Bohlman 2000:8) Even though music serves as a medium through which different racial identities are voiced and celebrated individually, it establishes the common ground and glues the differences
Jazz is one of the only uniquely American forms of music. Its roots date back all the way to the Atlantic slave trade. Jazz is still alive and well today. This paper will walk you through Jazz’s rich history. We’ll start with the basics of African music and its influences. Then we will take you through the decades leading to modern Jazz.
Before the war started, a wealthy white man by the name of John Hammond worked to integrate black and white music.1 Since his childhood, he enjoyed the music of numerous black artists, and he wanted to share his love with the rest of America. He used much of his inherited fortune to make this possible. He went against the general opinion of society and his parents, who despised black people. Hammond refused to ignore black artists’ musical abilities because of their color, “I did not revolt against the system, I simply refused to be a part of it.”2 He used his money to organize the most eclectic group of musicians ever assembled, for an integrated audience of his time. Hammond’s efforts made an indelible impact on the music industry. The musicians Hammond introduced in...
This essay, as the title suggests, will be about the origins of jazz music. Starting from the roots when African slaves arrived in North America, they helped the development and the emergence of early jazz a great deal. It is also important to not forget the significance of the Congo Square which kept the music alive in New Orleans, never letting it die out. Then, continuing on with the slavery theme, the essay will talk about why and how jazz music appeared in its widely considered birth place, New Orleans. Also, as early jazz developed into different styles, the text will mainly be focusing on its two most prominent ancestors: ragtime and blues. Additionally, jazz would not exist as it is known today without the assistance of some of the
In the midst of the Cold War, an era of racism and culturalism emerged in America. The American international reputation rested on President Eisenhower’s shoulders. Due to emance discrimination against minorities, the United States government appeared separated and weak in the eyes of communist Russia and throughout the world. It was Eisenhower and other major political figure’s responsibility to repair that image and once again create a façade that America is united. In Penny M. Von Eschen’s work, Satchmo Blows Up the World: Jazz Ambassadors Play the Cold War, she analyses how U.S. politicians used the music of rising black Jazz musicians to sway nations worldwide to fall back in love with American culture, mask the evident racism, and ultimately win the Cold War. She also brings to light the well deserved credit that these ‘jambassadors’ had in spreading Jazz around the world and making these tours as activism for black culture. Though each party had their own way of portrayal to create peace and unity, these groundbreaking entertainers conveyed it through creating an international jazz culture
Whiteman’s contribution to Jazz music is marginal despite his nickname “King of Jazz”. Some scholars who study Jazz history referred him as a big “rip-off “since he constantly copies the idea of fellow composers and musicians. Also, because his dominance in recording industry, he slowed the progress of Jazz music and “almost single-handle destroyed it”. (Scaruffi, 2007). According to the word of music history reviewer Piero Scaruffi, everything “invented” by Whiteman was considered relevant and the others were considered irrelevant.
The music of the Harlem Renaissance - including jazz, swing, and big band - was an inherent expression of the joyous revolt from the confinement of racial prejudice experienced by African Americans. Jazz became extremely popular in Harlem in the 1920s. Historians agree that the musical genre of jazz was most i...
By the end of World War I, Black Americans were facing their lowest point in history since slavery. Most of the blacks migrated to the northern states such as New York and Chicago. It was in New York where the “Harlem Renaissance” was born. This movement with jazz was used to rid of the restraints held against African Americans. One of the main reasons that jazz was so popular was that it allowed the performer to create the rhythm. With This in Mind performers realized that there could no...
Throughout history, and even today, music has shaped America’s culture, society, and even politics. One of the most outstanding and enduring musical movement has been from African American artists, ranging from bebop to jazz to hip-hop to rap. During the 1920’s , jazz artists stepped into the limelight and began their impact on American and even world history. Louis Armstrong was one of the most influential leaders during the Harlem Renaissance and his jazz legacy and impact of American history is everlasting. A master of his craft, Armstrong and his music heavily influenced America’s white and black populations from the 1920’s and up until his death.
Now a days, many believe that jazz is not that important of music genre, but with our history, jazz plays a big role. “Jazz does not belong to one race or culture, but it is a gift that America has given to the world.”, quoted by Ahmad Alaadeen. Jazz in the 1920’s opened the eyes of whites and invited them into African American culture; it evolved Americans to where we are today since it brought a change to the music scene, an acceptance of African Americans, and a change of lifestyles.
In the article “Kinds of Blues: Toni Morrison, Hans Janowitz, and the Jazz Aesthetic” by Jürgen E. Grandt, claims that non-African American writers can imitate Jazz from there reading, the invention of jazz- based on their reading techniques belongs to African Americans. At the beginning the article informs us that in the year 1951 there was a jazz critic named Leonard Feather, that believed white and black Jazz musician had different styles and that they can be distinguished by how they play Jazz. So, he came up with a test, which the results made him realized that his belief was wrong, because he wasn’t able to tell who was colored and who was white. It also talks about the comparison of two novel both of which contain the title “Jazz”.