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DeVeaux, Scott. Constructing the Jazz Tradition - Essay Example

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The official version of jazz history, as described by Scott DeVeaux, is the one found on textbooks and taught in universities as an appreciation class (1). Additionally, though emphases vary, this official version has the unified distinction of music style, clamored musicians,…
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DeVeaux, Scott. Constructing the Jazz Tradition

Download file to see previous pages... Jazz history’s linear history came into being through the acknowledgement of its African roots by the American people (i.e., dubbed as a “rare and valuable national American treasure”), which reinforced the un-ambiguity and clear ‘linear’ path of jazz history (DeVeaux 2). In the process of this history’s unmaking, Tirro (291) pointed out how it lost its “historical strand that linked contemporary jazz to its roots...” (qtd. in Deveaux 2). On the other hand, it gained more forms or terms such as “cool jazz, hard bop, modal jazz, Third Stream, and New Thing” (DeVeaux 2). Interestingly, this unmaking story of jazz history is a common pattern among other music history; the original or traditional music has to become obsolete to pave the way for the creation of another music of similar ilk.
The bebop era left a series of casualties in the jazz history. First, it successfully caused the dissolution of jazz’s “evolutionary lineage” through the percolation of different, “and in some cases mutually hostile styles” (DeVeaux 2). Second, the era pulled the traditional jazz to “contrasting directions,” through emerging music genres such as free jazz and jazz/rock fusion, and placed jazz music in a very pluralistic standpoint (DeVeaux 3). DeVeaux’s view evidently places the bebop era and influence as the main culprits in obscuring the official jazz ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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