Critical Response Essay - The Emergence of the Jazz Concert 1935-1945 Name University In “The Emergence of the Jazz Concert”, Scott DeVeaux (1989) documents the journey of jazz music through its development, progression and evolution in the first half of the 20th century…
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For example, as a scholar of jazz and American music Scott DeVeaux (1989) notes and comprehensively understands the importance of Benny Goodman’s outstanding concert that took place on January 16, 1938 in Carnegie Hall. DeVeaux (1989) asserts that the monumental significance of Goodman’s 1938 Carnegie Hall concert transcends the purity, goodness and brilliance of music that was delivered to the audience that day. In fact, the occurrence of the event can be viewed as an “important rite of passage” for jazz music (DeVeaux 1989). The primary reason behind this claim of the scholar is related to the traditional and conventional views of jazz that prevailed in American society at the time which associated the sound with limited locations, such as a tavern or vaudeville theatre and how these perspectives experienced a drastic change due to the concert of January 16, 1938. The essence of Scott DeVeaux’s (1989) article is rooted in a profound assessment of the jazz concert in the period preceding 1945 and I certainly agree with the notion that the legacy of jazz cannot be comprehended completely unless the events of earlier part of the 20th century are highlighted and given meaning to within the context of jazz concert, the style of bebop and the American culture. DeVeaux’s (1989) article begins with a concrete explication of the term “concert” and what the word actually embodies when associated with the thinking of an average citizen of America. The scholar understands that the depth of the word’s meaning when explored with respect to American society and culture has been gifted by the Europeans and the norms which surround the mediums of music and arts. Therefore, to fully navigate and discover the roots of “concert” one must look into the way a concert is expected to be delivered and how its audiences are expected to conduct and behave during the event. This notion essentially highlights the social prestige and stature that is linked with the attendance of a concert which are reflected by various obligations such as abiding by a certain dress code or maintaining a specific demeanor that fundamentally depicts the formal nature of the occasion (DeVeaux 1989). It should be noted that DeVeaux’s (1989) introduction of the concept of social stature and class differences in a discussion that primarily focuses on the spirit of music and a medium of expression that is free for everyone regardless of their economic background, wealth or affluence seems quite misdirected or misplaced at first. This observation is attributable to the lack of background information which should have been provided by the scholar to enlighten the reader regarding the role of class differences in giving birth to the supposed “low” and “high” musical cultures that existed in the United States at the time or perhaps still do. However, I do agree with DeVeaux (1989) when he claims that the formalities that are associated with a concert truly project a rather refined yet complicated image of the “concert” which ultimately causes the differences of “high” and “low” musical cultures to become grave but, it is not known or discussed how and when did these differences first emerge. In this section the scholar has offered rather vague information on the origin of the discrepancies that exist or existed with
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