in Freedom Sounds

Published in print December 2007 | ISBN: 9780195128253
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199864492 | DOI:

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This chapter presents some concluding thoughts from the author. It argues that systemic racial practices in the music industry created enormous differences in the lives of black and white musicians which could not help but feed the chronic racial disputes and resentments which erupted regularly within the world of jazz. The discourses of modernism and modernity played contradictory and complicated roles in both justifying rebellion against the racial status quo, and falling short of supporting African American efforts to find a means of self-determination in a society in which they were (and continue to be) outnumbered. The aesthetic streams contributing to jazz have proved to be far more mobile and hybrid than the sociological and economic status of the various demographic groups who have drawn upon them in the processes of aesthetic agency that produced this golden era of modern jazz. Put another way, the musical language of jazz has been far more pluralistic, democratic, and cosmopolitan than the racially stratified society that produced it.

Keywords: jazz music; musicians; blacks; whites; civil rights movement; African-Americans; modernism

Chapter.  3435 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: American Music

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