Chapter

Deconstructing the Jazz Tradition

Sherrie Tucker

in Jazz/Not Jazz

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780520271036
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520951358 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520271036.003.0013
Deconstructing the Jazz Tradition

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This essay is a reflection on the state of academic jazz studies in the years following Scott DeVeaux's influential article “Constructing the Jazz Tradition” and other interdisciplinary scholarship that called for critical perspectives on jazz historiography, canon formation, and institutionalization. If “deconstructing the jazz tradition” has overtaken “constructing the jazz tradition” as the modus operandi of academic jazz studies today, what is jazz in the “New Jazz Studies”? If we don't teach the jazz tradition, what do we teach? This essay serves as both a reflection on the discipline's current dilemmas and an impassioned call for scholars to listen more closely—to the music, to the musicians, and to one another—in order to nurture a field as multifaceted and vibrant as jazz itself.

Keywords: jazz; academia; historiography; canon formation; New Jazz Studies

Chapter.  8983 words. 

Subjects: American Music

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