How Musicians Make Music Together

in “Do You Know …?”

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9780226239217
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226239224 | DOI:
How Musicians Make Music Together

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Every night, all over the United States and in many other parts of the world as well, this scene takes place. Several musicians walk into a club, a bar, a restaurant, a place for a party. They play whatever the people who hire them (the owners of bars, the fathers of brides, the promoters of dances) want them to play, within the limits of their knowledge and abilities. Musicians often describe this kind of activity as “jobbing” or “playing club dates,” or use similar expressions that refer to playing whatever kind of engagement presents itself. All this takes place “on the stand,” where the musicians assemble and play for an audience. They often play the “the jazz repertoire,” which refers to the mixture of jazz, popular songs, ethnic music, and whatever else ordinary musicians might learn through their experiences playing in public. This chapter presents three lengthy descriptions of bands at work: the 504 Club, circa 1951 (Chicago); New York Parties (1978, as described by Bruce Macleod); and the Egremont Inn, circa 2007 (New England).

Keywords: musicians; bands; jobbing; club dates; on the stand; 504 Club; New York Parties; Egremont Inn; jazz repertoire; popular songs

Chapter.  6591 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: American Music

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