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Aaron Thomas
Aaron Thomas

What You Need to Know About Keeping Time: Readings in Jazz History - A Summary and Analysis



Keeping Time: Readings in Jazz History Book Pdf




If you are interested in learning more about the history and evolution of jazz music, you might want to check out Keeping Time: Readings in Jazz History, a book edited by Robert Walser. This book is a collection of primary sources that document the development and diversity of jazz from its origins to the present day. In this article, we will review the book and discuss its main features, themes, and perspectives. We will also evaluate its strengths and weaknesses, and provide some recommendations for further reading.




Keeping Time: Readings In Jazz History Book Pdf


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Introduction




What is jazz history?




Jazz history is the study of the origins, development, and impact of jazz music, a form of musical expression that emerged in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the United States. Jazz is characterized by its use of improvisation, syncopation, swing, blues, and complex harmonies. Jazz history explores how jazz reflects and influences the social, cultural, political, and economic changes that have occurred in American society and beyond.


Why is jazz history important?




Jazz history is important because it helps us understand and appreciate one of the most original and influential musical genres in the world. Jazz history reveals how jazz has been shaped by and has shaped various historical events and movements, such as slavery, migration, urbanization, industrialization, segregation, civil rights, globalization, and technology. Jazz history also shows how jazz has been influenced by and has influenced other musical genres, such as blues, ragtime, gospel, folk, country, rock, pop, hip hop, and world music.


What is Keeping Time: Readings in Jazz History?




Keeping Time: Readings in Jazz History is a book edited by Robert Walser, a professor of musicology at UCLA. The book was first published in 1999 by Oxford University Press, and has been revised and updated several times since then. The book is a collection of primary sources that document the history and evolution of jazz from its origins to the present day. The book includes excerpts from newspapers, magazines, books, interviews, autobiographies, letters, speeches, court cases, reviews, liner notes, lyrics, poems, essays, and academic articles. The book also includes an introduction by Walser that provides an overview of jazz history and explains the rationale behind the selection of sources.


Main Body




How is the book organized?




The book is organized into four parts that correspond to four major periods or phases in jazz history. Each part contains several chapters that focus on specific topics or themes within each period. Each chapter begins with a brief introduction by Walser that provides some background information and context for the sources. Each source is also accompanied by a short annotation that explains its significance and relevance to the topic or theme.


Part One: Origins and Development




This part covers the period from the late 19th century to the early 1930s, when jazz emerged and developed as a distinct musical genre. The topics and themes in this part include the African and European roots of jazz, the role of New Orleans as the birthplace of jazz, the migration of jazz musicians and styles to other cities, such as Chicago and New York, the emergence of soloists and bands, such as Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington, the influence of blues and ragtime on jazz, the development of jazz recording and broadcasting, and the reception and criticism of jazz by the public and the press.


Part Two: The Swing Era




This part covers the period from the mid-1930s to the mid-1940s, when jazz became a popular and mainstream form of music and entertainment. The topics and themes in this part include the rise of big bands and swing music, such as Benny Goodman and Count Basie, the role of dance halls and ballrooms as venues for jazz performance, the impact of World War II on jazz musicians and audiences, the emergence of vocalists and crooners, such as Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra, the influence of Latin American music on jazz, such as Machito and Dizzy Gillespie, the development of jazz journalism and criticism, such as Down Beat and Leonard Feather, and the challenges and opportunities faced by women and racial minorities in jazz, such as Mary Lou Williams and Charlie Parker.


Part Three: Modern Jazz




This part covers the period from the late 1940s to the late 1960s, when jazz underwent a series of innovations and transformations that expanded its musical vocabulary and expression. The topics and themes in this part include the emergence of bebop and cool jazz, such as Charlie Parker and Miles Davis, the development of hard bop and soul jazz, such as Art Blakey and Horace Silver, the exploration of modal jazz and free jazz, such as John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman, the fusion of jazz with classical music and other genres, such as Dave Brubeck and Charles Mingus, the impact of social movements and cultural changes on jazz musicians and audiences, such as civil rights and counterculture, and the role of international influences and exchanges on jazz, such as Afro-Cuban music and bossa nova.


Part Four: The Avant-Garde and Beyond




This part covers the period from the early 1970s to the present day, when jazz continued to evolve and diversify in response to various musical trends and challenges. The topics and themes in this part include the emergence of avant-garde and experimental jazz, such as Sun Ra and Anthony Braxton, the development of fusion and crossover jazz, such as Herbie Hancock and Pat Metheny, the revival of traditional and mainstream jazz, such as Wynton Marsalis and Diana Krall, the influence of hip hop and electronic music on jazz, such as DJ Spooky and Robert Glasper, the role of education and institutions in preserving and promoting jazz, such as Berklee College of Music and Jazz at Lincoln Center, and the diversity and vitality of contemporary jazz scenes and styles around the world.


What are the main themes and perspectives of the book?




The social and cultural context of jazz




One of the main themes of the book is how jazz is shaped by and reflects its social and cultural context. The book shows how jazz is influenced by various historical events and movements that affect its production and consumption. For example, the book explores how slavery, migration, urbanization, industrialization, segregation, civil rights, globalization, and technology have affected the lives and careers of jazz musicians and audiences. The book also shows how jazz is influenced by various cultural forms and expressions that enrich its musical language and meaning. For example, the book explores how blues, ragtime, gospel, folk, country, rock, pop, hip hop, and world music have influenced the styles and sounds of jazz.


The diversity and complexity of jazz styles




Another main theme of the book is how jazz is characterized by its diversity and complexity of styles. The book shows how jazz has evolved and diversified over time, creating a rich musical heritage that spans many genres, subgenres, and movements. For example, the book traces how jazz has developed from its origins in New Orleans to its various manifestations in swing, bebop, cool, hard bop, soul, modal, free, fusion, avant-garde, crossover, traditional, mainstream, hip hop, electronic, and global styles. The book also shows how jazz is characterized by its complexity of musical elements that challenge its performers and listeners. For example, jazz uses improvisation, syncopation, swing, blues, and complex harmonies to create musical expression and variation.


The voices and experiences of jazz musicians




A third main theme of the book is how jazz is represented by the voices and experiences of jazz musicians. The book shows how jazz is a personal and collective form of musical expression that reflects the identities and perspectives of its creators and performers. For example, the book includes excerpts from interviews, autobiographies, letters, speeches, and lyrics that reveal the thoughts and feelings of jazz musicians about their music, their careers, their influences, their challenges, their achievements, and their visions. The book also shows how jazz is a collaborative and interactive form of musical performance that involves communication and interaction among jazz musicians and between jazz musicians and audiences. For example, the book includes excerpts from reviews, liner notes, poems, essays, and academic articles that analyze and evaluate the musical skills and styles of jazz musicians and how they interact with each other and with their listeners.


What are the benefits and drawbacks of the book?




The strengths of the book




One of the strengths of the book is that it provides a comprehensive and diverse overview of jazz history that covers a wide range of topics and themes. The book offers a balanced and inclusive selection of sources that represent different periods, genres, styles, regions, cultures, perspectives, and voices in jazz history. The book also offers a variety of sources that cater to different levels of interest and knowledge in jazz history. The book can be used as a textbook for students who want to learn more about jazz history in a systematic and structured way. The book can also be used as a reference for researchers who want to find more information about specific topics or themes in jazz history. The book can also be used as a source of inspiration for enthusiasts who want to discover more about the history and evolution of jazz music.


The limitations of the book




One of the limitations of the book is that it cannot cover all aspects and dimensions of jazz history in depth and detail. The book has to make some choices and compromises in terms of what sources to include and exclude, what topics to emphasize and neglect, what perspectives to support and challenge, and what interpretations to accept and reject. The book also has to deal with some challenges and controversies in terms of how to define and categorize jazz music, how to identify and evaluate its origins and influences, how to measure and compare its quality and impact, and how to preserve and promote its legacy and relevance. The book does not claim to be definitive or authoritative on jazz history. The book invites readers to critically engage with the sources and form their own opinions and judgments on jazz history.


Conclusion




Summary of the main points




In conclusion, Keeping Time: Readings in Jazz History is a book edited by Robert Walser that provides a collection of primary sources that document the history and evolution of jazz music from its origins to the present day. The book is organized into four parts that correspond to four major periods or phases in jazz history. Each part contains several chapters that focus on specific topics or themes within each period. The book explores three main themes and perspectives of jazz history: the social and cultural context of jazz, the diversity and complexity of jazz styles, and the voices and experiences of jazz musicians. The book has both strengths and weaknesses as a source of information and insight on jazz history.


Recommendations for further reading




If you want to learn more about jazz history, you might want to check out some of these books: - Jazz: A History by Frank Tirro. This is a classic textbook that provides a comprehensive and chronological overview of jazz history from its origins to the 1990s. - Jazz: A New History by Ted Gioia. This is a modern textbook that provides an updated and thematic overview of jazz history from its origins to the 21st century. - Jazz: A Listener's Guide by Mark Gridley. This is a practical guide that helps readers understand and appreciate the musical elements and styles of jazz through listening examples and exercises. - Jazz: A People's Music by Sidney Finkelstein. This is a classic essay that analyzes and evaluates the social and cultural significance and impact of jazz music as a form of popular and revolutionary art. - Jazz: A Century of Change by Lewis Porter. This is a collection of essays that examine and discuss various aspects and dimensions of jazz history from different perspectives and disciplines.


FAQs




Here are some frequently asked questions about Keeping Time: Readings in Jazz History:



  • Who is the author of the book?



The book is edited by Robert Walser, a professor of musicology at UCLA. He is also the author of several books and articles on jazz and popular music, such as Running with the Devil: Power, Gender, and Madness in Heavy Metal Music and Music and Cultural Theory.


  • Where can I find the book?



The book is published by Oxford University Press and can be found online or in bookstores. You can also access the book online through Oxford Scholarship Online or Oxford Music Online.


  • How can I cite the book?



You can cite the book using the following format: Walser, Robert, ed. Keeping Time: Readings in Jazz History. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015. You can also cite individual sources within the book using the following format: Author. "Title." In Keeping Time: Readings in Jazz History, edited by Robert Walser, page numbers. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015.


  • What are some other books similar to this one?



Some other books that are similar to this one are: - The Jazz Tradition by Martin Williams. This is a collection of essays that explore and evaluate the musical styles and contributions of various jazz musicians and bands from different periods and genres. - Jazz Among the Discourses by Krin Gabbard. This is a collection of essays that examine and critique the various discourses and representations of jazz in literature, film, art, and culture. - Jazz in American Culture by Burton Peretti. This is a book that traces and analyzes the role and impact of jazz in American society and culture from its origins to the present day.


  • What are some other ways to learn about jazz history?



Some other ways to learn about jazz history are: - Listening to jazz music and podcasts. You can find various jazz recordings and podcasts online or in music stores that feature different styles and periods of jazz music and commentary. - Watching jazz documentaries and movies. You can find various jazz documentaries and movies online or in video stores that showcase the history and evolution of jazz music and culture. - Visiting jazz museums and festivals. You can find various jazz museums and festivals around the world that display and celebrate the history and diversity of jazz music and culture.


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