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Published by Ian Koll

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Published by: Ian Koll on Jul 30, 2012
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Ian KollDr. Wolf HIST 408210/2/2011
Brief description of topic
I plan on studying the emergence of jazz as a form of popular music in the early 20
century.More specifically, I plan on researching the racial boundaries between blacks and whites, and theeffects of white jazz on black jazz. Jazz helped give black performers a leg up in society,allowing them to move on to film roles, and expand their musical promise. But because jazz wasa traditionally black form of music, the fact that white bandleaders began performing took asizable part of the industry away from black performers. Despite this fact, some black musicianswere perfectly accepting of this collaboration, regardless of the fact that white musicians weretreated much better, paid higher, and more socially significant than black musicians were. Wasthis an acceptable act, or yet another example of love and theft? I intend to investigate thesepoints more closely.
Major research questions
What were the ramifications of whites entering the jazz scene? A large number of whites(especially those from the south) were vehemently opposed to jazz as a music form, dismissing it.How did mixed-race
 jazz performers affect race relations? Moreover, was the “white jazz” true
 jazz, or a style of music removed from traditional jazz, and tailored for a white audience? Howdid black and white jazz (respectively) leave a lasting impact on the popular music scene?
Project’s Significance
Jazz, as a musical form, was so drastically different from any styles that had ever preceded it.With African Americans slowly gaining notoriety in society after the turn of the 20
century, theblack voice was beginning to be heard, and jazz was an integral part of the establishment of atruly black culture. Without jazz, many styles of modern popular music would not exist today,and African American history would be far less rich. Jazz, in addition to bringing about anentirely new style of music and dance, also helped whites to embrace blacks and black culturemore freely, and helped improve the mindsets of many whites who may have been wary of blacks beforehand. On the other hand, some overtly traditional whites were disgusted by theadvent of jazz, causing them to resent blacks even more. But for blacks, jazz was an importantform of cultural expression- not too closely connected with traditional African music, but relatedenough to have cultural significance.
Jazz is also significant in that it developed due to the United State‟s rapid urbanization.
Originating in New Orleans, many jazz musicians moved to Chicago or New York, where therewere more opportunities to flourish as a professional musician. These urban centers helpedcharacterize jazz as a musical genre- one that had a breath of life in it not seen in any genre thatpreceded it.Another important ramification Jazz had on society was its acceptance of interracialperformances. Never before had a genre of music allowed blacks and whites to perform together,on stage, at the same time. But white and black musicians were open to collaboration, and while
club owners, audiences, critics and others were opposed to the intermingling of whites andblacks, on a strictly musical level, whites and blacks were able to get along. This opened doorsfor blacks in the entertainment industry, and although change was a very gradual process, blacksgained a heightened sense of social identity through the advent of Jazz, which would later impactwhite culture on a tremendous scale.
slavery, African Music and the advent of „black culture‟
Significance of traditional black musicC.
Music as a liberating force/coping mechanism to escape life‟s har 
Thesis statement: incorporate the idea of a black cultural identity throughmusic. The struggle of slavery and years of oppression embodied in a genre of music (jazz.) Were whites aware of this cultural connection, and, byproducing jazz, were they defiling its sentimental value? What causes jazz to
 be “authentic?”
Section 1: The Birth of JazzA.
New Orleans as a cultural melting pot- with ties to the Caribbean and a largepercentage of blacks living there. Port city, saw lots of different culturesB.
The beginnings of Jazz-
from field hollers and traditionally “black” forms of 
music, brass bands throughout New Orleans (with inexpensive instrumentsafter WWI,) Buddy Bolden ->
“The Original Creole Band,” vs. ODJB
“a convenient place for all the prostitutes” (as well as the
birthplace of Jazz.) Jazz clubs- Who owned these clubs (Madames,) why didthey gain notoriety, who played here?D.
End of Storyville and the Great Migration- WWI caused Storyville to be shutdown (in fear that syphilis/other social diseases would weaken the fightingforce.) Jazz singers without jobs/African Americans seeking to escapeeconomic hardship and political oppression migrated to large cities(Chicago/New York.) Chicago will soon become the Jazz capital of thecountryIII.
Section 2: Chicago and New York A.
White Jazz- by this time Jazz has been mixed-race, with white/ non-black bands becoming popular (New Orleans Rhythm Kings.) Was it a dislike of  jazz or a dislike of the blacks that played it?B.
Speakeasies and places of ill refute- Prohibition caused many criminals toopen Speakeasies, or illegal drinking establishments. Jazz bands would oftenplay here, which tarnished the reputation of Jazz- expand on this. How didJazz benefit from Prohibition?C.
Racism- It was socially accepted for White and Black Jazz performers to playtogether on stage, but offstage racism was still a significant problem. How didracism factor in to the development of Jazz? Were black musicians beingstripped of cultural identity?D.
Harlem Renaissance- The New Negro, increased appreciation for Jazz- Whitesbecame more and more interested in black culture, causing exploitation of 
black works in white compositions. Jazz still paved the way for the acceptanceof blacks into modern popular society (a very, very gradual process.)IV.
Section 3: Jazz and the General PublicA.
White gentry‟s view of Jazz
- Many upper-
tier whites viewed jazz as “junglenoise.” (Use “The Appeal of the Primitive Jazz” for this section.) Yet when
played by white performers, these racial stigmas were overlooked, thusemphasizing a deep hatred of the performers, not the music.B.
The power of the periodical- Whites would use journals and magazines topreach about the evil and uncivilized nature of Jazz, most often resorting toracism and insults to dehumanize the African American populace as a whole.Important magazines included Literary Digest and, for blacks, The Crisis(Magazine of the NAACP)C.
Jazz and acceptance of blacks- Jazz slowly helped integrate blacks intosociety, gaining them a separate-but-almost-
equal status towards the late 30‟sand early 40‟s. What caused this shift, and why were whites so intrigued by
black culture?V.
ConclusionWhat was the lasting impact of Jazz on the American social strata? Were racial relationsimproved through the integration of Jazz bands, or were white performers viewed asimitators? Was authenticity upheld?
 I will use, among other methods, an analysis and comparison of both black and whitepublications concerning the cultural significance of jazz. Through early print magazines, I willbe able to find jazz critics and supporters (from both ends of the racial spectrum), which willgive my arguments validity. In addition to these comparisons, I will chronologically track the
 progression of Jazz from it‟s most simplistic roots to its emergence in urbanizing cityscapes.
Secondary sources will only be used to provide information that could not be found from a first-hand account. First-hand accounts will come from music journals, newspaper articles, criticismsand reviews from the Jazz Era, and will be used to construct an opinion on whether or not white jazz had the same level of authenticity as black jazz.
Principal Sources
Primary Sources
"Farewell, Jazz." Cleveland Advocate, September 09, 1919,http://dbs.ohiohistory.org/africanam/det.cfm?ID=8706(accessed September 24, 2011).Koenig, Karl.
 Jazz in print (1856-1929): an anthology of selected early readings in jazz
.Pendragon Press, 2002. (accessed October 2, 2011).An anthology of hundreds of writings from the earliest days of jazz, from white and black authors alike. This book is an invaluable catalogue of information that will save me significantamounts of searching through archives.

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