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Knowing Jazz

Community, Pedagogy, and Canon in the Information Age

Ken Prouty

Publication Year: 2012

Published by: University Press of Mississippi

Cover / Title Page / Copyright

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p. v

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pp. vii-ix

This book is the culmination of many years of research, stemming from my days as a student in jazz and ethnomusicology. The roster of people who have in one way or another contributed to its eventual and long overdue completion are too numerous to list. All of the fellow musicians who participated in...

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pp. 3-12

All of us who listen to, perform, or study jazz seem to know what this music is, and what it represents as both a musical and cultural system. Yet claims to an authoritative knowledge of jazz are deeply contested among and within various communities. In recent years, what we thought we knew about jazz...

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Chapter 1: The Problem with Community

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pp. 13-45

There are many constituencies within the jazz community, separated by race, age, mode of performance, level of professional involvement, geography, and other factors. I would like to offer two stories that underscore the ways that individuals position themselves within jazz communities, and how they are seen...

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Chapter 2: Jazz Education and the Tightrope of Tradition

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pp. 46-77

There are perhaps few discourses as contentious among jazz communities as those of jazz’s move into educational institutions over the last half century, especially at the college level. Jazz education runs the gamut from limited programs featuring a performing jazz group to advanced professional training...

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Chapter 3: Doing and Teaching (and Researching)

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pp. 78-114

In an essay published in the Black Music Research Journal in 1988, noted jazz researcher Lewis Porter lamented the prevalence of “problems” in jazz research. Among the issues Porter cites as inhibiting good, solid jazz scholarship are an insensitivity to a black perspective on jazz’s history and practice, issues of...

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Chapter 4: The Virtual Jazz World

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pp. 115-150

The earliest days of the virtual jazz world were summed up by Bret Primack, who wrote in Jazz Times in 1998, “The Internet is the fastest growing phenomenon in the history of mankind. In less than a decade, it has gone from a concept to an obsession. For jazz, Net activity is burgeoning...

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Chapter 5: The Global Jazz Community

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pp. 151-177

Jazz is a music whose identity has long reflected a tension between American and global influences and perspectives, with jazz often serving as a metaphor for globalization itself, reflecting in sound America’s identity in the world. In this view, jazz is globalization in its purest form...


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pp. 178-188

Works Cited

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pp. 189-198


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pp. 199-208

E-ISBN-13: 9781617031649
E-ISBN-10: 161703164X
Print-ISBN-13: 9781617031632
Print-ISBN-10: 1617031631

Publication Year: 2012

OCLC Number: 772188736
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Knowing Jazz

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Jazz -- History and criticism.
  • Musical canon.
  • Jazz -- Instruction and study.
  • Jazz -- Social aspects.
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