ERIC Number: EJ973416
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jan-15
Reference Count: 0
Is Punk the New Jazz?
Chronicle of Higher Education, Jan 2012
In the 1920s, jazz was widely condemned as "the devil's music," and "Ladies' Home Journal" warned its readers that young people were being morally corrupted as they danced along to "the abominable jazz orchestra with its voodoo-born minors and its direct appeal to the sensory center." But within a few decades, jazz was fully absorbed into the American educational system. In 1970, there were 450 college jazz bands and 15,000 high-school jazz bands in the United States. By then, professional jazz musicians had become educators; jazz-education materials were being produced; and the National Association of Jazz Education had been formed (in 1968). Most universities began offering jazz-related courses, and many established degrees as they expanded their programs to include the study of jazz theory, arranging, harmony, improvisation, and performance. Jazz is an elaborate form of music that can lend itself to a lifetime of serious study and performance, whereas punk has been deliberately amateurish in advocating that musicians should learn three guitar chords and then form a band. But in other respects, punk is actually more amenable to scholarly analysis, because it is not only a style of music but also a wider artistic and cultural sensibility that encompasses everything from fashion to fanzines to film. Punk has found a niche in academe and the art world largely because its style and sensibility carry on the practices of postmodernism, with its use, for instance, of pastiche in its assemblages of cut-up fashion-mag and ransom-note lettering and in the self-conscious irony of its performance style. The author asks if the viability of punk as an academic subject means its death as a popular genre.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A