Teriete, Philipp. “From Leipzig to St. Louis: Einflüsse deutscher Musiktheorie und -pädagogik auf die Entstehung des Ragtime, Blues und Jazz.” In: Beiträge zur Popularmusikforschung 44, Bielefeld: transcript, pp. 121-146.
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Ragtime and blues are considered to be direct precursors of jazz. However, at the beginning of the twentieth century, generic distinctions between ragtime, blues, and jazz were less marked than they are today. In fact, the terms were often used interchangeably. In this paper, Philipp Teriete suggests a widening of our historical lens in order to see how certain European traditions played an important role in shaping these three iconic US-American styles. While relatively much is known about the biographies and oeuvres of the creators of ragtime, blues, and jazz, music-theoretical contexts and educational backgrounds of composers do not receive the same scholarly focus. Who were these musicians’ teachers? What exactly did they learn? Analyses only rarely address such topics and often ignore music-theoretical questions. Philipp Teriete’s research into previously unknown textual and musical sources suggests that the creators of ragtime, blues, and jazz were not only strongly influenced by a certain European repertoire but also by European (and particularly German) music-theoretical concepts. Teriete demonstrates that the interaction between African-American musicians and German music teachers and traditions such as the »Leipziger Konservatoriumslehre« may have played a significant role in the shaping of ragtime, blues, and jazz.