New Jazz Studies Article Available!

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.

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