Re: [RedHotJazz] Re: Did Whiteman Steal form Oliver?
- I think I have already explained why I consider that in particular
circumstances it is reasonable to regard some dealings as stealing rather
than influence. It comes down to money. What in practice makes borrowing
into plagiarism and a copyright case in the courts is invariably that
someone is making more money than someone else. If this distinction is not
clear I don't know how I can make it clearer. If there had been a level
ecomomic playing field contemporary African-Americans would not have felt
they were victims of theft and there would be no cause to consider the
I think I have said fairly explicitly that I don't think the claim is
objectively sustainable in the case of most of the artists you've named, so
I'm not sure why you're asking me for examples. It would be boring to copy
out the passages to this effect from my previous posts.
I would say that Bach had stolen from Vivaldi if Vivaldi had been barred
from playing in places where Bach was playing Vivaldi's music and being paid
more than Vivaldi was being paid for playing his own music. Was this the
case? If so, it was theft. Is that clear?
The notion that it was I who turned this into a discussion on race is
laughable. It was you who attacked Wynton Marsalis for "political
correctness" (whatever that is but I know it's not meant to be praise!). And
did you not tell me that "You seem to be under the spell of the "politically
correct" theories that the black musicians were the originators, while the
white musicians were "imitators"?" I know you did because I just cut and
paste it from your e-mail. If "politically correct" is not code for
something to do with race, what the hell does it mean?
As to who is modifying history, let us let history be the judge because I am
fairly sure we shall never agree.
No one is denying the many influences that went into African-American music,
any more than I am denying the many influences that went into my English
culture. That was why I made the analogy. Nonetheless it exists as a
separate and distinguishable entity, albeit with some very fuzzy edges. So
does African-American music and African-Americans (and anybody else) are
perfectly entitled to study it, celebrate it, or whatever, without giving
any more thought to Red Nichols than Nichols's original fans gave to Louis
Armstrong (whom they wouldn't have liked even if they could have ignored his
colour). Those who enjoy both are entitled to their likes and dislikes as
on 2/5/06 19:16, Albert Haim at alberthaim@... wrote:
> The discussion was on the question of whether white musicians "stole"Howard Rye, 20 Coppermill Lane, London, England, E17 7HB
> from black musicians. You have completely changed the tone of the
> discussion by turning it into one about race.
> You write. "African-Americans are just as entitled to celebrate the
> uniqueness of their culture independently of the influences on it."
> Certainly, they are entitled to celebrate it, but they are not
> entitled to modify history in order to celebrate it. We are talking
> about jazz. It is well established by now that jazz arose as the
> result of influences from a wide variety of sources. What is the
> problem with celebrating jazz while acknowledging its many influences?
> I think it is extremely narrow-minded and a distortion of the truth-
> to celebrate jazz as a form of music originated exclusively by black
> musicians. What is wrong with acknowledging influences? Does the
> acknowledgment of sources diminish in any way what the black musicians
> have accomplished? Not in my book, but perhaps it does for others. I
> (and neither does Sudhalter, if I am allowed to speak on his behalf)
> do not celebrate the uniqueness of the music created by white
> musicians in the 1920s by ignoring the contribution of the black
> musicians. Credit must go where it credit is due. It does not help
> anyone or scholarship to avoid facing reality.
> But let's get back to the key questions I raised in my previous post.
> You asserted that white musicians "stole" from the black musicians.
> What is the meaning of "stealing" a musical style? Did Bach steal from
> Vivaldi? As I said in my previous post: since when is a musical style
> the exclusive property of one individual, a band, or a race? And since
> when being influenced by another musician or a style is defined as
> "stealing"? Finally, please define precisely and with specific
> examples what -in your view- the white musicians "stole" from the
> black. And please be sure to distinguish clearly between "influence"
> and "stealing."
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> Maybe you are right but I wonder how Oliver could listen to Whiteman,Everybody bought Paul Whiteman records.
> I mean , was he allowed to enter a record store that is dedicated to
> noncolored artists music and buy records ? Or maybe he entered one of
> Whiteman's gigs ? Is it possible ?