Re: Did Whiteman Steal from Oliver?
I don't listen to white jazz , but the case of Eddie Lang
and Lonnie Johnson is obvious to me. Just listen to Lang before
and after Johnson entered the scene. That'll do the job.
--- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, "Albert Haim" <alberthaim@...> wrote:
> Your definition of stealing/plagiarism is too restrictive. When we
> deal with the theft of a material object, the financial benefit to the
> thief is immediate or, alternatively, near in time once the object is
> disposed of. In the case of music/literature, there is a time delay
> between the moment the concept/idea is stolen/plagiarized and the time
> that financial benefits are accrued, if at all: there is really no
> certainty that financial gain will ensue.
> Regardless, it seems to me that the question of financial gain
> following theft/plagiarism is of minor importance. There is an
> essential ethical component that has nothing to do with and
> supersedes, in my opinion- legalities/copyright/court/financial gain
> issues. Theft/plagiarism in music/literature is the appropriation of
> an idea, concept, style, text without giving credit to the author and
> passing it for one's own. Theft/plagiarism are very different from
> influence. There is an intention to deceive in stealing ideas, but not
> in being influenced by a style of music. Certainly, the music of the
> black musicians influenced (or at least inspired) white musicians -and
> vice versa.
> You avoided answering my specific question of examples of
> plagiarism/theft on the part of white musicians by making the proviso
> that theft requires financial gain and asserting that that was enough
> to define theft as opposed to influence.
> I ask you to examine theft/plagiarism as an ethical concept. Do you
> still maintain that white musicians stole the music of the black
> musicians? Another point: You failed to address the other issue that
> I raised, namely, that white musicians were financially successful by
> playing dance music, not jazz. That is, in part, why I asked for
> specific examples of what it is that you claim the white musicians
> stole from the black musicians. Did they steal/plagiarized the actual
> jazz numbers created by the black musicians and then play them in
> ballrooms (for high fees)? If so, give me specific examples. Or, as I
> maintain, white dance bandleaders were influenced by the style of the
> black (and white) jazz musicians and adapted some of what they heard
> to their dance numbers. In fact, they also hired jazz musicians for
> their dance bands. That, in my book, is not stealing/plagiarizing, but
> simply trying to make a living by playing music that appealed to the
> audience of the time.
> --- In RedHotJazz@yahoogroups.com, Howard Rye <howard@> wrote:>
> > I think I have already explained why I consider that in particular
> > circumstances it is reasonable to regard some dealings as stealing
> > than influence. It comes down to money. What in practice makes
> > 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
> > ecomomic playing field contemporary African-Americans would not have
> > they were victims of theft and there would be no cause to consider the
> > claim.
> > 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
> > 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
> > 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
> > correct" theories that the black musicians were the originators,
> while the
> > white musicians were "imitators"?" I know you did because I just
> > 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
> > 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
> > perfectly entitled to study it, celebrate it, or whatever, without
> > any more thought to Red Nichols than Nichols's original fans gave to
> > 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
> > well.
> > on 2/5/06 19:16, Albert Haim at alberthaim@ wrote:
> > > The discussion was on the question of whether white musicians
> > > 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
> > > I think it is extremely narrow-minded and a distortion of the
> > > 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
> > > 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
> > > You asserted that white musicians "stole" from the black musicians.
> > > What is the meaning of "stealing" a musical style? Did Bach
> > > Vivaldi? As I said in my previous post: since when is a musical
> > > the exclusive property of one individual, a band, or a race? And
> > > 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."
> > Howard Rye, 20 Coppermill Lane, London, England, E17 7HB
> > howard@
> > Tel/FAX: +44 20 8521 1098
> 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 ?