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Re: Did Whiteman Steal from Oliver?

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  • tommersl
    ================================================================== I don t listen to white jazz , but the case of Eddie Lang and Lonnie Johnson is obvious to
    Message 1 of 44 , May 3, 2006
      ==================================================================
      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.
      tommersl
      ==================================================================
      --- 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 ┬ľand
      > 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.
      >
      > Albert
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > --- 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
      > 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
      > > 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
      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
      > > well.
      > >
      > >
      > > on 2/5/06 19:16, Albert Haim at alberthaim@ wrote:
      > >
      > > > The discussion was on the question of whether white musicians
      "stole"
      > > > 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 ┬ľand 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."
      > >
      > >
      > > Howard Rye, 20 Coppermill Lane, London, England, E17 7HB
      > > howard@
      > > Tel/FAX: +44 20 8521 1098
      > >
      >
    • Andrew Homzy
      ... Everybody bought Paul Whiteman records. A.
      Message 44 of 44 , Jun 2, 2006
        > Maybe you are right but I wonder how Oliver could listen to Whiteman,
        > 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 ?
        > tommersl

        Everybody bought Paul Whiteman records.

        A.
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