Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] DeVeaux, Scott. The Birth of Bebop: A Social and Musical History. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997.

This book examines the development of bebop from artistic, social, and commercial perspectives, beginning in the Swing Era and progressing through the 1940s. The repertory at jam sessions in the early 1940s was based primarily on a few familiar chord progressions, notably the blues, Gershwin's I Got Rhythm, and a handful of other pop song "standards" of which How High the Moon and Whispering were among the most frequently used. The economics of the recording industry promoted the composition of new melodies over existing chord progressions; having a new, colorful title would attract buyers, and by calling it a new work the record company could avoid paying royalties to the copyright owners of the song from which the chord progression was taken. In addition to using existing chord progressions in new songs, bebop musicians often borrowed material from each other and incorporated it into new compositions and arrangements. Moreover, musical borrowing in the form of quotation within improvised solos was both a ubiquitous and a controversial presence in bebop. Charlie Parker frequently inserted clearly recognizable quotations from jazz or popular sources into solos in live performance, but some performers criticized Parker for diluting his music. In other instances, European art music directly influenced jazz: stride pianists used materials from opera or "light classics" in a new idiom. For some bebop musicians, borrowing (or at least recognizing borrowings) was less important. Struggles over the definition of "the work" pervade any discussion of quotation in jazz, and such discussion must recognize the multiple "composers" at work in a jazz performance: the nominal composer who notates a song, and the improviser who re-composes the score in live performance.

Works: Thelonious Monk: The Theme (224), Rhythm-a-Ning (224), 52nd Street Theme (292), Hackensack (403): Dizzy Gillespie: Salt Peanuts (292, 421), Things to Come (433): Coleman Hawkins: Mop Mop (292, 306-7), Rainbow Mist (309), Father Co-operates (326), Bean at the Met (326), On the Bean (330), Stumpy (330), Rifftide (390), Bean Stalking (394), Too Much of a Good Thing (401), Bean Soup (403-5), Hollywood Stampede (404-5); Charlie Parker: Red Cross (307, 374); Benny Harris: Ornithology (323, 382); Howard McGhee: New Orleans Jump (362), Sportsman?s Hop (391, 393); Billy Eckstine: Good Jelly Blues (341-3, 424); Jerome Kern: All the Things You Are (342-43, 424).

Sources: George Gershwin: I Got Rhythm (203, 224, 292, 305, 306-7, 326, 374, 421), Lady Be Good (390, 403); Nancy Hamilton and Morgan Lewis: How High the Moon (305, 323, 326, 382); John Schonberger, Malvin Schonberger, and Richard Coburn: Whispering (305, 330); Edward Heyman, Robert Sour, Frank Eyton, and Johnny Green: Body and Soul (309); Dizzy Gillespie: Salt Peanuts (326-28), Be-Bop (362, 404-5, 433), Groovin' High (403-5); Rachmaninoff: Prelude in C-Sharp Minor (342-43, 424); Igor Stravinsky: Petrouchka (360n); Benny Goodman, Edgar Sampson, Clarence Profit, and Walter Hirsch: Lullaby in Rhythm (391, 393); Jesse A. Stone: Idaho (394); Kay Swift and Paul James: Fine and Dandy (401); Ben Bernie, Ken Casey, and Maceo Pinkard: Sweet Georgia Brown (404-5); Benny Harris: Ornithology (404-5); Vincent Youmans and Irving Caesar: Tea for Two (405); Billy Eckstine: Good Jelly Blues (424).

Index Classifications: 1900s, Jazz

Contributed by: Paul Killinger, Amy Weller

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