Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Horn, David. "The Sound World of Art Tatum." Black Music Research Journal 20 (Autumn 2000): 237-57.

Reactions to Art Tatum have been divided between admiration of his technical proficiency and criticism of his perceived lack of creativity. Both of these stances, however, ignore the complex intertextual nature of Tatum's music. Tatum's music from throughout his career contains a significant number of quotations of tunes recorded by others during the 1920s and 1930s, recordings which Tatum would have heard and which might have had a greater impact on him than on many other musicians because of his partial blindness and his resulting difficulty in reading sheet music. Two consistent features in the majority of Tatum's quotations are the retention of the original melody, and the ornamentation of that melody in a manner which embellishes without comment or critique. The result is a relationship--frequently dialogic--between the original and the quotation.

Index Classifications: 1900s, Jazz

Contributed by: Paul Killinger

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