In the 20th century, jazz music spread throughout global culture like few other musical forms. Over the 40-year period in which jazz was assimilated into French culture, myths about the origin of jazz played an important role in the discourse surrounding the music. By examining both how these myths functioned in the discourse and examining how they changed over time depending on cultural circumstances, this article shows how writers increasingly used jazz etiologies and writing on the importance of New Orleans to the history of jazz to bridge the cultural gap and to make a French connection with jazz music, so that the enjoyment of it could be experienced as authentically French. From early abstract expressivist origins, to the latter strategic deployment of these myths as a feature of New Orleans revivalism, this discourse played an important role in the integration of jazz into French cultural identity.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cultural Studies
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)