[Dixielandjazz] Interesting article on new performances of
tubaman at batnet.com
Sun Nov 16 11:06:23 PST 2003
One thing I forgot to mention - I learned of this article while reading
a later issue, a letter-to-the-editor triggered my search:
> It may be history but it's not always pretty
> You wrote: "Minstrelsy hasn't merited serious cultural study since
> its awkward birth in the 1830s." In fact, there are a number of
> well-researched and in-depth books on minstrelsy. There are straight
> histories out there, but the ones that interest me the most are those
> that discuss how minstrelsy was used to construct and cross boundaries
> of class, race, and gender. See especially Eric Lott's Love and Theft.
> The issue of whether this should be performed is a sticky one. Within
> the context of historical reenactment, it seems a relatively benign
> activity. I'm led to question the drive to reenact itself and the
> attendant emphasis on objectivity. Imagining history as a script to
> perform seems rife with problems.
> Drew Beck, Berkeley
There was the recent Spike Lee movie "Bamboozled" that gets deeply into
this subject in a different way...
On Sunday, Nov 16, 2003, at 10:48 US/Pacific, david richoux wrote:
> a snip:
>> Written off by most mainstream historians and musicologists as
>> nothing more than racist theatrics and overwrought melodrama,
>> minstrelsy hasn't merited serious cultural study since its awkward
>> birth in the 1830s. However, a very small but steadily growing cadre
>> of musicians from across the country intends to resurrect it. They're
>> intently researching yellowing sheet music and sepia-hued photographs
>> to ensure absolute authenticity -- from constructing period
>> instruments and donning near-perfect replicas of clothing from the
>> era, to performing the old minstrel classics exactly as they
>> originally were, sometimes even in blackface. The endeavor is done so
>> faithfully that, as one modern-day minstrel player put it, "If you
>> squint your eyes and your ears a little, you can travel right back to
>> the 1840s."
>> Of course, such a journey would dump you in a briar
>> patch of racial stereotypes repulsive to modern-day Americans, so
>> it's not surprising there's a contentious debate over whether such a
>> project is legitimate at all.
> the whole article is very interesting... not exactly OKOM but one of
> the many roots.
> Dave Richoux
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