[Dixielandjazz] Discography and musicology

Robert Smith robert.smith at mitransport.no
Sun Apr 18 12:35:36 PDT 2004

Hello Anton

I would also add 20-1532 (LP?) to your correct list of Victor issues.
In my discography - Jazz Directory compiled by Dave Carey and Albert J. McCarthy dated May 1951 - matrix 64811-1 is listed as unissued. Mr E.C. Foreman of RCA Victor gave much assistance to the compilers, so I rather think that this matrix was never issued.

Regarding your point about jazz musicology being an immature discipline, then I think that the effort that has been expended is comparable, maybe even exceeds, the effort put into 'classical' music. The difference, in my opinion, is due to the attitudes of the early record companies, who did not regard jazz records as part of serious music. This meant that documentation was sparse and even non-existent for recordings made in the 1920's and early 1930's. When the larger recording companies cottoned on to the world-wide interst in jazz, then their inherent need for good documentation meant that more reliable information became available.
When one looks at the long list of people who have devoted a large part of their lives to jazz musicology, then I'm convinced that the subject is very mature, but that the data are far more unreliable than in the 'classical' field.
My dictionary doesn't list the word 'stemmatics', but I've assumed that it means something like 'tracing music back to its origins'. If my assumption is correct, then I think stemmatics is an indispensible part of jazz musicology.

All the best


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