[Dixielandjazz] Re: Discography and musicology; stemmatics

Dan Augustine ds.augustine at mail.utexas.edu
Mon Apr 19 23:46:29 PDT 2004

DJML and select others--
     I am alternately pleased and offended that someone used a word 
i've never heard of ('stemmatics').
     Of course, i googled (small 'g' now) it and found the following 
(among others):

            Stem. A diagram presenting the phylogeny of a manuscript
            tradition in visual form. Unlike a strict cladogram, a
            stemma may exhibit ancestors and reticulation (mixture
            between lineages).
            T.C. A method of textual criticism based on preparing a
            family tree of manuscripts ( stemma ) and evaluating
            variant readings based on the stemma.  Traditional
            stemmatics has four steps: recension, selection,
            examination, and emendation.  Phylogenetic stemmatics
            uses cladistics to produce the stemma in the recension
            step, and the remaining steps are based on traditional
            Clad. A method of grouping taxa based on shared,
            derived characteristics (or homology)."
                -- http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/tc/glossary.htm

     I think i now know less than i did before i read that.  That's 
the trouble with knowledge and ignorance.  More knowledge many times 
results in exponentially greater ignorance.  I don't think i can 
afford to learn anything new now.


("Learning, n. The kind of ignorance distinguishing the studious."
         -- Ambrose Bierce in _The Devil's Dictionary_)
(Weren't we talking about jazz a minute ago?  How the hell did we get here?)
>From: "Robert Smith" <robert.smith at mitransport.no>
>To: "Dixieland Jazz" <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
>Date: Sun, 18 Apr 2004 11:35:36 +0200
>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

**  Dan Augustine     Austin, Texas     ds.augustine at mail.utexas.edu  **
**       "Verbosity leads to unclear, inarticulate things.            **
**                    -- Vice President Dan Quayle                    **

More information about the Dixielandjazz mailing list