[Dixielandjazz] Dixieland before ragtime?

LARRY'S Signs and Large Format Printing sign.guy at charter.net
Fri Jan 21 14:57:10 PST 2005

Ragtime was a written idiom.  Composers like Scott Joplin made money from
the sheet music although probably not much so it had to be written.  The
poor folks couldn't read music and never had lessons but they could imitate
the ragtime style.  Mix in some John Philip Sousa (march beats and trombone
countermelodies), a little Mozart (counterpoint), a little blues add solos
and you have Dixieland.  In short Ragtime was for the trained musician
setting in a parlor and Dixieland was played in the streets and like the
varied mixture of races in N'Orleans you had a mixture of styles.

If you listen to Sousa marches you can hear many of the elements of
Dixieland.  March beat, Clarinet flourishes above the Melody, prominent
Cornet melody, Trombone countermelody, 8 and 16 bar phrases. Sousa was also
writing and was very popular in the 1890's.  A tune like Rampart Street
Parade, among others,  is right out of Sousa style.  Dixieland is basically
Sousa with  ragtime rhythms, specifically the eighth, accented quarter,
eighth rhythm.  Everything else is pretty straightforward classical
ornaments and rhythms.  This is probably oversimplified but there was a lot
of styles to pick from.

Jazz, I think and of course this is just a pet theory of mine, came about
because untrained musicians made a lot of mistakes and some sounded good and
they repeated them and incorporated them into their music.  There is a very
definite phenomenon that happens with Musicians.  The over trained just
can't play jazz and the Jazzers just don't read very well.  One learns from
books and schools and the other learns from example and experience.  One of
the most difficult things to find is a jazzer that reads very well.  Almost
always they fall on either side of the fence.  I am sure that there was this
definite divide between the trained and untrained in the 1890's too.

The story that the
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Brian Harvey" <pembroke.dock02 at ntlworld.com>
To: "DJML" <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Friday, January 21, 2005 12:25 PM
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Dixieland before ragtime?

> Bob Romans wrote - there's a mention of Dixieland being played at the 1904
> St. Louis World's Fair...oops! I don't THINK so...
> It could have happened. Ragtime started a long time before 1904 and music
> very much like Dixieland could have been played before the turn of the
> century although if we heard it now we probably would not have recognised
> as such.
> A very old English lady is on record commenting after hearing a British
> playing their type of New Orleans Jazz - "Oh that's not new - the German
> Bands (street bands) were playing that sort of thing before the Great
> (1914-1918) war"
> Brian Harvey
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