Dispelling Illusory Correlations Between Great Suffering and Great Jazz (74110)

Session Information: Art, Design & Development in Education
Session Chair: Peter Toth

Thursday, 21 September 2023 09:30
Session: Session 1
Room: Gracia
Presentation Type:Oral Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 2 (Europe/Madrid)

Jazz history professors and book authors may be prejudicing their students’ impressions of jazz by including negative biographical information about the major musicians. This author scrutinized biographical presentations that are unnecessarily disparaging of the musicians, including too much data that is musically inconsequential. The predominance of tragic stories in introductory jazz history books concerns me. I urged teachers to be mindful of the effects that musicians’ medical histories could have on student perceptions of great musicians and the emotions that students perceived in jazz music in an article published by the College Music Society.
In the ensuing years, I received feedback about my observations from colleagues who teach jazz history and jazz appreciation courses. As the responses raised serious issues and exemplified common oversights, I presented and summarized some trends in those responses and my reactions to them in a CMS follow-up article.
Among the trends was the argument that revealing personal biographical information helps students understand an otherwise unfathomable creativity. Some teachers believe that creating art must involve suffering and, for that reason, details of sad lives must be presented in college jazz history texts and lectures.
The question I will address is whether there is actually such a causal relationship. The trope of the “suffering artist” has long pervaded popular culture but has no place in educating students of jazz and other art forms.
For this presentation, I intend to dispel the lingering, yet illusory, notion that there is a causal relationship between great suffering and great jazz.

Robert Foster, Augusta University, United States

About the Presenter(s)
Robert Foster, DMA, is a professional musician and music educator. As a performer on saxophone, flute, and shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute), he has performed throughout the US and internationally. He is a Professor of Music at Augusta University.

Connect on Linkedin

See this presentation on the full scheduleThursday Schedule

Conference Comments & Feedback

Place a comment using your LinkedIn profile


Share on activity feed

Powered by WP LinkPress

Share this Presentation

Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00