The Rhetoric of Jazz

Authored by: Gregory Clark

The Routledge Companion to Jazz Studies

Print publication date:  December  2018
Online publication date:  December  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138231160
eBook ISBN: 9781315315805
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter offers rhetoric as a conceptual toolkit for jazz studies that enables exploration of the influence of the music on those who encounter it. The chapter draws upon rhetorical theory as a study of mechanisms of persuasion that has a long history in the West to describe how jazz influences its audiences in ways that can affect their conceptions of themselves as practitioners of democratic community. Present throughout rhetorical theory is the concept of aesthetic experience as instructive in the sense of its display of better ways of being in the world. This chapter describes the display of jazz music being made as instruction in life that can realize democratic aspirations.

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