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"Do You Know...?": The Jazz Repertoire in Action Hardcover – September 15, 2009

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 232 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; 1 edition (September 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226239217
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226239217
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,500,398 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“This book consists of a seamless blend of anecdotes and analysis, filled with delight and insight. Robert Faulkner and Howard Becker, writing from their twin perspectives of professional jazz players and renowned scholars, offer an unprecedented understanding of the interpersonal dynamics of jazz performance and the implications of using jazz as a model for understanding negotiations in other realms of human interaction.”
(Barry Kernfeld, editor of The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz)

“Faulkner and Becker’s argument that repertoire is a process has broad implications for understanding collective action in different fields of endeavor and for rethinking the place of the art work in music studies. Writing with characteristic skill and wit, the authors illuminate the vital interplay between the factors shaping repertories and the cultivation of individual artistic voices. They take readers on an exacting journey through jazz musicians’ daily challenges as they prepare for performances and create music on the bandstand. Analyzing musical triumphs and failures, the authors illuminate the deep aural knowledge and skills of ‘ordinary’ musicians. This is a book that will inspire readers to listen with new admiration and attention.”--Paul F. Berliner, author of Thinking in Jazz: The Infinite Art of Improvisation
(Paul Berliner)

"Jazz musicians everywhere play together pretty easily, even when they don’t know all the same songs and have never rehearsed. Faulkner and Becker draw on their own long experience as musicians and sociologists to ask the right questions of other musicians and to discover even better questions and answers along the way. The result is a model of qualitative research that provides a master key to rethinking one of the great sociological puzzles: how people can work together effectively, or at all."
(Mitchell Duneier, author of Slim's Table and Sidewalk)

About the Author

Robert R. Faulkner is professor of sociology at the University of Massachusetts and the author of Hollywood Studio Musicians and Music on Demand: Composers and Careers in the Hollywood Film Industry. Howard S. Becker is the author of several books, including Telling About Society, Tricks of the Trade, and Art Worlds. Together, with Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, they are coeditors of Art from Start to Finish: Jazz, Painting, Writing, and Other Improvisations.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Laura on August 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been playing jazz music all of my life, and as an upcoming sociology Ph.D, this was an excellent read for me. It can be a bit esoteric, if you do not know too much about the field (or both fields, rather) but I still found this to be an exceptional publication by two very esteemed sociologists. Howard Becker is a legend, and it seems as if Robert Faulkner is his protege. Enjoyable for those who play, listen to, or enjoy jazz music and cultural reflections.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Vegas Reader on October 22, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A worthy read, especially the references to real world music jobs and jam sessions. Oftentimes however, the authors focused on academic sociological concerns as if this were a professional paper. I read this as a musician, so it did not have enough of the kind of information that I would have liked. Still, it was undeniably well written and therefore easy to read.
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Steve Rogers on January 31, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a Jazz fan with an interest in sociology I was a bit disappointed in this book. The area being analyzed is a fascinating one and the authors have hands on experience as Jazz musicians. The book they produced has some interest but, as presented, could have been much shorter as there is a lot of repetition and recapitulation. The authors have decided to keep the stories they base their research on as anonymous but this gives the book an anecdotal quality. You can not check the stories and it is all based on a few interviews; there is no attempt at a scientific or statistical analyses. So it fails to be a convincing sociology book and provides too little of interest to jazz fans.
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