Black North American and Caribbean music in European metropolises : a transnational perspective of Paris and London music scenes (1920s-1950s)
Title: Black North American and Caribbean music in European metropolises : a transnational perspective of Paris and London music scenes (1920s-1950s)
Author: CHINCOLI, Veronica
Citation: Florence : European University Institute, 2019
Series/Number: EUI PhD theses; Department of History and Civilization
This thesis examines black music circulation in the urban spaces of London and Paris. It shows the complexity of the evolutionary processes of black musical genres, which occurred during the late imperial period (1920s-1950s) within the urban music scenes of two imperial metropolises, and how they played an important role on the entertainment circuit. Both cities functioned as sites of crossfertilisation for genres of music that were co-produced in a circulation between empires and Europe. Musicians of various origins met in the urban spaces of the two cities. The convergence and intermingling of musical cultures that musicians had brought with them produced new sounds. This process was influenced by a minority group (blacks), but had a significant and lasting influence on the musical world. By creating an historical account of the encounters and exchanges between people of different origins within the music scenes, this thesis examines music development and the complexity of processes of racialisation according to their historical locality and meaning. Using a variety of sources including police reports, government documents, interviews, guidebooks and newspapers, this work contributes to widen the perspective of historical studies on music developments, emphasising their social and spatial dimensions, which are fundamental for the exploration of music scenes, in general, and for the spread of black genres of music in particular. Black music styles spread internationally, but were produced in several specific locations where music industry infrastructure was developing. In the urban spaces of the music scenes of London and Paris social networks were formed by various actors - both blacks and whites - and were crucial for music production and reception; different perceptions of blackness, processes of competition, and debates on authenticity emerged; and processes of regulation and negotiation underpinned the intervention of public authorities.
LC Subject Heading: African Americans -- History and criticism; Popular music -- Social aspects -- France -- History -- 20th century; Popular music -- Social aspects -- Great Britain -- History -- 20th century; Music -- Europe -- History and criticism
Defence date: 15 April 2019; Examining Board: Professor Stéphane Van Damme, European University Institute Professor Laura Downs, European University Institute Professor Catherine Tackley, University of Liverpool Professor Pap Ndiaye, SciencesPo
Type of Access: openAccess
Preceding version: http://hdl.handle.net/1814/62231
Version: Chapter 4 'Black Music Styles as Vehicles for Trans-racial Interplay: Practices of Learning, Perceptions of Blackness and Commercialisation of Music' of the PhD thesis draws upon an earlier version published as an article “Black Music Styles as Vehicles for Transnational and Trans-Racial Exchange: Perceptions of Blackness in the Music Scenes of London and Paris (1920s-1950s),” (2017) in the journal 'Zapruder world'