Re: Carolina Shout – A Compromise

I’m humbled that my post is getting some attention!  I’d like to reiterate a few things.

In case you missed it:

The original post

Peter Hum’s response

Ted Gioia’s response

Jacob Teichroew’s response

A quick recap: Ten diligent pianists (me included) are sitting in a room.  We don’t know the song Carolina Shout.  Whose fault is it?

A quick defense:  As I said in my previous post, I consider myself a diligent student of music.  Trust me, I’ve checked out lots of music including music from the early 1900’s.  No, I didn’t see the Ken Burns documentary; I was probably busy in the other room practicing Scott Joplin!

(Side note: right now I’m working on some Teddy Wilson, Nikolai Kapustin and Doug Riley.  Do you know who they are and their contribution to culture?  That’s okay if you don’t.  Hopefully one of these days we can have a listening session!)

Don’t forget the title of my original post.  It’s a compromise!  We’re all in this together.  We’re all students of music and we’re all part of the culture!  I can’t stress this enough.

Understand that if ten young pianists don’t know Carolina Shout, there is something more meaningful happening. Whether you believe it or not, it means that the culture of Carolina Shout is fading.  50 years ago, it was five young pianists.  100 years from now, it will be twenty.  You can’t assume they all lack in diligence.

Do you feel passionately about Carolina Shout?  Do you feel passionately about early jazz?  Do you feel passionately about music in general?  That’s great!  What are you going to do about it?  First, don’t assume that everybody has seen the Ken Burns documentary, or reads Do the Math, or had a father playing so-and-so’s rendition of Carolina Shout when they were young.  Not everybody shares your experience.  A few thoughts:

How can we share our passions?  How can we preserve Carolina Shout?

Do you perform?  When was the last time you recorded and performed Carolina Shout?

Do you write?  When was the last time you wrote about Carolina Shout?

Do you lecture?  When was the last time you spoke about Carolina Shout?

Important: When was the last time you tried to promote this music to kindergarten students?

Lastly, I’d like to close with a quote that my good friend Cathy Mitro sent me.  She is extremely diligent and is at the forefront of jazz education in Canada and North America.  ‘Food for thought’ as she put it:

“Culture cannot be inherited.  The culture of previous ages will vanish unless each new generation wins it for itself again and again. Only that for which we have worked, or even suffered, truly belongs to us.  Music will only enter our souls, live within us, if we plow our souls with our own efforts, with our own music making.” Zoltán Kodály

UPDATE – I wrote a response to Dalton Ridenhour (Link)

1 Comment

Leave a Reply