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Margolis, N.M. (1954). A Theory on the Psychology of Jazz. Am. Imago, 11(3):263-291.

(1954). American Imago, 11(3):263-291

A Theory on the Psychology of Jazz

Norman M. Margolis, M.D.

“When you come right down to it, what brought the whole change in American music? What spread the gospel of jazz far and wide across the country, pulling at least one part of our native music free at last from European influences? It was the revel in us. Our rebel instincts broke music away from what I would call the handcuff and straightjacket discipline of the classical school, so creative artists could get up on the stand and speak out in their own honest self-inspired language again.”—Mezz Mezzrow (1)

I Introduction

The purpose of this communication is to present several hypotheses concerning the psychology of American jazz.

Although jazz has been on the American cultural scene for well over half a century, it remains little understood and, in fact, is most often rejected by the general American public as being a useless, cheap, and unartistic form of musical expression.

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