Johnson, B 2019, Jazz Diaspora Music and Globalism, Routledge.
This book studies the processes of the global jazz diaspora and its implications for jazz historiography in general, arguing for its relevance to the fields of sonic studies and cognitive theory.
The history of live street music is the history of an endangered species, either suppressed or trivialized as little more than 'local colour'. Five hundred years ago the streets of Elizabethan London were rich with the sounds of street vendors, ballad-makers and musicians, and in general the worst that might be said of the music was that the same songs were too often repeated – what we would now call 'on high rotation'. By the beginning of the nineteenth century, the poet Wordsworth and advocate of the 'common man' was describing street music as 'monstrous', and throughout that century vigorous measures were being applied to suppress such sounds, which were now categorized as noise. By the twenty-first century, live street music has been virtually silenced but for the occasional licensed busker or sanctioned parade. Paradoxically, this process of decline is intersected by a technologically sustained 'aural renaissance' that can be dated from the late nineteenth century. This article explores the reasons for the gradual extinction of live street music and the transformation of the urban soundscape. It argues connections with issues of class, the rise of literacy, the sacralization of private property and the formation of the politics of modernity.
Johnson, B 2015, 'We Can't Sleep in the Movies any More', Screen Sound Journal, no. 5.
Johnson, B 2019, ''Foreword' to Joseph Cummins' in The 'Imagined Sound' of Australian Literature and Music, Anthem Press, London and New York.
Johnson, B 2019, 'Diasporic Jazz' in Gebhardt, N, Rustin-Paschal, N & Whyton, T (eds), The Routledge Companion to Jazz Studies, Routledge, New York and London, pp. 17-26.
Until the late twentieth century, the historiography and analysis of jazz were centered on the US to the almost complete exclusion of any other region. This was largely driven by the assumption that only the "authentic" version of the music, as represented in its country of origin, was of aesthetic and historical interest in the jazz narrative; that the forms that emerged in other countries were simply rather pallid and enervated echoes of the "real thing." With the growth of the New Jazz Studies, it has been increasingly understood that diasporic jazz has its own integrity, as well as holding valuable lessons in the processes of cultural globalization and diffusion and syncretism between musics of the supposed center and peripheries. This has been accompanied by challenges to the criterion of place- and race-based authenticity as a way of assessing the value of popular music forms in general. As the prototype for the globalization of popular music, diasporic jazz provides a richly instructive template for the study of the history of modernity as played out musically. The vigor and international impact of Australian jazz provide an instructive case study in the articulation and exemplification of these dynamics.
Johnson, B, Oivi, M & Salmi, H 2019, 'Yves Montand in the USSR: Mixed Messages of Post-Stalinist/Western Cultural Encounters' in Entangled East and West: Cultural Diplomacy and Artistic Interaction during the Cold War.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Johnson, B 2018, 'Problematising Popular Music History in the Context of Heritage and Memory' in Baker, S, Strong, C, Istvandity, L & Cantillon, Z (eds), The Routledge Companion to Popular Music History and Heritage, Routledge, London and New York, pp. 13-25.
Interdisciplinary in nature, this compelling work will appeal to students from Music and Jazz Studies to Political Science, Sociology, and Cultural Theory.
Johnson, B 2017, 'In the body of the Audience' in Tsioulakis, I & Hytönen, E (eds), Musicians and Their Audiences: Performance, Speech and Mediation, Routledge, UK, pp. 15-33.
Johnson, B 2017, 'Introduction' in Jazz and Totalitarianism, Routledge, UK, pp. 17-38.
The juxtaposition of the totalitarian nightmare with jazz might seem asymmetrical and even
bathetic or tasteless. But in fact there are potentially very instructive junctions here. Jazz and
totalitarianism were contemporaneous in their appearance as phenomena of modernity in
Europe. As early as 1922, in an article published in the New York Times Book Review and
Magazine, journalist Burnet Hershey reported that in his recent journey around the world he
found the 'zump-zump-zump and toodle-oodle-doo' of jazz everywhere (Walser 1999: p. 26).
This was only one year prior to the coining of the term 'totalitarianism'. The dissemination of
both in their tendencies towards globalisation was decisively benefited by the modern media
of radio, sound recordings and film. Goebbels recognised the potential of all three in the
attempt to mobilise the masses in the totalitarian enterprise. Totalitarianism has been identified
as one of the 'quintessential forces in twentieth century history' (Geyer and Fitzpatrick 2009:
p. 26), one of the keys to understanding the power dynamics of modernisation. Likewise, jazz
was the quintessential musical embodiment of modernisation. In the circumstances of its
emergence, its formal character, its modes of global dissemination, it is the 'test-piece' of
music in the process of modernisation, the canary in the mineshaft of modernity. Studies of jazz
in the Soviet Union and the Third Reich have already demonstrated that its cultural baggage
(perceived as an ambiguous combination of the music of triumphant capitalism and/or of a
community oppressed on racial grounds) placed it in a uniquely perplexing relationship for the
two archetypal totalitarianisms of the century. Its receptions in its various diasporic
destinations made it a litmus test of the impact of modernity, and in the case of Germany and
the Soviet Union the encounter was a revelation of some of the deepest contradictions in the
process of modernisation. The two phenomena share somet...
Johnson, B 2016, 'Introduction' in Antipodean Riffs: Essays on Australasian Jazz, Equinox, Sheffield.
Johnson, B 2013, 'Cognitive ecology: Music, gesture and cognition', Communities, Places and Ecologies: Proceedings of the 2013 IASPM conference.