Audra M. DeBoy '16, Gettysburg College
Student Research Paper
Date of Creation
Conservatory of Music
Following the sweet, pleasant Swing era style music of the 1930’s, Bebop emerged within the United States as an aggressive, percussive, musician-focused style in the 1940’s. However, Bebop’s creation was not spontaneous. Its composers, John Birks Gillespie, Charlie Parker, and Thelonious Monk, wrote for the sake of the music itself as a form of self-expression, not as entertainment for an audience. Bebop’s dissonant sound expressed political and cultural frustrations, stemming from World War II and similarly shown in the early Civil Rights Movement. I will argue that not only did Bebop develop out of such conflicts, but in a reciprocal manner it shaped society, giving legitimacy to black musicians’ technical abilities in a white-dominated music industry.
This is the author's version of the work. This publication appears in Gettysburg College's institutional repository by permission of the copyright owner for personal use, not for redistribution.
DeBoy, Audra M., "Playing Bebop: Culture and Bebop’s Reciprocal Influence" (2016). Student Publications. 448.