Worship and Music - Ethnomusicology


Master of Arts (MA)


Katherine Morehouse




American Studies | Ethnomusicology | Music


In his 2009 article, Can Jazz Be Saved?, Wall Street Journal columnist Terry Teachout asserted that the American audience for jazz music performances was both shrinking and aging. Saving Jazz: Applied Ethnomusicology and America's Classical Music explores this jazz audience problem and finds that over the last thirty years the overall American audience for live jazz performances has not shrunk as has been widely reported, but is essentially unchanged in size. During that same period, though, there is no question that the median age of the audience has changed dramatically. Data collected by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Doris Duke Charitable Trust funded Jazz Audiences Initiative shows that the median age has increased from 29 to over 46 years of age - a precipitous aging. If this aging continues, the audience will soon experience significant numerical decline as many jazz enthusiasts are now in their retirement years. In order to counter the audience's aging and lack of numerical growth, this thesis collects and explores the best ideas for stimulating the growth of the jazz audience, especially among younger enthusiasts. The thesis culminates in presenting a newly developed Jazz Stakeholder Model, designed to communicate a specific set of action items to members of the overall jazz community. In this model, five jazz stakeholders, Enthusiasts, Educators, Presenters, Writers, and Artists are encouraged to take specific, concrete steps to affect positive change in bringing about a younger and larger audience for live jazz performances in America. (The idea of a jazz community where members have distinct, but essential, functions in promoting the future of the music was originally presented in a 1999 article by Willard Jenkins entitled, Where's the Jazz Audience? In some cases I have broadened and in others collapsed Jenkins' categories, but am nonetheless indebted to him for the underlying idea for what I have termed stakeholders.)