John Leland Hip And Bebop Analysis

811 Words4 Pages
Michelle Miller Dr. Diller ENG 102 7 February 2013 Hip and Bebop The idea of “hip” is not a foreign concept to us of the twenty-first century. As a cultural touchstone for our world, it is something that we have lived with for the entirety of our lives. It is recognized by children and adults alike. We have no need or longing to define it, because we view hip as eternal. John Leland, author and New York Times journalist, attempts to do just this in only 356 pages. In chapter five of Hip: The History, Leland argues that hip is nonconformity when an individual chooses not to conform to society’s standard from his own volition, rather than rejecting the norms because it is what the “inner circle” is doing. Leland uses bebop to illustrate…show more content…
It stems from a need to question the world around them and begin to have their own personal beliefs and actions. These new- found values are opaque to some and repugnant to others (118). These values can be heard through this new genre of music, known as “bebop”. Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker recognized one another as “kindred spirits” and formed the foundations for “bebop” by refusing to play what the masses wanted to hear (114). Instead, they played what “didn’t exist in the world around them” (113). As their values changed, they began to “reject the role of the entertainer, and held themselves above tastes of the public” (112). According to Leland, nonconformism can take two forms: the relinquishing of privileges and the reclamation of privileges. The relinquishing of privileges is when one waives the privileges in order to shed the responsibilities for its actions. A great example of this is the famous quote by Emerson, “Who so be a man must be a nonconformist…” because “to be great is to be misunderstood” (115). On the other hand, the reclamation of privileges is a form of isolation in which one realizes that it is not themselves that are deformed, but rather the society. Bebop is the ultimate example of this, because it differed drastically from the straightforward compositions of the swing era and was instead characterized by fast tempos, asymmetrical phrasing, and intricate melodies. The music

More about John Leland Hip And Bebop Analysis

Open Document