Rhizomes and plateaus

Rethinking jazz historiography and the jazz-'classical' relationship


  • Jeremy Barham University of Surrey




jazz, classical, historiography, rhizome


Problems of jazz historiography are identified and discussed. The model of historiography offered by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari based on the concept of the non-hierarchical, anti-genealogical rhizome is proposed as an alternative to existing approaches. Applied to an examination of the jazz-’classical’ relationship, the model highlights a number of nodes and plateaus of musical identity. Particular reference is made to Bill Evans, Messiaen, Cecil Taylor, Anthony Braxton and post-war avant-garde ‘classical’ music.

Author Biography

  • Jeremy Barham, University of Surrey

    Lecturer in Music


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How to Cite

Barham, J. (2010). Rhizomes and plateaus: Rethinking jazz historiography and the jazz-’classical’ relationship. Jazz Research Journal, 3(2), 171-202. https://doi.org/10.1558/jazz.v3i2.171