Published online by Cambridge University Press: 21 August 2019
Since the formal academic study of jazz (historical, musicological, analytical or cultural) developed only very late in the twentieth century, critics have inevitably played a crucial role in developing discourses about the music. This has been a great strength as well as an occasional weakness, but it has given criticism a centrality in the literature of jazz that is noteworthy, particularly in comparison with the role of criticism in Western European art music in the same period.
In this chapter, I have restricted my coverage of the subject in several key respects. In the first place, there is very little consideration of pre-1930 criticism, a large and fascinating body of writing, but which with relatively few exceptions has more historical and cultural than musical significance.