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musicbassman

Nazi rules to combat jazz... yes, really.

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You may not believe this, but during WWII, Nazi officials dreamed up a set of rules that dancehall bands were supposed to adhere to, as follows:

Pieces in foxtrot rhythm (so-called swing) are not to exceed 20% of the repertoires of light orchestras and dance bands;

In this so-called jazz type repertoire, preference is to be given to compositions in a major key and to lyrics expressing joy in life rather than Jewishly gloomy lyrics

As to tempo, preference is also to be given to brisk compositions over slow ones so-called blues); however, the pace must not exceed a certain degree of allegro, commensurate with the Aryan sense of discipline and moderation. On no account will Negroid excesses in tempo (so-called hot jazz) or in solo performances (so-called breaks) be tolerated

So-called jazz compositions may contain at most 10% syncopation; the remainder must consist of a natural legato movement devoid of the hysterical rhythmic reverses characteristic of the barbarian races and conductive to dark instincts alien to the German people (so-called riffs)

Strictly prohibited is the use of instruments alien to the German spirit (so-called cowbells, flexatone, brushes, etc.) as well as all mutes which turn the noble sound of wind and brass instruments into a Jewish-Freemasonic yowl (so-called wa-wa, hat, etc.)

Also prohibited are so-called drum breaks longer than half a bar in four-quarter beat (except in stylized military marches)

The double bass must be played solely with the bow in so-called jazz compositions

Plucking of the strings is prohibited, since it is damaging to the instrument and detrimental to Aryan musicality; if a so-called pizzicato effect is absolutely desirable for the character of the composition, strict care must be taken lest the string be allowed to patter on the sordine, which is henceforth forbidden

Musicians are likewise forbidden to make vocal improvisations (so-called scat)

All light orchestras and dance bands are advised to restrict the use of saxophones of all keys and to substitute for them the violin-cello, the viola or possibly a suitable folk instrument.

 

Whole article is here:  https://flashbak.com/josef-skvorecky-recites-the-nazis-10-rules-to-combat-jazz-368094/

 

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I approve of banning drum solos though...

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The role of art and culture in Nazi ideology was immense. They were brutal in their attacks on what they called "degenerate art", which would typically mean anything modernistic or avant-garde, but could extend to virtually anything that wasn't Wagner or similarly heroic or nationalistic. Ironically though, the Italian futurists were essentially all fascists. It's hard to imagine they shared much as far as tastes in art are concerned, though of course they did share the same love of strength and violence, and the same contempt for the weak.  

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Fortunately, the Nazi's were too frightened to clamp down on heavy metal, invented as it was by the Vikings in around 900ad.

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Stephane Grappelli used to tell a story about how he and the Hot Club band used to play clubs in Paris during the occupation. The places would be full of Wehrmacht officers, so the lads would change the names of the numbers - Sweet Georgia Brown became Georgella Brunne and so on. 

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See.... Hitler wasn't all bad!😂

(Just for clarity, this was a lame gag at the expense of jazz, and in fact Hitler was pretty certainly all bad)

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Yes, the Nazis had a downer on Jazz because, from their ideological perspective, it was created by an inferior Race. Dumbass wuckfits. 

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2 hours ago, musicbassman said:

Strictly prohibited is the use of instruments alien to the German spirit (so-called cowbells.....

WHAT!!!!! No cowbell!!!! 😧

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2 hours ago, bassace said:

But Rommel liked jazz. He was always saying ‘Wes Montgomery.’

Superb, very well played.

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4 hours ago, bassace said:

Nothing about banning banjos.

Steady now, there are a few banjo players on here, well at least there's one...me.😉

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This is interesting:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_jazz#Years_of_National_Socialism,_the_1930s_and_the_missing_1940s

But as always, music became a focus for resistance too:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swingjugend

 

As for bassists, I already knew we were a bunch of degenerate pluckers.

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12 hours ago, Jean-Luc Pickguard said:

I wonder how many gigs a band would get if they decided to adhere to all of these rules and billed themselves as a Nazi dance band?

Give it a few months...

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Of course, they had many many appalling prejudices but their main objection would surely have been brain scramble caused by the requirement to follow music which is based around clapping on beats 2 and 4 rather than 1 and 3 (with the customary raising of one leg to be horizontal to the ground on beat 1. Down on beat 2 and repeat with the other leg, beats 3 and 4. 

This issue still occurs on main land Europe (without the leg movements) - I well recall a TV programme which showed a famous British rock band (may have been Queen in early days, but I can't remember) doing a breakdown in a song in which they tried to get the audience to clap on 2 and 4 - the lead singer and part of the band all clapped to get the audience in mind - when they stopped, the audience reverted to 1 and 3 after, hmmmm, about 2 bars. The band repeated the same process two or three times and eventually gave up in a quite comic and ironic way, continuing with the song with the whole audience clapping on 1 and 3 😂

As with everything else, the Nazis appear to have trumped up a series of 'rationalisations' to justify appalling inhuman behaviour, when in reality it was rooted in racial hatred and musical brain wiring rejecting off beat music (rather than marching music). 

 

Edited by drTStingray
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As an aside, the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz passed by 'relatively' unnoticed a few days ago.  Gutter press were more concerned over the machinations of an insignificant couple who quit their jobs.  According to whichever statistics you care to choose somewhere between 20 and 60 percent of millennials in the USA haven't heard of Auschwitz or what it represents.  How can this be?  Current and future generations need to be reminded of this - as despicable an act as has taken place in terms of Man's inhumanity to his brother Man.  

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2 hours ago, Paul S said:

As an aside, the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz passed by 'relatively' unnoticed a few days ago.  Gutter press were more concerned over the machinations of an insignificant couple who quit their jobs.  According to whichever statistics you care to choose somewhere between 20 and 60 percent of millennials in the USA haven't heard of Auschwitz or what it represents.  How can this be?  Current and future generations need to be reminded of this - as despicable an act as has taken place in terms of Man's inhumanity to his brother Man.  

Not wishing to cause an argument  but I thought there was quite a bit of very good publicity.

If you missed it, I highly recommend The Windemere Children (BBC2 ) and it's follow up ..The Windemere Children in their own words ( BBC4) . Both should be on I player. … reduced a pathetic old bass player to tears constantly!

I visited Auschwitz18 months ago...a very moving experience.

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