New Orleans Jazz, Mahalia Jackson and the Philosophy of Art, PB (vol2)

ISBN 978 1909281 81 3
434 pages.
Published 2021


Paperback, PDF

It was in a Nazi prison camp during World War II that 22-year-old Hans Rookmaaker read the Bible and became a Christian. It was there too he received his first instruction in the Neo-Calvinist philosophy of Dooyeweerd by an older fellow prisoner, J.P.A. Mekkes. And it was there the young Rookmaaker started writing his Sketch for an Aesthetic Theory based on the Philosophy of the Cosmonomic Idea.
The philosophical writings brought together in the second volume of the Complete Works show the Dooyeweerdian roots of Rookmaaker’s art-historical work, an essential insight for a proper understanding of his philosophical framework.
After the war, Rookmaaker returned to academic life and opted to research art history as his ‘mission field’, but only after seriously considering the field of musicology first. Rookmaaker loved music, especially jazz, blues, spirituals and black gospel music; his lifelong interest and lively enthusiasm are expressed in the book and articles included here.
Marleen Hengelaar-Rookmaaker is editor-in-chief of ArtWay,, an online service and resource in Dutch and English about the visual arts and faith for individuals and congregations. She did her studies in musicology at the University of Amsterdam, complemented with minors in art history and liturgical studies at the Free University in Amsterdam. For many years she has worked as a freelance editor, translator and writer. She edited the Complete Works of her father, art historian Hans Rookmaaker, contributed to books, and wrote articles about popular music, liturgy, and the visual arts. She was editor of a Dutch book of visual meditations for Lent (2012) and co-authored a Dutch handbook for art in the church (2015). In 2019 she co-curated the Art Stations of the cross in Amsterdam. She lives in Langbroek in the Netherlands.

“The republication of H.R. Rookmaaker’s Works is a welcome event indeed … (written) from a rich, Christian perspective. We should be particularly grateful for the reappearance of his pioneering works on African-American music. Like good wine, these extraordinary texts have only improved with age.”

William Edgar, Professor of Apologetics at Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia

Table of Contents

Contents of Volume 2

List of Photographs xi

Acknowledgments xii

Part I: Philosophy and Aesthetics

The Basic principles of the Philosophy of the Cosmonomic Idea 3

1 Basic principles (3); 2 The Philosophy of the Cosmonomic

Idea (5); 3 How is reality constructed? (6); 4 What is the use

of philosophy? (8)

What the Philosophy of the Cosmonomic Idea has Meant to Me 10

The Philosophy of Unbelievers 13

1 Philosophy and the human heart (13); 2 Philosophy and the

world order (16)

Book Review: Dr J. Stellingwerff, Origin and Future of Creative Man 21

Sketch for an Aesthetic Theory based on the Philosophy of the

Cosmonomic Idea 24

General introduction (24);1 Aesthetic theory (25); 2A The science

of art, general (56); 2B The science of art, applied to music (63);

Epilogue (77)

Style and World View 80

1 What is style? (80); 2 Who influences style? (81); 3 The influences

of style on art (82); 4 Style and world view in the twentieth

century (84); 5 Style and Christian art (87)

The Aesthetic Sphere and Disclosure 89

Science, Aesthetics and Art 93

Science (93); Aesthetics (99); Art (107)

The Iconic Function 114

Norms for Art and Art Education? 116

The problem of our time (116); Norms for art (118); Beyond words

and proof (120); We all use norms (121); Historicism (122);

Subjectivism (124); Aestheticism (125); The fear of the future

generations (126); Art is difficult (127); The structure of a work

of art (127); Art and world view (129); Reality is not static (130);

Judging art (131); Conclusions (134)

Art, Aesthetics, and Beauty 138

Art (138); Aesthetics (140); Beauty (142)

Art, Philosophy and our View of Reality 144

We see what we know (145); Against subjectivism (146); Three

examples (144)

Book Review: Calvin G. Seerveld, A Turnabout in Aesthetics to

Understanding 151

Part II: Jazz, Blues and Spirituals

Preface by Hans Rookmaaker to the First Edition 157

Acknowledgments to the First Edition 158

1 Origins 159

African music (159); White folk music (160); African music

in South America (161); African-American work songs in the

USA (162); Children’s songs/nursery rhymes (164); The first of

the African-American Christian songs in North America (167);

The origin of the true Negro spiritual (169)

2 Nineteenth Century: Development 172

The development of the spirituals in the nineteenth century (172);

The origin of the westernized spiritual (175); The background

to the true spiritual (178); Secular folk songs during the age of

slavery (179); Minstrel shows (181); Secular hollers (181); The

origin of the blues (184); The background to the blues (188); The

blues as sung by Ma Rainey et al. (190); The first brass band

music (193); String bands (194); Ragtime (195)

3 Twentieth Century: pre-World War I 197

New Orleans around 1900 (197); Black music in New Orleans

(199); Brass bands in New Orleans (201); Jelly Roll Morton in

New Orleans (201); The development of early jazz (204); Early

white jazz (207); Handy’s blues (208)

4 The 1920s 211

Post-1918 New Orleans music in Chicago: King Oliver (211); Post-

1918 New Orleans music in Chicago: other bands, Morton (217);

White jazz in Chicago (218); The development of jazz on the white

scene (220); Black folk songs in the1920s (223); Church music in

the 1920s (225); Origin of the commercial spirituals (229); The

blues of Bessie Smith (230); Folk blues in the 1920s (231); Piano

folk music (233); Jug bands (234); Jelly Roll Morton’s jazz in 1926

(235); White Chicago jazz (237); Armstrong’s Hot Five and Hot

Seven (240); The development of new African-American jazz after

about 1927 (243); The later jazz of Oliver and Williams (244);

Morton’s later developments (246); The development of jazz in New

Orleans in the 1920s (248); The entrance and development of

Ellington (249)

5 The 1930s 254

Jazz in Kansas City around 1930 (254); Blind Willie Johnson

(254); The commercialization and development of jazz (256);

Beginning to look to the past (258); The emergence of the study of

folk music: Leadbelly (259); Gershwin’s opera (262); Jelly

Roll Morton’s recordings for the Library of Congress (264); The

collection of jazz records and the study of the history of jazz (265);

Spirituals in the 1930s: Rosetta Tharpe (266); Blues after 1935

(268); The birth of swing (269); The swing of Basie and co. (271)

6 The 1940s 273

The birth of modern jazz (273); The rediscovery of New Orleans

jazz (279); White revival and Dixieland jazz (283); Commercial

spirituals since approximately 1940 (286); New church choral

song (287); Black folk music after about 1940 (290); Blues and

spirituals among the working class after about 1940 (291)

7 The 1950s and Beyond 293

Jazz in the 1950s (293); The development of modern jazz (295);

Swing ad absurdum (299); The problem of jazz in our world

(300); Tragedy threatens in the development of gospel songs (304);

Spiritual solos: Mahalia Jackson (306)

Selected Bibliography to the First Edition 310

Updated Discography and Resources 312

Part III: Music Articles

African and African-American music 317

African music as it really is: disenchantment and confirmation of

a romantic dream (317); From Eliza to Odetta (318); American

folk music at its best (322)

Blues 325

Poetic fiction in the blues (325); Blind Lemon Jefferson (326); Ida

Cox (328); Folk songs of black Americans (330); African-

American music as a source of beauty and historical

information (331); Hollerin’ and cryin’ the blues (333); Nothin’

but the blues (336)

Spirituals and Gospel 338

Let’s sing the old Dr Watts: a chapter in the history of Negro

spirituals (338); The Negro spiritual in church (345); Spirituals

in concert form (347); Voices of victory (349); Two church services

in Harlem (351); The African-American church service in the USA

(352); Visiting Mahalia Jackson (353); USA 1961 (356)

Jazz 359

Listening to jazz (359); ‘Jazz’, jazz and classical (362); Original

Dixieland jazz band (367); Jelly Roll Morton (369); Ory’s Creole

trombone (370); Jazz on the riverboats (372); A New Orleans suite

(373); Johnny Dodds: a great and modest musician (375)

Rock 377

The background to modern music: an interview (377)

Classical Music 382

Old music (382); Bach and Mozart (383)

Notes to Volume 2 385