“I Want You to Be/Just like You Used to Be, Darling”: Choreographing the Newport Waltz

  • Patricia Peknik


Anxiety over the relationship between authenticity—the real, immediate, organic object or image—and imitation—the manufactured, packaged, approximated commodity—has been a “recurring metaphysical preoccupation” in American civilization, according to Americanist Miles Orvell, inspiring an obsession with the folk, the organic, the original, and the natural, and driving a “consuming effort to restore contact with real things.” This tension was driven by the mass-manufacture of consumer goods, each one of which was an exact duplicate of every other, and by the dominance and pervasiveness of the machine, which replicated, reproduced, and standardized. Orvell’s argument can be elaborated into the domain of sound and expression to locate a cultural anxiety about the authenticity and idiosyncrasy of musicians and performances, an anxiety that Rinzler, like Lomax, learned to live with.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patricia Peknik
    • 1
  1. 1.Berklee College of MusicBostonUSA

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