Sunday, 23 May 2010

Essay: Keeping woman in her proper place - An ideological analysis of two films: Double Indemnity and Basic Instinct

Hollywood and the institution of film in general is one of the most pervasive cultural mediums for the dissemination of meaning throughout society. Despite the presence of women directors and other film professionals, however, the industry remains dominated by males, and as the producers of representation in general, and of women in particular, men control how women are positioned in the social order. Simone de Beauvoir (1989:143) makes this point in The Second Sex, arguing that ‘[r]epresentation of the world, like the world itself, is the work of men; they describe it from their point of view, which they confuse with absolute truth.’ The aim of this essay will be to demonstrate the recuperative nature of Hollywood cinema, which seeks to keep woman in her place. This will be achieved by looking at the figure of the femme fatale and how it functions as a disruptive power, which reveals the hegemony of patriarchal society concealed in the text.

The films Double Indemnity (Wilder, 1944) and Basic Instinct (Verhoeven, 1992) will be analysed with particular focus on the respective central female characters: Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck) and Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone) – two of the most infamous femme fatales in film history; and patterns of recuperation evident in the text. Ultimately, in examining the social conditions in which each film was produced, it will be shown that the femme fatale operates as a cultural barometer of the contemporaneous concerns of male anxiety and paranoia over the independence of women.

A femme fatale is an attractive and seductive woman, especially one who ultimately brings disaster to a man who becomes involved with her; and in French, the term translates literally to ‘disastrous woman’ (OED). Her history and evolution in cinema can be traced all the way from the ‘vamp’ in the original Italian and French silent films, to the ‘spider woman and seductress’ of the 1940s and 1950s noir era, to the more contemporary figuration of a dangerously independent career woman (Boozer 1999:20; Cook and Bernink 1999:187; Tasker 1998:121). Janey Place (cited in Hayward 2006:151), suggests that ‘[t]hese women are symbols of “unnatural” phallic power: toting guns and cigarette holders like the best of the men.’ Tasker (1998:117) notes further that the femme fatale is both ‘an archetype which suggests an equation between female sexuality, death and danger’ and a ‘textual space within which women function as the…centre of the narrative’.

In Women’s Pictures: Feminism and Cinema, the feminist film theorist Annette Kuhn (1994:32) suggests that an analysis of ‘woman’ as an organising structure in films and the way in which a ‘woman-structure’ activates narratives, can be used to reveal wider concerns of the ‘position of women in the society which produces the narrative.’ In this regard, any recurrent structures of enigma resolution in the classic Hollywood narrative model of order/disorder/order-restored can reveal the dominant ideology residing in the text and reflect power structures at large in society (Haywood 2006:109; Humm 1997:12). For example, Harlovich (cited in Kuhn 1994:34) notes that narrative closure is always dependent on the resolution of enigmas centring on heterosexual courtship. Kuhn (1994:34) adds further that this resolution often takes the form of recuperation, whereby a transgressive female may be ‘restored to the family by falling in love…by getting married, or otherwise accepting a “normative” female role’; and any who refuse to return to the social order are punished by ‘exclusion, outlawing, or even death.’ Therefore, structurally and thematically, it can be said that the classic Hollywood narrative attempts to recuperate woman to a ‘proper place’ (Kuhn 1994:34).

However, in the process of being recuperated the femme fatale must be investigated and exposed by the law of patriarchy and found guilty before she can be restored to her ‘proper place’ or punished by death (Hayward 2006:151). This notion of guilt and punishment becomes clearer when the femme fatale is examined from a psychoanalytic perspective. Laura Mulvey (2009:22) in her influential essay Visual Pleasure in Narrative Cinema argues that ‘the female figure [in cinema] poses a [deep] problem.’ In the psychic paradigm of the Oedipus complex, woman connotes lack; that is, lack of a penis, which implies a threat of castration to the male (Mulvey 2009:22). The male unconscious, and by extension Hollywood cinema, solves this threat in one of two ways: via the narrative structure of recuperation as noted above, or through fetishism (Mulvey 2009:22; Smelik 1998:11).

In the case of fetishism, the threat of castration is negated by the substitution of a fetish object; that is, ‘turning the represented figure itself into a fetish so that it becomes reassuring rather than dangerous’, thereby denying sexual difference (Mulvey 2009:22). This is achieved in Hollywood cinema ‘[b]y a fragmentation of her body and an over-investment in parts of the body (breasts, legs, etc)’ (Hayward 2006:288). The scene in Double Indemnity where Walter Neff (Fred McMurray) first meets Phyllis is a clear example of fetishistic fascination. As she begins to come down the stairs, we see a close-up of her legs and golden anklet, before we see her entire body; she is a piecemeal and fragmented woman made of moments and parts (Johnston 1998:92; Bronfen 2004:108; Dick 1980:48).

According to Johnston (1998:90), the title sequence of the film sets it under the ‘mark of castration’. The silhouette of a male figure in a hat and overcoat looms towards the camera on crutches. In the next sequence we see Neff, injured and bleeding, enter the offices of his insurance company and begin his ‘confession’ to Keyes (Edward G. Robinson). Johnston (1998:90-91) suggests that Neff’s confession to Keyes establishes him in the patriarchal order as representative of the Law – the symbolic father; and ‘[i]n the all-male universe of the insurance business, women are seen as untrustworthy’. For example, Keyes comments that women “should be investigated”, before any relationship is undertaken. Women, then, represent the possibility of social excess – “they drink from the bottle” – which the insurance business (patriarchy) seeks to contain (Johnston 1998:91).

Throughout the narrative both Neff and Keyes investigate Phyllis to reveal her ‘guilty secret’. Firstly, in the scene where Neff returns to the house the day after their first meeting, Phyllis complains about the boredom of her married life and asks about taking out accident insurance on her husband’s life. Neff interrogates her asking why she married her husband, and after she daringly asks how the policy could be taken out without her husband’s knowledge, tells her she “can’t get away with it”. Her guilt is confirmed in the love scene at Neff’s apartment when she reveals she wants her husband dead (Johnston 1998:93-94). For Keyes, however, because Phyllis is a woman, she is automatically guilty, and it’s his job as both claims manager and representative of patriarchal Law to relentlessly investigate the insurance claim and expose her guilt (Dick 1980:49). Finally, in the death scene, her duplicity is made emphatically clear for the audience when she says she “is rotten to the heart” and confesses that she never loved Neff (Johnston 1998:97).

In Basic Instinct, the investigation of the woman is situated within a legal discourse; in fact, all the women in the film come under scrutiny by the law (Sherwin 2008:175). Catherine Tramell is clearly coded as a femme fatale through her aggressive sexuality and criminality, not to mention her cigarette smoking. She is the suspect in a sex crime: the brutal murder of her former lover who was stabbed to death with an icepick during sex. Nick Curran (Michael Douglas) is the detective assigned to investigate her, and despite his initial belief that she is guilty, starts an affair with her (Sherwin 2008:176). During the investigation Tramell is called in for questioning, and in the infamous “crotch shot” scene asserts her power by fleetingly exposing her vagina to the male interrogators; and she further embarrasses them by ‘openly discussing her sexuality in terms that they would only have expected from men’ (Deleyto 1997:35). Her threat as a castrating woman is therefore reinforced visually by her revealing her ‘lack’, or as Gus (George Dzundza) crudely puts it, her “magna-cum-laude pussy”.

Remarkably, all the killings that take place in the film are motivated by rage specifically directed at men. For example, in investigating Roxy (Leilani Sarelle) and Hazel (Dorothy Malone), it is revealed that they both killed their families. The manner in which Roxy did it with “Daddy’s razor”, situates her symbolically as a castrating figure; and in Hazel’s case, using the knife she received as a “wedding present” connects her rage to marriage. Even Tramell has killed her parents, although Curran is unable to prove it (Sherwin 2008:177). Elizabeth Garner (Jeanne Tripplehorn) also comes under investigation as Curran tries to unravel the enigma surrounding the truth over her obsession with Tramell after they had a one-night-stand in college.

A pattern of guilt/innocence oscillates in the narrative between Tramell and Garner, and Curran eventually comes to believe Tramell’s version of the events – that Garner staged the initial murder to frame her. Whilst Garner’s guilt is never confirmed, she is killed by Curran after Gus is killed in her vicinity (Sherwin 2008:176). The film’s denouement deviates from the traditional recuperation/punishment structure in the traditional femme fatale film (Sherwin 2008:177). The ending neither establishes Tramell’s innocence (after all the evidence piled up against her), nor punishes her for her guilt. This ambiguity is demonstrated in the final scene, which refuses narrative closure. The film teases the spectator that Tramell may be reaching for something to kill Curran with during sex, but she turns towards him, kisses him passionately and they launch into a final round of love-making. The camera then tracks down the side of the bed towards where she was reaching and fades out signalling the end of the film. However, an unexpected fade-in reveals the camera still tracking to rest finally on an icepick under the bed. In a remarkable twist, the audience is left wondering if Garner was really the killer, and that Tramell may actually be a psychopathic killer (Deleyto 1997:25). The significance of this will be discussed shortly.

The narrative attempt of recuperating the guilty female object may not always be successful, and in the particular case of the femme fatale, it actually reveals the hegemonic work of recuperation obfuscated in the text (Hayward 2006:151). This can be seen in terms of the ideological contradiction she poses by being a strong, active and sexually expressive female vis-a-vis her domestic and passive sisters (Hayward 2006:151). Therefore, she must be recuperated or punished if the dominant ideology is to be maintained. This becomes clearer when we examine the patriarchal motivations for containment by looking at the socio-historical conditions in which the two films were produced.

In the case of Double Indemnity, the role of the femme fatale ‘emerged in the wake of World War II when gender roles were disrupted as soldiers returned from war to discover that their women had replaced them in the workplace’ (Rowe and Lindsey 2003:176). The returning veterans assumed they could ‘retake command of the family home front’, but to do so a defensive and repressive attitude against independent women had to be taken (Boozer 1999:21). Additionally, Mary Ann Doanne (cited in Bronfen 2004:115) suggests further that the femme fatale was a symptom of patriarchal anxiety about feminism. The femme fatale, then, was evoked against ambitious women, and in her role as catalyst for criminal behaviour in men, blame was directed at women’s sexuality, furthering ‘calls for her sexual repression and restriction to the household’ (Boozer 1999:21).

This can clearly be seen in Double Indemnity, whereby the unhappily married Phyllis, seduces and becomes sexually involved with Neff, and convinces him to set up a phoney insurance claim and kill her husband, so that they (or perhaps just she) can collect the payout and be together. Not only is Phyllis a deadly seductress who ‘threatens the moral and legal codes of marriage’, but she jeopardises ‘the economic codes of society at large’; and it is in ‘her longing for financial independence by way of sexual initiative that makes her so threatening to traditional phallocentric authority’ (Boozer 1999:21).
In the 1990s, the femme fatale’s desire for economic independence generally took the form of ‘careerist excess’. In this regard these seductresses were now portrayed as ‘sociopathic in their single-minded determination to dominate their chosen field’ (Boozer 1999:29). This behaviour is consistent with the ‘ethically corrupted marketplace competition and sexual exhibitionism’ which marks this period of post-modern and post-feminist sexual consumerism (Boozer 1999:29; Andrews 2006:60). However, compared to her traditional counterpart, the contemporary femme fatale’s ‘sexually tainted avarice is more deviant and perverse as a focus for blame’ (Boozer 1999:29).

The male anxiety that is clearly of concern in Basic Instinct, can also be situated in a socio-historical context; that is, the product of the successive rearrangements in gender relationships brought about by several waves of feminism and gay liberation movements, especially since the sixties (Deleyto 1997:32). Furthermore, as a bisexual (or perhaps a lesbian who faked her heterosexual desire), Tramell represents the ultimate threat of the independent woman to patriarchy. She manifests the real male fear that he might be expendable (Hoberman in Deleyto 1997:25). As Luce Irigaray notes, ‘male sexuality has traditionally been defined monolithically, in relation to the penis, but female sexuality…is plural’ (cited in Sherwin 2008:177; original emphasis). Therefore, the female as ‘polysexual’ suggests that men and heterosexual intercourse are not necessary to fulfil female desire; man is dependent on an other for sexual satisfaction, while woman is autoerotic and therefore needs no one (Irigaray in Sherwin 2008:177). Returning to the ambiguous ending of Basic Instinct, the significance of the final scene becomes clearer. By not punishing her with death, incarceration or recuperation into a patriarchal zone of containment, the film ultimately suggests that the threat of the ‘autoerotic woman’ is ever present.

In conclusion, it has been shown how the recuperative nature of Hollywood cinema seeks to keep woman in her place in the interests of maintaining the hegemony of patriarchy. This was achieved by demonstrating how a woman-structure informs Hollywood cinema through the pattern of investigation of the guilty object, with the ultimately aim of recuperation or punishment. As a contradictory figure, the femme fatale was demonstrated as a disruptive power which reveals the dominant ideology in the text. Examples were provided from Double Indemnity and Basic Instinct, and when considered in their socio-historical contexts, the femme fatale can be seen a cultural indicator of contemporaneous concerns of male anxiety and the paranoia over the independence of women.


Andrews, D. (2006) “Sex is Dangerous, So Satisfy Your Wife: The Softcore Thriller in Its Contexts”. Cinema Journal, 45 (3): 59-89.

Boozer, J. (1999) “The Lethal Femme Fatale in the Noir Tradition”. Journal of Film and Video, 51, 3 (4): 20-35.

Bronfen, E. (2004) “Femme Fatale: Negotiations of Tragic Desire”. New Literary History, 35: 103-116.

Cook, P. and Bernink, M. (1999) The Cinema Book (2nd edition). London: BFI Publishing.

de Beauvoir, S. (1989) The Second Sex. New York: Vintage Books.

Deleyto, C. (1997) “The Margins of Pleasure: Female Monstrosity and Male Paranoia in Basic Instinct”. Film Criticism, 21: 20-42.

Dick, B. F. (1980) Billy Wilder. Boston: Twayne Publishers.

Hayward, S. (2006) Cinema Studies: The Key Concepts (3rd edition). London and New York: Routledge.

Humm, M. (1997) Feminism and Film. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.
Johnston, C. (1998) “Double Indemnity” in Kaplan, E. A. (ed) Women in Film Noir. London: BFI Publishing: 89-98.

Kuhn, A. (1994) Women’s Pictures: Feminism and Cinema (2nd edition). London and New York: Verso.

Mulvey, L. (2009) Visual and Other Pleasures (2nd edition). Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.

Oxford English Dictionary Online (OED). (accessed 16 April 2010)

Rowe, A. C. and Lindsey, S. (2003) “Reckoning Loyalties: White Femininity as Crisis”. Feminist Media Studies, 3 (2): 173-191.

Sherwin, M. (2008) “Deconstructing the Male: Masochism, Female Spectatorship, and the Femme Fatale in Fatal Attraction, Body of Evidence and Basic Instinct”. Journal of Film and Television, 35 (4): 174-182.

Smelik, A. (1998) And the Mirror Cracked: Feminist Cinema and Film Theory. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.

Tasker, Y. (1998) Working Girls: Gender and Sexuality in Popular Cinema. London and New York: Routledge.


Basic Instinct, dir. Paul Verhoeven, 1992.
Double Indemnity, dir. Billy Wilder, 1944.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Essay: The Influence of Miles Davis on the History of Jazz

The history of jazz encompasses a multifaceted mosaic of places, performers and progressions of style. While it is not possible to isolate a singular point of reference for its beginning, there are a number of individuals who stand out and loom large as leading figures. One such luminary is Miles Davis, trumpet player, band leader, musical innovator, and in the words of fellow musician Chico Hamilton, “jazz’s only superstar” (Kart 2004:201). This essay will discuss the influence Miles Davis had on the development of jazz by looking at his involvement at critical junctures in its evolution. In particular, it will focus on the stylistic innovations he brought to jazz, as well as looking at the importance he played in the development of bop, cool, modal and fusion jazz. Furthermore, he will be discussed in relation to how his contribution has been received by music critics and historians.

Davis emerged on the scene of New York in 1944 at the same time a revolution in jazz was underway (Merod 2001:72). Bop (the shorter version of ‘bebop’ or ‘rebop’) was a revolt against the big bands, commercialism, racial injustice, and the restrictive harmonic framework of the jazz that was in style at the time (Kingman 1990:385). In this period he played a significant role in the revolution, not as a pioneer or founding father, but rather as a participant, and worked with such notable figures as Thelonious Monk, Dizzie Gillespie and Charlie Parker, and it was here that he ‘learned bop’s arcane language by imitation, informal tutelage, and constant jamming alongside players whose mastery was superior to his own’ (Merod 2001:72-74).

It was during this time of working with the Parker quintet that Davis perfected his approach to difficult melodic lines and rhythms which were played at breakneck speed (Merod 2001:72). However, at first Davis could not play high, loud or fast, and as he was young and still developing the strength of his lip muscles, he felt more comfortable playing with a light sound (Tanner et al 2001:219). This gave his playing an extraordinary emotional power infusing the sound with stark dramatic explorations of personal inwardness. And it was from this brooding and lyrical intensity that Davis’s trumpet persona emerged; and with it his own language – a heartbreaking plangent poetry of the soul, from which you could hear yourself think (Merod 2001:73; McConnell 1991:617).

In 1948, Davis collaborated with composer and arranger Gil Evans and the Claude Thornhill band who were working with ‘layered harmonic voicings’, and had introduced the french horn and tuba, and played them as ‘melodic rather than…rhythm instrument[s]’ (Merod 2001:86; Sales 1992:163). Dissatisfied at the increasingly virtuoso instrumentalism of bop at the time, the band was a confederation of sympathetic musicians who had been meeting in Evans’s apartment to rehearse and exchange new ideas (Sales 1992:163). Davis took an active leadership and secured a gig for the nine-piece, but most importantly, he secured a contract with Capitol Records.

The twelve sides they recorded between 1949-1950 were collected together for the eventual 1954 album Birth of the Cool, which launched the ‘cool’ sound and pointed the way for the sound of the 1950s (Tanner et al 2001:220). It is interesting to note one cut in particular from the album “Boplicity”, which can be seen as marking the transition from bop to cool. Kingman (1990:388) suggests that while the tempo has been slowed down, it still exhibits particular bop characteristics: the light style of drumming; the importance of the bass in keeping the beat; and that quintessential trademark of bop – the unison playing at the beginning of the piece.

Ironically, having fathered the ‘birth of cool’, Davis was among the first to turn away from it with the recording in 1954 of Walkin’, a twelve-bar blues whose straight-ahead funkiness loomed in contrast to the cerebral restraint of cool (Sales 1992:171). Known as ‘hard bop’, it came at a time when cool was being disdained as ‘white man’s music’, and was embraced as a welcome return to ‘soul’ and represented a return to the roots of jazz, especially its roots in black gospel music (Kingman 1990:389).

It was during this time that Davis emerged as the dominant influence in jazz on a number of levels:
as a trumpet stylist, as a best-selling recording star who broadened the audience for authentic jazz, as a leader with an uncanny gift for launching important new trends, and for introducing innovative musicians who were to help shape the future course of jazz (Sales 1992:176).
Importantly, Davis had also begun to develop the playing style that characterises much of his later work, borrowing the softer tone from his cool era, and slowing down the melodic activity. His phrasing also became fragmented leaving space for the rhythm section, from which he set himself apart by playing scale-oriented, rather than chord-oriented long notes. By 1958, he had freed himself further with the use of modal scales and slower moving harmonies. For example, ‘rather than weave a melody through complex bop or funk harmonies, he suspended his melodies based on early modes, above the harmony’ (Tanner et al 2001:223).

This can be seen in the Milestones recording with standard chord changes being abandoned, instead adopting a series of scales as the framework for improvising. This technique is called ‘modal’ and it had a ‘profound impact on the future of jazz’ (Sales 1992:178). It should also be noted that Davis did not invent modal jazz but popularised it (Sales 1992:180). The work that best exemplifies the sound is Kind of Blue, which was recorded in 1959 and went on to become the highest selling jazz album of all time with over four million copies sold, and is considered his magnus opus (Tanner et al 2001:224). The album is so significant that in 2009, the US House of Representatives voted 409-0, to pass a resolution honouring the album and declaring jazz to be a national treasure (ABC 2009).

Between 1969 and 1975, Davis went through the most productive phase of his career. While this ‘fusion’ period is marked by further experimentation and innovation, the direction he took is the most controversial (Svorinich 2001:91). In the face of the ascendancy of rock and roll, Davis began introducing electronics and a rock aesthetic. He added electric keyboards and a wah-wah effect pedal for his trumpet, and took on musicians with rock experience into his band (Svorinich 2001:100).

Always perceptive to what was in the air, Davis was aware that the use of a rock beat would hold the attention of his audience, regardless of how abstract some of the solos were. He was also evolving his studio technique, and started to adopt the rock method of recording large amounts of material and then editing it on tape and creating albums (Shipton 2001:858). This can be seen on the recordings In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew both recorded in 1969 (Milkowski 2003:29). However, critics were divided with some condemning that his foray into fusion was just a cynical attempt to grab a piece of the rock action. Regardless of whether they were right or not, the fact that the fusion movement remains very much alive today is testimony to the influence he exerted on the next generation (Sales 1991:202).

Through each of his stylistic incarnations, Davis was supported by a cohort of capable musicians, who went on to develop their own styles and forge their own places in the history of jazz. Among these were John Coltrane, Bill Evans, Ron Carter, Wayne Shorter, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Joe Zawinul, Keith Jarrett, and Tony Williams. Aside from his legendary trumpet playing, his legacy derives, in part, from his ability to assemble the right musicians at the right time, and from his leadership ability to provoke and extract the best results to augment his own. He insisted that his musicians ‘play beyond themselves, that they reach for more than they know how to execute’ (Merod 2001:80).

There is no doubt that music critics and historians revere Davis as one of the most influential figures in the history of jazz, and indeed, American music (McConnell 2001:616). Whether it is his ability to sense new directions, assimilate their attributes, and popularise the new style, he was certainly a maverick amongst musicians (Tanner et al 2001:225). His genius was centred on an ability to construct and manipulate improvisational probabilities, selecting and combining compositions, players, musical styles and other performance parameters (Smith 1995:41).

However, Walser (1993:343) points out that jazz critics and historians have never known how to explain the power and appeal of his playing, and notes that there has been a critical blindness to his actual trumpet playing. In this regard he specifically argues that Davis was ‘infamous for missing more notes than any other major trumpet player.’ But perhaps it was this raggedness and raw primal nature of his playing that characterised his personal style, which was conducive to his very intimate expression. This ‘flawed technique’ supported ‘a glimpse he often gave us of the raw emotional world emanating from his music’ (Tanner et al 2001:225).

The above discussion has provided an outline of the influence Miles Davis had on the development of jazz. In particular, his involvement was charted through the stylistic innovations he brought to jazz and the importance he played in the development of bop, cool, modal and fusion jazz. Ultimately, music critics and jazz historians have been unanimous in their agreement that Miles Davis has been one of the most influential figures in the history of jazz, pointing to his musical ability, his sense for change, and gift for bringing together talented musicians who would go on to become trendsetters in their own right. Finally, the legacy of Davis lives on through the way he still speaks to us through his music – through the intimacy of his horn he communicates to us directly, personally and immediately with whispered messages from another universe.

Australian Broadcast Corporation (2009) “US House of Reps Honours Miles Davis Album” (accessed 29 April 2010).

Kart, L. (2004) Jazz in Search of Itself. New Haven and London: Yale University Press.

Kingman, D. (1990) American Music: A Panorama (2nd edition). New York: Schirmer Books.

McConnell, F. (1991) “The Prince of Darkness: Miles Davis R.I.P.” Commonweal, 118 (18): 616-617.

Merod, J. (2001) “The Question of Miles Davis”. Boundary 2, 28 (2): 57-103.

Milkowski, B. (2003) “Fusion: The Vaunted F-word: From Where Did It Come? And More Importantly, Where Is It Going?”. Jazziz, 20 (3):28-31.

Sales, G. (1992) Jazz: America’s Classical Music. New York: Da Capo Press.

Shipton, A. (2001) A New History of Hazz. London and New York: Continuum.

Smith, C. (1995) “A Sense of the Possible: Miles Davis and the Semiotics of Improvised Performance”. The Drama Review, 39 (3): 41-55.

Svorinich, V. (2001) “Electric Miles: A Look at the “In a Silent Way” and “On the Corner Sessions”. Annual Review of Jazz Studies, 11 (2000-2001): 91-107.

Tanner, P. O., Megill, D. W. and Gerow, M. (2001) Jazz (9th edition). New York, London, Sydney: McGraw-Hill Higher Education.

Walser, R. (1993) “Out of Notes: Signification, Interpretation, and the Problem of Miles Davis”. The Musical Quarterly, 77 (2): 343-365.