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Ellington is now considered one of America’s great composers. As the authors of our textbook point out, Ellington’s way of composing is different from how we usually think of composing. His method was as much a social practice as an individual one. Does this make him any less of a composer? The issue here is the nature of creativity. Consider the issue that some 500 of Ellington’s 2,000 compositions have questionable attribution. Does this make these compositions less original or valuable? What does this say about our ideas of musical creativity? Is social composition as valid as individual composition? To what extent might this practice have occurred with other great jazz figures? Should an awareness of this phenomenon alter our perception of jazz or reinforce it?