Valuing jazz: cross-cultural comparisons of the classical influence in jazz

Williams, Katherine A. (2012) Valuing jazz: cross-cultural comparisons of the classical influence in jazz. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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‘Valuing Jazz: Cross-cultural Comparisons of the Classical Influence in Jazz’ re-examines the interaction of Western classical music and jazz, focussing particularly on developments in North America and Britain in the twentieth century. This dissertation acknowledges and builds on the existing connections that have been drawn between classical music and jazz—both those that underscore the musical differences between the two idioms in order to discredit the latter, and those that acknowledge similarities in order to claim cultural legitimacy for jazz. These existing studies almost universally use outdated evaluative criteria, and I seek to redress this by using contemporary classical-music practices and discourses as my point of reference. By adopting a range of methodologies to investigate both intra- and extra-musical trends, this dissertation offers a thorough and balanced exploration of the topic.

Each chosen avenue for exploration is explained with reference to parallel developments in North America, in order to provide a context within accepted jazz history and to highlight the different ways in which jazz developed in Britain. The phenomena under consideration include the emergence of a school of jazz criticism and scholarship that adopted systems of analysis and evaluation from established studies of classical music (Ch. 1); physical characteristics of jazz performance venues and the changing styles of audience reception within (Ch. 2); the adoption by jazz composers of ideologies and musical features from classical repertoire (Ch. 3); and the development of educational establishments and pedagogical systems that mirrored those already present in the classical-music world (Ch. 4). Although by no means exhaustive, these chapter topics provide a range of jazz narratives that provide a clear picture of the degree to which the development of jazz in America and Britain has been conditioned by the practices and characteristics of classical music.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Cooke, M.J.
Subjects: M Music and Literature on music > ML Literature of music
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Arts > School of Humanities
Item ID: 12622
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2012 09:40
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2017 10:04

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