4 January 2009

Quote from TRIN on jazz borrowings

Dvorak had assumed that American music would come into its own when it succeeded in importing African-American material into European form, but in the end the opposite thing happened [emphasis mine]: African-American composers appropriated European material into self-invented forms of blues and jazz.

I've argued this before. Jazz without the inherited history of Western harmony is a raw, folk expression. It grew from its peasant simplicity only by mixing with the mature and structured part-writing practices developed from Medieval Europe onward. The African folk style gained attention not long after other nationalist folk styles in Scandinavia, England, and Eastern Europe (although I hope to never have to listen to The Moldau ever again). Similar to American jazz, folk styles in other countries developed into local pop music after absorbing the lessons of the Classical tradition.

[ posted by sstrader on 4 January 2009 at 11:36:36 AM in ]