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French Music and Jazz in Conversation
From Debussy to Brubeck

$32.99 (C)

Part of Music since 1900

  • Date Published: October 2016
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316633878

$ 32.99 (C)
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About the Authors
  • French concert music and jazz often enjoyed a special creative exchange across the period 1900–65. French modernist composers were particularly receptive to early African-American jazz during the interwar years, and American jazz musicians, especially those concerned with modal jazz in the 1950s and early 1960s, exhibited a distinct affinity with French musical impressionism. However, despite a general, if contested, interest in the cultural interplay of classical music and jazz, few writers have probed the specific French music-jazz relationship in depth. In this book, Deborah Mawer sets such musical interplay within its historical-cultural and critical-analytical contexts, offering a detailed yet accessible account of both French and American perspectives. Blending intertextuality with more precise borrowing techniques, Mawer presents case studies on the musical interactions of a wide range of composers and performers, including Debussy, Satie, Milhaud, Ravel, Jack Hylton, George Russell, Bill Evans and Dave Brubeck.

    • Explores interactions between French concert music and American jazz, from both perspectives, across the period 1900–65
    • Presents detailed discussion of the musics, within their appropriate historical and sociocultural settings
    • Provides accessible musical analyses and interpretations, which draw on a range of supporting theoretical and critical ideas
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "This is the book for which jazz scholarship has long been waiting: at last, the hugely significant interactions between jazz and modern concert music have been unravelled with the insight, technical understanding and contextual awareness they deserve. Professor Mawer delves deeply into this two-way process in a series of fascinating case studies which celebrate some of the most exciting and far-reaching musical cross-fertilizations of the twentieth century."
    Mervyn Cooke, Professor of Music, University of Nottingham

    "At once an important survey of French music and jazz history, Mawer’s book also brilliantly draws attention to the compelling cross-references and interactions between these worlds. The theoretical sophistication of the academy seamlessly merges with the dynamism of a jazz club, and the resulting mix has the intellectual and musical power of both."
    Michael Beckerman, Carroll and Milton Petrie Professor of Music, New York University

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2016
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316633878
    • length: 322 pages
    • dimensions: 245 x 170 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.56kg
    • contains: 3 b/w illus. 6 tables 54 music examples
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction. French music and jazz: cultural exchange
    Part I. Locations and Relations:
    1. A historical-cultural overview
    2. Critical-analytical perspectives: intertextuality and borrowing
    Part II. The Impact of Early Jazz upon French Music (1900–35):
    3. Debussy and Satie: early French explorations of cakewalk and ragtime
    4. Milhaud's understanding of jazz and blues: La Création du monde
    5. Crossing borders: Ravel's theory and practice of jazz
    Part III. The Impact of French Music upon Jazz (1925–65):
    6. Hylton's interwar 'jazzed' arrangements of French classics
    7. (Re)moving boundaries? Russell's Lydian jazz theory and its rethinking of Debussy and Ravel
    8. Bill Evans's modal jazz and French music reconfigured
    9. Milhaud and Brubeck: French classical teacher and American jazz student.

  • Author

    Deborah Mawer, Birmingham Conservatoire
    Deborah Mawer is Research Professor of Music at Birmingham Conservatoire, Birmingham City University. Her books include The Ballets of Maurice Ravel: Creation and Interpretation (2006), Darius Milhaud: Modality and Structure in Music of the 1920s (1997), Ravel Studies (Cambridge, 2010) and The Cambridge Companion to Ravel (Cambridge, 2000). Her articles and reviews, also encompassing jazz and dance, have appeared in a variety of books and journals, including the Journal of the Royal Musical Association, Twentieth-Century Music, Music and Letters, Opera Quarterly, Music Theory Online and Music Analysis. In 2008 she was awarded a prestigious National Teaching Fellowship.

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