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Leonard Bernstein and the Language of Jazz

Shaping jazz into symphonies and present tunes—solely in America

Leonard Bernstein’s presents for drama and connecting with common audiences made him a central determine in twentieth-century American music. Although a Bernstein work may reference something from modernism to cartoon ditties, jazz permeated each a part of his musical id as a performer, educator, and mental.

Katherine Baber investigates how jazz in its many kinds served Bernstein as a versatile, certainly protean, musical concept. As she exhibits, Bernstein used jazz to indicate American id with all its tensions and contradictions and to articulate group and battle, irony and parody, and well timed problems with race and gender. Baber gives a considerate take a look at how Bernstein’s use of jazz grew out of his perception within the primacy of tonality, music’s worth as a singular type of human communication, and the formation of nationwide id in music. She additionally provides in-depth analyses of On the City, West Aspect Story, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and different works to discover fascinating hyperlinks between Bernstein’s artwork and points like eclecticism, music’s relationship to social engagement, black-Jewish relations, and his personal musical id.

“Significantly spectacular.” –Booklist

“Baber provides compelling proof of the composer’s integration of jazz and blues into his wide-ranging work.” –Library Journal

“Whereas jazz has been mentioned as a part in Bernstein’s musical model earlier than, Baber’s focus is extra on the potential meanings of Bernstein’s use of that jazz, each in what it might need meant for Bernstein and for the audiences listening to the music. A robust contribution to the sphere.”–Paul Laird, writer of Leonard Bernstein: A Information to Analysis

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Publication of this ebook was supported by a grant from the Henry and Edna Binkele Classical Music Fund, and from the AMS 75 PAYS Endowment of the American Musicological Society, funded partly by the Nationwide Endowment for the Humanities and the Andrew W. Mellon Basis.

Katherine Baber is an affiliate professor of music historical past on the College of Redlands.

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