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Jazz and the Jazz musician

Research project During the period 1935-1975 there was a significant change in Swedish musical life. Classical music ceases to be the sole form that has artistic goals.

Jazz music develops as a phenomena that mediates certain distinct aesthetic qualities such as rhythmic vitality, improvisation, and presence in contemporary society. From being subordinated to social dancing, jazz gradually acquires an autonomous artistic position, with the concert as its superior form, and it becomes incorporated within public cultural policy and university education. The project aims to examine how the jazz musician is established as an independent actor in Swedish musical life, thereby illuminating the processes leading to today’s differentiation of the art music field.

Head of project

Project overview

Project period:

2007-02-09 2009-12-31

Funding

Finansår , 2005

huvudman: Alf Arvidsson, finansiar: Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, y2005: 2100,

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Culture and Media Studies

Research subject

Ethnology

Project description

During the period 1935-1975 there was a significant change in Swedish musical life. Classical music ceases to be the sole form that has artistic goals. Jazz music develops as a phenomena that mediates certain distinct aesthetic qualities such as rhythmic vitality, improvisation, and presence in contemporary society. From being subordinated to social dancing, jazz gradually acquires an autonomous artistic position, with the concert as its superior form, and it becomes incorporated within public cultural policy and university education. The changing role of the musician is central to this process. The jazz musician is established as an independent role, besides the classically trained musician and the dance musician. In this new role involves not only technical skills but also artistic agency, which besides the ability to improvise also contains tasks traditionally divided between composer, producer and conductor. The project aims to examine how the jazz musician is established as an independent actor in Swedish musical life, thereby illuminating the processes leading to today’s differentiation of the art music field. Especially the dynamics between individual life strategies, public expectations and musical choices will be studied. What is “myth” and “reality” concerning Swedish jazz musicians, and how have the two influenced each other?