Is jazz serious art music? Is jazz in fact America’s classical music? I contend that much jazz is both. This paper is an exploration of these questions, not a history of jazz, although I will have to recount some historical facts. Rather, it is an examination of this music from two perspectives, seeking a convincing argument for my assertions.
A conversation between two friends who are not musicians and whose personal histories could hardly be more different. Through a series of conversations we explored those journeys, compared and contrasted our stories, and discussed just why this music affects us so deeply. We discussed specific musicians in terms of whether we liked, did not like, or were indifferent to their music, and why we either agreed or not. In these conversations we posed various questions to each other, hoping to discover and articulate certain essences that we might share. One thing we agreed upon up front is that we are neither musicians nor music critics. In fact, we’re not convinced that the field of music criticism is even a valid endeavor. Music description and personal reaction, however, is another matter. In our conversations we tried to describe our reactions to specific musicians and “schools” of music, without labeling the music as “good” or “lousy”. You will see that this doesn’t prevent us from disagreeing and disagreeing in spirited fashion, while always trying to focus on why our personal reaction is what it is.
"Penumbral Zone Residua of Past Impressions is intended for a large string orchestra, the ideal balance consisting of 24 violins, 18 violas, 18 'cellos, and 12 basses, each divided into 6 sections. It is in one continuous movement, but with several strongly constrasting sections. The beginning and ending sections change meter often, keeping a common eighth-note pulse, except where otherwise indicated. In two passages, mm. 352--389 and 398--445, I have called for the use of two contrasting meters, related by a ratio of 3:2, to be used simultaneously."
"The topic of this thesis was selected because of an existing need for an analytical study of the use of the trumpet and cornet in the early twentieth century, a time when composing for these instruments was especially adventurous. Three of the most important and most frequently performed orchestral works from this period were selected as a basis for the study, the early Stravinsky ballets---The Firebird, Petrushka and The Rite of Spring."