Moving to Higher Ground: The Changing Discourse of European Jazz 1960–1980

Whyton, Tony (2017) Moving to Higher Ground: The Changing Discourse of European Jazz 1960–1980. European Journal of Musicology, 16 (1). pp. 13-22. ISSN 2504-1916

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The 2014 conference ‘Growing Up: Jazz between 1960 and 1980’ in Lucerne provided a stimulating environment for the examination of European identity in jazz, and offered several fascinating insights into the musical landscape and changing cultural discourses of jazz during this period in history.

In this article, I suggest that the idea of ‘Growing Up’ encourages a way of thinking about jazz’s place in Europe that is problematic; the concept invests in the belief in linear historical progress and causal narration, the promotion of a developing artistic sensibility, and the idea of a maturation of form where jazz ‘comes of age’. In effect, whilst it is important to consider the historical development of music and its changing reception through time, the concept of growing up reinforces a number of assumptions about art music and its place in European culture; it has the ability to shape how we view the movement of music and culture, what social and cultural changes might have occurred during the period we’re looking at, and promotes a particular view of European jazz and its relationship both to the American jazz tradition and popular culture more broadly.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number:
12 December 2017Accepted
31 December 2017Published
Uncontrolled Keywords: Jazz; Europe; History; Historiography; Musicology
Subjects: CAH24 - media, journalism and communications > CAH24-01 - media, journalism and communications > CAH24-01-05 - media studies
CAH20 - historical, philosophical and religious studies > CAH20-01 - history and archaeology > CAH20-01-01 - history
CAH25 - design, and creative and performing arts > CAH25-02 - performing arts > CAH25-02-02 - music
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Design and Media > Birmingham Institute of Media and English > Birmingham School of Media
Depositing User: Tony Whyton
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2018 22:07
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2022 15:59

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