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Die expressive Besonderheit des Jazz

Levinson, Jerrold

Zeitschrift für Ästhetik und Allgemeine Kunstwissenschaft, Bd. 59 (2014), Iss. 1: S. 93–103

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Levinson, Jerrold


In this essay I try to identify what is specific to jazz – or at least, mainstream or core jazz – from the point of view of its expression. Along the way I address the vexing question of the essence of jazz, and briefly explicate the concept of musical expression of emotion that I am working with. I next postulate a Gestalt of jazz, which I attempt to circumscribe both through its underlying musical characteristics and the use of paradigm examples, and suggest that such a Gestalt comports well with the expression of certain emotions and comports ill with the expression of other emotions. Before concluding I discuss the question of the expressive specificity of all genres of music.