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Chuvilkin V.

About the essence of the concept of «jazz fugue»

The article explains the essence of the concept of “jazz fugue”. The need of introduction of this concept is due to the topical composers’ practice. The phenomenon itself exists at the intersection of the important traditions of jazz and academic polyphony. The expression “jazz fugue” was found in foreign and Russian literature, but has not yet received a theoretical definition and explanation. Jazz fugues are found in the work of modern composers: K. Hartman’s “Jazz Toccata and Fugue”, G. Bakhlund’s “Swing Fugue”, O. Gorchakov’s “Jazz Rock Fugue”, and others. These compositions reveal a commonality of structural principles, which confirms the need of introducing the “jazz fugue” concept.
The article analyzes contemporary definitions of the fugue and features of the jazz idiomatic that penetrates into the polyphonic form. On this basis the first definition of “jazz fugue” is derived: “Jazz fugue is a modern author’s composition, the material of which is written in the modus of jazz idiomatics, while maintaining the fundamental structural principles of a fugue”. At the moment, there are about 150 works that can be attributed to jazz fugues, based on the proposed definition.
The article examines the features of the interaction of the fugue with the tradition of “jazzing the classics”. It is necessary to differentiate authorial jazz-fugues and jazz arrangements of fugues of academic composers. In this regard a second definition is proposed – “jazzing-fugue” – a specific version of the jazz version of the classic fugue through a performing interpretation.
Cases of insignificant usage of jazz idiomatics in the fugue are identified as a separate group, in this respect a third definition is proposed – “fugue with jazz elements”. Thus, a complex of three definitions is built, which allows more flexible generalization of the existing forms of interaction between fugue and jazz.

Key words

jazz-fugue, jazzing-fugue, jazz, baroque-jazz, cool-jazz, third stream, progressive-jazz, Templeton, Brubeck, Lewis, Gorchakov.

For citation

Chuvilkin V. About the essence of the concept of «jazz fugue» // South-Russian Musical Anthology. 2019. N 4. PP. 85–91.