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A. Lozovsky

Some aspects of working with classical music in the context of jazz compositions for piano

“Jazzed” classics present a weighty layer of modern piano jazz music. Synthesis of academic and jazz music elements, which began to appear at the end of the 19th century, and manifested itself in the styles attributed by musicologists to jazz origins, grown to a truly colossal scope in the second half of the 20th century. The examples of “adaptation” of works by G. Purcell, A. Vivaldi, J. S. Bach, J. Verdi, S. Rachmaninoff, S. Prokofiev, R. Shchedrin and others by famous jazzmen presented in the article provide evidence of this.

“Jazzing the classics” includes jazz adaptations of individual musical themes or entire compositions by academic composers, as well as the tradition of including elements of classical style in jazz compositions. Examples of jazz interpretation of academic music are presented by K. Vilensky’s jazz adaptation of famous “Flight of the Bumblebee” by N. Rimsky-Korsakov, A. Tatum’s jazz transcription of “Humoresque” Op. 101, No. 7 by A. Dvorak and composition by G. Shearing “Get off my Bach”, which is a stylization of J. S. Bach’s music. The selected musical material provides an opportunity for an analytical examination of various forms of implementation of musical classics in piano jazz and the identification of mechanisms for the “translation” of academic compositions into the jazz language. The transformation of classical primary sources affects takes place in harmonic, intonation, metro-rhythmical and structural levels. The considered compositions not only have enduring artistic value in the sphere of “jazzed” classics, but also serve as a good basis for students.

Key words

“jazzing the classics”, jazz arrangements and transcriptions, stylizations of musical classics, K. Vilensky, A. Tatum, G. Shearing.

For citation

Lozovsky A. Some aspects of working with classical music in the context of jazz compositions for piano // South-Russian Musical Anthology. 2021. No. 3. Pp. 24–31.