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Leonard Bernstein and the Language of Jazz - Illinois Scholarship Online
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Leonard Bernstein and the Language of Jazz

Katherine Baber


For Leonard Bernstein, music was a language capable of communicating more directly than in words, and jazz was a crucial part of his musical vocabulary. As an idiom made up of a range of styles--whether stride, boogie-woogie, swing, bebop, or cool--jazz was central to Bernstein’s compositional aesthetic, particularly in his approach to tonality and to defining American music. The blues, as a special part of this jazz idiom, also helped Bernstein articulate a personal identity, expressing everything from sensuality to humor to loss and isolation. This book will examine the shifting meanings of ... More

Keywords: jazz, Bernstein, blues, eclecticism, identity, Jewish American, politics, gender, race, Copland, Gershwin

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780252042379
Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2019 DOI:10.5622/illinois/9780252042379.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Katherine Baber, author
University of Redlands