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Jazz from Socialist Realism to Postmodernism


Yvetta Kajanová, Gertrud Pickhan and Rüdiger Ritter

In the 20th century, jazz was an important artistic form. Depending on the particular European country, jazz music carried different social, political and aesthetic meanings. It brought challenges in the areas of racial issues, the politics of the Cold War between East and West, and in the exploration of boundaries of artistic freedom. In socialist Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Hungary and Poland, the situation began to change after 1956 and then 1968, when the ideologists shifted from the aesthetics of socialist realism to postmodernism. In Western countries such as France and Italy, jazz transformed from a modern to a postmodern period. This volume deals with the impact of these changes on the career development of jazz musicians – even beyond 1989 – in terms of various phenomena such as emigration, child prodigies, multiculturalism, multi-genre approaches, or female jazz musicians.

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Jazz: Labour versus Opus


Abstract: This paper Jazz: Labour versus Opus is devoted to the phenomenon of jazz music that becomes a part of musicians’ lifestyle and their work, but always within the context of their own enthusiasm and love for music they play. The author considers a variety of social and artistic viewpoints, which are based on the human need for music and inherited from the very beginning of the homo sapiens species.

If you ask a jazzman about his work, expect first a smile, followed by consideration mixed with confusion, and only then a more or less clever answer. Jazzmen themselves often say that the money they get is for commuting and carrying instruments, while making music itself is pure fun, even a reward. Indeed. I can remember that when I was first paid for jazz I felt a bit like a thief, cheat, someone dishonest, who had been paid for nothing. Imagine my surprise when those smarter than me explained that the money rightly belonged to me, and that all that blowing is also work, in addition to being a creative work. I thought that if something feels good, it cannot be work. That is how we grew up on the ethos of Pavka Korczagin and his kind, the ethos of sweat and wrestling coal from the earth and crop off stones. Years later it turned out that work can be fun, that the aforementioned coal and crop wrestling can also be fun and creative (sic!). That,...

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