Storytelling in Jazz and Musicality in Theatre
Through the Mirror
Art forms tend to mirror themselves in each other. In order to understand literature and fine arts better, we often turn to music, speaking of the ‘tone’ in a book and of the ‘rhythm’ in a painting. In attempts to understand music better, we turn instead to the narrative arts, speaking of the ‘story’ of a musical piece. This book focuses on two examples of such conceptual mirror reflexivity: narrativity in jazz music and musicality in spoken theatre. These intermedial metaphors are shown to be significant to the practice and reflection of performing artists through their ability to mediate holistic views of what is considered to be of crucial importance in artistic practice, analysis, and education. This exploration opens up possibilities for new theoretical and practical insights with regard to how the borderland between temporal art forms can be conceptualized. The book will be of interest not only to scholars of music and theatre, but also to those who work in the fields of aesthetics, intermedial studies, cognitive linguistics, arts theory, communication theory, and cultural studies.
Table of Contents
Part I. Intermedial Metaphor in the Arts
Chapter 1. Metaphoricity in Arts Discourse
Part II. Musical Storytelling
Chapter 2. Storytelling in Jazz: A Conceptual Challenge
Chapter 3. A History of Jazz Writings
Chapter 4. Interviews with Jazz Improvisers
Chapter 5. Storytelling in Jazz Improvisation: Conclusions
Part III. Theatrical Musicality
Chapter 6. Musicality in Spoken Theatre: A Conceptual Challenge
Chapter 7. A History of Theatre Writings
Chapter 8. Interviews with Actors
Chapter 9. Musicality in Spoken Theatre: Conclusions
Part IV. Through the Mirror
Chapter 10. Intermedial Conceptual Loans
Sven Bjerstedt is a jazz pianist, PhD and Reader (Docent) in Music Education Research, Editor of the Swedish Journal of Music Research, and Senior Lecturer in Music at Malmö Theatre Academy, Lund University.
'A beautifully conceptualized, composed and articulated book, Sven Bjerstedt explores the story-telling qualities of Jazz performances and the musicality of theater. Based on in-depth, meticulous interviews with leading figures in both jazz improvisation and theater, interwoven with rich and informed scholarship, this manuscript is a compelling read.'
Liora Bresler, Ph.D. College of Education, and College of Fine and Applied Arts, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Professor Emerita
'The main contribution of the book is in the areas of artistic practice as it analyzes the ways in which artists aim to make those parts of their practices that are hard to describe conceivable by using metaphors from other art forms. In that perspective, the book has great potential in educational contexts, as it both indicates how those parts of practices that are hard to express in words can be transmitted, and at the same time provides food for reflection on the fact that many ways in which practices are described rely heavily on metaphors. Finally, the book is a valuable reminder of the impact that academic research has on the practical activities of artists.'
Mischa van Kan, Swedish Journal of Music Research (2021)