UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

The respective influence of jazz and classical music on each other, the evolution of third stream and fusion and the effects thereof into the 21st century Norman, Liesa Karen


This paper considers the development of jazz and classical music, and the influence exerted by each genre on the other through the Symphonic Jazz era, the Third Stream movement, the Avant Garde movement, and multi-genre Fusion. This influence began in small doses but, by the time of the third stream movement, had culminated in jazz and classical music becoming equal partners and, with the onset of fusion, jazz and classical music melding to form a completely new genre. This paper considers some of the musical, and even sociological factors, that drove these two genres towards a point of convergence, as well as the musicians and composers who played a central role in this development. While this thesis considers how each genre affected the other, the focus is not on critiquing the result of such "fusions," especially those resulting from earlier "cross-over" attempts, but instead on recognizing the influence that existed and considering its significance both today and into the future. Works considered include La Creation du Monde by Milhaud, Piano Concerto by Copland, Rhapsody in Blue by Gershwin, The City of Glass by Graettinger, Sketch by John Lewis, Revelation by Charles Mingus, Transformation by Gunther Schuller and Still Waters by Anthony Davis. Lastly, this paper considers the continued emphasis on fusion in the 21st century and the effect thereon of the ever-increasing exposure individuals have to an incredibly wide variety of music, coupled with the emphasis and promotion of pop culture and the corresponding de-emphasis on the fine arts. The result, it is submitted, is the adoption by broadly educated performers and composers, cross-trained in various genres, of innovative sounds and techniques which are used to expand the canon of works in each genre. These developments into the 21st century will have the equal and Opposite effect of stirring renewed interest in the respective original genres, allowing the popular base of jazz and classical music to expand and regenerate.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


For non-commercial purposes only, such as research, private study and education. Additional conditions apply, see Terms of Use https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms_of_use.