Conceptualizing Jazz as a Cultural Practice in Soviet Estonia

Authored by: Heli Reimann

The Routledge Companion to Jazz Studies

Print publication date:  December  2018
Online publication date:  December  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138231160
eBook ISBN: 9781315315805
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter tries to present the web of meaningful categories transmitting the beliefs, practices, and actions underlying the discourse of jazz culture in Soviet Estonia. While interacting with canonical American-derived system of meanings, jazz as a cultural practice in Estonian context, however, established its own web of meaningful categories as a result of interaction between local socio-political conditions and actions of musical actors. This article proposes two dichotomies forming the underlying framework for meaningful discussions of Soviet Estonian jazz. While the public/private divide is crucial for an understanding of how jazz culture functioned in the Soviet socio-cultural space, then the high/low dichotomy explains, in turn, the status of jazz within the classical/popular hierarchy.

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