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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Small Jazz Ensembles and Ideals of Urban Social Interaction
by Chen, Kaori Otera, M.A., State University of New York at Albany, 2016, 70; 10110405
Abstract (Summary)

There is general consensus in urban theory that "community" is good. Nevertheless people in communities may or may not interact to a significant extent with one another nor engage in intertwined social lives, yet tend to claim within-group unity and harmony. A musical model of interaction and engagement may offer a new perspective on the dynamics of community. By listening closely I explore how musicians in small jazz ensembles interact with one another and function during their collective music-making processes and find a set of musical behaviors that exhibits an ideal model for human interaction and engagement in the social world. Comprising both distinct individual and coherent multi-person team expressions, musical improvisational processes consist of contributions of all members of a group acting together despite differences. My present work applies these musical competencies to theories of urban community. As a result I find principles shared between social groups and musical groups. Whether social or musical, building a group depends upon people interacting with one another and engaging in their social lives. This thesis proposes that "abstract categorical work norms" of musical behavior offer new insights into the idea of community and may foster creation of urban realms where different people interact without merging or socially segregating.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Pipkin, John S., Gluck, Robert J.
School: State University of New York at Albany
Department: Liberal Studies
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: MAI 55/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Music, Sociology, Urban planning
Keywords: Ensembles, Ideals, Jazz, Social, Urban
Publication Number: 10110405
ISBN: 978-1-339-73660-0
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