Jazz elements in select Finnish and Swedish choral music
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Jazz was born in the United States around the turn of the twentieth-century and arrived in the Nordic lands in the 1920s and '30s. After this initial encounter, jazz spread throughout Finland and Sweden, the two countries under consideration in the present study, and new versions of the music were created through both improvisation and composition. While jazz is relatively new, choral singing is an ancient tradition and is especially prominent in Nordic Europe. All types of choral groups, including children's choirs, amateur organizations, and professional ensembles, flourish in Finland and Sweden today. With the strong influence of both choral music and jazz in these countries, it seems logical for the two genres to comingle. This study investigates the influence of jazz elements upon the choral music of five composers, two from Finland and three from Sweden, whose work spans half a decade: Bengt Hallberg (b. 1932), Nils Lindberg (b. 1933), Heikki Sarmanto (b. 1939), Steve Dobrogosz (b. 1956), and Mia Makaroff (b. 1970). Each of these artists has combined elements from jazz and choral music to create some of the most distinctive musical compositions in Finland and Sweden today.
Table of Contents
Jazz elements -- A brief history of Nordic jazz and choral music -- Heikki Sarmanto -- Mia Makaroff and Rajaton -- Bengt Hallberg -- Nils Lindberg -- Steve Dobrogosz -- Conclusion -- Appendix A. Works arranged by country and composer -- Appendix B. Works arranged by length and scoring -- Appendix C. Works arranged by level of difficulty -- Appendix D. Permissions.