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Musical ConcernsEssays in Philosophy of Music$
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Jerrold Levinson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199669660

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199669660.001.0001

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Jazz Vocal Interpretation

Jazz Vocal Interpretation

A Philosophical Analysis

Chapter:
(p.99) 8 Jazz Vocal Interpretation
Source:
Musical Concerns
Author(s):

Jerrold Levinson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199669660.003.0009

This chapter provides an account of what the vocal interpretation of a jazz standard consists in; of how such an interpretation functions in context; and of what is communicated by such an interpretation. How does the listener understand what is conveyed by a jazz version of a song, through the narrowly musical choices involved, but also the voice, body, and gestures, of the singer? And in what way does jazz vocal interpretation of a standard differ most importantly from jazz instrumental interpretation of a standard? In the last part of the chapter some of the points made and positions taken are illustrated in connection with an array of performances of a well-known standard, Cole Porter’s “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To.”

Keywords:   jazz, music, vocal interpretation, songs, instrumental interpretation, musical interpretation

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