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The "Finite" Art of Improvisation: Pedagogy and Power in Jazz Education

Ken Prouty

Published: 2008-05-04

This article is not a critique of jazz pedagogy, but rather, an exploration of how such discourses reflect, generate, and regenerate social interactions that are often deeply affected by power relations between various entities, such as the western art music tradition versus jazz, the educational institution versus the jazz performance community, teacher versus student, and/or administrator versus teacher. All such relationships have affected the manner in which institutionalized jazz pedagogy has developed, and how it is practiced and lived by all involved.

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There is a curious yet enormously fruitful duality in the way that improvisation plays on our expectations and perspectives.

– Tracey Nicholls