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From the Margins to the Mainstream: Jazz, Social Relations, and Discourses of Value

Alan Stanbridge

Published: 2008-05-04

This paper examines the manner in which particular discourses have served to shape and influence broader social understandings of various forms of contemporary jazz and improvised music, exploring the somewhat conflicted relationship that these forms of music have had with both the mainstream and the margins and the value claims made on behalf of these forms from a cultural, social, and political perspective.

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Listening itself, an improvisative act engaged in by everyone, announces a practice of active engagement with the world, where we sift, interpret, store and forget, in parallel with action and fundamentally articulated with it ("Mobilitas Animi" 113).

– George E. Lewis