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Džässi ja rahvamuusika suhetest Eestis 20. sajandi I poolel

Author(s): Tiit Lauk

Journal: Mäetagused. Hüperajakiri
ISSN 1406-992X

Volume: 41;
Start page: 7;
Date: 2009;
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Keywords: acculturation | haitarijazz | jazz | swing | The Murphy Band | village bands | village jazz

This article covers an underexplored facet in the Estonian cultural history – expansion of jazz music into our cultural space and facts related to this, focussing on mutual influences between jazz and Estonian ethnic culture. Although we have been long accustomed to the fact that jazz music is an inseparable part of our culture scene, debates on what is jazz are still ongoing and there does not yet exist an overall and widely accepted definition. The relations between village bands and jazz are studied from the point of view of several acculturation theories. The article presents an overview of the situation in the Estonian music culture in the 1920s when jazz appeared in Estonia. This was an extremely favourable moment for new development – the state and the people had recently liberated themselves, thus there existed a natural wish to get oneself free from the cultural pressure dictated by politics. It appears that in several places in the region south of the Tartu-Viljandi-Pärnu imaginary line people have tried to play jazz with village bands. This refers to the start-up of the acculturation process in this region between the local ethnic music and the afro-American jazz music, which had intruded into our cultural space. In order to understand the singularity of this phenomenon, the article examines in greater detail the type of ensemble called a village band in Estonia. While studying these village bands, it appeared that the village bands venturing to play jazz-like dance music were divided into two broader style-based groups. The article covers bands of both of these groups in greater detail, presenting an analysis of their makeup as well as their repertoires. Music played by those bands should be defined as Estonian-(ethnic)-music-inspired jazz-like dance music (the first group) or jazz-inspired ethnic dance music (the second group). For a more specific classification the term “village jazz” could be used. For comparison, the article covers also haitarijazz – a symbiosis of jazz and ethnic music appearing in Finland in the 1920s–1930s. Recently more and more voices could be heard suggesting that jazz should be studied together with ethnic music, because the origin and development of jazz bear a number of common features with it. As Rahvaleht (People’s Newspaper) writes, Sergei Insarov, a well-known dance teacher together with his assistants Tamara Istomina and Viktor Reitel had trained almost 12,000 people to dance in five years in Narva, Pärnu, Rakvere, Paide, including rural areas (“Õpivad tantsima...”(Dance classes) Rahvaleht, 9 March 1926).

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