Third Stream Movement

An exploration of the history of the Third Stream movement and the individuals who influenced it.

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This paper examines how jazz music can be identified, but not easily defined by, its variety of forms and how one distinguishing characteristic of jazz is its ability to lend itself to individuality among artists. It looks at how performers of jazz have enjoyed modifying and adjusting certain music elements to set themselves apart, as well as to make a statement,and how one movement that has emerged from this new attitude toward jazz is the Third Stream, which fuses Western musical influences with classical music. It discusses how the Third Stream movement is significant because it revives the dying tradition of bebop and encourages young jazz performers to redefine jazz.
“Gennari explains the divide that existed between swing and bebop as a “a dispute between groups that were simply looking for different things from the music. The established audience was looking for familiar rhythms and melodies for purposes of dance, romance, and nostalgia; the newer audience was looking for bold experiments in harmony and fresh approaches to time and tempo for purposes of sensory inspiration and aesthetic fulfillment” (Gennari 491). We can certainly see how such performers as Gunther were reaching for a new and exciting experience while still holding onto the roots of the jazz music they loved.”

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