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Bill Evans and The Limits of Schenkerian Analysis

December 29, 2013


From the site:

The application of Schenkerian analysis to jazz, something that Schenker would likely have done only to prove the deficiency of the style, has become more prominent in recent years. The history of similar research stretches back to the 1970s, although these studies were relegated primarily to jazz
journals and the occasional thesis or dissertation. 1 By 1995, however, monographs on the American popular ballad and the music of Gershwin, by Forte and Gilbert, respectively, brought greater legitimacy to this line of research. These were, after all, the joint authors of the first widely-used textbook on Schenkerian theory (Forte and Gilbert 1982). Their studies suggested that these styles were not, in the words of Furtwängler (1985, 4), merely a string of intricacies that “exist for the moment in which they
sound,” but that long-range hearing could highlight the same sorts of characteristics that unify the works of the tonal masters.


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