Onttype13. What is Third Stream?
Introduction to Third Stream music
Third stream, a term coined by French horn player, classical composer, and music auteur Gunther Schuller (1925-2015), is a genre of music integrating jazz with classical style concert hall music (using a big stringed orchestra).
“A term coined by Gunther Schuller, in a lecture at Brandeis University in 1957, for a type of music which, through improvisation or written composition or both, synthesizes the essential characteristics and techniques of contemporary Western art music and other musical traditions. At the heart of this concept is the notion that any music stands to profit from a confrontation with another; thus composers of Western art music can learn a great deal from the rhythmic vitality and swing of jazz, while jazz musicians can find new avenues of development in the large-scale forms and complex tonal systems of classical music. The term was originally applied to a style in which attempts were made to fuse basic elements of jazz and Western art music – the two mainstreams joining to form a ‘third stream’. This style had been in existence for some years, and is exemplified by such pieces as: (bold not in original)
NOTE: Click on any picture, graphic, or hyperlinked blue words for more information about it.
★ Ralph Burns's "Summer Sequence" (recorded by Woody Herman's band, 1946)
★ See Jazz Profiles article by Steven A. Cerra, "Ralph Burns - The Fine Art of Jazz Composition and Arrangement," April 12, 2018.
★ See New York Times Obituary, November 28, 2001.
★ Robert Graettinger's "City of Glass"
(recorded by Stan Kenton's orchestra, 1951)
★ See Jazz Profiles article by Steven Cerra, "A Compilation of Writings About the Music of Bob Graettinger," June 17, 2019.
★ Rolf Liebermann's "Concerto for Jazz Band and Orchestra"(recorded by the Sauter-Finegan Orchestra, 1956, RCA Victor).”