Signifyin(g) Carl: Nielsen's Music in the Jazz Repertoire

  • Mikkel Vad


The article traces the prevalence of Nielsen’s music in the jazz repertoire and suggests that it should be understood within the broader framework of jazz aesthetics. Drawing on Henry Louis Gates, Jr.’s theory of Signifyin(g) the doubleness in the way Danish jazz musicians have used Nielsen’s music is interpreted as a transnational vernacular. Seeing as it is mainly Nielsen’s “folkelige” songs that have their way to the jazz repertoire the recordings are placed within a broader Scandinavian tradition of playing vernacular tunes in jazz. The vast number of jazz recordings of Nielsen’s music are broadly categorised and various musical, Signifyin(g) tropes are identified. Thus, the article is also a call for an interpretive strategy that takes the dialogic intertextuality of the music in to account.
How to Cite
Vad, M. (2012). Signifyin(g) Carl: Nielsen’s Music in the Jazz Repertoire. Carl Nielsen Studies, 5.