Cankarjev Dom, M3/4

22 May at 10 am

Innovative Music in Europe



To understand innovative music in Europe, one has to undertake a brief historical survey in order to discover how the past has shaped contemporary practice. Slovenian music journalist and writer Miha Zadnikar will host the first conference in this opening Jazz Connective programme.


His lecture will deal with instrumental and sound innovations around the time of the French Revolution, examining woodwind, brass, percussion techniques and instrument-making, the establishment of the public music school system, the arrival of the first public concerts, professional musicianship and the new status accorded to composers.


We will then enjoy a general overview of the modernist music revolution, which was closely related to the avant-garde and to communist and socialist revolution, and was a period when connections with blues and jazz were created. In the earliest recordings, experiments and radio-based innovation appeared to have a major impact on various approaches to artistic creation. While popular and workers’ songs gave us the first glimpses of ‘world music’, a whole system of production and distribution was changing and radically forging an innovative path in music within the context of class and social struggle.


The history of innovative music will then lead us on to the dramatic division between ‘contemporary classical’ modernism and the European free improvisation movement. A new vision of popular music in the mid-1960s led to the decline of jazz in the United States, while Europe continued to develop its interest in jazz, innovative music and other arts, along with funds and cultural policies; this marked the beginning of gentrification in art and music life.


We will conclude by looking at the digital era, new production and distribution dichotomies, and the globalisation of European music brought about by digitalisation. There are new opportunities for innovative music as well as audience development.

Lecturer: Miha Zadnikar