Rozhovory s Iljom [Dialogs with Ilja]. VSSS, Bratislava 1997, 139 pp., ISBN 80-88735-59-9. Dialogs with Ilja is a monograph on the Slovak composer Ilja Zeljenka (1932 – 2007). Throughout the book Zeljenka gives authentic accounts of his childhood, life, work, music and art in general. Zeljenka belonged to the middle generation of experimental and avant-garde Slovak composers who emerged in the 1960s. His early electro-acoustic pieces were based on the modernist aesthetic of New Music, with Zeljenka introducing and emphasizing progressive compositional techniques. He developed and applied them in the metro-rhythmic and sonic components, with a rational organization of tones in serial music, as well as in aleatoric music.
In the 1970s Zeljenka’s compositions were banned because of his active involvement in the 1968 Prague Spring political movement and his inclination towards Western New music. In the second half of the 1980s his music was re-discovered and acknowledged in the artistic and wider world.
“Dialogs with Ilja is an one-actor play – but not without a director ! Kajanova’s directing is wise, experienced and subtle……………..” – Jan Beno (Fenomen Ilja), In: Slovenske pohlady 1998, year 4+ 114, Vol.6, p.128
Slovník slovenského jazzu [The Dictionary of Slovak Jazz]. Bratislava : NHC 1999. 155 pp., ISBN 80-88884-12-8.
The Book of Slovak Jazz. Bratislava : Music Centre, 2000, 93 pp., ISBN 80-88884-22-5. T he Book of Slovak Jazz is the English version of The Dictionary of Slovak Jazz. Completed in 1999, the monograph provides a new view on Slovak jazz between 1934 and 1999. The introductory chapter outlines the historical development of several generations of Slovak jazz musicians against a background of social and political change. Slovak jazz has a remarkable history with the period between 1934 and 1999 being full of significant events. In the second half of the 20th Century the conditions for the development of Slovak jazz gradually improved. The 1980s included several generations of artists, and new presentation platforms for jazz musicians (such as festivals, clubs, associations and institutions) were established.
In The Dictionary of Slovak Jazz Kajanova focuses on the historical aspects, whilst in its English counterpart she aims to document the state of jazz and jazz-rock scenes at the end of the 20th Century. Both books also deal with the professional development and careers of such bands and musicians as Ladislav Gerhardt Quartet, Bratislava Hot Serenaders, Adriena Bartošová and Scat, Peter Breiner, Peter Lipa, Jozef “Dodo” Šošoka, Matúš Jakabčic, Juraj Bartoš, Mikuláš Škuta and others.
“…….I am delighted to welcome an extended and updated book on Slovak jazz………… The Book of Slovak jazz has no equivalent on the Czech scene; I am sure that the publication will, undoubtedly, prove to be invaluable for anyone who is interested in overview of the Slovak scene.” – Igor Wasserberger In: Opus Musicum, No.6/1999, year. 31, p. 51-52
“Yvetta Kajanová has done much meritorious work in the fields of jazz journalism and organization. It is no surprise that we find her as the major author of this publication. Kajanová’s book is a very erudite study of the history of Slovak jazz.” – Slavomír Krekovič, In: Hudobný život, No.7-8/2000, p.6
“It should be noted that the author of The Book of Slovak Jazz, Yvetta Kajanova, and those that worked to get it published, were presumably making do with scant money and resources…………….. Like the under appreciated jazz community they document, they appear to be trying their best.” – Matthew J. Reynolds, In: Slovak Spectator, Vol. 5, year 7, 2001, pp. 1-2.
Kapitoly o jazze a rocku [Chapters on Jazz and Rock]. Bratislava – Ružomberok : Epos 2003, 62 pgs., ISBN 80-88977-67-3.
In this book author Yvetta Kajanová explores the structure, articulation and rhythm of jazz and rock music. The degree of significance placed on the structure and articulation in pop, jazz and rock music distinguishes the musical thinking in these genres from those of classical music.
A structure is applied to such components of music as elements, details, models, patterns, constructions and relations like functions, references, kinship and affinities. The aim of modern pop music is not to evolve the structure, rather to work with the articulation born from the modification of the music material in rhythm, tempo, melody and timbre in the course of stage performance. The articulation includes deviation from the usual way of playing the instrument or singing, for example glissandos, vibratos, embellishments, blue notes, rhythmic nuances, creating of tones and sounds, as well as sound effects such as guitar feedback, delays or distortions and wah-wah effects.
Different types of articulations are presented by musical examples; in particular the jazz music of Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, and Miles Davis, and also by the rock music of Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix and Yngwie Malmsteen. European classical music has focused on creating original music structures. While the bipolar relationship between the structure and the articulation in classical music is employed mainly in various phrases, shifts, and in mutual influences of performing styles; modern pop music emphasizes expressiveness, emotion and effect. The main focus of European classical music is on sophisticated forms of musical thinking. Modern pop music artists have abandoned such kind of creativity and concentrated on affect in their music. Classical music is typical of an aesthetic experience and pleasure. Modern pop music, however, usually appeals with its extasy, shock, synaesthesia, kinaesthesia and instrumental virtuosity.
In the conclusion the author characterizes the musical thinking in jazz and rock music. Kajanova considers working with prepared (ready-made) schemes, rhythmic patterns, cliches in the melody, harmony and instrumentation, to be typical features of jazz and rock. The thematic repetitiveness in jazz harmonic schemes or rhythmic patterns leads to the prevailing simplicity of temporal and spatial category in compositions. The simplicity is demonstrated by a reduction of musical structure and form, emphasizing articulation, and by giving preference to sound and tone creation, color, instrumentation and dynamism. The inner drive of jazz and rock music is achieved and emphasized by rhythmic patterns and perpetual rhythms, as well as by other metric and time changes.
Thus research in jazz, rock and pop music shifts its focus on the way rhythms and rhythmic patterns are created.
Gospel music na Slovensku [Gospel Music in Slovakia]. Bratislava : CoolArt – Lux 2009, 256 pgs., 18 photos, 86 scores, ISBN 978-80-969080-4-2.
Sacred music has been a part of music culture since the beginnings of the Gregorian chant up until present.
Gospel music is a new genre of sacred music in the 20th and 21st centuries. Over the centuries, the sacred and profane expressions in music have been rivals. Religious and secular motives have been mixed in musical compositions as well as in interpretations. Sometimes, certain elements in concert music may sound as sacred (for example the use of Latin language) although still expressing profane ideas. On the other hand, certain elements in liturgical music affected by popular music, due to their rhythmic and dance characteristics, may be perceived as desecrating.
Throughout history, various changes have been taking place in the gospel music genre, its content and connotations. A present, this genre has a great number of new stylistic subgroups. However, the basic features remain constant – the spiritual message, young people’s language (lyrics, colloquial style), modern and present-day musical expresionss such as rhythm, improvisation and tone creation.
Gospel music has its own subcategories. Contemporary Christian music includes concert productions of gospel groups, also referred to as sacropop and gospel music. we understand the concert production of gospel groups, also referred to as sacropop and gospel music. The New Sacred Chant, on the other hand, refers to songs composed for liturgical services, in other words, songs intended to be musical compositions, and hence a part of liturgical repertoire.
In the book, Yvetta Kajanova speaks about praise and worship in Slovakia and Central Europe, compares the Gregorian chant with the Taize praise and worship chants, analyzes contemporary Christian music, and pays attention to social influences on gospel music. The aversion towards gospel music is often caused by a brutal authority, unable to respect the freedom of personal decision. Denial of any spiritual values is often an accompanying phenomenon.
“The reflections and synthetic conclusions of the theme gospel music and its implementations in European spiritual music as well as original authentic production are indicative of Kajanová´s high degree of expertise in her study of this musical and cultural trend. She seamlessly connects the various sociological, geographical and cultural factors of her longstanding scientific interest in jazz and modern popular music. In sum, this book is a valuable contribution to the field, integrating the historical, sociological and aesthetic parameters of Contemporary Christian Music.” – Rastislav Podpera, In: Jazz Research News (Graz, Austria ), No. 34, 2010, p. 1651.
Postmoderna v hudbe. Minimal, rock, pop, jazz. [Postmodernism in Music. Minimal, rock, pop, jazz.] Bratislava: VUK 2010, 200 pp., ISBN 978-80-223-2802-9.
The aesthetic of jazz may be characterized as modernist and post-modernist. As far as the rationalism of musical structures is concerned, rock music carries predominantly post-modernist features, with modernist ones appearing rather rarely. In spite of that, both modernist and post-modernist characteristics can be seen in different rock and jazz styles and artists’ musical thinking. The aesthetic of post-modernism is based on decontextualization, pluralism of styles, the loss of originality, perplexity of artistic values, the use of quotations, allusions, irony, parody, collages, assemblage of parts and appropriations. The author Yvetta Kajanova, analyzes the history of jazz and rock music, and shows in what way musicians apply modernist and post-modernist elements to their compositions.
Musicologist used to deal with the issue of “high” and “low” art by searching for underlying social functions of music and aesthetic values in classical and modern (non-classical) music. Through different cultures and music history, various musical genres and styles have been regarded as either “high” or “low” art. At present, music is differentiated to such an extent that it is difficult to determine which music represents “high” and which “low” art. Kajanova demonstrates post-modernist features using examples from compositions of such musicians as Wynton Marsalis, Kurt Elling, Diana Krall, Wayne Shorter, Lester Bowie, Yngwie Malmsteen, Diamanda Galás, Dead Kennedys and others. The author endeavors to define the exact beginnings of post-modernist aesthetic in jazz and rock in general, and to describe the post-modernist aesthetic in American minimal music. She also points to the post-modernism in Slovak pop, jazz and rock music. At the beginning of the 1980s, a young generation of Slovak composers developed new post-modernist tendencies in the genre of minimal music, in creating new simplicity, retro-styles, happenings, as well as in their experiments with live electronic and in applying avant-garde and experimental elements. The author analyzes a musical language of such composers as Martin Burlas, Daniel Matej, Marek Piaček, Peter Zagar, Peter Martinček, Alexander Mihalič and Robert Rudolf.
“It is necessary to say that the publication itself is, in its own way, post-modernist. It aims to reflect the plurality of genres, approaches and values in the turbulent area of modern popular music. The task set in this book is very challenging as the boundaries of the topic are also very unclear.” -Martin Flašar, In: Opus musicum (Brno, the Czech Republic), No. 5, 2010, vol. 42, p. 104.
K dejinám jazzu [To the History of Jazz]. Bratislava: Cool Art 2010, 112 pp., ISBN 978-80-969080-5-9. The book documents the development of jazz styles from their characteristic performances in African traditional music, Afro-American traditional music, ragtime, New Orleans and Chicago jazz, swing, bebop through cool jazz, west coast jazz, progressive jazz, hard bop, soul jazz and free jazz, the jazz-rock period between 1966 and 1983, fusion music between 1983 and 1991, post bop to the polystylistic approach between 1983 – 1991, pop jazz, acid jazz and nu jazz after 1991. The author makes detailed analyses of rhythmic patterns in different jazz styles using more than 150 score examples of jazz men such as Scott Joplin, Buddy Bolden, King Oliver, James Johnson, Jelly Roll Morton, Original Dixieland Jazz Band, Louis Armstrong, Bix Beiderbecke, Sidney Bechet, Bessie Smith, Fletcher Henderson, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Woody Herman, Benny Goodman, Charlie Barnet, Leroy Holmes, Buddy Rich, Harry James, Lionel Hampton, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Modern Jazz Quartet, Stan Getz, Dave Brubeck Quartet, Chico Hamilton Quintet, Jimmy Giuffre Trio, Stan Kenton, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Freddie Hubbard, Art Farmer, Benny Golson, Donald Byrd, Charlie Mingus, Ray Charles, Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor, Archie Shepp, Eric Dolphy, Family of Percussion and Archie Shepp, Don Cherry, Weather Report, Chick Corea, Billy Cobham, Oregon, Michael Brecker, Oregon, Spyro Gyra, Herbie Hancock, John Abercrombie, Steps Ahead, Flora Purim and Airto Moreira, Keith Jarrett, Wynton Marsalis, Randy Brecker and others.
Kajanova also deals with the various types of jazz improvisation related to arrangement and composition.
K dejinám rocku [On the History of Rock Music]. Bratislava: Cool Art 2010, 128 pp., ISBN 978-80-969080-6-6.
With the same conceptual approach, the monograph is a counterpart to To the History of Jazz. Both books provide a complementary resource for students and are valuable contributions to the history of jazz and rock music. The author follows the historical development of rock music from rock and roll, the first hard rock era between 1960 and 1967, the second hard rock era (1967 – 1979) through experimental era – alternative rock, art or progressive rock, electronic and punk rock, new wave, heavy metal, hard core, speed metal, thrash, death and black metal, grind core – culminating with the poly-stylistic approach of instrumental rock. The changes and formation of new styles are presented through analyses of rock rhythmic patterns in the music of Bill Haley and the Comets, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Hallyday, the Beatles, the Yardbirds, Eric Clapton, John Mayall, the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, the Animals, Alice Cooper, the Velvet Underground, Frank Zappa, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, the Who, Pink Floyd, Yes, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Queen, Jean Michel Jarré, Jon Anderson and Vangelis, Kraftwerk, the Sex Pistols, the Ramones, Slaughter and the Dogs, Buzzcocks, The Unwanted, The Damned, Elvis Costello, Talking Heads, Blondie, Nick Cave, The Mission, The Sisters of Mercy, The Cure, Diamanda Galás, Dead Can Dance, Lacrimosa, Sade, Enya, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Black Sabbath, Metallica, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Dead Kennedys, Sonic Youth, Exploited, Beastie Boys, Body Count, Dead Kennedys, Napalm Death, U2 and others.
The last chapter shows different types of improvisation used in each rock music style.