Analyzing Third Stream
Schuller celebrates, in this passage at least, the synthetiC character of third stream, casting it as a powerful blend of the art-music and jazz traditions. According to Schuller, both art music and jazz have something to gain by such a stylistic "confrontation" with one another. But despite such elegant articulations of its aesthetic goals by widely respected jazz scholars like Schuller, third-stream music has remained a controversial endeavor since its inception; perhaps no other style in jazz has been the subject of such divided response among critics, players, and listeners both inside
and outside of the world of jazz. For much of its history, third-stream music has seemed to be caught uncomfortably between the worlds of Western European art music and jazz, at times apparently unwelcome in either world and thus causing its practitioners and advocates to fight an aesthetic battle on two fronts simultaneously.