What is jazz all about
Jazz Quotes (217 quotes)
New York Jazz Lounge - Bar Jazz Classics
What’s the True Meaning Behind Jazz Music?
Jazz was born in the United States. Jazz is really the best music to represent America because: It is partly planned and partly spontaneous; that is, as the musicians perform a pre-determined tune, they have the opportunity to create their own interpretations within that tune in response to the other musicians' performances and whatever else may occur "in the moment" -- this is called improvisation and is the defining element of jazz. In everything from regular conversation, to basketball, to everyday life, Americans are constantly improvising. Improvisation is the key element of jazz. There is no better example of democracy than a jazz ensemble: individual freedom but with responsibility to the group.
Though we might be jazz fans for different reasons, most of us have similar stories we tell about how we first discovered and became enamored of this special music. Since jazz is important to us, we want to share it with others and ensure its continuation in the future. People have a lot of choice about how to spend their free time today. And if people do choose to listen to music they have a lot of music to choose from. So why did we choose jazz, and why should others choose jazz? Why do we play this music?
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Have You Ever Wondered...
My generation finds itself wedged between two opposing traditions. One is the tradition we know in such wonderful detail from the enormous recorded legacy that tells anyone who will listen that jazz broke the rules of European conventions and created rules of its own that were so specific, so thorough and so demanding that a great art resulted. This art has had such universal appeal and application to the expression of modern life that it has changed the conventions of American music as well as those of the world at large. The other tradition, which was born early and stubbornly refuses to die, despite all the evidence to the contrary, regards jazz merely as a product of noble savages - music produced by untutored, unbuttoned semiliterates for whom jazz history does not exist. This myth was invented by early jazz writers who, in attempting to escape their American prejudices, turned out a whole world of new cliches based on the myth of the innate ability of early jazz musicians. Because of these writers' lack of understanding of the mechanics of music, they thought there weren't any mechanics.
Jazz , musical form , often improvisational, developed by African Americans and influenced by both European harmonic structure and African rhythms. It was developed partially from ragtime and blues and is often characterized by syncopated rhythms, polyphonic ensemble playing, varying degrees of improvisation, often deliberate deviations of pitch, and the use of original timbres. Any attempt to arrive at a precise, all-encompassing definition of jazz is probably futile. Jazz has been, from its very beginnings at the turn of the 20th century, a constantly evolving, expanding, changing music, passing through several distinctive phases of development; a definition that might apply to one phase—for instance, to New Orleans style or swing —becomes inappropriate when applied to another segment of its history, say, to free jazz. Early attempts to define jazz as a music whose chief characteristic was improvisation , for example, turned out to be too restrictive and largely untrue, since composition , arrangement , and ensemble have also been essential components of jazz for most of its history.
Jazz is a kind of music in which improvisation is typically an important part. In most jazz performances, players play solos which they make up on the spot, which requires considerable skill. There is tremendous variety in jazz, but most jazz is very rhythmic, has a forward momentum called "swing," and uses "bent" or "blue" notes. You can often hear "call--and--response" patterns in jazz, in which one instrument, voice, or part of the band answers another. Jazz can express many different emotions, from pain to sheer joy. In jazz, you may hear the sounds of freedom-for the music has been a powerful voice for people suffering unfair treatment because of the color of the skin, or because they lived in a country run by a cruel dictator. Jazz musicians place a high value on finding their own sound and style, and that means, for example, that trumpeter Miles Davis sounds very different than trumpeter Louis Armstrong whose sound you can hear in Louis's Music Class.