jazz_notes - Jazz is a unique self-expressive form of...

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Jazz is a unique, self-expressive form of American music created originally by African-Americans from elements of the blues, gospel music and military band music. Jazz is created when musicians spontaneously transform Melodies , Rhythms and Sound as they perform; they seek to become both composer and performer at one and the same time To achieve this goal, jazz musicians strive first to master an instrument , and then to use that instrument as a tool for creating their own original music instead of recreating someone else’s music Level of mastery the musicians achieve determines to a great extent, the quality of the music they create Historically, jazz began when New Orleans marching band musicians started memorizing church hymns, marches, rags, blues – the popular music of the day – and playing those melodies as they marched. “Paraphrasing” first occurred when musicians began to deliberately change a melody as it was being performed by o Decorating the melody o Keeping the rhythm but changing the notes o Adding “Blue Notes” Once musicians began paraphrasing tunes it wasn’t long before they sought other ways to “personalize their music” – something that, especially during the 1920s and 30s, became highly prized.
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To personalize their music successfully, jazz musicians learned to manipulate the Components of Sounds: express emotion or create drama Tone Color: The Quality of the sound, its richness in Overtones o Bright: Edgy, penetrating, sharp, pointed o Clear: Pure, crystal, bell-like, cool, liquid o Dark: heavy, thick, smoky, dusky, husky o Distorted: altered in some way Brass players will often use mutes or plungers for this purpose. Brass and reed players may hum into their instruments to distort the sound. Pure distortion actually became so interesting by itself that electronic amplifiers, built from the 1960s onward, had built-in distortion controls. Loudness: The amount of Energy a sound has, its Intensity o May begin at a soft level and gradually get louder o May begin at a loud level and gradually get softer o May suddenly jump from one level to another o Cool Jazz almost never rises above a moderate level (ex. Bill Evans- drummer uses brushes to play very lightly and the bass player plucks only a few notes) o New Orleans Jazz never dropped below a moderate level o Billed as a novelty number filled with barnyard sounds,” the Livery Stable Blues was the “A” side of the 78-rpm record on which it was issued. o Livery Stable Blues spawned a dance craze – becoming one of the most popular recordings of its day o A Big Band, like Count Basie’s may employ a much wider range of loudness than any other ensemble. Pitch:
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course MUJZ 419 taught by Professor Mason during the Spring '06 term at USC.

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jazz_notes - Jazz is a unique self-expressive form of...

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