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OfflineZekebomb
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your challenge: define 'Jazz'
    #3788979 - 02/16/05 01:31 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

okay dudes and dudettes, please define the term 'jazz' as efficiently and elegantly as you can. please assume I have heard lots of music but don't know what any of it's called.


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InvisibleVvellum
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Re: your challenge: define 'Jazz' [Re: Zekebomb]
    #3789024 - 02/16/05 01:41 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Main Entry: 1jazz
Pronunciation: 'jaz
Function: noun
Usage: often attributive
Etymology: origin unknown
1 a : American music developed especially from ragtime and blues and characterized by propulsive syncopated rhythms, polyphonic ensemble playing, varying degrees of improvisation, and often deliberate distortions of pitch and timbre b : popular dance music influenced by jazz and played in a loud rhythmic manner
2 : empty talk : HUMBUG <spouted all the scientific jazz -- Pete Martin>
3 : similar but unspecified things : STUFF <that wind, and the waves, and all that jazz -- John Updike>
- jazz?like /-"lIk/ adjective


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OfflineZekebomb
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Re: your challenge: define 'Jazz' [Re: Vvellum]
    #3789072 - 02/16/05 01:53 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

3 : similar but unspecified things : STUFF <that wind, and the waves, and all that jazz -- John Updike>


yeah, that's what I'm talkin' 'bout


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Offlinepsikooz
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Re: your challenge: define 'Jazz' [Re: Zekebomb]
    #3789076 - 02/16/05 01:55 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

i would describe jazz as a form of instrumental music that developed in america that is based on improvisation. The artists speak using their instruments and the conversation could be called the song. The music is usually very melodic. A jazz song usually contains a melodic theme that reoccurs throughought the song.


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OfflineKremlin
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Re: your challenge: define 'Jazz' [Re: Zekebomb]
    #3789268 - 02/16/05 02:53 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

1. american-originated music derived from soul, marching band, and blues music that is focused on one or more musicians actively improvising over non pop-formulated chord changes :wink:

2. fucking awesome


--------------------
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InvisibleVvellum
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Re: your challenge: define 'Jazz' [Re: Zekebomb]
    #3789356 - 02/16/05 03:18 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

cool - did I win?
www.m-w.com should take the credit, however.


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OfflineZekebomb
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Re: your challenge: define 'Jazz' [Re: Vvellum]
    #3790319 - 02/16/05 07:02 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

nah, no one wins, because all these definitions are guaranteed to have glaring exceptions.


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InvisibleSilversoul
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Re: your challenge: define 'Jazz' [Re: Zekebomb]
    #3791491 - 02/17/05 03:37 AM (11 years, 9 months ago)

I try not to define things too strictly, but the main features which distinguish jazz are syncopated beats, a "swing" rhythm, walking basslines, and a certain amount of improvisation, making it some of the most intellectually stimulating music. As such, so-called "Smooth Jazz" is really a misnomer, as it features simple beats, more traditional basslines, acts as more of a musical prozac than an intellectual stimulant, and does not really "swing" so much as suck(fuck Kenny G).


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InvisibleSilversoul
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Re: your challenge: define 'Jazz' [Re: Silversoul]
    #3791495 - 02/17/05 03:39 AM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Oh, and there's a certain song structure which jazz tends to follow which is different from that of popular music.


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InvisibleVvellum
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Re: your challenge: define 'Jazz' [Re: Zekebomb]
    #3792818 - 02/17/05 12:25 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

yeah, fuck that.


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Offlinenonoman
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Re: your challenge: define 'Jazz' [Re: Silversoul]
    #3793528 - 02/17/05 03:36 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

I think you're referring to the circle of 5ths. Suprised all you brainiacs haven't mentioned that.


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OfflineSneezingPenis
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Re: your challenge: define 'Jazz' [Re: nonoman]
    #3794556 - 02/17/05 07:19 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Circle of 5ths is the first thing they teach you in music theory. It is the msot basic of the basic. Its first real name was actually Jass and has now evolved to encompass so many different styles and genres. It is pretty much indescribable if you were to try to explain it to a person who has never heard it.


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Offlineblaze2
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Re: your challenge: define 'Jazz' [Re: SneezingPenis]
    #3794852 - 02/17/05 09:10 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Circle of 5ths is not music nor is it musical structure. It is a tool that tells you which which scales are equal to each other, how many sharps or flats a scale has, and it can be used to more easily construct chords in a visual sense.

Jazz is largely based upon this chord progression, ii-V-I. It is a rythemic music and is closely related to the blues. Though while the blues is laid back, expressive, and highly emotional, Jazz is more fast paced it is bigger, and more emphasis is on the music as opposed to the lyrics, and has stricter rythems.

There are exections to every rule of course, there are fast blues songs, adn slow jazz, as well instrumental blues or amazing jazz lyrics but even then the two can be distinguished. There is an essance to any style of music that cannot be described in its parts, but only as its whole. Therefore it is impossible to "describe" jazz in its musical parts saying that certain beats are emphasized or that scales and modes used are different, because when everythign is put together and "jazz" is being made there is a unifying something that encompasses the whole of hte music and is greater than the parts.

I guess my vocabulary is too simple ot describe this essance, but on the other hand I think it impossible to describe for anyone. Music is a language all its own, and it is impossible to translate this language. It does not speak of words or have definations. It is the language of emotions, moods, personalities. We label a type of music Jazz, but what makes it jazz? well the music of course, theres somethign about it, that cannot be described it just IS. All genres of music are like this, and the same can be said about emotions. We label a mood "angry" what makes it angry? the feeling. There is alot going into that feeling but in the end all we can say is "angry". Just like music so much goes into it and yet all we can say is "jazz".

Music speaks the language of emotions and feelings. When you try to put that into english it becomes impossible. You could try to describe or define jazz for days and get nowhere, yet if you were to give me a guitar i could show you a jazz riff and you would say "yea thats jazz". Its the translation thats the problem, so far as I know there is no rosetta stone for this one. Peace

blaze2


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OfflineJon
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Re: your challenge: define 'Jazz' [Re: blaze2]
    #3794894 - 02/17/05 09:21 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Oddly, jazz is very effective on me when im on shrooms, but no other drugs accept it for me. Jazz is a curve in the straight line of music. lol im so high


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OfflineHeavenlyBlue
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Re: your challenge: define 'Jazz' [Re: Jon] * 1
    #3799767 - 02/18/05 07:32 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

This is an essay I wrote a long time ago defining jazz.



One of the most famous, most talented and certainly one of the most innovative musicians of the century once said: ?Jazz music has got to have that thing. You have to be born with it. You can't even buy it.? This man was Miles Davis, the inventor of Jazz-Fusion. In a way this quote truly epitomizes Jazz music in it?s entirety. ?Jazz music has got to have that thing.? This is what Jazz music is; vague, mysterious and a natural talent, it can?t be bought, can?t be developed, ya either got it, or ya don?t.

Many folks know jazz music as Kenny G or Diana Krall or Norah Jones, but Jazz goes beyond the name and the skin; Jazz is in you. A Jazz musician has a swagger and a specific bounce in his step, he or she may be unpredictable, eccentric or completely laid back. The point of this being is that a Jazz musician is completely unpredictable in their actions, (which often comes out in their music). There is a way that they talk, a way in which they conduct themselves that you can?t quite put your finger on; but it?s there. Jazz is very hard to explain to someone who has not heard or experienced on. If you were to explain Rock n? Roll to a person who has never heard this genre of music before it would be fairly simple, Blues would not be too difficult and neither would country. But the Jazz, where do you start? A fantastic musician who has played with many, many people named Bill Evans once said: ?You can't explain it to anyone without losing the experience. It's got to be experienced, because its feeling, not words." To someone who hasn?t experienced this music, Jazz is only something you hear in elevators or that beatniks listen to, Jazz doesn?t belong to conventional society.

You can hear Jazz easily. Anyone who is in a jam or an improvisation can hear it. Jazz is that strange lick you hear erupting from the bell of your trumpet player. Jazz is those bullseye rhythms coming from the guitarist. Jazz is all over. ?Jazz tickles your muscles, stretches your soul.?

Jazz can be heard in the back alleys of a big town. Jazz is the rattle of cans blended in the harmonies of stray cats crying in the night. Jazz is that sax player in the night busking for money on the corner of a downtown street. Jazz isn?t about any kind of money; it?s about the feeling. There?s a reason jazz musicians are low key, there?s a reason behind bands simply called ?The Charles Mingus Big Band? or ?The Thelonious Monk Quintet?, the reason being that Jazz musicians don?t need some kind of fancy name or clich? to hide behind, they let the music speak for itself; and boy does the music ever speak. A Jazz musician can stay up all night jamming until 10 AM the next day while folks are out dancing or drinking or doing whatever they need to be doing. A Jazz musician doesn?t need to concern himself with anyone else; it?s all about the music with these folks.

Jazz is an expression, a note, a chord, and a look. Jazz is that never-ending lick played over and over again but sounding differently each and every time.

?Jazz is the only music in which the same note can be played night after night but differently each time.? ? Ornette Coleman. This rings true night after night. Back in the days when Hard-Bop was just coming around there used to be guys pounding the same keys on the piano for 20 minutes, but it could have been anything the people in the crowd wanted to be; that?s jazz. Jazz has a language, a system of tones and of body movements. The tall, lanky bass player leaning over his bass like a brooding insect of some kind, so engaged in his music you?d find it easy to believe that he hasn?t been fed in weeks. Jazz musicians have strict diets of music, cigarettes, some hard liquor, maybe some cheap pizza from a 10 cent pizza joint and whatever else keeps them going. Many of them died young due to this utter fascination with the music. ?People have died for this music ? you can?t get any more serious than that? is what Dizzy Gillespie said. You don?t need to be some famous musician to be wise about Jazz, my mother was a jazz signer for 15 years and when I asked her if Miles Davis played any other instruments other than the trumpet she calmly looked over at me and stated in a voice only a Jazz musician could have: ?Miles Davis doesn?t play trumpet, he plays cool.? That?s jazz.

But most of all, Jazz is that sequence of chords, that crescendo played over and over again until finally they?ve been playing it for so damn long you think it?s changed but it hasn?t and they keep going for another minute and another until finally you see their sweat pouring and their fingers trembling and everyone?s uncomfortable but they keep going faster, faster until finally they force themselves into some kind of musical hurricane and the walls are shaking and the piano player is screaming over and over and yet they continue, they go faster and faster and they?re playing so damn fast you can?t see their fingers move and it?s so fast and?

Silence?

And then again we?re back into the rhythm.
Jazz is for you to figure out, and if ya don?t know it, ya ain?t got it.


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OfflineZekebomb
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Re: your challenge: define 'Jazz' [Re: blaze2]
    #3799785 - 02/18/05 07:37 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

blaze2 said: You could try to describe or define jazz for days and get nowhere, yet if you were to give me a guitar i could show you a jazz riff and you would say "yea thats jazz".




Quote:

HeavenlyBlue said: Jazz is for you to figure out, and if ya don?t know it, ya ain?t got it.




agreeing


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OfflineZekebomb
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Re: your challenge: define 'Jazz' [Re: HeavenlyBlue]
    #3799818 - 02/18/05 07:46 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

so, to have this 'experience' of jazz music, which is indescribable, do you think one has to hear the music live, see the players and the shiny instruments, watch them look at each other, and so forth? can the experience possibly come from a recording listened to in a livingroom?


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OfflineSneezingPenis
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Re: your challenge: define 'Jazz' [Re: Zekebomb]
    #3800052 - 02/18/05 08:30 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Whatever way jazz can seep into you. I can still appreciate Miles Davis, even though i never saw him live, or had the chance.


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OfflineZekebomb
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Re: your challenge: define 'Jazz' [Re: SneezingPenis]
    #3800853 - 02/18/05 11:05 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

but do you really appreciate him


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OfflineWScott
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Re: your challenge: define 'Jazz' [Re: Zekebomb]
    #19097918 - 11/06/13 11:46 PM (3 years, 27 days ago)

I have heard that jazz isn't about what you think about it or whether you understand it but whether you are able to tap your foot to it, move to it. Some good posts up in this thraed.


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