The Effects of Jazz and Classical Music on Musicians

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A COMPARISON OF JAZZ AND CLASSICAL MUSIC AND THEIR EFFECT ON MUSICIANS

by

Amy XXXXXX

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for

College Level Writing

University of La Verne

4 November 2011

Abstract

A thesis presented on the history of jazz as compared to classical music and the effects on musicians, beginning with the birth of jazz, and covering the twentieth century. Berliner (1994) impresses upon the idea that jazz music is more important to a musician’s development and an individual’s mental health than classical music. It is this author’s opinion that Jazz is superior over classical music because jazz music is often soft, smooth, and reflective. In addition, the world of jazz has some wonderful artists who can both play and write jazz music so extraordinary that it will make music lovers melt like ice as the stress washes away. Jazz allows people to close their eyes, relax, mediate, and dream about their loved ones. It is the best for mediation purposes because it provides people with softness, calm, soul, and fantasy. The freedom found in jazz represents the freedom inside of all Americans. Jazz itself is a success story told through its own invention. True jazz musicians play the music that they do as a necessity to themselves. Their music is their diary, and their diary is more pure than words can tell. Jazz is America's great contribution to the arts. It is thrilling, exhilarating, and thought-provoking music that stirs emotions of all kinds. Jazz is in the mind, heart, and in the soul. Its influence extends worldwide, and touches all related forms of music. It is an enriching art form that deserves a special place in our vibrant culture.

I Acknowledgments

The author wishes to express sincere appreciation to Professor XXXXX for his assistance in the preparation of this thesis. In addition, special thanks to the librarians at the XXXXX Public Library whose familiarity with the needs and ideas of my thesis were helpful during the early programming phase of this undertaking.

II
Table of Contents

Abstract -----------------------------------------------------------------I Acknowledgements ---------------------------------------------------II Table of Contents -----------------------------------------------------III CHAPTER 1: Introduction -----------------------------------------1-3 Glossary -----------------------------------------------------------------4 References ---------------------------------------------------------------5

III In the world of jazz, young performers must master a repertoire of chord progressions, off-beats, and harmonies so that they can count on them as structures around which and through which they might weave more magical variations. Jazz players use chord changes as a means of giving shape to melodic improvisation. Classical players merely read lead sheets or book arrangements and use strict chord symbols in a much more static way. “Classical music is simple for its rhythmic pattern and simplistic chords while jazz’ chords are complex” Cook (p. 17). Many may argue that classical music is a more integral part of development, but a talented classical composer will in fact draw on stylistic elements of jazz to enrich the classical tradition of symphonic music. Classical composers have consistently been making use of two elements of jazz over the years which are syncopation and harmony characterized by blue notes. “Indeed, even apparently knowledgeable classical musicians often sound confused and unsure about the essence of jazz music.” Carr (p. 174). Some of the most accomplished musicians of our time have devoted themselves to a life-long study of jazz music, and few...
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