January 12, 2014
Prof. Wilner, Donald
Music is a form of art in which a musician freely expresses themselves with various instruments to create sounds and harmony and also allows the listeners to gain feelings or emotions and appreciation to the art (marriam Webster). No other type of music creates emotion better than jazz; and no other class allows one to experience the full effects of jazz music than Jazz Appreciation classes. The importance of jazz appreciation classes is to gain background and history knowledge as well as knowing the fundamentals of creating and producing jazz music and how to be an effective listener to music.
The history of jazz began in the twentieth century, and during this time, it became the dominant and most popular form of music in the United States. Jazz was different from other forms of music due to its non-repetitive style and because it originated within the African American community (Dr. Ruths). Ruth explains how jazz music carries with it the souls of enslaved African Americans who tell their stories and their hardships with music. He calls jazz music a “societal mirror”, because it lets us see into the past just by listening carefully to the sounds and melodies produced in jazz music. Jazz appreciation classes are important because it gives a full understanding as to why such music was produced, created and became popular.
What is jazz? Jazz is improvisation, which means creating something on the spur of the moment. To illustrate, a musician will play their instrument without knowing or planning what notes they will play or how they will play them beforehand. What makes jazz so magnificent is that an entire band can be improvising or playing their instruments in the spur of the moment (jazzinamerica). Appreciation of jazz is important because it teaches that not every success or masterpiece is carefully planned or orchestrated. Furthermore, the appreciation of music that happens spontaneously can be a lesson to be open minded or have a sense of acceptance for differences.
Jazz music is unlike other forms of music due to the different ways a single note can be played or made to sound. Jazz musicians can make their instruments sound similar to their own tone of voice. For example, according to jazzinamerica, an instrument can be made to sound “raspy, edgy, rough, smooth, pretty, soulful, warm, dark, light, harsh, or any one of dozens of other