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Takes Root

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  • Pages: 2
  • Word count: 489
  • Category: Jazz Music

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Why is jazz hard to define? Describe some of the reasons why it is sometimes difficult to determine if a musical recording or a performance qualifies as jazz.

Jazz is hard to define because there are so many styles of jazz being performed and many other types of music have jazz influences. It may be difficult to determine if a musical recording or performance qualifies as jazz because most jazz performers do not perform the same song, the same way. One performance giving can be completely different than another performance given by the same performer. It is almost impossible for someone to come up with guidelines to define jazz because there are so many styles.

2. Describe the relationship between the rules rhythm section instruments must adhere to and the freedoms they have to play what they want in fulfilling their specific roles.

Varying on the solo instruments, the other instruments support the solo. The role of all the instruments is to accompany the other. Although the supporting instruments are supporting the solo, these instruments do a lot of improvising. This improvising is the freedom that is given in a piece.As the soloist improvises in a free way, the supporting instruments are also given the opportunity but in a more limited way.

3. How would you describe the elements of jazz rhythm and how it differs from other types of music?

Rhythm is the element of time in music. Most jazz is up tempo keeping a fast pace while having noticeable beat changes, etc. in the background. In jazz music, there are supporting beats that will be constant in the background, such as downbeat and backbeat. Most jazz unlike other types of music uses syncopation, placing notes or accents off the beat, and polyrhythm, two or more rhythms being used simultaneously. This sets jazz music apart from many other genres.

4. Describe how the roles of these three instruments change during the course of a song in a jazz performance: piano, trumpet, bass.

The piano, trumpet, and bass are the three most common solo instruments. These instruments will play solos but soon after will take on the accompanying role and keep the beat going while another instrument has a solo. The piano when not performing a solo usually keeps the melody.The bass if not in a solo is an accompanying instrument but usually provides a foundation for the piano. The trumpet is a loud instrument that will keep a beat but can provide a strong solo when the time is right.

5. Describe what happens during an improvised solo, both in terms of the soloist and the other members of the group.

During an improvised solo all other instruments are used to accompany and improvise as well but in a limited fashion. Once that solo is done other solists may follow but they will improvise in the same fashion.

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