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Jazz Form and Improvisation

Jazz Form and Improvisation

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Jazz Form and Improvisation

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  1. Jazz Form and Improvisation

  2. The musical structure within which music is composed or performed May typically be seen as a “container” for musical ideas Can often be identified by sections that repeat or musical material that “returns“ Typically described using letters Sample form – “Maple Leaf Rag” Form

  3. Almost always “strophic” or a cycle, similar to multiple verses of a song. each cycle called a chorus. choruses have a specific length (number of measures). choruses have a specific chord progression (or chord changes). Popular song forms: AABA (32-bar pop or standard song form). AAB (blues). “Rhythm Changes” – the collection of songs that have the same form and chord progression Common forms in Jazz

  4. Often described as “making it up as you go” (misleading) Extemporaneous composition Possible source material Melodic paraphrase Harmony (chord progression) “Licks” or patterns previously learned Improvisation

  5. In Big Bands or larger ensembles: Improvisation part of the larger structure of the piece Arrangements Small Groups (Combos) Soloists and solos typically focus of attention Often less “arranged”; performance not premeditated Jam sessions Improvisation in Context

  6. Sociologist Erving Goffman notes the inevitability of an observer’s influence in an encounter: . . . although kibitzers may be officially tolerated on the assumption that they will conduct themselves so as to have no real effect upon the outcome of the play, they are likely to be an integral part of the social-psychological reality of the gaming encounter; they are participants, not players, and can have a leading role in the gaming encounter while having no role in the play. Erving Goffman. “Fun in Games,” in Encounters: Two Studies in the Sociology of Interaction (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1961), 15-81, p. 37. The Role of the Audience