Entering Jazz Music

Although delving into the genre of Jazz music, I approached the critical listening of the three provided Jazz  pieces in a similar way as the previous musical pieces which I have been exposed to throughout the semester. Beginning with the Potato Head Blues by Louis Armstrong, I immediately noticed the lack of percussion within the piece since I attempted to identify the meter. I heard a  duple meter which was predominantly created by a bass instrument. However, this meter disappeared throughout certain times of the piece and even when the bass was playing at times, the meter was not perfectly clear, due to inconsistencies in the way the bass was utilized. This made me realize that Jazz music is a genre that is often associated with improvisation. Hence, Jazz music seems to emphasize the actual performance and playing of an instrument, rather than the composition, organization and formation of a piece. The actual individual instruments are being stressed and this argument can be supported by the various solo moments within the Jazz pieces that we are listening to.

This utilization of solo instruments is also present in Charlie Parker´s piece called Confirmation.This piece does possess percussion, creating a fast duple meter which persists throughout the whole piece. In my opinion, the way in which this Jazz piece is structured is through the different instrumental solos. The fact that different instruments receive a solo, sort of expresses a sort of competition among the different instruments within the piece, where one instrument attempts to out – do or out – perform the other instruments within their respective solos. Hence, a sense of conversation or communication among the instruments is communicated within this piece in particular.


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