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Why do humans like jazz?

tuga

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So people have regressed since the times when classical and jazz music were indeed the popular music of the day?
Classical was never really popular, except perhaps in Russia in the last 100 years. The first public Classical music hall was bult in the mid XIX Century, roll pianos were not available to the commoners and neither were acoustic recording players (gramophones).
Finally came radio to bring popular music to the masses, the mass-market home and personal stereo is a very recent phenomenon, before that common people would gather in the pub, village hall or campfire to listen and play, to sing and dance.

Complexity is not exclusive of Classical or Jazz.
This video shows examples of complex or sophisticated rythms in rock, pop and traditional music.
 
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tuga

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I'd say a better question is, "Why do some self-righteous people seek so vigorously to justify their own likes and dislikes?"

Jim

Facts are facts. :p

dO1kvy8.png

taken from the video linked above
 

Snoopy

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Never enjoyed jazz that much till my early 30s at least.. but recently it just clicked. Not sure why but 80% of music I listen mostly is Jazz.

Especially Japanese jazz.

There is that Japanese label "three blind mice". And every album for me is like pure gold. It's just the mix of amazing artists and recording quality.

I see myself upgrading my system for this genre.. the recording quality is just phenomenal compared to stuff I considered previously as "very good"
 

ahofer

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Classical was never really popular, except perhaps in Russia in the last 100 years. The first public Classical music hall was bult in the mid XIX Century, roll pianos were not available to the commoners and neither were acoustic recording players (gramophones).
Finally came radio to bring popular music to the masses, the mass-market home and personal stereo is a very recent phenomenon, before that common people would gather in the pub, village hall or campfire to listen and play, to sing and dance.

Complexity is not exclusive of Classical or Jazz.
This video shows examples of complex or sophisticated rythms in rock, pop and traditional music.
The Police did a fair amount of those “rhythmic illusions”, and achieved tremendous popularity.

In a private conversation I attempted to articulate my thinking about how the greatest music actually smuggles complexity in:

On the topic of requiring training to enjoy complexity...I'm not completely in agreement, I think. The pinnacle of music success is often where the complexity is simply appealing. Bach, for instance, even in the Inventions. Mozart, also, would anchor his most complex or strange modulations with a repetitive or strict cantus firmus melody (see op. 40). That combination of anchoring something novel in something familiar has created many of the most lasting pieces of classical music.

Then there's the last movement of the Chopin Piano Sonata #2. Everyone loves the piece, but the final 90 sec movement is simply nuts.

Key modulation is a more concrete example. You can take someone to a very foreign key by voice leading properly or following a passing melody note native to the new key. When you study Bach’s pieces you find he is inevitably, already most of the way into the new key before he roots it.

Complexity for its own sake tends to be less lasting, or simply famous as a novelty.

Afterthought: For a fun example of odd but fairly normal-sounding harmony supporting a lyrical idea, do a harmonic analysis of the Jimmy Webb classic “Wichita Lineman”.

 
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Fahzz

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Never enjoyed jazz that much till my early 30s at least.. but recently it just clicked. Not sure why but 80% of music I listen mostly is Jazz.

Especially Japanese jazz.

There is that Japanese label "three blind mice". And every album for me is like pure gold. It's just the mix of amazing artists and recording quality.

I see myself upgrading my system for this genre.. the recording quality is just phenomenal compared to stuff I considered previously as "very good"
Can you recommend any artist in particular from that label?
 

Snoopy

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Can you recommend any artist in particular from that label?

Isao Suzuki, ayako hosokawa, hidefumi Toki, masaru imada.

But the TBM CDs are not on qobuz, tidal and lots of CDs are already OOP.

But plenty of stuff on YouTube. I have currently 12 TBM releases and a couple more ordered.
 

fpitas

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Nobody asked ChatGPT this question? At least you'll get a truly objective answer :D
 

sweetsounds

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So people have regressed since the times when classical and jazz music were indeed the popular music of the day?

I don't think so. John Coltrane barely made it into the charts at the end of his career, yet he has been super influential for jazz lovers then and now.
Rachmaninov was not filling stadiums like Elvis Presley.

Jazz was popular when it was easy to listen and dance to and less complex, like Louis Armstrong, Glenn Miller. Same is true for classical (think of Johann Strauß and Puccini operas).

Complex music is a different way of enjoyment. I like straight Rock for its energy, Pop for its easy consumption. But those are very different from listening to Miles Davis and Anton Bruckner, stimulating different parts of the brain.

If you expect Jazz to have the same impact on you as Billboard music, you can't enjoy both genres.
 

boswell

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Jazz? Relentless (Danny Gatton and Joey DeFrancesco) is fantastic, never in charts but if you hear it, it will be in your chart
pm?
 

Barrelhouse Solly

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I have liked jazz since early childhood. My folks had Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller, and Duke Ellington records. I gradually learned to follow the chord substitutions in bebop and the later modal music. I can identify standards by listening to a solo chorus. They also had a lot of original cast musical comedy records. My favorite singer when I was 4 was Ethel Merman.

Jazz is based on one of the oldest things in music, theme and variations. All classical music has this. Instrumental pop music has it. In the early '60s a group called the Swingle Singers did some recordings of Bach pieces with Jazz rhythms. If you listen to Bach chamber music you can hear how easy it was to make it swing.

You are under no obligation to like jazz or classical music. I love pre-WWII blues and country music a lot. The melodies and chord progressions are simpler. There are solos that improvise on the melody in a lot of this music too. I'm ancient so I'm familiar with post WWII pop music before Elvis. I have a lot of the tunes my folks listened to on the radio imbedded in my brain. The standard pop tune record always includes an instrumental portion of variations on the melody. Once I heard rock and R&B I moved off in a different direction. It took me a while to appreciate the chord progressions in pop standards again.

I'm a big fan of (Theodore) Sturgeon's Law: "90% of everything is crap."
 

fpitas

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I've seen Reefer Madness. I know it's the pot that makes people like jazz.
 

Barrelhouse Solly

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Slightly OT: Western Swing evolved from country music with jazzy rhythm into something akin to jazz. If you listen to later groups like Spade Cooley's band you will hear interesting big band arrangements played on instruments like pedal steel guitar, guitar, and fiddle with horns and piano. It may be hard to believe, but there are some western swing groups that used an accordion as the keyboard instrument and it sounded good. There is a great recording called "Brisbane Bop" with the house band from a country music club in Brisbane, CA, just south of San Francisco. This tune is based on the chords to "I Got Rhythm."
 

ahofer

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There’s something good in pretty much every genre and 90% of everything is crap. There you are. I guess I bristle when people write off a vast and varied genre like Jazz or ”classical“ (by which they mean most or all of concert hall music, apparently), because it is so unlikely that they’ve looked for the great stuff, or come to appreciate what separates the superior performers and composers.

But then I wonder why I am bristling or even care. Funny thing, being human.
 

fpitas

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But on the other hand, A Clockwork Orange just wouldn't be the same without Beethoven's 9th.
 

Barrelhouse Solly

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They're too cerebral.
It's a matter of taste. I don't care for opera because I don't care for the approach to singing. I realize that it takes nearly 20 years to train to be an opera singer. It's a very demanding vocal technique that few people can master. I just don't care for the way it sounds. Also, I'm pitch sensitive and have a lot of trouble listening to many opera singers because their pitch control is iffy. My mom, who was more pitch sensitive than I am, felt the same way. I have trouble listening to flute music for the same reason. It's almost impossible to play a flute in tune.

BTW, a lot of opera has beautiful melodies, the kind you can whistle.
 

Barrelhouse Solly

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But on the other hand, A Clockwork Orange just wouldn't be the same without Beethoven's 9th.
I read the book when I was in high school, stumbled on it at the library. I loved it. The glossary in the back was helpful.
 
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