But she herself was the real thing, a jazz musician to the bone. But as any Coltrane aficionado with some technical understanding would agree, that sharp, almost pinched quality in the high register is an integral part of the surging angst of the Coltrane sound. They see it as an expressive element. Dynamics. Rhythm. In fact, it would take years to learn to speak it, and depending at what age you did so, you might never sound credibly like a native. I’ve had sustained and rich experiences in both musical styles over the years, so I’ve had a chance to observe some general attributes of musicians who have been trained in each genre, and compare and contrast the two. S ince jazz is usually celebrated as an improvisor’s art, it may seem paradoxical that one of its major figures was a composer. It is not inserting a bit of Ravel or Schoenberg between bebop changes, nor the reverse. I’m often amazed at how a classically trained musician can bring a page of written music so vividly to life, often without even understanding it! Those shared references, even as we may mock them, form a cultural substrate that actually plays a surprisingly big role in how we interact on a day-to-day basis. You could think of jazz musicians, conversely, as having a more expressive approach to intonation. Whereas in classical music a repetition tends to be strict, in jazz even a repeated melody is constantly varied both in the melody and the accompaniment. Jazz harmony can be studied - but not the groove. Musical culture is something that is acquired gradually over a long period of study and practice within a given genre. Classical composers envy the melodic verve, spontaneity and open emotion of improvisation; jazz musicians look to the larger scale, the coloristic and … Here are six areas in which classical and jazz musicians vividly differ: 1. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. You have some interesting points here but as a pro jazz musician and a trained classical flautist ask a classical player to sing a lydian scale on any note? As another example of the differences in instrumentation, a piano trio in jazz typically consists of a piano, upright bass, and drums whereas in classical music it typically consists of a piano, violin, and cello. There are typically anywhere from 50 to 100 musicians that make up a classical orchestra. Unlike the classical sheet music, the chord chart is just a guide: most of the time, jazz musicians are improvising on a tune and, with knowledge on how harmony works, building their own arrangements. A new study out of Leipzig found that jazz and classical pianists use their brains differently while playing the same music. Indeed, the jazz musicians scored higher on a creative-thinking test than the classically trained musicians, although both groups of musicians scored higher than the nonmusicians. Do you still play both genres? It’s like listening to music on a great home stereo vs. cheap computer speakers—the difference may be glaring to the sensitized few, but for the most part the music comes through. Jazz is more difficult generally... of the two videos mookid posted, the bach one was far easier to play. Playing classical music is extremely hard. And the gulf between new music interpreters and more mainstream interpreters of the classical repertoire can seem vast. My opinion might surprise you, and I’m entitled to it. The overall dynamic of jazz is much louder than that of classical music, at least at the chamber music level. But really these are just manifestations of differences in brain structure, differences in training, and ultimately differences in culture. This was fantastic. The improvisations create the variation, and so in some sense the music is not travelling; it always comes back, again and again, to the same place. This one fact can make a lot of classical musicians nervous. One basic element that sets jazz apart from classical music is improvisation. Saved by Pender's Music Co. 7. People align themselves with one or another musical culture, and, though they may spend hours rationalizing their preferences, the basis for such adherence involves something much more primal. I’m very excited about the recording, which features Joshua Redman, one of today’s greatest working jazz musicians, as well as Brooklyn Rider, one of today’s most brilliant classical string quartets. I hope the musicians of our future continue to explore the relationship between jazz and classical, as both are endlessly deep wells of musical inspiration. Source: nmbx.newmusicusa.org. Or sing me a phygrian scale ? The classical period of music actually spans a time from of 1750 to 1800; thus, the term Classical is a misnomer and could more correctly be changed to Western Art Music or European Art Music. It’s the soloist’s voice that makes the music unique, whereas in classical music a good piece played by a less-than-stellar musician can lead to at least an intellectually interesting, if not aesthetically satisfying result, much more often than a less-than-stellar piece played by a great musician can. Jazz big bands rely heavily on brass instruments, particularly saxophones, which are rarely used by classical composers, and the upright bass in jazz is usually plucked rather than bowed as it typically is in classical music. But it also raises issues of legitimacy—anyone can give any interpretation to a piece of music, and since this is a very subjective quality, it’s harder to assess.