Debate: Jazz versus classical

As part of the response to the 2006 Reith Lectures, community users discussed the merits of jazz against classical, inspired by a post from forum user Perdido

By: The OpenLearn team (Programme and web teams)

  • Duration 5 mins
  • Updated Friday 7th April 2006
  • Introductory level
  • Posted under Music
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Saxophone stop Copyrighted image Copyright: Jupiter Images

I was very interested in Barenboim's apparent distinction between the creativity of improvisation [jazz] and the art of the orchestra[classical] While absolutely agreeing with him about the integrating possibility of music in life, my question is this; why is it that different forms of music appeal to different people.Partly it has to be about developing an 'ear', which would depend upon education, however defined, but also to do with the listener's association with the piece of music's meaning.

Why is it certain forms of music evoke emotion and visual imagery, while others do not? Everything he said in his first lecture applies to the best jazz [whatever that is] For me the biggest criticism I have of classical, is its predictability. It acts as a 'security blanket', and because of this it does lack creative spontaneity.

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