Skip to content

Debate: Jazz versus classical

Updated Friday 7th April 2006

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

Saxophone stop Copyrighted image Icon 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.

 

For further information, take a look at our frequently asked questions which may give you the support you need.

Have a question?

Other content you may like

An introduction to music research Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: © free course icon Level 3 icon

History & The Arts 

An introduction to music research

In this free course, An introduction to music research, we have gathered together materials to allow you to explore the ways in which music may be researched. After thinking about different kinds of musical knowledge and their relationship with various musical practices (including performance, composition, and listening), you'll be introduced to some of the digital resources and methodologies that inform music research. The next section, which constitutes the main part of the course, explores a variety of different resource types that can be the focus for music research including diaries, composer manuscripts, images, and instruments before the final section introduces you to a contentious area of current scholarship: the relationship between music and politics.

Free course
16 hrs
International Jazz Day audio icon

History & The Arts 

International Jazz Day

Let us inject a bit of jazz into your day as we celebrate International Jazz Day today (30 April).

Audio
10 mins
Data and processes in computing Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 2 icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Data and processes in computing

This free course, Data and processes in computing, will help you to understand the forms of data that are handled by software and look at the various processes that can be applied to the data. These ideas are demonstrated through the use of a supermarket till and illustrate how simple data sets can be manipulated.

Free course
14 hrs
What you listen to shows how you think Creative commons image Icon Tejastheory under CC-BY-SA licence under Creative-Commons license article icon

History & The Arts 

What you listen to shows how you think

New research suggests that your choice of music might show how you think.

Article
Participation Now: Meet the practitioners Creative commons image Icon stethoscope under CC-BY-SA licence under Creative-Commons license article icon

Society, Politics & Law 

Participation Now: Meet the practitioners

We have conducted a series of interviews with people involved in organising public participation initiatives.

Article
The Sound and the Fury: Wrecking Ball Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: BBC article icon

TV, Radio & Events 

The Sound and the Fury: Wrecking Ball

The first in a new music series: How the early 20th century saw a fragmented, abstract, discordant sound come to the fore.

Article
20th century composers: making the connections Creative commons image Icon The Open University under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license activity icon

History & The Arts 

20th century composers: making the connections

Explore the world of 20th century classical and avant-garde music through the composers and the fascinating connections that exist between them.

Activity
Learning to groove Creative commons image Icon Bill Henderson under CC-BY-SA licence under Creative-Commons license audio icon

History & The Arts 

Learning to groove

The story of Tomorrow's Warriors, teaching young people to love jazz - and training them for music industry success.

Audio
15 mins
Listen Up! Developing an appreciation of music Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: BBC article icon

History & The Arts 

Listen Up! Developing an appreciation of music

Nick Jones explains why knowing a little about what makes music, and listening carefully, can reveal much more in a simple tune

Article