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?