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This classic chronological survey of jazz history brings the various historical styles to life by exploring them through the lives of the musicians and a study of their recordings. KEY TOPICS An eight-part organization covers THE BLUES;PIANO STYLES—1890-1940; NEW ORLEANS JAZZ AND DIXIELAND—1910-1940; SWING—1934-1945; BEBOP—1943-1960; THIRD STREAM, COOL, AND BEYOND—1949- ; FREE JAZZ—1960- ; and JAZZ/ROCK FUSION—1968- . For jazz lovers.
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Unlike other musical genres, jazz history is firmly connected to its great performers. They are the ones who create the complexities and individual nuances that make jazz so difficult to categorize and chronicle. Including pertinent biographical information, Introduction to Jazz History continues to examine this interaction between musicians, their history, and the history of their music.
The Sixth Edition updates current and ongoing stylistic trends in jazz, including the modern big bands and the new hybrids of jazz extending beyond fusion and crossover. The chronological presentation of the history is intuitive and logical. New biographical sketches for recent and historical musicians have been added to update the text.
Interactive Listening Guides are now available using the CDs that accompany the text and the CDs for SCCJ (Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz). Together, these two sets comprise the most powerful collection of jazz recordings available in such a simple package and they are now fully interactive. A fully developed online course of Jazz History using this textbook is now available. For information go to www.eMegill.comExcerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
The people who play jazz create the complexities and individual nuances that make a history of jazz so difficult to formulate. No clear-cut category can encompass all jazz. Each performer's idiom is a style unto itself; if it were not so, the music would hardly be jazz.
Jazz, like almost all other music, comprises three artistic activities: creating, performing, and listening. In traditional Western European music, these three activities are not always performed by the same individual, although they quite often are. In jazz, however, it is necessary for the performer to combine all three at the same time. Musical creation is an active part of any jazz performance and depends on the performers' understanding of the developing creation, an understanding gained only by their ability to listen well. They must react instantaneously to what they hear from their fellow performers, and their own contribution must be consistent with the unfolding themes and moods. Every act of musical creation in jazz is, therefore, as individual as the performer creating it.
Jazz occupies a unique place in American cultural history. Although it has been influenced by the music of many countries, it remains a purely American phenomenon. And because the creators of jazz, the performers, have been influenced by social and historical forces peculiar to America, an understanding of their life experiences and lifestyles is often essential.
It is almost impossible to present a history of jazz without looking closely at its great performers. Although we are concerned mainly with the music itself, the various styles can often be seen to have grown directly out of the substance of the performers' lives, and we have therefore given whatever biographical information is necessary to understand a musician's development.
Looking over the historical span of jazz, we cannot say one performer is more important than another, and we have had a difficult time choosing which performers to discuss. We have selected certain individuals for special biographical treatment because they stand out as leaders in the development of a particular jazz style. We have necessarily had to exclude a number of significant artists. Furthermore, we have gone into detail in the biographies of some musicians, not because they are more important than others, but because their lives have been bound up with the lives of so many other musicians. Such an approach allows us to examine many interesting interactions between musicians who have determined the direction of jazz over the years. Nevertheless, the subject of this book is jazz, not life histories, and we include biographical detail only to the extent that it illuminates the music.
This edition updates several of the ongoing stylistic trends in jazz today, including the strong historical influence of Latin music to modern big bands and salsa bands, bebop, and crossover. The new hybrids of American music have been added to the end of the text. New biographical sketches for recent and historical musicians have been added for balance and to provide background for the discussions of style. The overview appendix on rock has been expanded for a better understanding of its influence on contemporary jazz styles.
The book's format is best suited to students and professors concerned with the chronology of jazz styles and how they have influenced one another. The chapters are organized so that professors may include additional biographies and recordings. It is also possible to schedule short-term classes by using only the first chapters of each part for class discussion.
Listening Guides and Recordings. Discussions of each stylistic period appear at the beginning of each chapter, and most of them are accompanied by a Listening Guide of a specific performance. For the sake of convenience, most of the recordings come from the Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz (SCCJ). This excellent collection is still available to students. Furthermore, it contains extensive explanatory notes by historian Martin Williams that add much to its effectiveness. Every recording featured in a Listening Guide is labeled so it can be located in the collection. For this edition, several Listening Guides for selections from SCCJ have been added, where appropriate, at the end of each part of the text. The Listening Guides are intentionally kept brief and point out musical landmarks. They have proven successful in the classroom because they leave professors free to help students draw their own aesthetic conclusions from the music. The guides have been designed primarily to help students at any level discipline their listening. A suggested discography appears at the end of each chapter to further augment the students' listening experience.
This edition again stresses the importance of listening by adding several new Listening Guides. There are 70 Listening Guides. By using the Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz (five CDs) and the supplementary two tapes or CDs that accompany this text, there will be very little need to secure albums to facilitate examples for the Listening Guides.
Box Biographies. Within the flow of the discussion, short biographical boxes appear that relate to the topic but not directly to the specific subject. In this way, background information can be presented without interruption.
Student Study Bids. Several other study aids are included to help prepare the student for the course: "The Elements of Music for the Nonmusician" and "The Elements of Jazz." The first is intended to supply the necessary rudiments of music to students who have little or no music background. The second presents specific musical elements in jazz and illustrates them with several examples; it also defines many of the jazz terms used throughout the book.
Student Tapes/CDs. The recordings that accompany the text serve two purposes. First, the instructor can make listening assignments knowing that the recorded examples are immediately accessible-that is, in the Smithsonian collection and the student collection. The second purpose is to supply more contemporary examples for the students to have after the course is finished.
Glossary. Glossary terms are printed in bold type at least once in the text for easy identification and are readily found again in the extensive glossary at the back of the book.
Teacher's Manual. Brief summaries of each chapter, topics for classroom discussion, and a bank of questions from which to construct exams are provided in a teacher's manual and will help the professor better use the material in the text. For this edition, additional listening guides are available in the teacher's manual.
Online Activities. Interactive listening software is now available to access the Listening Guides on the two-CD series that accompanies the text. This software allows the student to move anywhere in the listening example with just a mouse click on the description. There is additional background material on both the performer and the music and an interactive glossary. These interactive listening guides and an explanation on the necessary plugins are found on the author's homepage http://www.miracosta.edu/home/ddmegill/
This course is also now available as a fully loaded course for teaching online. All assignments, tests, and grading are presented in a course management software environment (ETUDES). All material can be modified or taught just as it is. Contact the author at the above homepage for information and demonstration.
TO THE STUDENT
As a student of jazz styles, you must keep one activity foremost in your studies: You must actively listen to the examples and observe the differences that identify each style. Reading and discussion alone will not convey the essence of the various styles. Only listening does, and listening requires total attention; approach jazz as you would any other serious musical art. Your appreciation of jazz and understanding of its history will be enhanced greatly by continued listening and reading about how jazz styles were born, grew, and changed.
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