Jazz Violin: An Intelligent Conversation
March 12, 2012 at 10:22 PM
Jazz Violin- An Intelligent Conversation
The excerpt below comes from a real conversation on Facebook. I found it on my daughter’s wall (I wasn’t snooping, honest).
If she finds out that I posted this, I’ll probably be in trouble…
I couldn’t resist, the proud father that I am. To see 14 yr-olds having intelligent conversations about music (more intelligent than the music education “establishment” itself), gives me hope for the future of music education.
Marcus posted “The Violin does not produce Jazz Music”
Adrian likes this.
Camie : “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU MARCUS?!! I am concerned for your well being…“
Marcus: VIOLIN = CLASSICAL, maybe some new age rap music.
It does not make jazz music for the most part. That’s brass instruments mainly.
You wouldn’t go to jazz bar or whatever and have the band have 4 violin players and a saxophone.
Marcus: Apparently Wikipedia says it is both Jazz and Classical. Son of a #@$^%&$%…..
Camie: Oh my @$#^$&$&$&^ god.!!! Would you look at that? I didn’t know I could ever be friends with anyone who thought this.
Camie: List of Jazz Violinists
Marcus: WELL… NOW YOU KNOW!
Camie: especially jean-luc ponty…
Camie: …and if you’ve never heard a jazz violinist play, you can’t judge!!! Go back to #%$^$^^#^%!!!!
Marcus: I don’t especially care for the violin players. I just like the sound of CLASSICAL violin musical pieces such as Bach’s work.
Camie: with the right pressure you can make the violin sound like a brass instrument
Camie: plus you can do a whole bunch of funky stuff on the violin that trumpets and sax can’t do…
Camie: and when you mix classical and jazz it gets even better
(For jazz violin resources and lessons visit: Christian Howes.com
Camie: OR you can take a distortion and effects and loop pedal and create something new from a classic piece
Stevie Wonder- Isn’t She Lovely violin cover
Marcus: And I do not recall a single song or instrumental involving jazz and violins
Camie: Well, then you haven’t tried looking for those songs. They’re out there and they’re fantastic.
Violins aren’t just used for sounding pretty or being back up harmony with a lot of vibrato.
And yeah, I don’t tend to look for songs with instruments that typically do not belong there.
Like for instance, a guitar in rap music. Apparently, Linkin Park does this little mix and it works out pretty well. But I don’t PURPOSELY type stuff like that in. You see what I mean?
Camie: Yeah, I see what you mean but you can’t say that violin does not produce jazz or that it’s not supposed to, because that’s what my dad does professionally and he’s well #$%@%#%% PRETTY AWESOME at it, and I’ve been raised to play jazz, and the whole point of jazz isn’t to play it on a specific instrument or follow strict musical guidelines like for classical music but to improvise and be creative.
Plus, there’s not much of a creative range for rap. You could mix a LOT of different sounds into jazz music and make practically anything into jazz because all you need is to give it a swing and to improvise over it. I’m not saying that’s jazz, but that’s how you can make classical or rock or punk or alternative music into jazz.
Camies: You can’t make ANY genre into rap music and have it sound amazing, unless you really manipulate the music so that it sounds good with jazz, I’m sure there are some really terrible jazz songs out there but that doesn’t mean that only certain instruments are restricted to that genre…
Marcus: I personally do not listen to a lot of jazz music so I don’t know much about how it is besides the main points which involve saxophones. But hey, it makes sense on how it could fit with jazz music if it produced a deeper and more upbeat sound. I don’t care for rap that much either. I just brought it up as an example. And oh, that’s a pretty nice profession of your dads’.
Camie Howes: Yeah, it’s pretty cool!!! lol XD
And I get what you’re saying, JAZZ VIOLIN is definitely unusual, when I first walked in to jazz band they told me I was in the wrong class…
Marcus: Ahahahaha! Well, we do have an orchestra…. are you the only one?
Django: A lot of rap songs are based around jazz samples. Some of the most popular breaks in hip-hop are from funk songs. FUNK came out of JAZZ and several other genres. There’s a lot of jazz rap, just like there’s a lot of jazz core and rap core (hardcore rap is something completely different).
Free jazz had a huge influence on early punk. No genre exists in a vacuum. No genre is objectively better than any other genre, although there are plenty of genres I personally can’t stand.
No instrument is really restricted to one genre, although there are plenty that rarely show up outside of a certain genre.
Camie ?: ^^lots of yes at Django J
^^^I would be in orchestra, like I was at my elementary/middle school but it’s just so boring for me at least in jazz I get to play something different every day J
Camie: Oh no!!! There’s no one else from orchestra in jazz band if that’s your question XD
Marcus: Yes. That was my question. And what an interesting bit of history, Django, I did not know that. But I never took the time to learn about every single genre of music so it figures.
Adrian: Tell me that when u can play violin, as well as, me or Camille or Cami’s dad…
Marcus: No one cares for your violin skills Adrian.
Adrian: I’m pretty good at violin Marcus!
Adrian: Marcus, the violin can make…
Marcus: Going back to the “not anyone cares” comment….
Adrian: Camie does.
Adrian: digging the murchalago, Brian.
Brian: you spelled it wrong…
Camie: Ahaha!!! Right!
Adrian: You seem like a man with a good knowledge of cars, Brian.
Brian: It’s murcielago…
Brian: Thanks ever since I was 5, I’ve been into cars’…
Adrian: Good good…
Adrian: What is your dream car? I have 2: McLaren f1, Rolls Royce phantom, grey or black?
Brian: I want a BMW gtr…
Adrian: Not bad, not bad. Personally, I prefer Audis to beamers.
Brian: Audis are ok, either the BMW or a Porsche.
If you’re a string player or teacher interested in jazz and improvisation, check out the Creative Strings Academy
Wow! Very cool. And your daughter thinks you are not a completely hopeless dork. It doesn't get any better than that in life.
All it takes is one good counterexample to blow a stereotype out of the water. I remember back in 1970 hearing a group called "It's a Beautiful Day" on the radio playing "Don and Dewey" and thinking: "Wow, I've never heard a violin played that way before."
And it goes back farther than that - look up Stephane Grapelli, for instance.
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