jazz and classical

September 15, 2006 at 11:24 PM · who play classical and jazz music?tell me the different feeling between them! what gems do u play?

Replies (8)

September 16, 2006 at 02:24 AM · Wonderful question, but it's such a long answer that I despair of finding words to describe it!

A movie screenplay written by an astute friend of mine said it best: "Popular music is dead from the head up, classical music is dead from the legs down".

November 29, 2006 at 03:06 AM · Okay, so I just resurrected a hugely dead question as I was digging through the "UPDATED!" topics since I last logged on in early August.


Anyway, as a classical and jazz player, I prefer a combination of the two. Classical is very set-in-stone...no room to express yourself unless you're a virtuoso concertmaster with a cadenza...but as long as you get a first violin part, you've got one of the most exciting things you can get...assuming it's within your capability to learn it and play it.

Jazz, on the other hand, allows for the most deviation possible. You don't have to be a virtuoso to solo in jazz, and it doesn't have to be eye-popping fast accidental-filled runs, either. As long as you can play by ear, and have a sense of what notes you're allowed to play when, you can make up something. It takes a little bit more courage to solo in jazz, though, than in classical, since you don't have notes in front of you and you have to write it as you go.

One awesome thing about jazz is there is no violin part in standard jazz music. This means the choice is yours as to what you play!

If you like a prewritten part, you can easily play the alto sax line 8va in most cases (just play it in IIIrd position instead of Ist) or you can be daring and try to play a rhythmic trumpet part a whole step lower than written (much more challenging!)

I normally look at the piano line for several reasons:

1) I love the wide choice of notes (usually about four lines to choose from or more), and the tenor and bass lines are options (you may have to play them up an octave in some spots)

2) I like double-stops. I can play the soprano and tenor lines at the same time! (one song I play triple-stops for every note of the song! Talk about excitement!)

3) It's already in C...major benefit. Makes reading accidentals a heck of a lot easier.

4) Hardly any rests...as a violinist I automatically hate rests.

5) If the notes don't compliment the fiddle, the chords are written above them!

I have found that in the orchestra I have great dynamics (louder than the rest) but am definitely not as good as the others...but it doesn't matter when I enter the jazz setting, because I don't fry my brains playing! I am a lead soloist in my jazz band, and I love it!

Note that I do not discount classical music...

classical is very fun to practice at home (and in the orchestra)...but others enjoy listening to jazz more than they do classical. And jazz offers freedom and support that classical simply doesn't.

Also note that in an orchestra, you can make mistakes and no one hears them. In jazz, you better hope the mistake sounded like you did it on purpose rather than accidentally, since you may be the only person playing your part.

Hope you're still around checking this topic to read the reply!

November 29, 2006 at 04:12 AM · Greetings,

>Also note that in an orchestra, you can make mistakes and no one hears them.

Not so I`m afraid. But it is still true that in space no-one can hear you scream,



November 29, 2006 at 04:16 AM · i listen to classical and jazz, cant play either very well

...i can hear me scream

November 29, 2006 at 04:35 AM · I loved playing jazz (I haven't had a chance to in a couple years, although ONE day...heh)...

Anyways, I played in a string quartet and in a jazz combo before..covering tunes like Fly Me to the Moon, Autumn Leaves, and I've Got Rhythm. Also, the violist of the quartet would make his own compositions and arrangements.

I love Classical, there is so much refinement and beauty to it... but I find it easier for myself (having grown up listening to mostly rock type rhythms) to swing with jazz. I can keep time a lot better than in classical, it took SOO much discipline with a metronome, whereas I was going by ear and heart for jazz.

Jazz is a wonderful way to develop your ear and aural skills...I tend to find that to be a wonderful benefit of learning it. You can with classical too, it's just not the same in my opinion.

November 29, 2006 at 05:55 AM · Thank you Buri, as just tonight I had a couple of gems that must have been immediately obvious to our dear audience for Mahler 7.

November 29, 2006 at 09:26 AM · I used to play some jazz, but really don't have time for it anymore unfortunately. Sometimes I run into someone who plays jazz who asks me to take out the violin and play. There's a really cool piece I played with a string quartet called "Skylife" (can't recall the composer) where I got to do an improv solo and so does the cellist. Turtle Island SQ plays it on a couple of their CDs. Also played a rather lengthy improv. solo in "Take Five", graciously transposed to E min from Eb min (I don't practice scales enough), for another ensemble. Jazz is really fun, but I really need to focus on classical right now and don't have enough time. I guess I'm waiting until I'm as good as Vengerov before I start dabbling in it again:) (Tango is still on though, I'll play Le Grand Tango as soon as I'm done transcribing it off the Gidon Kremer CD)

Edit: I forgot to mention the difference. You get laid more often after playing jazz than you do after playing classical.

November 29, 2006 at 01:48 PM · I feel the main difference between jazz and classical music is in the understanding of time.

1) In 4:4 the classical pulse is generally on one amd three, while in jazz, it tends to be 2 & 4. In funk it is strong on the one, then you feel the "ands" of the beats.

2) Where one plays relative to that pulse, ahead, on it, behind... there is a different concept of where to play in the beat in the two approaches.

Ways of playing rubato are in this category.

3) Of course then there is the old chestnut of swing and phrasing across the barline and the beat. This comes naturally to decent jazzers, but you only find it occasionally in classical music (e.g. when the Brandenburgs are rattling along!)

The improvisational aspect of jazz is a whole other area.


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