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Author Topic: Discussion: Jazz requires more creativity than classical.  (Read 438 times)
chopinlover01
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« on: October 15, 2017, 04:06:05 AM »

Oh boy, I can't wait for the flames. Please, roast me with all you have.

The hate makes me stronger <3

No, but really, I'm interested to see if y'all agree.

Have a good night everyone Smiley
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mjames
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« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2017, 04:17:31 AM »

jah
I mean I would disagree if "mainstream" classical still incorporated improv&composition like it used to (compose concertos to graduate from apprenticeships!) but just the standard memorize music and then perform it on stage is significantly easier than what jazz music requires. I feel like my brain's a lot more active when I'm modifying a 5-bar phrase  Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked
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chopinlover01
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« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2017, 08:36:37 AM »

Well.. Imagine someone saying to you, "I want to play the Moonlight sonata, but could we do it in A flat minor, please? My violin isn't what it used to be."

Another necessary jazz skill Tongue
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klavieronin
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« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2017, 08:46:30 AM »

I assume you're talking about performing jazz vs. performing classical music (as opposed to composing jazz or classical music). I think I would agree but in a way it's a bit like saying that being a surgeon requires more manual dexterity than being a pediatrician. The very core of jazz is improvisation so creativity is a necessity. Classical music, it could be argued, doesn't require much in the way of creativity but does require more finesse, artistic depth, and precision than jazz (it could be argued).
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Bob
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« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2017, 11:48:33 AM »

For the current world I can see it.  If you want to take it to the extreme, you could say classical is paint-by-numbers without thinking really to the extreme -- play the right notes, right tempo, right voicing, as the composer intended... You don't have to really think at all for most of that besides just following directions, but it's following very, very precise instructions.  Jazz?  The teaching I've seen is doing something with improv almost right away.  There is a trend to require jazz students have some base in classical (so usually it's more dedicated, "smarter" students since they have to meet the basic music requirements and then add more with jazz).  But you can start teaching improve as soon as someone can play one note (or more realistically two notes).


Loaded topic though.  On the other side, you can say there's improvisation in classical music (potentially).  And there's interpretation of music that's creative.  (That's true but it also seems like the classical world has the composer's intention mapped out fairly well.  Making the music breath with those intentions is different than just knowing them though.)  And you could do classical composition that's very creative, but music teaching (US here) isn't really set up for that much at all.
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chopinlover01
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« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2017, 07:00:42 PM »

Good discussion here, I don't necessarily disagree with anything.

Really, the question I want to get it is this: Classical piano, especially post Beethoven, demands that you adhere strictly to the score, the composer's intent, etc. How is this self expression? Are you not really expressing what the composer had in mind? There's nothing wrong with this, but for self expression, how effective is classical piano, really? You might identify with a piece of music, but ultimately it's somebody else's thoughts, not your own.
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Bob
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« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2017, 12:12:20 AM »

There was a good Barenboim/Lang Lang masterclass video I keep thinking of.  There was a difference with Barenboim because of his interpretation.  It was more living and breathing than Lang Lang.  Lang Lang was playing was on the page.  Barenboim was playing what the composer meant more.

I'd say it's shades of color.  "Pink," yes but exactly which one?  Multiplied by all the aspects of music.  You could just play what's on the page, and it's technically correct... Or maybe it's completely wrong then?  But if you can play at a level where you're following the ideals of the time, the composer, etc. than there's a lot more choices for interpretation and creativity there.  Still paint-by-numbers I guess to get there, but all that's just pillars, and then you can fill in what you want within that.  If you're good enough, you've got lots of options within certain limits.

Jazz on the other hand... From Day 1 you can start doing your own thing.  If you're not trying to perfect a certain style, there options are a lot more wide than classical.  At least that's what I'm thinking now.


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rachmaninoff_forever
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« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2017, 05:52:03 AM »

Here's what I think

Jazz is all about making the craziest sh*t sound cool while classical music is all about making the simplest stuff sound cool.  And I think the latter requires more creativity.  Like in classical music you can get the feels from hearing a basic ass major triad or something but for Jazz you need a back door 2-5-1 tritone negative harmony subsitution altered 13 b9 chord to get the same amount of feels.  Ya feel me?


GENERALLY
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stevensk
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« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2017, 07:18:42 AM »

What jazz? Glen Miller or what?
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chopinlover01
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« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2017, 03:46:41 PM »

@Rach You don't need any of that to sound good in jazz. Modern jazz certainly has a tendency to do that, but listen to early players. Lester Young, Louis Armstrong, etc weren't doing those things.

Classical also has a lot of crazy chromatic sh*t; look at Mahler, Liszt, Prokofiev, etc.
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huaidongxi
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« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2017, 08:53:34 AM »

Bob, there was a LvB masterclass given by Barenboim, LL attending and trying on one of the 'war horse', familiar sonatas.  the limited esteem I had for LL was eroded by his apparent unfamiliarity with the sonata -- he sight read it as if he'd never heard it before and had no clue of what was getting expressed through the notes. one could almost imagine that he'd done so well exploiting Chopin et. al. in his career he hadn't gotten around to even listening to Beethoven sonatas.

chopinlover01, my very modest experience at reproducing classical scores and at jazz improvisation suggests that each requires a different quality of creativity.  my failure in receiving instruction in classical reproduction led me to suspect that traditional piano instructors (at least mediocre ones like the one who fired me, have no idea of others), relative to jazz improvisation instructors, can attempt their task with very little attention given to harmony and theory. tackling bebop and post bebop piano seems inconceivable for most of us (there are players who excel going just 'by ear' of course) without pretty big doses of theory. reproducing and mimicry can probably take you a bit further in classical, though adept imitators of improvisation can probably pass themselves off as genuine improvisors as well.
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pianoplunker
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« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2017, 02:28:11 PM »

Oh boy, I can't wait for the flames. Please, roast me with all you have.

The hate makes me stronger <3

No, but really, I'm interested to see if y'all agree.

Have a good night everyone Smiley

Creativity is within the musician, not the genre. How many ways has Canon in D been played ? Just like A-Train.
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chopinlover01
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« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2017, 10:29:17 PM »

Creativity is within the musician, not the genre. How many ways has Canon in D been played ? Just like A-Train.


Canon in D has been played too many different ways Tongue

Is it really equal, though, finding an interesting way to play Canon in D vs taking an improvised solo?
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Bob
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« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2017, 11:28:16 PM »

Bob, there was a LvB masterclass given by Barenboim, LL attending and trying on one of the 'war horse', familiar sonatas.  the limited esteem I had for LL was eroded by his apparent unfamiliarity with the sonata -- he sight read it as if he'd never heard it before and had no clue of what was getting expressed through the notes. one could almost imagine that he'd done so well exploiting Chopin et. al. in his career he hadn't gotten around to even listening to Beethoven sonatas.


I remember thinking, "That's why we study music history."
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rachmaninoff_forever
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« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2017, 01:28:55 AM »

@Rach You don't need any of that to sound good in jazz. Modern jazz certainly has a tendency to do that, but listen to early players. Lester Young, Louis Armstrong, etc weren't doing those things.

Classical also has a lot of crazy chromatic sh*t; look at Mahler, Liszt, Prokofiev, etc.

That's why I said generally

And If you're gonna make a comparison to early jazz then compare it to like early baroque or renaissance or some sh*t.

Cause nobody plays in that style anymore everyone's all about doing weird crazy stuff
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huaidongxi
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« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2017, 01:41:13 AM »

rachmaninoff_forever, by 'weird crazy stuff', what do you refer to, post bebop ?  there are still plenty of practitioners who are doing New Orleans, or swing/stride piano (which might be considered the 'classical' period for jazz), but it can be in a pop music or cocktail/cabaret context.
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rachmaninoff_forever
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« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2017, 02:12:42 AM »

rachmaninoff_forever, by 'weird crazy stuff', what do you refer to, post bebop ?  there are still plenty of practitioners who are doing New Orleans, or swing/stride piano (which might be considered the 'classical' period for jazz), but it can be in a pop music or cocktail/cabaret context.

Yeah I'm talking post bebop like the dirty loops, snarky puppies, Jacob colliers of the world
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klavieronin
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« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2017, 03:44:11 AM »

And If you're gonna make a comparison to early jazz then compare it to like early baroque or renaissance or some sh*t.

Cause nobody plays in that style anymore everyone's all about doing weird crazy stuff

There is some pretty weird crazy stuff even in renaissance music. Just listen to some of Carlo Gesualdo's stuff (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwsfGmAy-UE for example). In fact I think the classical period is way less adventurous musically than the renaissance.
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pianoplunker
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« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2017, 04:34:11 AM »

Canon in D has been played too many different ways Tongue

Is it really equal, though, finding an interesting way to play Canon in D vs taking an improvised solo?

How about taking an improvised solo over an improvised version of Canon in D ?  I think it is equal to the extent that the musician wishes to do either. 
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rachmaninoff_forever
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« Reply #19 on: October 18, 2017, 05:56:41 AM »

There is some pretty weird crazy stuff even in renaissance music. Just listen to some of Carlo Gesualdo's stuff (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwsfGmAy-UE for example). In fact I think the classical period is way less adventurous musically than the renaissance.

The whole name of the game is that composers are more adventurous as time progresses.

I mean dude literally everything in classical music with the exception of text in ars subtilior is more adventerous than mideival and renaissance music.  You don't even have modulations yet lol

I don't like renaissance music btw but this madrigal is kinda dope
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klavieronin
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« Reply #20 on: October 18, 2017, 11:01:51 AM »

The whole name of the game is that composers are more adventurous as time progresses.

I don't think that's necessarily true. Early composers were experimenting all the time. That's how we went from simple monophonic music in ancient times to the complex polyphony of the Baroque. In certain respects you are right of course because later composers have a longer history to draw on than early composers. Even so, early composers were a lot freer in regards to dissonance, for example, because they were still trying to figure out how to write polyphonically. Have a listen to this little gem for example; https://vimeo.com/207109347

It may not sound "dissonant" but the part writing is way freer than anything you would hear in the baroque - full of 2nds, 7ths, 4ths, crossed voices, parallel 5ths and all sorts of things that became outlawed in the baroque.

I don't like renaissance music btw but this madrigal is kinda dope

Stravinsky's favourite composer apparently.
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rachmaninoff_forever
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« Reply #21 on: October 19, 2017, 02:57:39 AM »

I don't think that's necessarily true. Early composers were experimenting all the time. That's how we went from simple monophonic music in ancient times to the complex polyphony of the Baroque. In certain respects you are right of course because later composers have a longer history to draw on than early composers. Even so, early composers were a lot freer in regards to dissonance, for example, because they were still trying to figure out how to write polyphonically. Have a listen to this little gem for example; https://vimeo.com/207109347

It may not sound "dissonant" but the part writing is way freer than anything you would hear in the baroque - full of 2nds, 7ths, 4ths, crossed voices, parallel 5ths and all sorts of things that became outlawed in the baroque.

Stravinsky's favourite composer apparently.

Schoenberg, Berg and those guys were in love with ars subtilior too. 

And I think Berg or someone did their PHD thesis or whatever on renaissance music no?
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huaidongxi
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« Reply #22 on: October 19, 2017, 05:33:22 AM »

rachmaninoff_forever, never heard of snarky puppies, jacob collier et. al. before.  from briefly listening to them, they sound to me closer to pop-fusion than what post-bebop (in formal, not chronological terms) usually includes.  if you choose to deconstruct post bebop solely into a chronological period it would include everything after about 1952.  dirty loops et. al. only fit being described as 'jazz' because the term itself is amorphous in popular usage.  most pop music contains african based rhythmic elements and could vaguely qualify as 'jazz' in that respect, but these pop fusion groups aren't even marketed as 'jazz', so in my terms they're excluded.
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stoudemirestat
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« Reply #23 on: October 19, 2017, 07:47:56 AM »

The whole name of the game is that composers are more adventurous as time progresses.

I mean dude literally everything in classical music with the exception of text in ars subtilior is more adventerous than mideival and renaissance music.  You don't even have modulations yet lol



I dunno. I'm not musically trained and I can't say whether my view has any objective truth to it, but when I listen to Renaissance music I'm usually struck by how complex it is: seemingly as complex as anything before Bach and then up to Beethoven.
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klavieronin
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« Reply #24 on: October 19, 2017, 11:06:07 AM »

I dunno. I'm not musically trained and I can't say whether my view has any objective truth to it, but when I listen to Renaissance music I'm usually struck by how complex it is: seemingly as complex as anything before Bach and then up to Beethoven.
Of course, it's also possible to write complex yet unadventurous music. The question, is how far are you willing to deviate from the norm? Which brings us back to the question of creativity.
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stoudemirestat
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« Reply #25 on: October 19, 2017, 03:26:01 PM »

Of course, it's also possible to write complex yet unadventurous music. The question, is how far are you willing to deviate from the norm? Which brings us back to the question of creativity.

Indeed: I seem to have misinterpreted something somewhere along the line without double checking. Whoops.
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Bob
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« Reply #26 on: October 19, 2017, 11:14:35 PM »

On the other side, I'd say classical can get more complicated and technical.... generally.
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chopinlover01
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« Reply #27 on: October 20, 2017, 12:08:51 AM »

Disagree, Art Tatum + Oscar are early examples of complex and technical jazz. If you want the really adventurous stuff, check out Herbie Hancock (who has all the technique and all of the sounds of Debussy and all his jazz predecessors in his ears) or Brad Mehldau (who literally improvises an entire piece with no preconceived notion of the song, almost like a jazz fugue
)
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iansinclair
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« Reply #28 on: October 20, 2017, 01:25:05 AM »

This as been running for a bit, might as well add something...

Which is, no, in my view it doesn't.  However, I will say that the creativity which is required for jazz is of a very different sort from the creativity which is involved for classical music, and very very few musicians -- if any (Wynton Marsalis? Yo Yo Ma?) -- can do both with any degree of success.  Indeed I would go so far as to say that the divisions are even more numerous and finer than just jazz vs. classical.  There are also any number of popular and more or less folk type genres, not to mention different styles of jazz and different styles and eras of classical, and really good "crossover" musicians are vanishingly rare.

It is a very wise musician who finds their comfortable "fach" -- whatever that may be -- and stays there. 
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klavieronin
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« Reply #29 on: October 20, 2017, 01:26:59 AM »

Disagree, Art Tatum + Oscar are early examples of complex and technical jazz. If you want the really adventurous stuff, check out Herbie Hancock (who has all the technique and all of the sounds of Debussy and all his jazz predecessors in his ears) or Brad Mehldau (who literally improvises an entire piece with no preconceived notion of the song, almost like a jazz fugue
)

If we're just talking about complexity Art Tatum and Oscar Peterson have nothing on the likes of Ferneyhough or other composers of the 'new complexity' movement. And I'd be very suprised to hear anything from either of them as technically demanding as, say, the Ligeti, Godowsky, or Sorabji etudes.
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j_tour
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« Reply #30 on: October 20, 2017, 04:48:32 AM »

Disagree, Art Tatum + Oscar are early examples of complex and technical jazz. If you want the really adventurous stuff, check out Herbie Hancock (who has all the technique and all of the sounds of Debussy and all his jazz predecessors in his ears) or Brad Mehldau (who literally improvises an entire piece with no preconceived notion of the song, almost like a jazz fugue
)

I respect your enthusiasm, but you haven't made any argument.  

You should probably do some transcription work, and come up with some ideas.

ETA as above, klavieronin or whatever said, he or she is correct.  Probably not a problem, since it seems you two are not speaking the same language.  Obviously, complexity and raw technique in the gymnastic sense aren't at all a part of jazz improvisation at the same level as the various through-composed people.

Also ETA, since you asked, meh, I'm finding bebop improvisation to be about the same as improvising in a classical style, in terms of creativity.  People like Mehldau or Fred Hersch or even Bill Evans, however, do indeed seem to have been pretty close to using the keyboard as a polyphonic instrument.

I don't see a lot of classical people improvising, but when I do IRL, I have no doubt they could play a nice line over several choruses of a pop tune, in whatever key, if they had some reason to learn the idiom.  

If they're developing a career as a concertist, then it's reasonable they'd work on their repertoire, but, if not, it's likely the reason they cannot improvise is that they're somewhat defective, or lazy.
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cuberdrift
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« Reply #31 on: October 20, 2017, 03:15:05 PM »

"Classical" meaning the "reproduction" or "re-interpretation" of classic musical works of the Western tradition, as the trend is today for most concert pianists, then maybe I'd say yes, jazz is simply more creative than classical.

But if the discussion is about the entire "Classical" music tradition of the West, then that's another matter entirely and it's kind of hard to decide on that.

EDIT: I also want to add this video of a Handel vs. Scarlatti scene from the movie "God Rot Turnbridge Wells". I really enjoyed this video lol.

I wasn't familiar that they were playing a Passacaglia piece by Handel. I was actually under the impression that it was a contest involving Handel playing a theme with Scarlatti having to imitate whatever improvisation Handel was doing.

Handel's "improvs" get harder and harder, but everytime Scarlatti plays it simply better. I really loved this aspect of the scene. You really see the difference between a true virtuoso and a "composer-performer". Scarlatti is like the epitome of a musician; being able to play anything at the spot in any way he wants, while Handel (in the scene) is shown as the guy who is a good composer but falls short of the ultimate skill in music which is true virtuosity.

I think that to really like a rather "exotic" art style like Western classical music sometimes we simply have to associate it with something, as in this video.

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