Art Folk & Pop Jazz Music Discussions

  • The authors argue that jazz, from its very beginning, has been understood simultaneously as “art
    music,” “popular music,” and “folk music.” Explain these three cultural categories, and describe
    specific ways in which jazz can be understood through “art,” “pop,” and “folk” lenses.
  • Describe the different relationships between composers and improvisers in New Orleans style jazz.
    How do these dynamics differ between groups such as the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, Jelly Roll
    Morton’s Red Hot Peppers, and King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band?
  • Listen to Louis Armstrong’s fanfare at the beginning of “West End Blues.” Compare and contrast
    the cadenza’s two phrases in Armstrong’s use of rhythm, pitch, and phrasing. In what ways is this
    fanfare analogous to Armstrong’s position within American culture?
  • The authors refer to Swing as “a counterstatement to reality.” Explain the importance of the music
    within its historical context, and describe the musical and extramusical ways that swing music
    served its purpose in a time of great need.
  • Discuss the growth of jazz in Europe in the 1940s. How was the music perceived by European
    audiences and performers, and how did the music differ from that produced in America?