Ep6. Will any musicians be playing jazz 10,000 years from now?
What exactly is this question asking? There are a lot of different questions someone might have in mind. Let's consider numerous relevant questions and their replies.
Will any humans exist in 10,000 years that could play jazz?
How this could be possible?
- Humans with human DNA that are still members of the species homo sapien sapien survive until this time period.
- Human musicians still play music.
- Jazz music has been preserved either as a recording, or as a musical score, capable of being read, understood, and performed.
Each of these claims are impossible to predict with high probability. In fact, it is more than likely that the human species becomes extinct. The recent (2016) television series, "Ten Ways the Earth Could Die" portray these nightmare extinction scenarios: nuclear war and resulting nuclear winter destroying all food, giant solar flare, large asteroid strike, biological warfare, supervolcano, planetary orbit disruption, black hole coming too close to our solar system, the sun's nuclear fuel spent (doesn't happen for another 5 billion years) causes solar expansion, and so on.
Even if the planet Earth survives, humans in 10,000 years may no longer be in the species homo sapien sapien because humans could evolve into non-humans that can no longer interbreed with humans of today. This could result from space travel changes of space traveling humans who are less gravity bound and changes in the species DNA pool resulting in non-humans, even if they are still people.
Will jazz still be played by musicians in 10,000 years?
The answer to this question no longer depends on the existence of the planet Earth, or on that of human beings. If musicians exist, is it likely that they would still be playing jazz?
Here's a possible defense of the "Yes" answer. To setup this answer consider a possibly related question and it's answer.
Will anyone still be playing chess in 10,000 years and its relevance to jazz?
It seems that the answer to this question concerns the potential longevity of interest that the object under consideration, jazz or chess, has to players. Given that after only three moves there are 121 million possible combinations of next moves the game of chess has virtually unlimited surprises for players. One can make a similar remark about jazz and especially about improvisational jazz. Astute jazz critic Whitney Balliet remarked that "jazz is the sound of surprise." Jazz can maintain its surprisingness precisely because it too, like chess moves, has an unlimited amount of combinations of sounds that can be played during a jazz performance. Perhaps enough complexity resides in both jazz and chess to maintain players interest in these subjects for the next ten thousand years.
- Quora on "Will jazz be around in 10,000 years"
- "What the Earth will be like in 10,000 years, according to scientists"
- History of the Universe by Wyken Seagrave, who reports on likely possible changes to humans in the future:
“I believe this story shows several trends for life. The most obvious is that life evolves. When you consider how long life has been on Earth, how many different forms it has been through, and how recently people have appeared, it seems inevitable that people will evolve into other forms of life, however much they may struggle to stay as they are now. . . . One major force driving evolution has been changes in methods of reproduction. . . .With test-tube babies and genetic engineering we will probably see a new wave of evolution. Genetic engineers will be able to control the evolution of people and of other forms of life for the first time in world history, life will be able to control its own evolution. . . . Just as dinosaurs were replaced by the more efficient mammals, so it seems likely that organic life will be replaced by more efficient computers, especially in the biologically unwelcoming environment of space.” (bold not in original)