MetaA6. Objections to jazz having or being a language
Reasons to believe there is a language of jazz
Robert Kraut observes that when he is playing jazz, and especially when he improvises with other players, that it seems like he is having musical conversations, and therefore to this extent music has this sort of language aspect.
“Similarly, I experience music—at least, when performing—as a linguitic phenomenon. Playing feels like talking; collaborative improvisation feels like conversation. This, for me, is a starting point: a datum to be theorized about, not the conclusion of an argument. Music presents itself to me as a linguistic phenomenon; I am thus led to theorize about the relation(s) between art and language, and to seek theories that address the syntax, semantics, and pragmatics of musical genres. But once again I am put at loggerheads with aesthetic theorists—this time those who dispute the applicability of linguistic models to music production and comprehension.” (bold not in original)
- "Aesthetic Theory for the Working Musician," Robert Kraut, American Society of Aesthetics, Volume 32 Number 2 Summer 2012, p. 1.