Complete Communion Dissertation
"I may play jazz, but first of all I play black music. We have a message. [. . .] It's our way of communicating. 3,166
For the research interest that is the focus of this work, it is necessary, within the framework of the conceptual discussion, to also address those terms that are primarily at home in the research area of musicology. With regard to an approximation of the content of the specific communication conditions of collective improvisation, a more detailed description of the origins and stages of development of this musical method would appear to make sense. Of course, the musical context in which the form of collective improvisation relevant to the present work is practiced most consistently must also be considered. This is the musical style of free jazz already mentioned in the introduction, a variety of jazz that emerged in the early 1960s, which subsequently also requires clarification of the definition. The general discussion of the term on these pages only takes place within a very shortened context that is limited to illuminating the conditions of its origin and the most important stages of development. A separate, more detailed discussion of the sub-terms relevant to the present work will then take place.
Due to the fact that the focus of this study is on the communication-scientific aspect of these special musical production conditions, an explicitly no musicological approach is chosen, but an approach that is primarily limited to historical and socio-cultural factors. Incidentally, this should also emphasize the aspect of intercultural relevance, which is this complex, made up of European, African and Caribbean components and which is still far too much today.
166 Jenkins, Todd S .: Free Jazz and Free Improvisation. To Encyclopedia. Volume I: A-L; London: Greenwood Press 2004 (xxv)
The abbreviated designation jazz has always adhered to the music conglomerate. The awareness of this fact goes back almost to the early days of this music, as the following quote shows: “Jazz is an artistic way of making music in the USA from the encounter between blacks and European music. The instruments, the melodies and the harmonics of jazz originate for the most part from the occidental musical tradition. Rhythm, phrasing and tone formation as well as elements of blues harmony come from African music and the American Negro's musical feeling (sic!). "167 The special prerequisites for the encounter between the cultural carriers involved in the development of jazz go back to the following circumstance: “Jazz is the result of acculturation, a cultural change based on cultural contacts. What seems to be essential about these contacts is that they did not come about on a voluntary basis, but through coercion. "168 There are various possible explanations about the original meaning and origin of the term jazz, the truth of which can probably never be fully clarified.169 Only the assumptions regarding the original spelling of the word can be regarded as certain, as almost all historical text documents clearly indicate the Term "Jass" on.170 Most theories place the origin of the word in the African, Arabic or French usage.171
167 BERENDT, Joachim-Ernst: The jazz book. From rag to skirt; Frankfurt am Main: Fischer 1978 (p. 170)
168 SANDNER, Wolfgang: Jazz. On the history and stylistic development of Afro-American music; Laaber: Laaber Verlag, 1982 (p. 9)
169 see, among others, RICHTER, Stefan: Zu einer Ästhetik des Jazz; European University Theses, Series XXXVI Musikwissenschaft, Volume 49, Frankfurt am Main; Peter Lang Verlag 1995 (p. 45, ff.)
170 Not least because of the inscription on the affixed label of the shellac sound carrier of the "Original Dixieland Jass Band" published in 1916, at the same time the first sound document of this musical genre, this assumption can be confirmed.
171 RICHTER 1995
In any case, the term was first applied to the style of music that developed between the end of the 19th century and the first decade of the 20th century in the southeastern United States, with a focus on New Orleans.172 Improvisation has been the central design element from the start of jazz, as Bühler explains: “Right from the start, jazz has largely been improvisational music, in which the musicians collectively improvise over choruses, the melodic and harmonic course of which is known to everyone involved. A chorus is repeated several times and spontaneously redesigned rhythmically and melodically played around by the individual musicians. The possibilities of the instruments are also expanded through unclean intonation to the point of noisy What can roughly be described as a combination of African-Caribbean rhythm patterns and European harmonics with the musical foundations of the blues, played by blacks who were musically socialized in military bands, was to produce numerous stylistic offshoots in the course of the 20th century that had a decisive influence on practiced almost all areas of modern music. The most important stages of evolution include the sub-categories identified by the terms swing, bebop, progressive, cool, hard bop, modal, free, fusion and modern. “While the chorus in the early stages of New Orleans jazz is only a series of simple pitches, in the following periods of swing, bebop and cool jazz, the whole range of late romantic functional harmony is gradually assimilated. Still, they stay
172 That city whose legendary "Congo Square" for a long time represented the only public arena for the cultural life of black people living in the USA.
173 BÜHLER, Hermann: Improvised music in the field of tension between indeterminate music and collective improvisation in jazz, licentiate thesis University of Zurich, 2001 (p. 17); Internet: Homepage Hermann Bühler, Website: www.hermannbuhler.com, Link: http://www.hermannbuhler.com/PDF/Improvisation%20im%20Spannungsfeld_lcurz.PDF (June 17, 2008, 14:43)
174 Even in the early phase of jazz development, white musicians such as the trumpeter Bix Beiderbecke were involved, albeit occasionally.
175 See, among others, BERENDT, Joachim-Ernst: Das Jazzbuch. From Rag to Rock; Frankfurt am Main: Fischer 1978.
85 of 333
improvised components also preserved in the more complex harmonic structures. "176
The relationship to the respective chord progressions during improvisation on which the functional harmonic is based is subsequently increasingly questioned and exhausted, as in John Coltrane's recording Giant Steps from 1959 with its extraordinary and by the saxophonist rolled into one Chord changes carried out at such an insane tempo that even his long-time pianist Red Garland can no longer keep up after a short time and withdraws from the action. 177
As early as the mid-1950s, improvisations began to be made using modal tone gradations, a development that largely originated from the trumpeter Miles Davis. Many musicians perceive this step as a liberation from the rigid system of chord progressions, since with this variant of improvisation the course and development are not restricted from the start. The 1960s are marked by a radical upheaval in terms of elements of form and tone, the alternating sequence of solo improvisations over the formal framework of the rest of the musicians gives way to a collective, expressive improvisation style with a tendency to or focus on freonality, the same Time granted everyone involved the greatest possible freedom in musical expression. The first event of this kind recorded on phonograms was Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation'78, followed by John Coltrane's Ascension'79 and, often overlooked, New York Eye and Ear Contro1180, the soundtrack to Michael Snow's film of the same name whose recording includes Albert Ayler, Don Cherry and Sunny Murray, among others. As a result, there are increased efforts to integrate foreign style elements into the music; the Art Ensemble of Chicago, for example, uses its collective improvisations as a supplement to wind instruments, bass and
176 BÜHLER 2001: 17, ff.
177 John Coltrane, Giant Steps; Atlantic 1959.
178 Atlantic, 1960.
179 Impulse, 1965.
180 ESP Disc, 1964.
86 of 333 ,
Percussion goes back to a set of instruments that came largely from Africa. Although strong influences from contemporary developments in European music are noticeable in the tonal aesthetics as well as in relation to the formal design of the improvisations, an identity clearly derived from the jazz tradition in the musical expression still remains in this phase . Although there can always be indefinable gray areas in the context of content overlaps, there have been numerous attempts to differentiate between jazz and European music. Joachim Ernst-Berendt, for example, emphasizes the following elements that, in his opinion, clearly characterize jazz in all its different manifestations:
"1. through a special relationship to time, which is marked with the word swing,
2. through the spontaneity and vitality of the musical production in which improvisation plays a role,
3. through a tone formation or phrasing that reflects the individuality of the musician playing. "181
Today, the term "jazz" defies almost any concrete definition, as it includes not only a focus on improvisation that cannot be overlooked, but also the meaning of arrangements and compositions. The musical spectrum that the term covers today ranges from Dixieland music to hip-hop, which from a musicological point of view is also viewed as a further development of jazz. It is precisely the ability of jazz to incorporate completely different musical source material, from the shallow Broadway blues of the early 20th century to classical and folklore to punk rock or electronic music, which makes definition difficult from a music-theoretical point of view. Alterhaug ascribes the difficulty of assigning a clearly identifiable, universally valid distinguishing feature to the musical diversity summarized under the term jazz, mainly due to the fact that the underlying structure of the music is only a starting point for a creative one
181 BERENDT 1978: 41
87 of 333 Process that is strongly influenced by the interactive processes between the actors involved: "In ordinary language, jazz is often described in terms such as unstructured and lacking structure. However, as we will see jazz is based on structure, but not as distinctly as other forms of music. The structure in jazz is minimal (to a certain degree dependent on the musicians' stylistic familiarity) and thus serves as a basis for the development of creative ideas, the patterns on which musicians improvise. In this respect, jazz differs from other styles of musical expressions (eg pop, rock, art music) insofar as structure is used as a frame for creative interaction. "I82 According to his further remarks, in the context of forms of jazz that evade methods of free improvisation, a consensus about the frame of reference of the music replaces an actual, underlying structure. However, this can still be changed in the course of the interactive processes during the game and adapted to the respective needs of the musicians: "Instead of structure, the words agreement or mutual consent might be more meaningful descriptions. Mutual consent provides an understanding of the frames the musicians have agreed upon. Such consent is not imposed from outside, but rather its mutuality serves as a point of departure for creative activity and display. In this sense, the agreement part of this is flexible; it can be enlarged and changed depending on the interaction in the collective dialogues. "183 In the case of the forms of jazz based on fundamental, rhythmic and harmonic rules - in comparison to freer forms of this music - the existence of a clearly perceptible orientation framework is an immediate necessity, since the aspect of common creative expression in this context strongly depends on harmony of the individual voices in the ensemble is fixed:
182 ALTERHAUG, Bjorn: Improvisation on a triple theme. Creativity, Jazz Improvisation and Communication, 2004 (p.108); Internet: Tromso University College, website: www.konferanse.hitos.no, link: http://konferanse.hitos.no/norAforsk/papers/papers/SMN-04-5-Alterhaugl.pdf (June 17, 2008, 23: 59)
183 ALTERHAUG 2004: 108, ff.