Ae18. What is required for jazz to be an art form?
🎷 SECTION UNDER CONSTRUCTION: Can Always Be Improved by Editing 🎷
If you are an approved editor, then please enter any comments, questions, or arguments on the Discussion page by clicking on the word Discussion.
What is an art form?
An art form is a conventionally established form of artistic endeavor often resulting in an object, work, composition, or performance, such as a novel, sonata, dance, or painting. Loosely speaking, it has been said that any activity regarded as a medium of imaginative or creative self-expression can count as an art form.
“1. A form or medium of expression recognized as fine art, as in saying 'one can see dance as both an art form and an entertainment.'”
“2a. An unconventional form or medium in which impulses regarded as artistic may be expressed, as in one could 'describe pinball as a great American art form.'”
“2b. An undertaking or activity enhanced by a high level of skill or refinement.” (bold and bold italic not in original)
Collins English Dictionary defines art form with this characterization. “If you describe an activity as an art form, you mean that it is concerned with creating objects, works, or performances that are beautiful or have a certain meaning. ”
Of course, 21st century art history now recognizes that art forms do not need to qualify as beautiful in order to qualify as art, and using 'a certain meaning' is hopelessly vague and not that helpful.
At Webster’s New World College Dictionary, (4th edition, © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), they define "art form" as:
“1. A means of creative expression, as poetry, or a specific creative genre, as the sonnet, based on traditional structures, standards, and principles.”
“2. any activity or medium similarly regarded as a means for the expression of creative impulses or professional expertise, as in 'diplomacy as an art form.'” (bold not in original)
So, there are two levels of artistic expression being appealed to in these various definitions, that can be approximated with the terminology of high and low art. High arts include the fine arts characterized as a creative art, especially in the visual arts, whose products are to be appreciated primarily for their imaginative, aesthetic, or intellectual content and that typically requires a high level of skill or accomplishment to produce the resulting art products. The lower arts still show artistic expression, but require a lower level of skill or expertise to achieve, or are considered more mundane activities such as the art form of folding napkins.
The more refined senses make sense over the loosely speaking one earlier because they require art forms so-called either to have been recognized as fine art or involving artistic expressions using high skill levels, which the loosely speaking meaning leaves out.
Still, there can be surprises when it comes to contemporary art. How much high skill level or refinement is concerned when Chris Burden has himself shot with a .22 caliber rifle, or Marcel Duchamp chooses a urinal out of the hardware store and submits it to an art show with the title "Fountain"?
Someone can argue that while the art product (being shot, or submitting a urinal with a title) did not require a high level of skill or expertise to produce, the inspiration of coming up with the conceptual art or performance project does require high level artistic expression and a sophisticated and refined artistic sensibility to conceive of the project in the first place and then execute it with finesse and skill.
CONCLUSION: Art forms come on a sliding scale of degree of difficulty for their production and the use of varying levels of expertise. There already is the distinction between the popular arts and so-called fine arts. There are other art form categories as well that are not found under either of the two categories of high and low art, such as children's paintings 🖼.
Lower level art forms would include knot tying, scarf tying, food decoration and presentation, shoe design, fashion haircuts, salon fingernail productions, chess moves, tye dyeing shirts, clever ways to make art out of parking cars, crop circles, folding napkins, folding ends of toilet paper, origami in general.
When did jazz become an art form?
Under the above definitions of an art form with the looser use or the more restrictive use requiring a high skill set, jazz has always been an art form. The reason for this is that music making cannot fail to involve various degrees of artistic expression. All music making at a competent level requires a fair amount of skill or expertise. Certainly any improvised music necessarily involves creative artistic expression.
Therefore, early proto jazz in the 1890's into the more clearly acceptably jazz styles in 1910-20 satisfy the low level definition of an art form defined as “a means of creative expression” or as an activity “regarded as a means for the expression of creative impulses or professional expertise.” Many early jazz musicians were certainly expressing their creative impulses, especially when improvising, and they were almost all professional musicians with professional expertise being used while they plied their crafts. This establishes that even early jazz qualifies as an art form in these senses.
The question now turns to the higher or more restrictive sense of being recognized as a high art form. When did this happen to jazz?
We know that early jazz was not thought of as a high art form because it was perceived as a 'mere' form of entertainment, which it often was used to achieve.
Since the 1920s Jazz Age, jazz has become recognized as a major form of musical expression. It then emerged in the form of independent traditional and popular musical styles, all linked by the common bonds of African-American and European-American musical parentage with a performance orientation.A case can be made that the year was 1924 when jazz had enough publicity, promoters, and respected judges of art status that jazz came into its own metaphorically speaking. It is the F. Scott Fitzgerald "Jazz Age."
Why 1924 is the year jazz is recognized as a fine or higher art form
➢ What things of prominence happened in 1924 that recognized jazz as a higher art form and not just a lower one, which it ALWAYS had simply by being a musically expressive art form?
How did jazz become an art form?
Why did jazz become an art form?