Posted: November 9th, 2022
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Write a separate paragraph for 8 different jazz songs/pieces that you listen to in a radio or streaming broadcast. For each paragraph, you’ll need to address all of the bullet points listed below.
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The Listening Journal will help you become more familiar with the diverse sounds of the jazz tradition, and will assist you in developing a detailed approach to what I call “active listening.” The critical listening skills that you develop in this assignment will also help you succeed on the concert report assignment, due later in the term.
Prompt for Listening Journal 1:1. Tune into any jazz radio broadcast – this can include internet or satellite radio. If you use a service like Pandora, be sure to choose a jazz genre, and do not allow it to include related (non-jazz) genres. A good local resource in San Diego is Jazz 88 – KSDS (88.3 FM). It’s also streaming online at http://www.jazz88.org.
2. Write 8 journal entries – one for each song that you listen to – addressing all of the following bullet points for each song (8 songs, 8 paragraphs):
• What’s the title of the song?
What’s the name of the band leader and/or band? This information is clearly provided on internet and satellite radio. If you’re listening to a traditional radio broadcast, DJs announce this info every now and then.
What’s the instrumentation? Larger ensembles such as swing big bands can be identified as such, but for smaller ensembles (up to 5 performers) I’d like you to identify all of the individual instruments if possible.
Describe the general character of the music: what’s the atmosphere, vibe or emotional content of the piece? How would you describe the tempo (slow, medium, fast)? Does the music sound consonant (harmonious) or dissonant (discordant and clashing) – or something in between?
How does the music unfold from beginning to end? This is the most important aspect of this assignment, and should comprise at least half of each of your 8 journal entries. This can include descriptions of shifts in mood and character, interesting exchanges/dialogues between instruments/musicians, descriptions of solos, and other notable moments.
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