Measures and Form for jazz?
I'm doing a jazz cd review and I need to put how many measures each song is or how many beats in each measure. And the form for example AABA. I have no idea how to tell though. The book is horrible at explaining it. Can someone please explain a simple way to tell how many measures and what form each song is?
ok the thing is, these are jazz songs with charlie parker doing a solo with the alto sax the entire song, so I've tried just listening but each bar or measure or whatever is different. So I don't understand how I am supposed to tell the pattern if its never the same it keeps changing. I'm guessing it's how the bass sounds which is kinda hard to listen to with charlie going off on the sax. Is that what I am supposed to do though? Listen for the bass and whatnot? Because there is no pattern at all with the alto sax solo.
- 1 decade agoFavorite Answer
Never underestimate the importance of the instruments in the background. All jazz (this is a sweeping generalization, I know that) works with a foundation (usually the rhythm section) supporting something else (solo instruments, main melody, voice, etc). In fact, most music works that way. So LISTEN to the rhythm section.
More specifically, here are three things that will give A and B away:
1) The rhythm of the bass. Is the bassist 'walking' (it might also be important to note whether or not the drummer is feathering the bass drum simultaneously)? Is the bassist playing a half-time feel? Does this rhythm vary within one chorus? It could be that unexpected changes in rhythm are the bassist's way of telling the rest of the band: "we are almost done with A. Let's move on to B."
2) Chords. Simply enough, if the chord progression (say it's a 16 bar loop) is altered in one section, that's probably a B.
3) DRUMS. I am a drummer so I emphasize this with capital letters ... Rarely will a drummer switch which cymbal (s)he swings on in the middle of a section. If your drummer moves from the ride to the crash, that's a hint. If your drummer moves from the crash to the hi-hat, that is a hint. If your drummer changes the feel with which (s)he plays, that is a hint. If your drummer comps noticably more in one section than another, that is a hint. You NEED to pay attention to the drums, I cannot stress that enough. They are FUNDAMENTAL to the feel of the song.
It's all about listening to the music and not getting lost in all the frills of it. Keep your ears open and enjoy. I hope that's helpful.Source(s): I play jazz.
- 1 decade ago
Yes, listen to the bass and piano. Also, exclude any brief introductions.
Parker's "heads" or melodies are very much like solos. There will probably be a brief pause between the melody and the solo. The drums may help indicate where the solo begins.
Don't be afraid to get clarification from your teacher or another student.
- 1 decade ago
Just listen to each recoring and determine which parts are repeated and in what order.
That will give you the AABA oe ABAB format of each song. What do you notice on each song that is repeated and in what order did you hear it?
- gandhiLv 43 years ago
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