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.

4 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite 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.
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  • 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.

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  • 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?

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  • gandhi
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Of direction, it particularly is impossible to be sure, in spite of the shown fact that i do no longer assume that he might have stepped forward too a techniques previous his variety. chook lived in a microcosm that he no longer many times escaped, and collectively as he escaped it, it replaced into as quickly as often to a sanitorium (Camarillo State scientific institution, case in point). This variety of existence does no longer lend good to progression, progression and innovation. besides, no one might have authorized some project from chook quite than what he did superb - this has plagued musicians for ever and ever. i think of that as a consequence of his mythical recognition, jazz might desire to maximum in all danger have accompanied his direction to a distinctive ingredient, in spite of the shown fact that maximum effective in a compulsory variety. it particularly is doubtful that this might were too a techniques previous the bebop variety. Jazz might have continued its direction of evolution and chook might have have compatibility in alongside a selection of intersections of varieties and genres, in spite of the shown fact that i do no longer think of he might have thrived. perhaps the respond is interior the recordings of Jackie McLean, Sonny Stitt, Phil Woods and distinctive chook disciples of the time. i do no longer think of that those adult males stepped forward like Miles or Diz - they went suited from bebop to tough bop and no longer lots extra beneficial previous. confident, I know that Phil Woods did some customer studio recordings with Billy Joel and Steely Dan, in spite of the shown fact that those do no longer mirror his very own recordings as a prime, that would nicely be interior the tough bop variety. One ingredient is for various - extra beneficial present day-day recording techniques and technological understand-how might have bigger his sound. I choose chook might have recorded with Blue notice and Rudy Van Gelder, the main appropriate jazz recording engineer of all time. those might desire to were some efficient recordings!

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