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Have you taken a History of Jazz course?

  • Yes, and I loved it!

    Votes: 22 73.3%
  • Yes, and it was stupid!

    Votes: 1 3.3%
  • No, but I would like to.

    Votes: 4 13.3%
  • No, I don't see the point.

    Votes: 3 10.0%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I registered for one at the University in order to pick up a bunch of listening material. How many of you guys have taken it? Or did you just pick up your Jazz History from the streets?
 

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I took a course as part of my degree. It was very interesting to study not only the musicians themselves but the social and political aspects that shaped the music as well. I think an important part of playing jazz and any music, in fact, is knowing where it comes from.
 

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I took one class during undergrad studies and one last year, in my first year of grad school. The classes helped me discover lots of music I would have probably looked over otherwise. I also developed an appreciation for learning details about the music and musicians. Now, when I listen to a new album, I read the musician bio, find out who the sidemen are, and see how the album fit on the scene in it's time. So interesting...
 

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Took one at the university near me, while in high school. It was a great. I agree, it's great to know what was going on in the time.

On my own time I spent time finding the great albums, and would listen to other albums by artists of the same era. Gives it a great context.

-Bubba-
 

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It probably depends entirely on where you're studying and who is teaching it. When I took it, I learned that jazz is a uniquely American artform that developed until 1970 with the release of Bitches Brew. Then not much happened after that.
 

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I took one as an elective in my college days... I could have taught it better than the professor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I took one class during undergrad studies and one last year, in my first year of grad school. The classes helped me discover lots of music I would have probably looked over otherwise. I also developed an appreciation for learning details about the music and musicians. Now, when I listen to a new album, I read the musician bio, find out who the sidemen are, and see how the album fit on the scene in it's time. So interesting...
Yeah man that's how I feel. I don't want to look over any music, so I kinda want to fill in the gaps of what I don't know.
 

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I took both David Baker's Contemporary Jazz and Soul and his History of Jazz classes as electives while getting my math ed degree at Indiana.

It was about the best time I ever had at college. It was so cool to hear him tell stories about these people we were studying that he knew personally, and to hear about what life was like back in the day.
 

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I took a course as part of my degree. It was very interesting to study not only the musicians themselves but the social and political aspects that shaped the music as well. I think an important part of playing jazz and any music, in fact, is knowing where it comes from.
Snap!
 

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I took a history of music class (was not restricted to Jazz). The professor started his lecture on the first day of class this way: he played a couple minutes of some Beethoven LP (yes it was that long ago), paused, smiled, and said to us "I love Beethoven". Then he changed the record, played 2 minutes of an upbeat Ray Charles song, paused, and said "I love Ray Charles". I knew it was going to be a good class after that.

I had the privilege during this course of committing to paper some of my ignorance about music and getting corrected by people who knew more.

Your class will be as good as the teacher.
 

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I taught a Jazz history course inside NY State max prisons and also a few Federal prisons, for a number of years decades ago (one of my students was Nicky Barnes, although he was supposed to be anonymous because I was teaching in a witness protection program, a prison inside a prison).

I would always ask the students, who really had no interest in the subject, whether they wanted to start at the beginning and go forward, or start at the present and go backward, or start someplace in the middle.

That usually got their attention.

I would describe jazz as a river, and that you could jump into the river at any point and then swim upstream or downstream anytime you wanted to, just to check it out.
 

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It probably depends entirely on where you're studying and who is teaching it. When I took it, I learned that jazz is a uniquely American artform that developed until 1970 with the release of Bitches Brew. Then not much happened after that.
Considering a lot of folks start jazz in 1945, that's one short-lived art form - more on the timeline of painting than music. (You get a new school of painting about every 20 years.)

I picked up most of my jazz history from books and records. This is a great way to discover music you love, not so great to learn and respect music you don't love. It also can blind you to the very real politics of the music (it did me).
 
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