Jazz Improvisation

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Fast. Risky. Intriguing. The upbeat tempo, clashing of high-hats, and randomness in the seduction of jazz draws in an audience during a performance. The musical art form of jazz uses key elements that mainstream music normally use to draw an audience in. However, the added emphasis of improvisation sets jazz apart from mainstream music. Improvisation calls for a musician to create new music on the spot. Musicians use elements like tempo changes, tone, riffs, and etc., to express improvisation. As jazz originates from the African American Community, after the abolishment of slavery, this form of art is used to express liberation from the burden of prejudices. Improvisation allows artist to tap into their true feelings and express their feelings on the spot. These aspects of improvisation draws in a large audience and keeps them engaged. The randomness in jazz music paralelles to the randomness some authors use in literature. Meaning, literature can abruptly travel in time and along with the charcaters. Author, Toni Morrison, uses key elements of the artistic art form of jazz to tell the story of Violet, Dorcas, and Joe in, Jazz. To begin, Morrison uses interruptions to give meaning to situations in the novel. The use of interruptions mirrors quick improvisations in a jazz song. In a jazz song interruptions can be expressed by quick staccatos. Staccatos are musical notes that are played sharply detached from other notes. Its use can be experienced in the scene of Dorcas’s death. For example, staccatos are used as Dorcas wanes in and out of consciousness. She focuses in on Dorcas’s perspective of the party and wanes out to the lively atmosphere. Like a sharp staccato, Dorcas is shot by Joe and Morrison uses this waning method to ... ... middle of paper ... ...d. By and by they were dancing. Funny, like old people do…” (Morrison 214). This shows that they are genuinely happy with one another. This is the first interaction of bliss in a very long time. The heavy concept of Dorcas’s death weighed the room down and it is lifted. Overall, through improvisation the elements of jazz can connect an audience to the message a musician is trying to convey. The audience becomes able to travel in nostalgia with the musician and interpret the music for themselves. In a like manner, when an author uses the elements of jazz they are able to achieve the same outcome. In Jazz, Toni Morrison is able to connect and impact the audience. The randomness and variants of jazz elements leaves ambiguity for the readers to interpret the events of the novel. Through this the life story of Joe, Violet, and Dorcas is told and made significant.

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