Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Bach & jazz

In A Perfect Mess, Abrahamson and Freedman make the observation that:
"...so intense was this performer's dedication to jumping beyond the music as written that overwise adoring audiences and backup musicians sometimes became annoyed at the length and off-the-wall intricacy of his extemporaneous musical wanderings, and he lost gigs over it. Even when sitting in with other musicians, he couldn't resist changing their compositions on the fly." p289.
Quite a bit different than the ususal impression we have of Bach.

Somewhere along the line, the improvisation that was such a vital part of music became reduced to unchangable notes. Bach, apparently, would for many of the parts, simply write chords, which the musician was supposed to riff off of.

The same thing happens in other areas of life. We settle on something that works and it becomes unchangable. It happens with school curricula, with churches, and in our lives.

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