Write a separate paragraph for 8 different jazz songs/pieces that you listen to in a radio or streaming broadcast. For each paragraph, you’ll need to address all of the bullet points listed below.

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The Listening Journal will help you become more familiar with the diverse sounds of the jazz tradition, and will assist you in developing a detailed approach to what I call “active listening.” The critical listening skills that you develop in this assignment will also help you succeed on the concert report assignment, due later in the term.

NOTE: this assignment is identical to Listening Journal 1. It consists of writing eight more journal entries.

Prompt for Listening Journal 2:

1. Tune into any jazz radio broadcast – this can include internet or satellite radio. If you use a service like Pandora, be sure to choose a jazz genre, and do not allow it to include related (non-jazz) genres. A good local resource in San Diego is Jazz 88 – KSDS (88.3 FM). It’s also streaming online at http://www.jazz88.org.

2. Write 8 journal entries – one for each song that you listen to – addressing all of the following bullet points for each song (8 songs, 8 paragraphs):

• What’s the title of the song?

• What’s the name of the band leader and/or band? This information is clearly provided on internet and satellite radio. If you’re listening to a traditional radio broadcast, DJs announce this info every now and then.

• What’s the instrumentation? Larger ensembles such as swing big bands can be identified as such, but for smaller ensembles (up to 5 performers) I’d like you to identify all of the individual instruments if possible.

• Describe the general character of the music: what’s the atmosphere, vibe or emotional content of the piece? How would you describe the tempo (slow, medium, fast)? Does the music sound consonant (harmonious) or dissonant (discordant and clashing) – or something in between?

• How does the music unfold from beginning to end? This is the most important aspect of this assignment, and should comprise at least half of each of your 8 journal entries. This can include descriptions of shifts in mood and character, interesting exchanges/dialogues between instruments/musicians, descriptions of solos, and other notable moments.

 

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