Jazz and Culture in a Global Age by Stuart Nicholson

By Stuart Nicholson

Explores the previous, current, and way forward for jazz in a world context.

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Extra info for Jazz and Culture in a Global Age

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She wrote: “To believe society becomes more ‘cultured’ as time goes on and education does its work is, I think, a fatal mistake. ” 36 The desire to be diverted, entertained, and provided with a form of escapism had, by the new millennium, changed out of all recognition from the cinema—the first true medium of genuine mass entertainment, which had been born in the early twentieth century. With the power and commercialization of the Internet, the commercially constructed “popular” tastes of the majority had never been easier to fulfill via lap-tops, tablets, and 4g smart phones with instant Internet access to “the popular”—pop music, pop videos, computer games, and social networking sites—with the result that popular entertainment now occupied the dominant cultural space in young people’s imagination.

73 Mastery of technique tends to be a dominant topic in jazz education, while discussion on the implications of melody, meaning, or emotion within improvisation is too often ignored. In both live performance and on recordings, an increasing use of patterns by young (and not-soyoung) musicians today, together with an emphasis (often peer driven) on executive fluency, has meant that speed of execution has become a thing-in-­itself for many musicians, a benchmark applauded by those in the business but often baffling to those outside it, the all-important audience.

However, the main cause for concern revealed by the survey was that on average only 17 percent of ticket buyers were under the age of forty-five. This served to underline the findings of the National Endowment for the Arts (nea) study on arts participation in the United States published in 2009. For anyone seriously interested in, or concerned about, the arts in America, the nea survey results were troubling, especially in the realm of jazz music. Briefly, there were two ~ 13 Jazz and Culture in a Global Age 14 ~ areas of concern.

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