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Chicago Jazz Philharmonic

2023 Jazz Academy

Below are notes from class on Tuesday, 6/20 Brainstorm/Discussion, with teacher commentary in bold (shi-an costello). All student comments are in quotes.  All musical counter-examples are linked.

Question: What are the differences between Jazz and classical?


NB. This distinction is generally historically correct, but the boundaries of each genre have expanded beyond specific countries.

  • “Performer driven vs. composer driven”

    • Duke Ellington and other big band leaders functioned as the lead composer;

    • ALL classical composers were performing virtuosos until the 21st century

  • “Fluid, expansive, personal, free vs. rigid boundaries” 

  • “Less key signature vs. more key signature”

    • Most every Jazz standard has a key signature;

    • All classical music that is post-tonal has no key signature

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