Thursday, May 27, 2010
Why Do People So Often Fear Jazz?
Why do people often have such a negative perception toward jazz?
As in the examples about food, I think it often comes down to negative preconceptions based on what they have heard said by others. Often we formulate our opinions based on how others feel. For some reason, over the past several decades jazz has become associated with "old" music or music for geeky types. It has gained an unsavory reputation with many people that continues to this day.
Perhaps the advent of rock and roll displaced the jazz which was the rebel music of its time. Jazz became associated with older generations and was not cool to younger people. The "jazz" label developed a stigma which has remained up to the present time. However, jazz continued to be recognized by musicians who continued to incorporate the sounds into their music. Pop music fans were hearing jazziness and actual jazz without really associating the sounds with jazz.
The sounds of jazz permeate the listening of most of us, though we are often unaware of this. Therefore most of us have our music tastes categorized into labeled listening that does not include the terminology of jazz so that when we are presented with something labeled as jazz we tend to shun that music. Jazz is mistakenly been portrayed to always be either old or something enigmatic, void of melody and filled with runs of notes, discord, and harsh sounds.
I believe that if people were educated about the history of jazz, the artists involved, the types of jazz, and the influence of jazz, then they would be more readily open to listening to jazz in its various forms. Allowing oneself to become accustomed to the sounds and have the ability to identify the styles would demystify the music for the casual listener. One should really taste the food before deciding whether or not one likes it.
What intimidates you about jazz? Have you ever really set out to listen to jazz and opened your ears and mind to it? Will you be more receptive to the idea of listening to jazz in the future?