#1
I'm interested in what the difference is between Jazz and Classical.

Mainly theory and philosophy. What is different? I know Universities offer either Classical or Jazz, but what is the difference in the way they teach you?

Thanks !
Quote from TGM "We're all musicians, we should protect our ears like we protect our dicks."
#3
Quote by griffRG7321
One teaches you about classical music, the other Jazz.

Yeah that's pretty much it, I'm not really sure what kind of answer you're looking for, TS.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#4
I am currently in this exact dilemma, trying to decide if I want to declare my primary instrument as Jazz or Classical guitar when I go to a university next year. I think the main difference is: Jazz is all about improv, harmonic extensions, modulation, lots of theory (That's what I LOVE about jazz.) Classical is a lot of sheet music (I'm studying this right now and it is really a lot of fun as well). Classical is also TECHNIQUE TECHNIQUE TECHNIQUE (that's what intimidates me).

Also, the school that I am going to only offers 'Music Technology Emphasis' to its Jazz Guitar students, while Classical guitarists can emphasize in theory, composition, performance.
Last edited by bryceh12321 at Apr 22, 2011,
#5
Quote by food1010
Yeah that's pretty much it, I'm not really sure what kind of answer you're looking for, TS.


Sorry... the question is quite out of context. Actually... I've been accepted to a Jazz music program at a university, but in the university there is also the classical program. I know one teaches Jazz and one teaches Classical. Of course.

But would I be missing anything if I picked one over the other? What is the biggest difference in curriculum? And overall could I apply the stuff I learn from either programs to the same thing?

Quote by bryceh12321
I am currently in this exact dilemma, trying to decide if I want to declare my primary instrument as Jazz or Classical guitar when I go to a university next year. I think the main difference is: Jazz is all about improv, harmonic extensions, modulation, lots of theory (That's what I LOVE about jazz.) Classical is a lot of sheet music (I'm studying this right now and it is really a lot of fun as well). Classical is also TECHNIQUE TECHNIQUE TECHNIQUE (that's what intimidates me).

Also, the school that I am going to only offers 'Music Technology Emphasis' to its Jazz Guitar students, while Classical guitarists can emphasize in theory, composition, performance.


Thanks for the reply. Can someone confirm this though? I'm trying to get objective answers.

I always hear that Classical is very heavy on Technique... but I think their theory is pretty intensive as well.
Quote from TGM "We're all musicians, we should protect our ears like we protect our dicks."
Last edited by NecroticSoldier at Apr 23, 2011,
#6
Quote by NecroticSoldier
But would I be missing anything if I picked one over the other? What is the biggest difference in curriculum? And overall could I apply the stuff I learn from either programs to the same thing?
I don't think you'll be "missing" anything either way. What it comes down to is which you would rather play. If you'd rather be a proficient jazz player, do the jazz program. If you'd rather be a proficient classical player, do the classical program. Of course, there will be a lot of overlap, so it's not like you won't be able to play jazz if you do the classical major, or vice versa.

Although I have heard it said that it's easier to transfer from jazz to classical than vice versa, but I think if you're proficient at one you're competent enough to learn the other if you listen enough.

Quote by NecroticSoldier
I always hear that Clasiscal is very heavy on Technique... but I think their theory is pretty intensive as well.
Yeah classical is heavy on technique and theory. Jazz is heavy on theory and probably a bit less so on technique. I wouldn't say you'd "miss out" on technique doing jazz though, you'd probably just be more focused on the style.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#7
Quote by food1010
I don't think you'll be "missing" anything either way. What it comes down to is which you would rather play. If you'd rather be a proficient jazz player, do the jazz program. If you'd rather be a proficient classical player, do the classical program. Of course, there will be a lot of overlap, so it's not like you won't be able to play jazz if you do the classical major, or vice versa.

Although I have heard it said that it's easier to transfer from jazz to classical than vice versa, but I think if you're proficient at one you're competent enough to learn the other if you listen enough.

Yeah classical is heavy on technique and theory. Jazz is heavy on theory and probably a bit less so on technique. I wouldn't say you'd "miss out" on technique doing jazz though, you'd probably just be more focused on the style.


Thanks Food Awesome name btw! And... yeah my piano teacher is actually in Classical Piano and I was surprised that he had to compose a Jazz piece.

I'm not sure which I'd rather play... I guess Jazz, but I really like contemporary Classical stuff.

Another Basser!
Quote from TGM "We're all musicians, we should protect our ears like we protect our dicks."
#8
Quote by NecroticSoldier
I'm not sure which I'd rather play... I guess Jazz, but I really like contemporary Classical stuff.


no one says you have to choose either/or. in fact, go for it. go for it all -- better for you if you don't rule out anything at all.

i can compose a string quartet in the traditional form with relative ease, just as i can write a jazz bop piece or a pop song. the more you can do, the more skilled you are, the more commissions you receive (if you're into that sort of thing, of course -- getting commissions is how i make a lot of my money, and who doesn't love to get paid just for composing?)

what are the differences between classical and jazz? well, what are the differences between country and metal? pop and blues? funk and rap? you see what i'm getting at here.

music theory is music theory. it's how you APPLY it that makes the difference. learn it, then become familiar with the idiomatic phrases we know as genres.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#9
A lot depends on the teacher.

Obviously jazz in an America art form that became known outside of New Orleans in the 20th century ... but all jazz players have borrowed heavily from all those dead guys in wigs.

So teachers will jump right in with jazz harmony and standards. Others will discuss the guys in wigs and stuff for a while and then get to ragtime and marching bands in New Orleans and swing then be bop then post bop ... sorta like a classical education that arrives at jazz.

Classical guitar is very heavy on technique, as mentioned.

It is not either/or ... many jazzers study classical, classical guitarists sometimes look down from their lofty tower of "serious" music and arrange a jazz tune while the jazzers fall over laughing because the classical player has no swing.


The most important thing about all of it is that you have to be snobby about your side of the aisle ....

Also -- keep in mind that whatever you study you will learn piano -- at least a bit. You will study the same theory for a while. You'll get all the important info on composers and composition and so forth. So you may not have to decide right away.
#11
jazz is taught in a completely different manner than classical in my experience. classical is very technique-oriented and has a very rigid pedagogical tradition. classical is more about playing the instrument in a set way.

jazz is played in a different way. it depends if you're taught in a big band tradition or small combo tradition. and who your teacher is. it's very esoteric. for example, in my classical lessons we talk about bow control, fingerings and articulations.

in jazz it's much more heady. you're not just taking what's on a page and playing it with the dynamic markings as written. it's about listening and hearing. it's about being in an ensemble and feeding off of each other. it's about hearing a E7+9 chord and hearing a diminished whole-tone scale in your head and being able to negotiate that into a solo.

there is certainly overlap. especially because every teacher is different. but my jazz lessons usually just revolve around playing and playing and playing. trading choruses of walking lines and solos with my teacher for an hour. talking about ways to fluidly play changes.

learning jazz is all about transcription and listening. immersing yourself in the music. it's a language. classical is as well, but it has a much stricter guideline as far as technique is concerned and is less about your personal voice as a player.

classical is inherently related to jazz. jazz is the unique american amalgamation of european harmony and theory combined with african syncopation and timbre. there is overlap of course. but that's the dumbed down origin.

but all great jazz players have a great respect for and understanding of classical music. for example one of my favorite little musical jokes is to play part of the bach prelude to cello suite no 2 (transposed to am) as an intro to "corcovado."

example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgNTH2M908E

bobby timmons giving chopin some props.
#DTWD
Last edited by primusfan at Apr 23, 2011,
#12
Quote by NecroticSoldier
I always hear that Clasiscal is very heavy on Technique... but I think their theory is pretty intensive as well.


which is why it tends to produce the highest quality musicians (at least, those that learn to improvise). then jazz, and so on.

in my opinion, the best, most competent musician is the one who plays classical but doesn't see any genre of music as inferior and plays all genres. and you don't NEED classical training for any of that.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#13
Quote by AeolianWolf
which is why it tends to produce the highest quality musicians (at least, those that learn to improvise). then jazz, and so on.

in my opinion, the best, most competent musician is the one who plays classical but doesn't see any genre of music as inferior and plays all genres. and you don't NEED classical training for any of that.


Hey, I've seen you around here Aeolian Wolf Is that your favourite Mode?

Excuse me for my spelling mistake... (looks like I'll never be an English Major haha.)

Wow! Thanks for the responses guys! I really agree with what you guys said. I still can't play classical guitar for beans though... but I like Classical music!

I'm just trying to be a sponge and soak in everything I can. I do enjoy learning languages as well... so learning genres would be learning more languages and vocabulary !

Right now my theory is lacking... and I'm just really open to anything I can learn. I also agree that learning everything is good. After a while it all just intertwines right?

and @Primusfan I love Primus too! thanks for the link eh? I really like Chopin (he's my favourite pianist!)

Yeah I always feel like Jazz is like a living thing you know? and allows more room to breathe and have fun. I'm not saying that Classical is dead or unable to be played musically, but I'm just saying that a lot is going on in the Jazz bands I hear than what they're supposed to play.

@ZenSkin I already learned some Piano! So I'm glad it's not going to waste! Thanks for the tips!
Quote from TGM "We're all musicians, we should protect our ears like we protect our dicks."
#14
Quote by NecroticSoldier
I'm interested in what the difference is between Jazz and Classical.

Mainly theory and philosophy. What is different? I know Universities offer either Classical or Jazz, but what is the difference in the way they teach you?

Thanks !


Hey bud, congrats again on making it and being accepted, I am glad that I got to have a hand with helping you get there! You know you could have asked me about this question

Anyways, for your situation I think you'll get farther going into the Jazz program. Classical has it's benefits, but are you planning/wanting to make it a lifelong pursuit? I think you'll understand more about music, as we've talked about, through Jazz studies. I'm not saying it will be easy, Justin, but I think you can do it!

Anyways, I'm proud of you!

Best,

Sean
#15
I'll second the idea of "go with what you like." They're both very advanced, though in different ways, and will both be very demanding. Better to invest many, many hours doing the one you enjoy more.

Just curious, though... when you say that you really like "contemporary classical guitar", what does that genre mean to you?

To me, it means Erik Satie, Harry Somers, Manuel Ponce, Benjamin Britten, Leo Brouwer.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#16
Quote by Sean0913
Hey bud, congrats again on making it and being accepted, I am glad that I got to have a hand with helping you get there! You know you could have asked me about this question

Anyways, for your situation I think you'll get farther going into the Jazz program. Classical has it's benefits, but are you planning/wanting to make it a lifelong pursuit? I think you'll understand more about music, as we've talked about, through Jazz studies. I'm not saying it will be easy, Justin, but I think you can do it!

Anyways, I'm proud of you!

Best,

Sean


Thanks Sean I learned a lot in the time I could hehe.

Too late to change now even if I wanted to haha. Maybe I might have to agree with you on that, because it probably would be more applicable to the music I like if I went into Jazz rather than Classical.

I'll try my best! and thanks again !

Quote by axemanchris
I'll second the idea of "go with what you like." They're both very advanced, though in different ways, and will both be very demanding. Better to invest many, many hours doing the one you enjoy more.

Just curious, though... when you say that you really like "contemporary classical guitar", what does that genre mean to you?

To me, it means Erik Satie, Harry Somers, Manuel Ponce, Benjamin Britten, Leo Brouwer.

CT


I think I'd rather play Jazz hehe, but if I ever do get to learn an instrument like Violin then I'd play Classical a lot more. I really do think that both are highly developed musical genres.

Oh I really like those composers but... I really meant Contemporary Classical as a whole. So I mean like the modern orchestral compositions. Maybe a movie theme or something modern. I played this piece called "Sevens" by Samuel Hazo at school and it sounded really modern and jazzy. I'm not really sure how else to describe it! Hope you understand what I mean by that now.

Thanks Mr.Chris!
Quote from TGM "We're all musicians, we should protect our ears like we protect our dicks."
#17
I've never been a fan of modern composition. To me, it just seems "out there" for the sake of being "out there." That's all subjective opinion, though.

I played "Sonata for Guitar" by Harry Somers. Very, very difficult piece... and in the end.... not very pleasing to listen to. A lot of work for not much reward.

Again, that's just me.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#18
Quote by axemanchris
I've never been a fan of modern composition. To me, it just seems "out there" for the sake of being "out there." That's all subjective opinion, though.

I played "Sonata for Guitar" by Harry Somers. Very, very difficult piece... and in the end.... not very pleasing to listen to. A lot of work for not much reward.

Again, that's just me.

CT


Hehe, actually I agree with you on some of the stuff. They try and do it on purpose... and sometimes it just feels fake you know?

I don't know that piece... but I'd imagine it was a very technical piece that doesn't really sound that great hehe. I think I know what you're getting at though. I think it can be very good sounding if used in moderation or executed properly instead of turning it into a technical exercise sorta thing.
Quote from TGM "We're all musicians, we should protect our ears like we protect our dicks."