Jazz Music: Negotiation Through Dialogue

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate November 2001

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In the very famous essay by Wynton Marsalis and Cornell West, "Jazz, Hope, and Democracy"�, dialogue through negotiation is used repeatedly. On page 746, Wynton Marsalis says, "Jazz music was invented to let us know how to listen to each other, how to negotiate."� Marsalis and West's dialogue through negotiation is used to show each of their beliefs on the idea that rudiments of jazz in play a recurrent role in our society.

One example of dialogue between West and Marsalis is located on page 731. West quotes the great Duke Ellington in stating that "Jazz is freedom"�. West goes on to say, "because I've always argued that jazz musicians are the freest black people in America. And what I mean by that is that they are free enough in their hearts and minds and souls to be themselves"� (731). Marsalis answers "And when we talk about "˜freedom', you have on the one hand the freedom to be yourself.

But now once you get down there, you have to feel that you've found something that's worth somebody else hearing"� (731). The two agree through dialogue that jazz brings about a certain freedom in a person to express whatever they are feeling in their souls without inhibitions. They collaborate on the conflict issue that comes along with jazz music to feel that the listener (audience) is understanding the point the musical piece is trying to express and that the musician gets a sense of the listener relating to them. Jazz relates directly to these ideas of communication. Through any form of communication, one wants the listener (audience) to understand and comprehend what is being stated and apply that idea to their lives. As does jazz music.

A second example of "negotiation"� between Marsalis and West takes place on page 735. Cornell...