Jazz Theory: All That Pizzazz (A research paper on jazz theory and music theory)

Essay by jahjahfreak2005High School, 11th gradeA+, May 2004

download word file, 6 pages 3.4

Kevin Gehrett

Mrs. McMillan

Honors English 11

14 May 2003

Jazz Theory: All That Pizzazz

Music theory in general is the basic arrangement of notes to form sounds that compose any type of music. Music theory is then broken down into several sub-categories based on the style of the music; for example, there is jazz theory, rock theory, blues theory, etc. This paper focuses on one particular branch of music theory: jazz theory. "Standard music theory is the same/basic theory used and applied by jazz musicians. However, jazz composers take the theory rules and twist them around giving their genre/style of music their own flavor, which puts jazz in a category all by itself" (DeStefano). There are three main areas on which music theory focuses: pitch, intensity, and time; these are the devices which make up music (Jazz Theory).

First of all, a brief summary and history of jazz: Jazz was born in the United States around the turn of the century.

Jazz combines the styles of African Americans, who brought their musical heritage with them from Africa, with folk music from the United States at the turn of the century (Jazz).

Music theory is broken down into several sub-categories that make up music. These categories include notes, chords and harmony.

The first area to cover is chords. It is very important to know how to arrange chords and how to create them. A good deal of music composition is based on knowledge of chord structures and arrangements of chords. The simplest chord structure is the triad. A triad consists of three notes. The individual notes in a chord are known as degrees. In a triad, the degrees are one (I) for the first note (known as the root), three (iii) for the second note, and five...