Music Project Paper
The “History of Jazz” music class has changed my understanding and approach towards music and listening to it. Prior to taking the course, I considered music as merely an arrangement of beats from music instruments for the enjoyment and entertainment of the audience. Although I understood that talent was a necessary element in the production of music, I did not visualize music as sophisticated artistry. Having studied this course and attended a concert as part of learning, I now conceptualize music in a broad context and from multiple perspectives, understanding that music production is an intricate process and that music is an important component and representation of culture. Rather than a simple arrangement of beats made using instruments and accompaniments, I understand music as a way of expressing the artist’s personal identity in the context of culture and sharing innermost feelings in specific ways. Nowadays, while I listen to music, I pay attention to its structure and arrangement to identify the artist’s motives and approach in making it, along with the message that it conveys in the context of culture and its significance in the music industry and the society. I also try to analyze specific elements of the music to identify what would be necessary to improve its tone, arrangement, the artist’s voice pitch, and other aspects.
The course has also influenced new tastes in my preference of music, especially in terms of the music I identify with and that I find captivating. Prior to taking the class, I did not have any particular and deep-rooted preferences in music, listening to any music that I found interesting and depending largely on my friends and family members to guide my own music preferences. Previously, I considered jazz as an elitist and queer genre of music, especially considering its almost exclusive popularity among members of the high social class. At a personal level, the course has demystified jazz music and promoted my understanding of its structure, values, artistic approach, and music instruments, along with the lives of jazz artists who have contributed significantly to the music genre. This experience has caused my reconceptualization of the jazz music genre and promoted my emotional attachment towards it. For the first time in my life, I have questioned my preferences in music and developed an identity with a specific music genre. Generally, rock is the genre of my preference, with particular liking for Kenny G. and Bon Jovi’s music.
The class has enabled me to appreciate jazz music, specifically, and music, generally, more deeply than I did before, influencing clear ideas and preferences about music in my life and in culture. Having studied the development of jazz music and analyzed specific elements of its production and structure in the course, I now understand and appreciate the connection between culture and music and music’s significance in the society. As a work of art and method of expressing, communicating, and sharing feelings, music is powerful and thought-provoking, thus serving as an essential method of transmitting cultural values across generations and representing specific thoughts and beliefs in the society. The power of music in representing certain values and thoughts is evident in its popular use to convey specific feelings about products in marketing initiatives and commercials. Music’s excellent ability to appeal effectively to the feelings and senses of society members influences its usefulness as a tool in cultural processes such as education, marketing, and entertainment.