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“Do You Know …?”The Jazz Repertoire in Action$
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Robert R. Faulkner and Howard S. Becker

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780226239217

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226239224.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 29 March 2020

The Skills You Need to Play the Contents of the Song Reservoir

The Skills You Need to Play the Contents of the Song Reservoir

(p.63) 4 The Skills You Need to Play the Contents of the Song Reservoir
“Do You Know …?”
University of Chicago Press

Individual players, musical groups performing together for one or many nights, and local and national communities of players put together their performances by picking material from the large reservoir of available songs. It can seem that players need only access this song reservoir and use the results. What skills do players need in order to read printed music, “take a tune” off a record, or learn it by hearing someone else play it? How do they learn those skills? And what does knowing the answers to those questions tell us about making music together? Musicians live in a world that expects them to have a substantial amount of musical knowledge. The rhythm instruments—piano, bass, drums, guitar—call for different reading skills. Players learn to identify and reproduce the intervals between a melody's notes. Cadences, scales, and similar patterns are building blocks of a repertoire. Dick Hyman, the virtuoso jazz pianist who plays in all styles with equal facility, argued that a competent jazz player must have a minimum repertoire of 300 songs.

Keywords:   musicians, song reservoir, songs, skills, jazz, musical knowledge, rhythm instruments, cadences, scales, repertoire

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