Lesson 2 - Section 1
Dynamic Markings (Volume)
Jazz is a very passionate music to play. Like Classical music, Jazz can be played very loudly and very softly throughout the whole song. These changes in loudness and softness are called Dynamics. In the image for this section are some common dynamic markings. These markings are used by the composer to show the player when to play softer or when to play louder! These changes in loudness and softness make the music much more exciting and interesting to listen to. If you were to play a song with exactly the same dynamic level throughout, it would be very boring to listen to.
Lesson 2 - Section 2
Crescendo & Decrescendo
Look at the image for this section. If you see the dynamic markings with other lines next to it, the change should be gradual. The lines show you how long to make the transition from one dynamic marking to the next. In other words, how long to make the change from one volume level to the next volume level. These lines are called crescendo if you are growing louder or decrescendo if you are growing softer.
Lesson 2 - Section 3
Changing volume (dynamics) is one way to create interest in a song. Another way to create interest is by changing the way each note is played. Look at the image for this section. In the first measure, a dot is added over the top of an F note. This dot is called a staccato marking. This mark tells the player to strike the note sharply (very short and abruptly).
Lesson 2 - Section 4
Changing the Pace
We’ve seen dynamics and articulations so what would come next?
Lesson 2 - Section 5
Additional Markings to Add Interest
Let’s look at one more way to generate interest in a song before we look at some Jazz specific ways.
Lesson 2 - Section 6
One of the most basic Jazz styles is the Swing style. Swing uses a staccato and legato mark to setup the basic Swing beat or rhythm. The Swing feel is similar to taking a triplet note and tying the first two notes of the triplet together. In Lesson Number 1 of Advanced Studies, the Blues listening example is in the Swing style.