How to identify jazz musical elements?

My professor is having our class attend a live jazz/classical musical club, and we have to identify the musical elements. I am going to see a performer play a saxophone. How do I go about writing this, I have no idea what to write with out sounding like an idiot..

One thought on “How to identify jazz musical elements?

  1. St Petersburg native

    Analyze the performance with regard to rhythm (timing execution), harmony (chords- simple or dense), melody (e.g., flowing or jagged), instrumentation, and tone colors (timbres) of the various instruments in the ensemble. These are the essential components of any musical performance regardless of ensemble size or genre; with larger ensembles, orchestration (the combination of instruments used) is another element that should be considered.
    I wish I could remember which of David Baker’s books include a style sheet that is useful for breaking down recordings; that would be a timely springboard to help you with this assignment. My answer above is based on my most pertinent recall from that style sheet, but it is possible that I have neglected one or more of its salient points.


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