How New Media Influences Jazz Music

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Music is a form of art. Art is originally a way of expressing human beings, which requires understanding and feeling. Most people say that they like jazz, but they typically choose a jazz style in the low-level melody, which people can generally feel comfortable and satisfied listening to without understanding, and so they are not really appreciative the nature of jazz. Nowadays, with the development of new media, jazz has changed a lot, and people's appreciation of jazz is not limited to listening to it, and this influence is both positive and negative. For jazz, new media is a new way of music appreciation or music creation that depends on the Internet and social media. Before 2000, when social media like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter had not yet appeared, people's appreciation of jazz was traditionally based on listening. Compared to nowadays, in such a society with extremely developed social media, people generally cannot live without social media every day. The appreciation of jazz is not limited to listening, but has developed into a visual appreciation. The development of new media has visualized the appreciation of jazz.

Contemporary jazz is rarely presented in the form of pure auditory symbolic text. On the contrary, musical texts contain a large number of visual symbols, from posters, album covers, to visual presentations such as music videos, albums, short videos, etc., to concerts, music festivals. On-site presentations, as well as comprehensive audiovisual presentations of musical draft shows, music star variety shows, etc. To some extent, the development of new media technology has changed the way people appreciate traditional jazz music. From the original auditory appreciation to visual appreciation. In the article, Visual Music: Jazz, Synaesthesia and the History of the Senses in the Weimar Republic, author states the idea that visual jazz is a necessity of modern music from the history, “A number of scholars have argued that the human senses were separated within modernity. This study argues that, within a growing media society such as early twentieth century Germany, the senses did not necessarily remain singular or divided. As this history of Weimar jazz suggests, modern media culture often promoted synaesthesia and perceptual mixing.” Thereby, jazz is gradually visualizing. These influences have both positive and negative aspects.

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From the positive side, first, new media will influence both composers and audiences, such as their aesthetic habits, tastes and interactions that are centered on music, which results in the the changes in meaning and forms of music context. For example, now a lot of people are presenting their music video on YouTube. Back to the time before 2000, when new media had not came out, people usually wen to the bar or concert to listen to the jazz, it was a traditional way to appreciate the jazz. After the YouTube came out, a lot jazz players use different exaggerated way presenting the performance to attract people’s attention. On the other side, also a number of player are still using the traditional way to present the performance. Two jazz videos on YouTube, one called Jazz Roots 2015, the other one called Stuart Fuchs in Concert: Jazz Ukulele Medley, both are the jazz performance.The first video, people are dancing with jazz music, the second one is just players normally playing the jazz. However, compared to the former, which one is more attractive, it is definitely the former one. Is the latter one not good at playing the jazz? No, it’s just new media or social media are changing people’s aesthetic habits and tastes, so the former one seems more attractive. Both two plays’ music are excellent, but people are more willing to their performance rather than only the music itself. This new media helped contemporary jazz develop in a diversified direction, which also makes people's appreciation of jazz more three-dimensional.

Second, due to its interactivity and media fusion, the new media can also generate feedback mechanisms in the process of music acceptance, put forward their opinions to the music production team, or communicate with fans. On the other hand, they can directly adapt and disseminate the music text. These interactions, also, enable the recipient to directly or indirectly influence the production of musical text. For example, some jazz composers start to do live video shows on Youtube, they record the process when composing the jazz and teach those people who are interested in jazz. And audiences usually give their advice on the comment place. A jazz player Jeff Schneider, he put his video about how to compose jazz on the YouTube, How I Compose & Produce Jazz Loops, a lot of people comment below. Those jazz lovers communicate with each other, ask some questions about jazz, and give feedback to Jeff Schneider. One person called Jeremy Lucas commented “Jeff, who do you recommend listening to for getting that sick rnb neo soul jazz sound you got going? I'm kind of there, but you are so much more solid (authentic to the genre). any tips? I feel like I'm missing the main ingredient.” Another person called Will Rowsell commented, “I use the term altered chord to describe a dominant chord in a minor key. I thought of them as complicated until I realised the extensions they have are all from the minor key. You can normally add the flat 13 (also called a b6 or #5, however #5 is a misleading and confusing term as you still have the natural fifth in the chord) and a flat 9 or sharp 9 or both.” To some extent, YouTube has provided a platform for the those jazz musicians, audiences, and jazz lovers a chance to exchange views, questions and musical ideas on jazz. This will not only bring some new ideas to the jazz composer, but also help jazz lovers to increase their knowledge on jazz.

From the negative side, first, the visual turn of music affects the ideological effect of music. The visualization of music will also weaken the charm of the music itself, and the audience ’s attention to these visualizations sometimes exceeds the music itself. As discussed above, two different YouTube jazz player. Indeed, the former has more audiences watching, and the latter is a traditional performance method, and the number of viewers is not as large as the former. The former has 4,949,886 viewers, but the latter one only has 49,254 viewers. This does not mean that the former performs better than the latter. So are these audiences really listening to the music itself? The performances are both excellent, the reason why the former has more popularity is that audiences are more focusing on performance rather than on the appreciation of jazz music. So in a way, the visual senses affect how people feel about jazz. In the article, The Impact of Visual-Music Interaction on Music Perception: The Influence of Agreement and Disagreement, author concludes that, “Agreement in mood between music and visual can enhance the mood of the individual parts. Disagreement can create irony, commentary, or foreshadowing. These interactions cause the audience to perceive the individual elements in an enhanced or different way than when experienced separately.”

Which explains why people are more willing to watch the first video than the second one. Both videos are visually stimulated, but the former is limited in the way of traditional jazz performance and brings a new jazz experience to the audiences in the form of dance. Therefore, the visualization of jazz caused by the appearance of new media makes audiences not only satisfying the auditory enjoyment, but it also weakening the appreciation of the music itself. What’s more, because of this visualization of jazz limits audiences’ imagination for the music. Everyone have different feelings when listening to the same music, and will react differently. However, after jazz got visualization, it limits people's imagination, and the music itself lost its beauty of mystery. From the analysis above, new media has both positive and negative impact on jazz. The progress and innovation of new media change the way people listening to jazz and change the form of jazz. It seems that now the visualization of jazz is inevitable.

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