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Hot Ptah

Perhaps Not Surprising (Jazz Has Become The Least-Popular Genre In The

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William Lenihan: I agree with Eric Person and virtually any other practicing jazz musician that jazz is not the cultural force it once was. Jazz 'as it once was', represented in musical form more of what the society was. (this, of course is a big question). America's social and psychological dynamic is not what jazz is, or was. The society that spawned jazz is gone. Like classical music - where America is no longer 'europeanized', with old world values of art and music - the values of this music no longer communicate.

Jazz has become more about 'doing jazz' and not providing or provoking any musical experience the audience could possibly have. This is the antithesis of the jazz experience given to us by Miles, Coltrane, Evans and others.
The movement of the 1980's, and ironically jazz education helped to diminish real, true-emotional connection with jazz.

That is a quote from one of those responding to the article.

Edited by Hot Ptah

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http://thejazzline.com/news/2015/03/jazz-least-popular-music-genre/

"Jazz Has Become the Least Popular Genre in the United States"

The more or less parallel figures the article quotes for jazz and classical music listening closely resemble those in a British article of a couple of years ago which went on to point out the enormous disparity in classical's favour of Arts Council funding for the two musics.

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Probably the least surprising music article I've read in recent memory. 0.3% of Spotify streams are jazz...you can't even get people to listen for free.

Edited by Shawn

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I see an awful lot of wishful thinking and outright denialism in the comments to the article.

It reminds me of the folks that talk about gigs in New York being full of young people, when that is an absolute outlier compared to the rest of the country. Obviously it is great that New York remains this outlier, but it is irrelevant for most people.

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Old news to me.

Has jazz become America’s least-popular genre?

clearwater-jazz-holiday4.jpg

According to Nielsen‘s 2014 Year-End Report, jazz is continuing to fall out of favor with American listeners and has tied with classical music as the least-consumed music in the U.S., after children’s music.*

Both jazz and classical represent just 1.4% of total U.S. music consumption a piece. However, Classical album sales were higher for 2014, which puts Jazz at the bottom of the barrel.

This continues an alarming trend that has seen more and more listeners move away from jazz every year.

Album sales have long been a key measure of the popularity of individual genres, and year after year jazz album sales continue to fall.

In 2011, a total of 11 million jazz albums (CD, cassette, vinyl, & digital) were sold, according to BusinessWeek. This represents 2.8% of all music sold in that year. However, just a year later, in 2012, that percentage fell to 2.2%. It rose slightly to 2.3% in 2013 before falling once again to just 2% in 2014.



Full article

http://thejazzline.com/news/2015/03/jazz-least-popular-music-genre/?utm_content=bufferedf1e&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

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My fault. Sorry.

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Not really my fault.

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Probably the least surprising music article I've read in recent memory. 0.3% of Spotify streams are jazz...you can't even get people to listen for free.

In that case I probably account for 0.2% of Spotify listening. :lol:

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This dynamic probably has to do a lot with population dynamics. People with emotional ties to jazz are primarily from older generations. Every year, a large number of jazz fans die who are not replaced by younger people becoming jazz fans. Jazz is no longer the sound of the street, the sound of youth in America.

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This dynamic probably has to do a lot with population dynamics. People with emotional ties to jazz are primarily from older generations. Every year, a large number of jazz fans die who are not replaced by younger people becoming jazz fans. Jazz is no longer the sound of the street, the sound of youth in America.

Very true, John L. (Just the same here.) The only young people getting a taste for jazz nowadays are the tiny handful who learn about it on music education courses in colleges and universities.

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I still don't know why the metric for 'interest in' is sales or streams of recorded music. Classical music fills large halls in all major cities virtually non-stop. Jazz really does not have an audience like that, except for very occasional big-name specials and job-lot festivals with large beer-tents.

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This dynamic probably has to do a lot with population dynamics. People with emotional ties to jazz are primarily from older generations. Every year, a large number of jazz fans die who are not replaced by younger people becoming jazz fans. Jazz is no longer the sound of the street, the sound of youth in America.

Very true, John L. (Just the same here.) The only young people getting a taste for jazz nowadays are the tiny handful who learn about it on music education courses in colleges and universities.

And another group: Those who get into jazz from a DANCING angle. From alI I have heard and seeen online and (to a more limited extent) witnessed locally, the subculture of Swing dancing and LIndy Hopping is going strng, including among younger people. I have taken a few classes with my partner in early 2013 and I was among the older ones (sad for me, good for the scene ;)). Yes I know, many will dismiss that kind of jazz (swing, jump blues etc.) as pure nostalgia, but those dancers do become aware of swing-style jazz and for all I have witnessed they search out the music on CD or via downloads - and bands who play that music for this audience at live gigs ARE around - and one thing may well lead to another and incite them to explore other forms and artists of jazz GRADUALLY and step by step. At least as far as danceable jazz is concerned.

No doubt forumist Swingittrev (if he drops by here) wil confirm this because he likely has a much closer experience of this than I have.

Obviously those swing dancers are not likely ot embrace "challenging" avantgarde/free styles of jazz outright where what avantgarde fans experience as "challenging" will be experienced as "alienating" by many others.

But is avantgarde (or world music free-for-all or whatever) all there can be to the wide field of jazz today, and is being able to enjoy your jazz through dancing - including at concerty featuring those "neo-swing" bands - really too low-brow to many "serious" jazz fans"? Maybe this explains that, as far as OVERALL popularity is concerned? ;)

And after all - does this mostly young crowd look like they are not enjoying their jazz?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HL28h1SS7qw

Edited by Big Beat Steve

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William Lenihan: I agree with Eric Person and virtually any other practicing jazz musician that jazz is not the cultural force it once was. Jazz 'as it once was', represented in musical form more of what the society was. (this, of course is a big question). America's social and psychological dynamic is not what jazz is, or was. The society that spawned jazz is gone. Like classical music - where America is no longer 'europeanized', with old world values of art and music - the values of this music no longer communicate.

Jazz has become more about 'doing jazz' and not providing or provoking any musical experience the audience could possibly have. This is the antithesis of the jazz experience given to us by Miles, Coltrane, Evans and others.

The movement of the 1980's, and ironically jazz education helped to diminish real, true-emotional connection with jazz.

That is a quote from one of those responding to the article.

Just what the hell does the sentence I bolded mean? That it's not enough to go and listen to the music. If so, that's a commentary on the people of today who feel they need to be involved in the experience.

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The sentence seems clear enough to me - especially when the next sentence is read with it. It says that music should be more than pleasant entertainment provided by musicians who are merely recreating and copying the past.

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Electro Acoustic Improvisation is *much* less popular than jazz

But the pretension of it is exponentially higher!

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The sentence seems clear enough to me - especially when the next sentence is read with it. It says that music should be more than pleasant entertainment provided by musicians who are merely recreating and copying the past.

In a way - yes, but apart from the fact it depends on where you draw a line between copying and just "playing in the idiom", if you (not you, Paul, but those who make statements like the one you refer to) exclude from the start all those routes into jazz that will help to EASE people into jazz in an entertaining way (what's wrong about entertainment anyway?) and to provide them with an incentive to venture further into other RELATED fields of jazz step by step and if you insist instead on wagging your finger at your target audience and lecturing them about what they are supposed to like then you should not be too surprised if they turn their backs on you. After all, given the wide field of music and the wide field of tastes, music (including jazz) is a buyer's market, not a seller's market. ;)

Edited by Big Beat Steve

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Later today I will read the two items linked. But in the meantime, at the risk of embarrassing myself by saying something that is a point made in the articles, let me say this.

Something happened shortly after World War II. I don't know why, but the English-speaking world lost interest in instrumental music.

I believe that for the past 45 years, The Ventures have made their living touring Japan. In the '60s, Europeans listened to Willis Conover on Radio Free Europe, and American jazz musicians found work in Europe.

But in the US (and presumably Canada and I suppose the British Isles) the only two instrumental acts to make a big splash in my lifetime have been The Tijuana Brass and Kenny G.

So I think that there is something going on here that involves more than jazz. And of course, this dislike of instrumental music may explain why classical music is down there with jazz for low record sales.

Edited by GA Russell

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Zappa once said, "when you stop singing, people stop listening".

I think GA hit the nail on the head.

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The sentence seems clear enough to me - especially when the next sentence is read with it. It says that music should be more than pleasant entertainment provided by musicians who are merely recreating and copying the past.

In a way - yes, but apart from the fact it depends on where you draw a line between copying and just "playing in the idiom", if you (not you, Paul, but those who make statements like the one you refer to) exclude from the start all those routes into jazz that will help to EASE people into jazz in an entertaining way (what's wrong about entertainment anyway?) and to provide them with an incentive to venture further into other RELATED fields of jazz step by step and if you insist instead on wagging your finger at your target audience and lecturing them about what they are supposed to like then you should not be too surprised if they turn their backs on you. After all, given the wide field of music and the wide field of tastes, music (including jazz) is a buyer's market, not a seller's market. ;)

Okay, but if all (or the vast majority if what exists) is entertainment or recreation, there's no real creativity and music (no matter what the genre) will die. That even goes imo if there's a large audience. Eventually, that large audience will consist entirely of morons and the music won't matter (except to morons).

You may disagree. If so. we can leave it at that. No use arguing about what we can't agree on.

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The sentence seems clear enough to me - especially when the next sentence is read with it. It says that music should be more than pleasant entertainment provided by musicians who are merely recreating and copying the past.

Paul, can you name some popular genres where this is happening?

Edited by Scott Dolan

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Folk music didn't even register on the list, so wouldn't that make it less popular that jazz?

Edited by SMB1968

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The sentence seems clear enough to me - especially when the next sentence is read with it. It says that music should be more than pleasant entertainment provided by musicians who are merely recreating and copying the past.

Paul, can you name some popular genres where this is happening?

Nope. Music in general is dying.

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