[Dixielandjazz] Pointless Definitions

Stan Brager sbrager at socal.rr.com
Mon Jul 7 13:06:44 PDT 2008


Having seen records on which a trio of instrumentalists were described as an
orchestra, I googled for the definition and found:

    In modern times, this is the term which signifies a wide variety of
instrumental ensembles.

This was taken from http://tinyurl.com/64zrgr which says that this
definition comes from the "The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians"
published in 1980.

Need we say more?

Stan Brager

-----Original Message-----
From: Ken Mathieson [mailto:ken at kenmath.free-online.co.uk] 
Sent: Sunday, July 06, 2008 2:54 PM
To: Dixieland Jazz Mailing List
Cc: Dixieland Jazz Mailing List
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Pointless Definitions

Hi All,

The current "Hot Dance Music" bun-fight kind of underlines the pointlessness
of definitions. Was it Duke or Louis who offered this as a definition of
Jazz? "It's just another way of playing music." On the face of it not a very
helpful definition, but in retrospect as good as any. Also, how is
"orchestra" defined? I was taken to task for calling my band the Classic
Jazz Orchestra when there are only eight of us, on the basis that bookers
and the public would expect no less than seventeen, and maybe more, players.
The only definition of orchestra that makes sense to me "is a group of
musicians who play from orchestrations," but if the solos are improvised,
what should it be called? Oh sh*t, does that mean I've got a Hot Dance Band?

Ken Mathieson


More information about the Dixielandjazz mailing list