[Dixielandjazz] Is "elegant" a musical term?

Ken Gates kwg915 at gmail.com
Tue Jul 16 15:24:41 PDT 2013

At one time, I made a living writing computer programs.  A program
was considered to be "elegant"  if, in addition to running without flaw, it
had been constructed with a minimum of code and easily understood
by another programmer.  A brief search of internet definitions gives
this as used by engineers, programmers, and scientific persons
seeking solutions of their pursuits.
"The word elegant, in general, is an adjective meaning of fine
quality. Refinement and simplicity are implied, rather than fussiness,
or ostentation. An elegant solution, often referred to in relation to
problems in disciplines such as mathematics, engineering, and
programming, is one in which the maximum desired effect is achieved
with the smallest, or simplest effort. Engineers, for example, seek
the elegant solution as a means of solving a problem with the least
possible waste of materials and effort."
This word came to mind after listening to a particular good (IMO) solo
on a  recording last night.  I don't observe that adjective being used
very much in describing a reaction to a musical performance.  I
think it can be a useful in the vocabulary of musical terms.

Ken Gates

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