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Page 42 text:
Jazz Music H OW’M I doin’ Hey! Hey!” I daresay that there are not two people out of every ten who are not familiar with this quotation and who do not know from whom I am quoting. Can we say then that jazz has such a wide appeal that ninety-five per cent of the American people are very familiar with the more popular jazz compositions (if we may term them such)? Sometimes we hear people say, ‘‘I love jazz, it simply thrills me through and through.” On the other hand we sometimes hear this: “Jazz is the root of all evil, and it is leading the young people astray and wrecking their lives.” Well, what is jazz and why is there so much controversy about it? Nothing under the sun that man has made is really perfect, so if jazz has some qualities that are not admirable, it is no more than we can expect. One night as I was sitting in church trying to be interested and especially to keep from falling asleep, the preacher made this profound statement, “Jazz is a colossal travesty.” I could hardly control myself until I could get home to a dictionary to see what jazz really is. I found that jazz is a huge imitation. How could this be so? It seems to me so unique in form that it should be set apart from other forms of music. The main feature in jazz is the wonderful rhythm. This, together with the use of syncopa- tion, or the transferring of the strong accent to the weaker accent, and also harmony (although some people think that there is no harmony in jazz), make up the essential elements. In classical music the old masters insisted on accenting certain notes, but not even the choicest sonata can boast of the ihythm found in jazz. In jazz, however, those forces which nature has given us that make us want to pat our feet and sway our bodies give full swing to their inclinations. So, really, jazz in one sense is an improvement over classical music. When one is asked to play a classical number, and if one knows that he is not able to do justice to that piece, one does not usually try to play it. However, if that same person were asked to play a jazz piece, he would certainly try it. Now there are just as few people who can play jazz as there are who can play classical music. When one hears girls continually trying to play jazz, making the most terrible discords, haven’t you heard 34
Page 41 text:
Faces I T IS interesting to study faces on a street car in the late afternoon. The faces are always hot and tired looking. Things may not have gone right at the office; if not, it can always be told by the expression on the face. If there is a young, happy, contented look on a face, it is evident that everything has gone all right. It is most interesting because there are so many different expressions, and so very many different faces. There are young, eager, and inexperienced faces; old, tired and careworn faces, and there are also middleaged, ex- perienced faces. Each face is just a little more interesting than the one before it. Audrey Murphy, ’41. IVhat do You See in a Picture f “When you look at a picture, what do you see?” You seem, to say as you look at me, “ This sets me thinking of my many friends Whose pictures I have almost without end. These images serve to make me gay When the load grows heavy and the days grow gray. I look behind the face to see The kind deeds they did for me. Thus, when I look at a picture I see not only the face But the person who bears it, the time and place That I knew him, too. This is what I see, but what do you?” Frances Leffew, ’37. 33
Page 43 text:
people say, “Good gracious, what a noise! That must be some of those terrible modern pieces?” I remember our preacher one Sabbath day discussed the undesirable effects of jazz on the emotions. For an illustration he used the jazz piece “Singin’ in the Bathtub.” What is wrong with that? I think it is a delight- ful habit, and if one gets so much enjoyment out of the performance that one can sing, then I say, “Go to it!” I want to quote still from another song, “You can’t laugh until you’ve learned to cry; sunshine must follow gloom.” Essays have been written, sermons have been preached on this quotation and it has comforted thou- sands of people in their darkest hours. Today musical people are finding fault with our modern composers. If the composer of today does not treat the themes that appeal most strongly to us, it is probably because he can find no terms in which to do so save those of his predecessors. I feel that we shall soon see the day when only the best elements of jazz will be evident and the undesirable ones will be exterminated. However, jazz is inferior to classical music in the emotions it arouses. Classical music inspires me to be ambitious, to do helpful things and to love everyone. On the other hand, jazz makes me want to kick up my heels and say, “Let the rest of the world go by, but let me have my fun!” There isn’t anything more inspiring than classical music, but jazz is a way out of your troubles. So I hope that you all may say the same thing in your heart as I do, “Long live jazz!” Mary Thorn Painter, ’37.
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