4 reasons you should listen to Jazz instead of Pop | Kyle Huang – Grade 9

jazz performance Jazz > Pop
  • Pop music is akin to Mcdonald’s, and doesn’t provide real musical nourishment
  • Jazz music makes demands of its audience
  • Pop melodies are repetitive and brainwashes its audience

Most people around the world listen to pop songs. Taiwanese people are no exception. They go to KTVs together and sing the same songs over and over; at sleepover parties they turn up the music and put a song on repeat forever until they are brainwashed. However, pop songs are rubbish without meaning and make people lose their intelligence. Pop music is like Mcdonald’s: it does not provide any nutrients and harms the brain. If you want real musical nourishment, Jazz music is the best way.

Unknown to the majority of listeners, Jazz music is mysterious yet packed with action. It requires skill to play and real talent to listen to and appreciate. Jazz players require a good ear, they need the skill to identify the chords of the song to improvise and need to avoid creating atonal melodies. The same Jazz song performed by different artists never sounds the same. The improvisation within the song always changes each time played. Jazz music contains a wide variety of instruments, and the listener needs to be able identify each instrument’s sound to fully appreciate the music. On the other hand, Pop music is mechanically generated. It is made by a system, like how factories produce Coca-Cola. It contains tons of “harmful chemicals” no one knows the names of. Jazz is original and organic. It is fresh, healthy and worth listening to.

1. Jazz Music requires using the brain and makes you smarter

Pop music’s lyrics are meaningless and a waste of time to listen to. In order to make the songs catchy, composers of pop music focus more on making melodies memorable than the words within. This results in songs without any actual content that require no thought from the audience listening to them. For example, there’s a Mandarin Pop song with the line “Lets learn to meow like a cat” throughout the whole song. Compare that with this Jazz song, “Giant steps” by John Coltrane, which sounds way more complex and exciting. These songs exist on completely different levels, one is a trick meant to gain more likes, and the other is true artistic content.

Jazz Music makes demands of its audience. Listeners need to use their brains to fully appreciate the music. With different styles implying different meanings, the audience has to both think and feel, to understand what the composers are trying communicate through their music. The Jazz Blues originated from a time and place full of racial discrimination. These standards are often sad and melancholy, while the latin styles are often used for partying and celebrating. Requiring the audience to think more, Jazz is the true art that makes you smarter.

2. Pop Music Brainwashes, Distracts you from working, and breaks friendships

As mentioned above, pop melodies are repetitive and brainwashing to earn more plays and money. This causes one enormous issue: getting songs stuck in people’s heads. It is torture to have a song stuck in your head. Playing again and again, it drives you insane and distracts you from working. It can cause a bad temper and hostile attitudes towards everyone. With a bad temper, you would eventually be abandoned by your friends.

Conversely, Jazz Music is unrepeatable. Jazz contains improvisation and the same song would always sound unique performed by different artists. So, no Jazz songs would ever be stuck in your head. It is also proven that Jazz music can psychologically cause your brain to remain focused and calm for work.

3. Psychological Benefits

Pop music is literally bad for our brains. It will gradually ruin people’s minds and make people lack creativity. Considering the fact that lyrical differentiation is relatively unimportant to a pop song’s success, artists put more emphasis on the beats of the song. Pop songs could become well known by repeating a cool beat, so people will remember the song. However, this limits the listener’s ability to think more creatively. For example, it is fairly easy for one to recall and sing a pop song’s melody, but rather hard to create a new melody. Pop songs cause people to be trapped in their melodies, while Jazz encourages people to create.

According to Dr. William Klemm, of Psychology Today, there are a multitude of different cognitive benefits that enrich your mind while listening to jazz music. The major benefit of Jazz is that it enriches your mind. To fully appreciate Jazz, people need to think outside of the box. There isn’t really a certain answer for what a Jazz song is trying to imply, this explains why there are so many possible interpretations of a single Jazz piece. Finding a meaning in Jazz trains our creativity and helps people think in unique ways.

4. Jazz music supports musicians

One major problem in pop music is that not all performing artists gets the same amount of attention. The main singer of the band always gets the most fans and fame. No one knows the name of the guy playing bass guitar in the back. This is unfair and causes people to be less willing to learn instruments. In addition, this situation often causes conflict within a band, creating arguments about who should be the singer, thereby ruining friendships.

On the other hand, Jazz gives all musicians a fair amount of focus on stage. Whether you are a singer, a guitar player, saxophonist, drummer, etc., all performers would get a chance to be in the spotlight. Everyone gets their shot at soloing, thus dividing the focus of the audience equally. Therefore, listening to Jazz actually supports musicians in their career more.

While pop music brainwashes and basically causes people’s brains to develop backwards, Jazz does the exact opposite. It makes people smarter, benefits the brain, and supports musicians. Comparing pop music to Jazz is like comparing a cardboard box to a 5 star hotel. Jazz music is infinitely better than pop music.

About Taipei Teen Tribune (99 Articles)
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