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Jazz Improvisation 01
Piano, double bass and drums all feature in a rhythm section in a band.

Jazz Improvisation 01

In KS3 music you'll look at many different musical genres. One of these is jazz. This particular quiz looks specifically at the basics of jazz and blues, such as jazz improvisation, jazz scales, jazz structures, and chord patterns used in jazz and blues.

Blues music is synonymous with jazz. The word 'jazz' began as a West Coast slang term and was first used to refer to music in Chicago in about 1915, although jazz music actually originated in New Orleans. Jazz had its heyday in the 1920s but it's still going today. It's famous for its improvisation and it has influenced many other types of music - most importantly, blues. Jazz has its roots in African-American musical traditions although, when jazz spread to other countries, those cultures added their own elements to it.

Have a go at this quiz and find out how well you understand jazz - and, if you don't know any of the answers, feel free to improvise!

Blues music originated in .......
African-American communities (USA) in late 19th century
France - in the 1970s in revolt to mainstream rock
London - in the 1960s
USA - 1999, as a new music to celebrate the millennium
Particularly from the Deep South, it is derived from spirituals, work songs, chants, shouts and simple ballads
A blue note is a .......
dynamic function
note played a bit lower than its pitch in a major scale
rhythmic function
special painted key on a keyboard instrument
Its function is entirely expressive and is a key element of the blues scale
What best describes a motif (or 'motive')?
A type of sheet music printing font
A type of 18th century dance
A short and recurring characteristic musical fragment
None of the above
A motif is a short musical idea (usually a series of notes) that is characteristic of a piece of music
In that case, what best describes a riff?
A repeated backing progression/melodic figure
A swishing sound generated by an electric guitar
A type of Indian flute
None of the above
A riff is an ostinato figure that forms the basis of a composition. It's very commonly found in rock and jazz music
Music derived from modes and transpositions of the 'white note scale' is commonly referred to as .......
Diatonic refers to the notes in a scale (eg C-D-E-F-G-A-B). It's the opposite of chromatic which also includes semitones (eg C-C#-D-D#-E-F-F#-G-G#-A-A#-B)
'Call and response' is a succession of .......
different dynamics
different key signatures over 8 bars
different time signatures over 4 bars
two distinct phrases often played by different musicians
Second phrase = often heard as commentary/'response' to the first
Which chord symbols move from tonic to dominant?
I - IV
I - II
II - V - I
None of the above
Tonic to dominant = I - V. V - I = dominant to tonic!
Which chord/bar structure is common in blues/jazz?
12-bar blues, as it's called, has become one of the most popular chord progressions in pop music
Which instruments make up a rhythm section in a band?
All of the above
The rhythm section provides the 'beat', 'pulse', or 'background' for the rest of the music
Which was a famous blues/jazz musician?
J.S. Bach
Lang Lang
Ludwig Van Beethoven
Miles Davis
Bach and Beethoven were classical composers while Lang Lang is a concert pianist
You can find more about this topic by visiting BBC Bitesize - Music

Author:  Thomas Daish

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