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rockfan's avatar

Do you agree or disagree with this person's theory on why most Americans don't like jazz music?

Asked by rockfan (12959points) August 20th, 2017 from iPhone
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5 Answers

CWOTUS's avatar

There may be something in what he says, but (based only on his name, and not having read the entire article) I presume that he is Japanese, and partly for that reason he is extrapolating into what “most Japanese” know about American music, and similarly for American music (and listeners).

I’m sure that there’s some truth to the observation that American listeners have gotten “lazy” in this respect. In the same way that most of us only know a single language (and based on my reading and listening, they don’t know that one anywhere near as well as they ought to), they only know the music that they’re exposed to on a repetitive basis: Top 40 and the like.

There’s not a great deal of experimentation in the mass market, then, for any cultural aspect of American culture: music, language, writing, art, television, even sports and nearly any other kind of entertainment venue that you’d care to name.

However, because of the size of the entire market – over 300 million individuals – there is still “a large market” for whatever particular niche exists.

Personally, I’d question where his “3%” figure comes from. That is, I would like to see the opening (badly written) assertion “The current market share of Jazz in America is mere 3 percent,” explained.

JLeslie's avatar

Not for me. I don’t like jazz, but I like classical. If I understand his assumptions, Americans shouldn’t like either.

Kardamom's avatar

I disagree. I am one of those people who can often not make out the lyrics, but the lyrics can be wonderful, or they can be crappy. Doesn’t really matter, but if you have great lyrics and great music, that’s good too.

I used to hate “jazz” when I was a kid, but what I really didn’t like was the really screechy saxophone-heavy, disonant kind of jazz. I love a lot of 60’s era jazz like Dave Brubeck and Vince Guraldi (Charlie Brown music) and Astrud Gilberto, and Miles Davis, although I didn’t really come to appreciate Miles Davis until I was in my 20’s (Kind of Blue is one of the best albums of all time). And I’ve always loved Dixieland jazz, and Ragtime, which is also on the jazz spectrum.

Some jazz, like some forms of most music, there is some I don’t like. Screetchy experimental, disonant jazz is not my cup of tea, and like the author of the article, Kenny G music is not pleasant, but neither is most rap music, and death/speed metal.

I don’t know why we each have different preferences for music, but I disagree with the assumptions made in the article you linked.

I have a wide range of music that I like: country, pop and rock from the beginning of each (Beatles, Mamas & Papas, Jimi Hendrix, Doors, Rick Nelson, Nirvana, Culture Club, Nirvana, CSN&Y, Glen Campbell, Del Shannon, Petula Clark, The Go Gos, The Surfaris, Black Eyed Peas, Bond, Weird Al etc) Irish folk music, East Indian traditional music, bagpipe music, sacred chorale music, Xmas music of all kinds, you name it. There is much more music that I like, than that I can’t stand. Some of it has lyrics, some of it does not.

rockfan's avatar


Funny that you mention “screeching jazz music”, I listened to Charlie Parker’s music for the first time today and didn’t like the abrasive sound of the alto-sax at all. But then I listened to the more restrained style of Oscar Peterson and I was in heaven.

filmfann's avatar

I am not a fan of the screeching, but I love jazz. Monk, Miles, Coltrane, The Bird. I have hours of it on my iPod.
but, seriously, fuck the screeching.

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