Chinese jazz: How do student musicians learn jazz improvisation in a Chinese cultural setting in Hong Kong?

Chi Wai CHEN, Man Kei Barry LEE

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers

Abstract

The purpose of the research is to develop teaching strategies that can accommodate different approaches in jazz improvisation in a Chinese cultural setting. The study investigates how tertiary students learn jazz improvisation in an ensemble setting. The research is divided into two tiers of data collection. The first tier is an individual interview of the four core jazz combo players from the HKIEd jazz ensemble to collect their views towards the teaching and learning of jazz improvisation in their daily practice. The teaching and learning of jazz improvisation are classified into five categories: 1. Learn from peers 2. Learn from instructors 3. Learn from recordings 4. Learn from score 5. Learn from technology. The second tier is a focus-group interview conducted with the four core jazz combo players through semi-structured interview questions to collect more in-depth insights and reflections on how they learn and practice jazz improvisation in the Chinese cultural setting in Hong Kong. The findings reveal that jazz improvisation has to be taught in a localised way in regions outside the United States. Cultural differences have to be taken into consideration. From the two tiers of interviews, the data is categorised and conceptualised into four developmental stages: 1. learning jazz as building up new musical vocabularies 2. learning jazz as a new musical language 3. learning jazz as a new musical culture 4. learning jazz as a collaborative musical journey. Implications include how Chinese musicians learn jazz in a bi-musical way. Interestingly, there are some similarities in learning Chinese music and jazz music such as practising jazz licks as numbers in the Chinese musical stave, improvising jazz as adding ornamental decorations in the Chinese heterophonic ensemble, and playing by ear in both jazz and Chinese music. Copyright © 2014 Arts Education Conference 2013. All Rights Reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013

Citation

Chen, J., & Lee, B. M. K. (2013, July). Chinese jazz: How do student musicians learn jazz improvisation in a Chinese cultural setting in Hong Kong? Paper presented at the 9th Asia-Pacific Symposium of Music Education Research ISME Asia-Pacific Regional Conference, Singapore.

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