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Free Form Music: how it came about, the current scene and where its going by those involved in the scene.


Freeform in the U.K.

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Freeform and improvised jazz is having a hard time at the moment. Venues have to make tough choices between pleasing what is a smaller cohort of customers and bringing new, maybe transient, but paying clients who are attracted by big names, standards and music they know. Customers have less cash in these difficult economic times, so they may come to fewer gigs. This means that, for a manager, though the venue may have once been able to support freeform jazz ...


Free Form Evolution

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Since free form tentatively emerged during the 1940s and '50s it has evolved with both the times and changing audiences. Now, free form elements cross genre boundaries and many musicians use elements from free form in their works. Because it is music which draws on the spiritual feelings of the players, social dramas and the atmosphere of the time, it is still developing. Long ago, it filled a niche because it was music where musicians took standards, blew them apart, ...


The Beginnings of Free Form

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"Free form" is a term used to encompass a whole genre--or genres--outside mainstream jazz. Jazz has its roots in spiritual music, Dixieland, New Orleans, blues and ragtime, and after the 1940s these became fused into a catch-all assignation of genre. Jazz took on a predictability that was largely influenced not by the limitations of the players, but by the necessity of filling venues and adhering to musical rules. Jazz became generic and took on a style which was immediately recognizable ...

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