Jazz Songs

No it doesn’t. Yes it does. “When they’re practising, they try out different songs,” says Riters. “They order and reorder and repeat song sequences, they add and drop notes. It sounds a bit like free-form jazz.”

Why do birds sing? Because they’re all on drugs

Oral poets’ memory of songs sung is agile: it was ‘not unusual’ to find a Yugoslav bard singing ‘from ten to twenty ten-syllable lines a minute’ (Lord 1960, p. 17). Comparison of the recorded songs, however, reveals that, though metrically regular, they were never sung the same way twice. Basically the same formulas and themes recurred, but they were stitched together or ‘rhapsodized’ differently in each rendition even by the same poet, depending on audience reaction, the mood of the poet or of the occasion, and other social and psychological factors.

orality-literacych. 3

Furthermore, in contrast to the predictability of a written piece of music that can be repeated over and over, the polyphony of the assemblage shifts as conditions change.


jazz, unwritten music, vs clasical, pop, etc.: recordings, music that keeps score.

the domestication of song (wisdom-leopold-kohr) by means of regular intervals of time and tone.


wisdom-leopold-kohr Illich, Ivan. 1994. Edited by Hannum Hildegarde. New Haven, CT: Yale University. [link] ↩︎ 1

mushroom-eow Tsing, Anna Lowenhaupt. 2015. The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins. Princeton University Press. ↩︎ 1

orality-literacy Ong, Walter J., and John Hartley. 2012. Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word. Routledge. ↩︎ 1