Big Ears: Listening for Gender in Jazz Studies

Tucker, Sherrie

Injazz, the term "big ears" refers to the ability to hear and make mean-ing out of complex music. One needs "big ears" to make sense of impro-visatory negotiations of tricky changes and multiple simultaneous lines and rhythms. "Big ears" are needed to hear dissonances and silences. They are needed to follow nuanced conversations between soloists; between soloists and rhythm sections; between music and other social realms; be-tween multiply situated performers and audiences and institutions; and between the jazz at hand and jazz in history. If jazz was just about hitting the right notes, surviving the chord changes, and letting out the stops,jazz scholars, listeners, and even musicians would not need "big ears."


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August 18, 2022