In Lesson 10, the writer talks about how a visitor broke the family’s clavichord by playing jazz on it. But why does playing jazz music cause so much damage? Why does jazz cause some of the clavichord keys to break?
Jazz music first became popular in the early 1900s among African American communities in southern parts of the US. Jazz music is usually played by a band made up of trumpets, trombones, saxophones, drums, a piano and a double bass, which is a big stringed instrument that you have to stand up to play. Jazz music can be loud, fast and wild (wild enough to break an old clavichord!), or it can be slow and sad.
A jazz song can also be different every time it is played because most jazz music includes improvisation. Improvisation is when the musician has no music notes to read on the page, so he creates his own melodies on the spot. Musicians have to be very skilled to be able to play off the cuff like this.
trumpet [ˈtrʌmpit] n. 喇叭，小号
trombone [trɔm'bəun] n. 长号，伸缩喇叭
saxophone ['sæksəfəun] n. 萨克斯管
drum [drʌm] n.鼓
Double Bass 低音提琴
improvisation [ˌimprəvai'zeiʃən] n. 即席表演，即席创作
melody [ˈmelədi] n.旋律，曲调
“On the spot” – means without preparation or planning
“Off the cuff” – also means without preparation or planning, but is more often used to refer to a performance, such as a speech or a song.
“To jazz something up” – to make something more attractive, like an outfit or a webpage
1.What would you like to jazz up in your life, and why?
2.Have you ever had to give a presentation off the cuff? If not, what do you think it would feel like?