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The Anatomy of Improvisation                                               211
Nor is it mandatory, as has been implied in some diagnoses of jazz, to employ quarter tones. If it were, jazz would be unplay­able on the piano. The slurring of notes and the occasional exist­ence of a borderline area between the third and flatted third do not necessarily connote the use of a quarter tone any more than a glissando emphasizes the existence of the infinite number of gradations through which it passes. Jazz, or at least jazz today, says what it means. If the jazzman hits an E Flat while impro­vising in the key of C, and if the rhythm section is playing an F 9th chord, there will be no social, racial or mystical implications in his playing the note halfway between E Flat and E; he will merely sound a quarter-tone sharp and the note he plays will not be consonant with the chord at hand. Quarter tone effects ad­mittedly can be and are used in jazz, but not in the sense that they imply any uncertainty on the part of the performer as to whether, for example, the flatted seventh or the major seventh is the chord involved.
Jazz, of course, incorporates the three essential elements of all music—melody, harmony and rhythm. Three additional elements are essential to authenticity in Jazz: syncopation, improvisation and (or) composition in the spirit of improvisation.* The chords
example 3
shown in Ex. S, all arbitrarily placed in the Icey of B Flat, are the most important basic harmonic guideposts to improvisation. These chords axe shown here only in their simplest forms, and
* In an analysis in The Encyclopedia of Jazz (the CHAPTER entitled What is Jazz?, p. 49), there are detailed references to these factors.