Listening to Jazz is a jazz appreciation book for both non-music and music majors. Through Listening to Jazz, students will learn to listen to and appreciate this powerful and important music; they will know the basic history of jazz and its various periods and styles; and they will understand how these styles intersect and blend through getting to know the music and musicians from a variety of perspectives.
Listening to Jazz is designed to excite the student and to contextualize the listening. Students will be able to gradually build their listening skills, so that they will be better able to understand this often complex musical style. While Listening to Jazz covers all the standard periods and genres in jazz, the text will also have a solid focus on contemporary jazz, bringing to students the music of today as well as the music of the past. It also incorporates throughout discussion of the role of women and the Latin influence in jazz. Rather than considering these as separate areas of study, Listening to Jazz shows their importance as an integral part of jazz history from its very beginnings. In addition, section overviews provide historical context for the development of jazz, and show how cultural/social movements shaped and were shaped by the music.