1 Section for Anthropology and Ethnography, Faculty of Humanities, Aarhus University, Aarhus University2 Center for Functionally Integrative Neuroscience, Faculty of Health Sciences, Aarhus University, Aarhus University3 Department of Clinical Medicine - Center for Music In the Brain, Department of Clinical Medicine, Health, Aarhus University4 School of Culture and Society - Department of Anthropology, School of Culture and Society, Arts, Aarhus University5 Department of Clinical Medicine - Center for Music In the Brain, Department of Clinical Medicine, Health, Aarhus University6 School of Culture and Society - Department of Anthropology, School of Culture and Society, Arts, Aarhus University
The relationship between music and language is fiercely debated in the modern literature of neuroscience and music. Here, we argue that a musicological study of online communication between jazz musicians in combination with brain imaging studies offers a unique setting for evalu- ating communicational aspects of music practices that rarely enter the present discourse on the subject. We employ Miles Davis’ quintet of the 1960s and its use of polyrhythmic structures as a general example of a jazz group focusing on communication. First, we consider jazz in the light of Roman Jakobson’s model of communication in a broad perspec- tive. Next, we analyze polyrhythmic occurrences in Herbie Hancock ́s solo on the jazz standard “All of You” as an example of how this com- munication develops as a narrative structuring of tension and relief. We identify two typical types of polyrhythms, metric displacement and re- grouping of subdivisions. Finally, we show how these polyrhythmic structures employ brain areas hitherto associated with linguistic semantic processing, and discuss possible implications.