Jazz Music


Searching its rhythmic roots to the shores of West Africa, Jazz music has had a vast pressure on the music we listen to in the present. Jazz music was shaped by African Americans and is measured to be the only original ‘American’ art form. Jazz itself has a very multifaceted history that started on the southern plantations and is still breathing today. Its history involves racial issues, the fruition of African American music, and a transition in the social order.


To appreciate the olden times of the jazz, a person must be aware that where the movement originated from. The birth of African American music started when West African slaves were brought over to America over some 400 years ago. With them came their strong musical conventions. Their rhythms did not reproduce those of the familiarized to the European ear. As an alternative, the rhythm reflected the African speech patterns. Music played an indispensable role in the slaves’ everyday lives. In the meadow, the slaves would sing ‘work songs’ to aid get them through the day; they would also utilize songs to presage each other of danger. The African slaves would execute rituals that used African-based choreography with drums.

When these slaves were strained to be present at church, they ultimately educated the harmonic styles of the hymns, and so they supplemented it into their melodies to create spirituality. Since Jazz is a blend of African and European melodies and instrumentals, it is effortless to see why, in the beginning, 19th century, a vast number of black musicians erudite how to play European instruments and included them in their musical pieces. One more musical form that had pressure on jazz and African American music was Afro- Latin and Afro-Caribbean rhythmic motif and pattern. These styles began being included into African American music until the late 19th century; Jelly Roll Morton measured this as a vital component of jazz.

Jazz flourished:

The conclusion of slavery motivated African Americans to discover new jobs and seek better lives. But separation laws and high levels of racism limited their opportunities. In spite of the obstacles, many African Americans were able to discover jobs and entertainment, and musicians were able to perform in minstrel shows, bars, dances, clubs, and in vaudeville.

Although jazz was increasing very fast, it did meet many obstacles and criticism. Since ban and the Jazz Age coincided, 1920s-1930s, underground bars and clubs became popular venues for jazz performances. Also, the cultural association of jazz had pressure on the dress, language, and attitude of the youthful people of that era. Therefore, jazz was deemed immoral by members of the upper-class and older generations; they saw jazz as a danger to the old values of American life. Jazz was also attacked by the media that would criticize musician and make up lies about the effects of jazz music

Down with great music, the Jazz era also shaped excellent musicians who utilized their skills to eternally change the musical world. One of those musicians, who are also considered today to be one of America’s most outstanding musicians, is Duke Ellington. Ellington was a composer, big band leader, and a pianist, and he was recognized for his peculiar and unique jazz techniques. He composed many famous concert works, and he even came up with his style of jazz called "American music". He also came up with his music techniques such as unusual dissonances and chromatics. Ellington was unquestionably a pioneer during his time; he created sounds and techniques that were unique to his time, but that would be adopted into modern-day jazz. His career lasted from the 1930s to the 1970s, during this time gained international fame and he got to carry out in many different countries. He also composed not only jazz but, musicals, ballets, symphonic suites, and an opera.

Recent updates on Jazz:

More lately jazz has undergone some transitions that are prejudiced by the development of new musical genres, new technology, and other cultures. Music from different countries such as Brazil, India, China, Arabia, and African countries started being incorporated into jazz music in the 1970s. Advancements in technology helped jazz evolve and allowed musicians experiment with new sounds, instruments, and new recording methods; a good example of how advancements in technology helped jazz evolve is when Anthony Braxton recorded a solo recording of a double. New electronic instruments and synthesizers were utilized by some jazz musicians to perform. New musical genres like pop and rock often included jazz techniques to make unique combinations.


Nowadays, jazz remains an essential part of music history, and it is still alive and thriving. People continue to perform with the older jazz forms, but they also comprise their wind to the music. Its complex history and dynamic sound and form should cause listeners to have a deeper sympathy and admiration for jazz music.

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