About Us What is Jazz?
For nearly the first half of the American breakthrough in jazz history century, from about tojazz was the dominant form of popular dance music in the United States. Dance music and dance bands existed before jazz and, after the rise of jazz, there were still many dance bands that did not play jazz or used jazz elements only sparingly.
And although for a certain period of its existence, jazz was dance music, jazz musicians were probably not attracted to this style of music primarily for this reason.
From its earliest days, jazz seemed to have been music that, in part, musicians played for themselves, as a way to free themselves from the rigidity of standard dance or marching bands or other forms of commercial or popular music, which they found repetitive and unchallenging to play.
Jazz originated early in the century with small bands of five-to-seven players in a style that became known as New Orleans, named after the place where the music, in its first iteration, codified itself. That style is now called Dixieland.
Jazz was propelled commercially mostly by to piece big bands, usually with both a male and female vocalist, in a style that became known as swing during the s.
American breakthrough in jazz history the rise of Jazz evolved from New Orleans style music, now called Dixieland, to more commercially successful swing music, which featured improvisation against a background of arranged composition. It is clear that despite its humble origins among the lower classes, immigrants, and African Americans, jazz was never really a folk music; it professionalized and standardized itself fairly quickly, becoming highly sophisticated show and stage music within a half-dozen years of its initial arrival on sound recording in Although jazz has made use of many musical structures including blues, tango, African and Indian music; its most basic form is the bar format of the American pop song, many of which by such noted composers as Harold Arlen, Jerome Kern, the Gershwin Brothers, Rodgers and Hart, Vernon Duke, and others, constitute the foundational repertoire of jazz.
It was the commercial success of swing and its rampant formularized sound that led dissatisfied musicians to more experimental, much less dance-oriented post-World War II forms of jazz: Bebop, cool jazz, progressive jazz, and, eventually, the avant garde or highly atonal, seemingly structure-less jazz.
The major jazz musicians who emerged after World War II—saxophonists Charlie ParkerSonny RollinsStan Getzand John ColtraneDissatisfaction with the commercialization and familiarity of swing led to the development of jazz, music that was more than mere entertainment.
Johnsonand arranger Quincy Jones were all innovators of or highly influenced by chord structures that were far more virtuosic and modernistic than swing. Indeed, while jazz was always a form of music where the ability of exceptional soloists was one of the major features of the music, after World War II, with its preoccupation with velocity and complexity, jazz became a musical form much more self-consciously consumed with the idea of virtuosity for its own sake, so that the music would not be mistaken by the public as mere entertainment.
Both blacks and whites as well as Latinos in the United States performed jazz and the audience was diverse, although in large measure now, the audience for this music is mostly white. Historically, jazz was largely the creation of black Americans as they have figured disproportionately among the major innovators of this musical expression.
This has created two forms of tensions within jazz: This latter tension was especially felt during the s and s, when racial discord in the United States was more pronounced because of the civil rights movement, the violence it spawned, and the intensely politicized battle over the re-definition of race and the end of white hegemony in the United States and around the colonized world at the time.
But jazz was more than just music; at the height of its influence, jazz was a cultural movement, particularly influencing the young in dress, language, and attitude.
It was, in this respect, a prototype for both rock and roll and hip hop because it was so viscerally hated by the bourgeoisie Jazz inspired writers and visual artists but was hated by the bourgeoisie largely because of its association with sex and drugs. Jazz was associated with interracial sex many jazz nightclubs were open to patrons of any race and with illegal drugs, in the early days, marijuana, and during the s, with heroin.
Visual artists and writers were frequently inspired by jazz, many thinking its sense of spontaneity, its dissonance, its anti-bourgeois attitude embodied compelling aspects of modernism. Jazz deeply influenced artists such as Romare Bearden and Jackson Pollock.
Many filmmakers, both in the United States and Europe—from the s through the s—used jazz in either nightclub scenes, as source music, or as part of the musical score in films and animated features.
Jazz was used extensively in film noir and crime movies, and occasionally in psychological dramas. Jazz has always been an urban music, tied to urban nightlife, Prohibition, vice zones, dance halls, inner city neighborhoods, and concert stages. Its history coincides not only with the urbanization of America itself but particularly with the urbanization of African Americans, dating from their movement from the South starting around the beginning of World War I when job opportunities in industry opened up for them.Start studying UNL American History of Jazz Test 1 Review.
Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. Charlie Parker had a breakthrough while playing it American History of Jazz UNL Test 5.
terms. UNL History of Jazz Test 4. terms. Complete your American Jazz & Blues History collection. Discover what's missing in your American Jazz & Blues History discography.
Shop American Jazz & . The story of jazz encompasses the story of American courtship and show business; the epic growth of great cities—New Orleans and Chicago, Kansas City and New York—and the struggle for civil rights and simple justice that continues into the new millennium/5().
The Origins of Jazz - Pre A review of New Orleans' unique history and culture, with its distinctive character rooted in the colonial period, is helpful in understanding the complex circumstances that led to the development of New Orleans jazz. The city was founded in as .
The Scholastic History of Jazz resource site is full of audio clips, history, and research starters on the subject of jazz. Join Grammy-Award winning trumpeter and Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center Wynton Marsalis on a tour of jazz — see the people, read about the events, and listen to the music.
African American Musicians as Artists, Critics, and Activists are excellent studies of the history of jazz criticism and the uneasy relationship that black jazz musicians have had with the white critical establishment that writes about this music.