How Did Jazz Develop In New Orleans

Jazz and the City of New Orleans Among the various genres of music, Jazz is one that is greatly misunderstood and underappreciated. Jazz is an original type of music that was developed in New Orleans during the 20th Century. Many factors contributed into the development of Jazz, including cultural, political, and economic aspects as well as prior music from various countries and the influence of New Orleans’s Storyville district. The development and success of Jazz is greatly due to the fact that it was created in the important port city, New Orleans. Geographically located at the mouth of the Mississippi River, New Orleans was ethnically diverse from all of the surrounding countries transporting goods in and out of the Mississippi River, …show more content…
This made the port city more liberal than the Northeast cities in the United States, and thus prostitution ranches and bars thrived. However, the most popular town for brothels and prostitution ranches is Storyville. Within this town, prostitution was legal until 1917, but allowed the town to thrive economically until then. Storyville was a popular destination for many tourists, allowing a great diversity of people to affect the area. According to “The Origins of Jazz” notes, “Brothels would be open 24 hours a day and would always feature live music and serve alcohol.” The high demand for music in the brothels and prostitution ranches, led to the creation of Jazz. Musicians had to be musically diverse to accommodate for the different styles of music that the various countries’ sailors would ask to be played. The different styles included music from the countries that would harbor in the port: France, Spain, England, Africa, Mexico, the Caribbean Islands, and the countries of South America. Some tourists would ask for certain songs to be played, but in a different style than the original. For example, in the textbook “Jazz Styles” by Mark C. Gridley on page 36-37, it states that the characteristics of Jazz music “originated by fusing Spanish music with African music.” This led the way for improvisation and the fusion of different types of music that create …show more content…
Syncopation is a “rhythmic phenomenon most easily understood as accents that don’t occur on a main beat,” (Gridley, 45) and is a characteristic that is widely associated with Jazz. This characteristic takes its roots in both Africa and Europe, but it is predominately known in Africa. While the highly rhythmic nature of Jazz comes from ragtime and the blues (and therefore African in origin), other characteristics are European in origin. Improvisation is a major part of Jazz and “it has been an important element of music since the beginning of time, and only recently in history was it difficult to find in European concert music” (Gridley, 44). Another feature of Jazz is harmony. The type of harmony used in Jazz is the same type that is used in European music, not African music. While there are eleven features of Jazz that originate from both Africa and Europe, these are among the most popular. The others include the role of percussion (Africa); Roughenings, Buzzes, and Ringings (Africa); Repetition of Brief Patterns (Africa); Polyrhythm (Africa); Decorated Tones (Europe); Blues Notes (Europe); and Call and Response (both Africa and

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