Jazz During The Harlem Renaissance

Superior Essays
Imagine walking down the street into a place where the aroma is cigarette smoke, perfume, and sweat. At least the smell gave off the realization that you were about to have a good time. Even though the whole decade was a good time! During this time period, there was a social outbreak in all kinds of people. All the worries people had were: fashion, music, and dancing.

In the 1920s, men dressed very sophisticated. The goal of dressing so elegantly was to become more attractive. In their workplace or in a business, they would dress in suits. The suits were tailored to have narrow hips which made them look skinnier than what they really were. Ties were worn with the suits for a casual look, where bowties were worn for a more fashionable look.
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Jazz originated from New Orleans, but soon began to spread throughout the country. It was sold and played only in the black neighborhoods of big cities. Radios along with phonographs made music more accessible than ever. Jazz recordings were called “race records”. The new music inspired new dances and moves. Jazz musicians tried to make a name for themselves while it was popular. Louis Armstrong was one of the most famous musicians of the Harlem Renaissance; he basically got jazz music out there. He played the trumpet and was a band leader. He had a very successful career and influenced the growth of jazz music. Joe “King” Oliver was Luis Armstrong’s mentor. He played the jazz cornet and was also a band leader. He used hats, bottles, and cups to alter sounds of his instrument. He was offered a position as a band leader and performer in New York but wasn’t satisfied with its starting …show more content…
People used dancing to express feelings through all the many types. Dancing became more popular when electric lighting was introduced because dancing at night was more comfortable. Since most dancing was done at parties or nightclubs, most youth participated in it rather than adults. Many dances were made due to dance contest where professional dancers made new moves. The Charleston became popular once it was shown on two Broadway shows. The Charleston included both jazz and tap movements. During the Renaissance, it became popular because it included European steps, and jazz music with African steps. Another popular dance during this time was The Shimmy. This was a dance full of fast hip and shoulder shaking. It originated from the Nigerian dance, “Shika”. Some people just added their own moves to form “The Shimmy”. Another known dance during this time was the Cakewalk, at first named the “Chalk Line Walk”. It became known as the Cake Walk when slave owners had slaves compete to see who could do it best, the winner got a piece of cake. Lastly, the most popular dance was the Lindy Hop. This dance had an 8 count rhythm, combined with moves from the Charleston. The most constant, but yet improvised dance invented during the Harlem Renaissance.

Of course the Harlem Renaissance was a good time for all people, but as they say, “All good things come to an end”. Very soon after this decade of laughter, dancing, music,

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