Jazz Music

1762 Words 8 Pages
“Jazz is the big brother of Revolution. Revolution follows it around.” (Miles Davis NYC, 1959) Jazz music was brought to America by African Americans in the early 1900s. This genre of music is a hybrid between European-Western Music, African Music and culture, and later American Music. Jazz music has similar harmonic and orchestrational techniques to European music, which is where classical music originated. African music gave jazz its rhythmic feel, generally drumming, and emotion. This genre of music originated in New Orleans, when it came to America. It was the perfect place to have developed Jazz because since it was a port city, many people of different cultures and ethnicities were met to write, record, and play Jazz. Jazz
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Jazz came to America with many elements of Classical and African music. Africa spawns many elements. Africa is known for it’s music and use of percussion. The use of African hand drums and shakers inspired the use of syncopated rhythms and use of the rhythm section. Africa gave original jazz composers the emotion and style to write. Europe impressed jazz composers in a more technical way. Classical music, with composers such as composers like Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Mozart, originated in Europe. Jazz took the use of classical harmony and turned it into chord progressions or functional harmony. Classical music was also known for its form, or the way the piece is put together. Jazz pieces have form. The standard form of a classic Jazz piece is “The Head” or the main melody, “The B-Section”, the contrasting melody of the main melody, an open solo section where musicians would improvise on their instruments over planned chords, and then “The Head”, again. This is no different than one of the most common forms of classical music, Sonata Form. Sonata Form consists of “ABA” representation. Basically, a main melody, a contrasting melody, and then the main melody again. The use of instruments and orchestration in another essential element. Jazz took a classical string bass, played in symphony orchestras, and basically took away the bow and had the bassists pluck the string (pizzicato) for a bass …show more content…
As explained earlier, Jazz music was an interpretation of Classical, European, African, and American music. Jazz music is still played today, whether a Jelly Roll Morton record is played, or if any other song or piece is played. Jazz Music later inspired 20th Century Composers like Aaron Copland, George Gershwin, and Leonard Bernstein. George Gershwin, for example, uses Jazz chords and rhythms in music all the time. Many of his Classical compositions, even have Saxophone parts in it. Leonard Bernstein, like George Gershwin, combines Jazz and Classical elements. His musical “West Side Story” became a big hit when it first premiered in 1957. This musical contains tons of Jazz harmonies and rhythms, like Gershwin. Aaron Copland takes more a classical approach on his music by using form, melodic development, and harmonic development with Jazz harmony. Jazz has also inspired music like Rock and Roll. The Beatles, for example, uses the common Jazz structure for their songs. Jazz improvisations heavily influenced electric guitar, keyboard, and drum solos for Rock and Roll. More currently, Pop and Musical Theater songs, music uses common Jazz composition techniques. Some people may not be fond of Jazz Music, but whether you're listening to Rap, Pop, Broadway, Classical, Dubstep, Country, Hip Hop, Funk, or Rock, you’re listening to

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