Norms In Blues And Jazz

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Liz Hale points out that in the male-dominated society, one could expect that trobairitz work would include the adoration of man; rather, it is the complete opposite and they are anything but submissive to men. (Fifes) One trobairitz who does this is Lady Castelloza who shows no fear of criticizing the actions of a man and acknowledging her own worth: “I’m angry if you refuse me any joy, and if you let me die you’ll commit a sin. I’ll be in torment, and you’ll be vilely blamed.” (source) Another trobairitz who is not afraid to speak her mind and against the male dominated norms of society is Contessa de Dia. Not only does she speak of replacing her current husband with another man, she makes it clear that her opinion is something that …show more content…
The roots of jazz find themselves extended from the Blues, which were a way for African-American’s in the 1800 to be able to express the pain and injustices they suffered. Many of these wrongdoings stemmed from society’s norms established by the “separate but equal” Jim Crow laws, which essentially gave black people a consistently inferior lifestyle filled with social, economic, educational disadvantage. In turn, jazz began to feature the injustices of the lives of black people as they used the newly created genre as an avenue for escape. However, in a society structured against black people, many were not easily accepting of jazz. Most of the reason came from the idea that European classical music was the only “good music.” (PBS): “Jazz was different because it broke the rules – musical and social. It featured black American experience over conventional white sensibilities.” (Lindsay) Breaking these “rules” led to jazz, or the “devil’s music,” actively being censored and prohibited from performing in public. However, it was its controversial nature that made jazz and its musicians such a powerful outlet for opposition to the social standards. In the song “Strange Fruit,” Billie Holiday sings about the racist sentiments in the Jim Crow South and argues against the lynching of black people. She sings, “Southern trees bear strange fruit / Blood on the leaves and blood at the root / Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze”. Selling over a million copies, this song, along with many other jazz tunes, served to voice the African-American viewpoint. Another musician who used his music to bring awareness to the racism against African-Americans was Lead Belly. In his song, “The Bourgeois Blues,” he tells of the conditions of black people faced by the inequalities due to the Jim Crow laws. He states, “Home of

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