Essay on The Deepest Roots Of Jazz
In the 17th to the 19th century the true and honest roots of jazz music were just beginning. Black slaves were placed in the deep south to work in cotton fields where they would sing African spirituals, chants, work songs and field hollers whilst slaving away all day long in the heat of the sun. Soon after, slaves and their masters gradually began interacting, which combined African and European music producing brand new styles including blues and ragtime.
The Blues consists of highly syncopated rhythmic feels with strong ‘backbeats’ and mostly minor pentatonic scales as the melodic ideas, and harmonic and structural conventions. This means they use highly syncopated pentatonic melodies with repeated strong beats playing over the chord sequences and structures. The most common 12 bar blues form is one of the many forms based on regular structures.
Example of a typical 12 bar blues chord sequence in the key of G Major:
| G7 | (C7) | G7 | % |
| C7 | % | G7 | % |
| D | (C7) | G7 | % |
The Blues developed in the Mississippi Delta, upriver from New Orleans, and unlike jazz the blues didn’t spread excessively out of the South until the late 1930’s and early 1940’s.
This style of music is a personal way of expressing yourself. When you think of the blues, you automatically think…