The Early Big Band Era

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Jazz music represents the combination of many different cultures into to one, to form something soulful and full of rich history. The basis to all music- melody, harmony, tone and rhythm- are all complex and full of hidden meaning in jazz. There are many variations on jazz as well, each full of its own meaning and its own rich history. Jazz started in the 1800s by African-Americans in the south. Plantation worker made songs, spirituals, and field hollers part of everyday life. These people used them to celebrate, mourn, entertain, commemorate, worship, and accompany a tedious work and life style they were forced to live. This blended with European-American musical traditions to form a skeletal structure for blues, ragtime, and other musical …show more content…
Even though Big Band music faced many challenges due to World War II and the Great Depression it still managed to rapidly increase in popularity throughout the country. Eventually Big Band music was everywhere, from jam sessions after hours at bars and clubs to radio broadcasts in the everyday American’s home, even ballrooms like Savoy and Roseland in New York were common venues for the latest Big Band tunes. The Big Band Boom also brought together the greatest jazz musicians (Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and the most famous Glenn Miller) and singers (Ella Fitzgerald, Bing Crosby, and Frank Sinatra).
The Big Band Era started seeing a decline in its popularity during the Postwar Big Band Era of the 1940s-present. It stilled remained popular but in 1950 the sheer number of big bands saw a dramatic decline. Big Bands still remained relevant though due to its adaptability to change with the times, adding influences of bebop, 20th century art music, cool jazz, and rock and pop styles. Some important musicians of the Postwar Big Band Era were Stan Kenton, Buddy Rich, and Maynard
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Bebop jazz emerged as a contrast to the music of the Big Bands. It consisted of a small group of musicians, typically 4-6. Because the band was much smaller it allowed for the group’s members to play more solos. Music pieces associated with Bebop jazz had more complex melodies and chord progressions, and more emphasis on the rhythm sections part. In addition to this phrases within the music were usually irregular in length giving an odd but interesting sound to listen to. On the contrary, because of the unfamiliar and different lengths of phrasing, Bebop music was considered unsuitable to dance to, another contrast to Big Band Music. The artists accredited with creating this style of music were Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker. These two musicians created the unique sound of Bebop by experimenting with unconventional chromaticism, discordant sounds, and placements of the accents throughout a melody. The typical Bebop Music was also characterized by swinging some bars, playing straight eighth-note rhythms, and returning to s swing pattern. Some famous Bebop artists were Sonny Stitt, Red Rodney, and Bud Powell.
While Bebop was becoming popular, many other types of jazz began evolving too- including cool jazz. Cool jazz starting surfacing from the 1940s-1950s. Cool jazz is often characterized as a more subtle, moody, and muted style of jazz. The more restrained sound

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