The Impact Of Jazz Music During The Jazz Age

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During the Jazz Age, jazz music, primarily dominated by African Americans before 1920, began to gain popularity among whites and transformed into an important aspect of American culture. The increased popularity of jazz music among black and white audiences allowed for the breaking of social barriers between blacks and whites, more opportunities for African American musicians, and a more accepting attitude towards African American musicians. Music has always played an essential part in African American life and its aspects have influenced the creation of jazz. Jazz music, referred to as “jass” before the 1920s, is heavily rooted from African- American folk music (Axelrod 48). Although some slave owners did not allow their slaves to partake …show more content…
Music produced in these cities differed from each other in terms of style, purpose, and sound. It is said that New Orleans is “the Mecca of jazz”(United States, National Parks Service). Dixieland, also referred to as New Orleans jazz, combined polyphonic improvisation, ragtime, blues, as well as many other brass band marches. African Americans were allowed to express themselves freely in the city of New Orleans. It allowed African Americans to become exposed to music and discover the music industry outside of New Orleans. Musicians, like Louis Armstrong, were able to form small jazz groups in New Orleans and were invited to play in cities like Chicago and New York where they could be exposed to a wide, and ultimately white …show more content…
Due to the influence of jazz, the youth generation of the 1920s rebelled against traditional culture. African American creations, for instance the Charleston dance and the jazz music itself, gained popularity among the youth (Nelson). On January 16, 1920, the prohibition of alcohol began its toll on America for the next thirteen years. And although it aimed to discourage the ability to buy and sell alcohol, it led to an increase of rebellion. Illegal drinking and nightclubs were booming. Nightclubs provided the opportunity for black jazz musicians to be exposed to a wide audience as it provided both alcohol and the great sound of jazz music at the same time to a white audience (Ward, Bruns 76). Black and Tan clubs were clubs that allowed casual interracial mixing. These clubs created a place that “symbolized racial harmony and testified to the universality of music” (Finkelman,

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