The 1920's: The Roaring Twenties

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The 1920’s were an exciting time for the people of the United States of America. With technological advancements, the development and occurrence of flappers, and the number of people trying to achieve the American Dream, it is no wonder why this decade is so often referred to as “The Roaring Twenties” (History Learning Site). One of the most relevant characteristics of the twenties was the newly popular jazz music, which took everyone by storm. Through the popularity and influence of jazz, Americans of all different ethnicities and cultures were brought together.
The roots of jazz music are typically accredited to African Americans of the 1700’s, who sang work songs while in slavery. Many of the work songs were in a form called “call-and-response”.
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Chicago and New York were two popular cities. When these Americans headed north, they carried the sounds of jazz with them from the south. (A History of Jazz). According to, “Jazz developed in the 1920’s as a mesh of African American traditions and white middle class ideals, and represented a vast cultural shift.” As a result, the youth started dancing and listening to this new style of music as a form of rebellion against the traditional culture and old-fashioned views of the older generations (The Jazz Age- Boundless). Because it was used as a rebellion, along with new dances and new fashion trends, many older people of the 20’s were not fond of the new and exciting music (History Learning Site). Despite this, jazz still continued to grow in popularity throughout the country, which led the 1920’s to being considered the “Jazz …show more content…
Not only did the upbeat sound of brass instruments in harmony put a smile on the faces of millions of people, but the technical aspects of the genre also helped to define it. One quality of jazz that made it stand out is syncopation. Syncopation adds emphasis and accents in surprising places in the music. Syncopation is something that is felt by both the musician and the listener. Another quality of jazz that made it different than any other genre of music is improvisation. Improvisation is when musicians simultaneously play, using only the chord changes as a base. In other words, they make it up as they go! This is another example of how jazz music is felt. Certain qualities of jazz, such as improvisation, cannot come from sheet music; they must strictly come from the player’s creativity, talent, and heart. In addition to syncopation and improvisation, jazz is full of distinct sounds and voices. Miles Davis’s trumpet being played in a muted whisper, Charlie Parker’s sharp edge saxophone being played incredibly with fast pace and variety, and Jo Jones’s creation of an entire symphony, strictly with cymbals, were just a few unique characteristics of some jazz musicians (Defining Jazz: The Swingin’ Thing). These were all things unheard of by most people before the Jazz Age. The qualities that jazz possesses are one-of-a-kind qualities that are not presented in any other genre of

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