Essay on The History of Jazz

1103 Words 5 Pages
Jazz is a music genre believed to have begun at the beginning of the 20th, where scholars argue that its birth came from African-American communities of the Southern United States. It is argued that it was the first American music style that influenced music globally, and that its growth came from the post Civil War and Emancipation era. This was a time when freed slaves were able to travel, spreading their African culture of rhythm and tonality with them, facilitated by the availability of instruments from the bands of Civil War Armies. The development of jazz can be attributed to the following factors; spirituals and field hollers of the slave workers, beats of ragtime syncopation, and demos of brass bands as well as deep down snarl of …show more content…
Around 1920s and 1930s, Armstrong led several music groups, and inspired a large number of others to engage in music by developing individual improvisation style (Tirro, 1993). Early recordings facilitated the expansion of jazz music in New Orleans, resulting to an increase in popularity and sophistication of the music not to mention that major cultural centers in America began to feature jazz bands (Gridley, 2011). Around the 1940s, Kansas City, New York City, and Chicago had thriving music scenes where fans filled dance halls to witness jazz ensembles (Hardie, 2013). This was a period termed as the Swing Era, which referred to the lilting swing rhythms employed by the Big Bands (Gioia, 2011).
The Big Bands opened opportunities for various musicians and groups to experiment with distinct approaches to improvisation. In addition, members of a Big Band, Charlie Parker the saxophonist and Dizzy Gillespie the trumpeter began to develop a highly virtuous and harmonious style termed as Bebop (Hardie, 2013). Bebop came out as a result of the Second World War that ended the heyday of swing, a period when many musicians were sent overseas to fight (Gridley, 2011). The period of 1940s witnessed a surge in smaller ensembles like quintets and quartets where many musical groups took the path of saxophone and trumpet, drums, bass and piano. The term Bebop represented an onomatopoeic reference to the rhythmic punches heard in the music. In short, it referred to the

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