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The origins of jazz - Essay Example

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But the roots of jazz may go much farther back in time, perhaps as far back as prior to the Civil War. Listeners and historians of…
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The origins of jazz
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The origins of jazz

Where did it begin? What makes it distinct as a musical style?
Most people equate jazz with the early to mid 20th century. However, many music historians today believe that the earliest seeds were planted in the United States as far back as 1819, when African-American slaves were performing public African tribal dances and playing string and percussion instruments, the sounds of which would be hinted at later in the jazz music to come.(Gioia 1) That said, it validates the ideals that jazz has strong and deep connections to African sounds and musical influence that contribute incredibly to the art form known as “jazz.” Historically, the “Original Dixieland Jass Band,” is credited with the first “jazz” recording intended for distribution. However, many experts believe that the band was a “copycat” group and not one of the true “pioneers” of the jazz genre; but the recordings popularity gave the music exposure all over the country.(Parker) The jazz that the public is most familiar with was that which was born and cultivated in New Orleans, Louisiana, when great performers, like King Oliver, a cornet player, began entertaining in the early 1900s. The sound was, also, gaining even greater exposure and popularity because many jazz bands traveled as the onboard entertainment on passenger river-boats. By the 1920’s jazz began evolving towards the big band formats, which allowed for different influences from blues, ragtime, African American spirituals, and European music.(Parker) In the 1930s and 1940s the jazz epicenter had become New York City, particularly the clubs of Harlem being the most popular. Jazz as a musical movement was born in the south, then grew and evolved as it migrated to the east, and has maintained itself as one of the most beloved musical forms across the country and throughout the world.
Musically, many historians explain that there are specific elements that are expressed that are unique to jazz music. The ... Read More
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