Jazz music was the major music trending in 1920s with recognition throughout the world. Perhaps, this was possible through the efforts made by the vocalists who seemed to gain dominance in the spotlight. Since this type of music seemed to be fashionable in the music industry, several improvements were to be improved in its vocals through the use of saxophones. Jazz age was described as the time when the world war ended to when the depression begun in the year 1929 (Vladimir, 54). Jazz music gained popularity in America, alththough the past generations viewed it as evil and threatening to ethical values. The recordings relating to jazz were known as the race records. These types of records were only permitted to be sold and played in large city neighborhoods such as Chicago, and New York. Jazz music was among the first contributors in the music industry in America.
In 1920, there were several advancements in relation to the music industry. Phonograph was primarily used in the dissemination of music surpassing piano rolls as well as the selling of sheet songs. There was also an increase in the use of Saxes in the music industry during this period. Research shows that thirty percent of the music arrangements were found to be composed of Saxes. About 93 out of 238 were found to be using Saxes. Saxe’s combination in tenor and alto was also common, and this amounted to 73. When it came to 1921, there was continuous use of the two Saxes. The total percentage increased from 30% in 1920 to 61% in 1921. It was also noted that the percentage did not fall below 60% since 1920, and could even reach up to 83%. It was hoped that the percentage could get to 100% by 1930. The total number of a combination of alto together with tenor was 15.The saxophone, in form of C melody, also doubled bringing the total combos relating to alto and tenor to 143 out of 168 (Vladimir, 54).
In 1922, the arrangement of saxophone remained at 61% because in a total of 281 music arrangements, 141 comprised of the Saxes. Of the 141 Saxes, 83 of them comprised of a combination of alto as well as tenor. Even though it is evident that there was an increase in the use of saxophones in 1922, its stock had dropped as compared to the previous year. There was a minimal increment in stocks using Saxes, and this increment rose by 4% as it came to 121 out of a total of 186 in 1923. Significantly, people started using three parts of the sax 32 altos parts together with 24 tenor parts, although there is 33 alto, and tenor parts (Carr et al. 23). The C melody doubled thereby bringing the total number of the two sax parts to approximately 57. The Saxes seemed to be jotted as a section of the harmonic either in three or at time four parts.
The stock in relation to the use of saxes increased significantly in 1924. The total percentage rose from 65% in 1923 to 76% in the year 1924. The three parts of the sax was consistently used, this then gradually moved to 4 and eventually to 5 in the current arrangement in various stage bands. The clarinets were also used though minimal than the use of Saxes. The so-called clarinets are still found in the music industry though the composition of their arrangement is very minimal.
In 1926, the use of Saxes increased to 82%. This increment led to a decline in the use of clarinet. The arrangement of five Saxes was the one that was most commonly used. The use of clarinet continued to decline with an increment in the use of Saxes in 1926 with the stocks of Saxes rising from by 1% from the previous year. Consequently, the year 1927 marked a drop in stocks relating to Saxes. This drop came down to 75%.In this period, there was still the use of flutes as well as clarinets till 1935.The use of three saxes was commonly used till 1930.The stock of saxes continued to decline gradually as years went by (Vladimir, 54).
Several influential artists also applied the use of saxophone in jazz music. Such artists include Coleman Hawkins whose professional career started in 1920.This artist became the most famous player of saxophone in the music industry, and it was also noted that some musicians in the industry started to copy how he sounded. Hawkins remained the unbeaten saxophone player until mid-1960’s.He was also known to be the first musician to be able to transfer the fluid of Armstrong’s music line as well as rhythmic freedom successfully (Davis,87) .Ben Webster then followed suit in that he emulated Hawkins character. The earlier became a professional in the best band relating to Duke Ellington. When it comes to the saxophone playing history, it was found that Ben Webster is the second best as was a tenor saxophonist.
According to Jazz Education Journal (21), Sydney Bechet was known to be the first person to come up with the idea on the use of saxophone in the music industry. This gentleman played soprano through the saxophone with the use of his voice-like tone in the sax as well as the bluesy improvisation style that led to various improvements in the application of saxophone in the early music industry. Moreover, Frankie Rombauer became more creative of all as he used the saxophone in recording hot jazz music. His catching tone, calmness together with his introspective style was of a greater influence to the rest of the upcoming jazz musicians.
Instrumental jazz in the year 1920 was transformed as clarinet players opted to use the saxophone as their instrument of choice. In the early 1900, jazz players only used the clarinet. Changes were then made by the players in Chicago in that they opted to use two musicians with one playing the clarinet and the other one playing either the tenor or at times the alto sax. When it came to the end of 1920’s the clarinet was then replaced by the saxophone as many musicians thought that it was better than the earlier (Appiah, 71). By the mid-decade, those jazz musicians who focused on playing the improvised jazz that was related to freewheeling were more often engaged in reading bands as well as performing some daily popular tunes while occasionally taking hot solos. Even though this era was commonly referred to as the jazz age as earlier indicated, it would be best if it this name would be changed to the dance age because most of the Americans danced a lot to the songs that were played as the music made some of them to run crazy.
In New York, a common orchestra dance that was led by Fletcher Henderson, who was a pianist, was known to be a player of the type of jazz that was rag-time influenced, until Louis Armstrong who was the trumpeter by then joined in 1925 thereby causing some significant changes to the vocals of the music. Sydney Bechet who is a native from New Orleans as well as the soprano saxophone master brought the same change in the Duke Ellington’s orchestra and this subsequently had a greater influence to many saxophonists in that decade. Since Jazz music was associated with black people, it was indicated that they were to be held responsible for any problems that may arise from such music. When the time for summer exhibition came, a Blackman’s picture dressed in a night outfit was shown (Davis, 87). This statue was holding a saxophone. The picture was removed after a few days from the exhibitions as ordered by the colonial , as the person was termed horrible to the British subjects who were living abroad, and also who were interacting with the dark population; thereby this depicted a persistent government concern in relation to the imperial integrity.
The painting described above was a representative of a unique new music category as well as a clear symbol that was visual of the latest dance music; hence that statue represented jazz. A white woman who is naked and who tends to have a shingled as well as an androgynous figure was identified to be dancing to the music played by the saxophonist and this represents the youth era of the 1920’s. The saxophonists was seen to be seated on a Greek statue that was shattered, possibly Minerva, who was a goddess that was linked with virginity, arts together with wisdom (Carr et al..23). Saxophone music was more influential as it attracted many useful talents, history depicts that Hawkins was capable of playing both the bass and the baritone Saxes until 1927 is when he rejected to double deal but still didn’t leave out playing the clarinet. But still it was evident that he preferred the saxophone that could play tenor. This guy was also capable of singling out a person who belonged to the saxophone family. This was in fact a very awkward selection for a singer to make by then, as tenor was not even recognized as a viable in music.
In conclusion, it is evident from the above discussion that the saxophone was very influential to the jazz music in 1920’s.This is because, of the various advancements that the music industry underwent as majority of them were in favor of the saxophone as clarinet loosed its popularity. The increase in the use of the saxophone was evident in that the available stocks significantly declined as the composition of the arrangement of the various instruments was in a manner that made the Saxes to be dominant as they gradually increased from three to five parts.
Appiah, Anthony. Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience. Oxford [u.a.: Oxford Univ. Press, n.d.. Print.
Bogdanov, Vladimir. All Music Guide to Jazz: The Definitive Guide to Jazz Music. San Francisco, CA: Backbeat Books [u.a., 2002. Print.
Carr, Ian, Digby Fairweather, and Brian Priestley. The Rough Guide to Jazz. London [u.a.: Rough Guides, 2004. Print.
Davis, John S. Historical Dictionary of Jazz. Lanham, Md: Scarecrow Press, 2012. Print
Jazz Education Journal. Manhattan, Kan: International Association for Jazz Education, 2001. Print.