This kind of music began in the 20th Century in areas such as the New Orleans, Kansas City and Chicago. It was first sung by the African American who combined the European harmony with African beats. Through the years, the jazz music has also included the American popular music. The jazz music has been one of America’s greatest successes because it is there that it was started and it began to spread throughout the world. The music is able to unite people from various backgrounds such as race, countries, age, and religion. Through the music, people are able to talk about the critical issues in everyday life such as freedom, love and creativity.
When one is forming music in jazz then is required to form beats first they should think and create a song using their mind from things that inspire them (Borneman). The musicians who take this kind of genre are considered to be very artistic. This is because they form tunes out of life experiences in a way that will get the crowd engaged with the song and moved. According to history, jazz does not have a definite definition because of the changes it has had over the years. There are different genres in jazz music ranging from new trends such as pop, rock, hip hop and funk.
History of jazz music
In 1808 the number of African slaves that were taken to US had increased to nearly half a million. Most of the African slaves came from the west Africa and thus were able to bring their traditional instruments. While they were in the United States they continued to practice their traditional dances and songs in special events such as weeding, work and traditional rituals. Most of their festivals were done on Sundays in New Orleans Congo. The rhythms of the music were composed of their speech patterns and the use of the pentatonic scales (Gioia). This caused the formation of the blues beat that was incorporated into jazz. Due to the interactions between the African slaves and the Europeans has caused the adoption of European beats.
They were also able to learn how to play the European instruments such as the violin. They imitated the European method of dancing while playing their music. This combination of music led to wide followers all over the world. New Orleans was the first place to start the jazz music. One of the first jazz musicians was Louis Moreau Gottschalk who played his music in saloon bars (Borneman). He was able to incorporate the Caribbean music, African American music and the European music. In 1890s slavery in some states began to be abolished this led to the education of the African Americans. Though slavery was beginning to end, they were segregated and therefore, were not given jobs easily. This resulted in them forming lower class music that was usually played in the bars.
The New Orleans music was the one that lead to the formation of the jazz music. The Mostly African American artist performed in the marching bands. This is where the instruments used in the marching became an instrument for jazz music. This was happening in the period when the ragtime was developing. The ragtime was the sheet music that the African American used to compose their music (Peritti). A good example of such musician is Ernest Hogan who composed a hit jazz song in 1895. The first African American artist to compose a rag song and was published was Tom Turpin. The first piano instrumental ragtime piece that was written was published in 1897 by a white musician William H. Krell. Scott Joplin a classical pianist that was known as the king of the ragtime had major success internationally with the maple leaf rag. The ragtime was compromised by the offbeat melodies and the athletic bass lines. In the ragtime compositions of Tom, one can hear the African rhythms like tresillo, cinquillo and the habanera.
The 1920s and 1930s
In 1920 to 1933 the United States had prohibited any one to sale alcohol therefore, lead to underground joints. This joint is where the jazz musician would be found singing or playing instruments. This caused many people to view the music negatively due to the locations that was being sung. The swing jazz was a type of jazz that had beaten in it that could cause people to dance. Jazz therefore in the 1930s belonged to the swing big bands. The people who formed the big jazz are Glenn Miller, count basis, Fletcher Henderson, Cab Calloway and Benny Goodman. The swing dance enabled people to have opportunities to do a solo performance. This will enable them to make up their own unique melody that can be essential in music.
The European jazz
One of the countries in Europe that composed jazz music was France and Belgium. In Belgium they practiced the gypsy jazz, that was made popular by Django Reinhardt. In the music composition, the instruments that are commonly used are the double bass, the steel string guitar and the violin.
The Dixieland revival
The Dixieland revival reminds the audience of the original New Orleans jazz music. This is because it is inspired by the classic old jazz. There are two types of revival musician, one are continuing with the ways they have been composing their jazz music which is the old ways of composing jazz songs good examples is Eddie Condon. The second group it comprises of the young generation that follow the old system of singing jazz for example Lu Watters band.
The bebop performers in the 1940s were able to change the danceable jazz to a smoother rhythm. This will aim to cause an emotional reaction from the audience thus giving the music meaning. This kind of music could end up making loses because not many people in the world want to listen to an emotional song for they just want to dance. Good examples of musicians who practice the bebop jazz are the pianist Bud Powell, basest ray brown, Thelonious monk and saxophonist Charlie Parker. Since the music is not meant for dancing then it means that the rhythm of the be tempos might be increasd as well as the drumming and the harmony could bee of an altered chord (Peritti).
The cool jazz was formulated in New York city in the 1940s. This kind of music combined both the bebop and the white jazz. This will help reduce noise especially if the beat has a bit of the swing jazz. The cool jazz is very interesting to listen because there will be no loud music sounds and the music is also not too low to be boring. This style of musical was practiced by the blind pianist Lennie Tristano.
The hard bop
This is the continuation of the bebop that comprises of the piano and saxophone being played. This kind of music was formulated in the 1950s after the formation of cool jazz. This music combines several genres such as the gospel music, and the blues. This kind of music was made possible due to the increase of blues and rhythms. In 1954 the world of jazz was introduced to the hard pop.
The free jazz
This kind of music comes from the bebop, which has reduced the composition material thus giving the musicians more room to perform. The free jazz uses the loose tempo that was argued against by many jazz musicians previously. The most commonly known to be a free jazz musician is the bassist Charles Mingus. This type of music gets its rhythms out of different parts of the genre in the world (Borneman).
The Latin jazz
The Latin jazz is comprised of two genres, which are the Brazilian jazz and the Afro Cuban jazz. The Brazilian jazz became popular in the 1960s while the Afro Cuban came after the bebop, which was played in the United States. Some of the bebop musicians started getting more interests in the way the Cuban musicians such as Arturo Sandoval. The Brazilian jazz is composed of the classical music and samba in a rhythm that can be termed to be jazz.
The post bop jazz is a combination of the former bop styles. The musicians who can make this music are able to be versatile because they are able to work with others. The songs that come from this music are lee Morgan song known as the search for the new land.
In 1980s due to the prominence of jazz music in the United States, it has caused the government to pass bills that will make the music a national treasure. The House of Representatives and the senate passed this bill in 1987 (Borneman). The era of 1980s, the jazz music went back to its plain self without addition of any genre. A good example of a musician who was more traditional was Wynton Marsalis. This kind of music became famous to a point that former jazz fusion musicians such as Herbie Hancock began creating the traditional jazz music.
The smooth jazz or otherwise the pop fusion was very popular and successful, this enabled it to be given more airplay. There are quite a number of people who are smooth jazz singers such as Kenny G. And Kirk Whalum. According to the tempo of smooth jazz is down and the instruments that are being played is the electric guitar, and saxophone.
This jazz was started in the 1980s to the 1900s across the UK that caused the formation of electronic dance and the jazz to be funky. Musicians who are considered to have started this jazz are Donald Byrd and Roy Ayers. Acid jazz contains electronic beats but the advantage is musicians can still perform it (Borneman). The nu jazz is controlled by melodies and harmony therefore; there is no need to add electronic beats. The jazz rap came to be after jazz beats was combined with hip-hop. This began in the early 1990s when jazz music was experiencing a shortage of followers or fans.
Future of jazz music
The popularity of jazz music has declined tremendously over the years even after trying different styles. Recent jazz musicians play their music straight from their instruments such as the piano. Good examples of these musicians are the pianist Jason Moran, the bassist Christian Mcbridge, trumpeters Stefon Harris and saxophonists Chris Potter. The only jazz style that ever hit tremendously to the point where it is played in radios was the jazz fusion. This was because it was at that time that rock music was bumming. In the 2000s, musicians such as brad Mehlda have ventured out to contemporary rock music while still using the concept of jazz (Peñalosa). There are a number of musicians such as Jaime Callum, Norah Jones and Diana Krall have been successful in modern day jazz because they mix rock and jazz. Other musicians have maintained their loyalty by continuing singing the traditional jazz.
In conclusion, Jazz is believed to be the combination between the African American beats of instruments and the European beats. Jazz music has evolved from the time it began in New Orleans. The music has changed from simple and traditional classic music into hip hop, pop, funk and rock. These combinations of different genre in the music has made it into a success or failure. In the 1970s when Jazz was mixed with rock people were able to relate to it thus fell in love with the music. This therefore caused the jazz music to be categorized into different genres such as cool jazz, hard bop, free jazz, soul jazz, post bop and Latin jazz. There are a number of influential musicians that made jazz music be recognized throughout the world such as Luise Armstrong, Jaime Callum, Norah Jones and Diana Krall.
Borneman, Ernest. "Jazz and the Creole Tradition." Jazz Research (1969): 99–112.
Davis, John S. Historical Dictionary of Jazz. Scarecrow Press Ins., n.d
Gioia, Ted. The History of Jazz. New Yolk: Oxford University press, 2011.
History of Jazz. 2013.
Peñalosa, Davi. The Clave Matrix; Afro-Cuban Rhythm: Its Principles and African Origins. . Redway, CA: Bembe Inc, 2010.
Peritti, Burton W. The Creation of Jazz: Music, Race and Culture in Urban America. Illinois: first paperrback edition, 1994.