1920's Jazz

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  • Topic: Jazz, Blues, Ragtime
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Brian Van Wyk
Jazz 1920’s
Mr. Mec
6.1.10

Brian Van Wyk 6.1.10
1920’s Jazz Research Paper

Jazz is a genre of music that is arguably the greatest art form that has ever hit

American and worldly culture. Jazz originated in major cities throughout the U.S. at the

turn of the 20th century, primarily in the decade of 1920. It is a genre that is influenced by

many different styles and influential concepts. It incorporates American “modern day” at

the time, popular music such as ragtime, the current day hit consisting of primarily the

piano. Along with African blue notes or “worried” notes which are based on the blues

scale. And Improvisation which is the style of playing consisting of notes, rifts, and bars

that are played off of the top of your head.

When the United States issued the banning of alcoholic drinks known as the period

of Prohibition, resulting in speakeasies was found out to help the jazz era. Where there

were speakeasies, there were people. Where there were people, there was music. And

where there was music, there was jazz.

Ragtime influenced jazz a great amount in music play, and origins of songs. After

the abolition of slavery new opportunities were open to African Americans that had some

sense of education. Although slaver was abolished this did not stop such segregation and

racism which limited the employment opportunities for much of the population. Because

of this many turned to entertainment in the arts such as literature, music, and

drawings/paintings.

Popularized by African American musicians ragtime appeared as sheet music, or

music that was distributed by paper. Many popular ragtime hits were extremely popular

as a new and exiting form of music. One of the most famous would be “The Entertainer”

by Ernest Hogan which debuted in 1895. Two years fallowing, “Rag Time Medley” by

Vess Ossman was recorded with a turn of the century banjo solo. Others were such hits

like “Mississippi Rag” and “Original Rags” produced by William Krell and Tom Turpin

In the 1980’s a massive jazz scene was formed in Manhattan with a new genre of

music known as Modern Creative. It was a new modern sound that infused and consisted

of bob, free, and fusion jazz with the incorporation of funk, pop, and rock. AllMusicMag

defined this “new” sound in the 80’s as "Continuing the tradition of the '50s to '60s free-

jazz mode, Modern Creative musicians may incorporate free playing into structured

modes—or play just about anything." Such musicians worked on this new scene such as

John Zorn, Tim Berne, David Murray, and Chris Speed.

Hip Hop originated in the Bronx during the late 1970’s. It is said that it was a response

culturally to the decline of urban African-American communities throughout major cities.

The increase of unemployment along with crime life left needed jobs. Many turned to

music as African Americans did back in the 1920’s. Hip Hop was described as raps and

rymes through the pervious experiences of the artist preforming vocaly. The

improvisation of this genre of music is inspired by the same characteristic in Jazz.

Freestyle rapping makes the preformer think on the spot compared to Jazz, as apposed to

written down comparing to “sheet” music as to ragtime.

Jazz is a genre of music that is arguably the greatest art form that has ever hit

American and worldly culture. The inspiration through “modern day” at

the time, popular music such as ragtime, the current day hit consisting of primarily the

piano. Along with African blue notes or “worried” notes which are based on the blues

scale. And Improvisation...
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