History of Jazz

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  • Topic: Jazz, Miles Davis, John Coltrane
  • Pages : 6 (1870 words )
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  • Published : May 20, 2011
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It is difficult to differentiate between actuality and conceptuality in history. History is in a constant state of change and there is no one history. This essay will explore the history and development of Jazz as a popular musical style. It will identify ways in which this knowledge can inform brand management thinking. It will examine the essential links between the past and present and appreciate its value as a brand management tool. It will reflect upon the role and importance of history in connection to Jazz music and describe how this knowledge can be as a brand management tool. It will explore where the genre of jazz began, how it developed, what influences where involved and different techniques involved in the genre. History is important for an individual and group sense of identity […] Musical identities are created out of knowledge and experience of the past. – Negus, k. (1996) Popular Music in Theory, Cambridge, Polity – Chapter 5

Where Jazz began
Since […] jazz is essentially the black man’s art, it makes sense to trace African American’s through slavery (A Short History Of Jazz, by Bob Yurochko, 1993, Bumham inc Publishers) “It can be argued that Jazz can be traced back to African drum beats and European musical structures which spanned many musical forms such as spirituals, cakewalks, ragtime and the blues. In times of slavery, slave work songs were created to tell a story, and pass the time. Elements of both work songs and spirituals are a part of the foundation of jazz. “ (Fortune city, (2009) Introduction) Knowing these elements of the history of jazz allows us to take specific areas of the genre and split them into subgenres. The knowledge of the history of jazz allows us to compare and contrast past events with current day events, this gives us the knowledge to see if there is a space for jazz in the current market. “The standard legend about jazz is that it was conceived in New Orleans and moved up the Mississippi River to Memphis, St. Louis and finally Chicago.” (Scholastic Inc, (1996) History Of Jazz) Wynton Marsalis said “New Orleans had a great tradition of celebration. Opera, military marching bands, folk music, the blues, different types of church music, ragtime, echoes of traditional African drumming, and all of the dance styles that went with this music could be heard and seen throughout the city. When all of these kinds of music blended into one, jazz was born." In 1800 The African American composer Scott Joplin introduced European compositional styles with the rhythmic and melodic music of the black community. This became known as "ragtime." From Ragtime and Blues to Big Band and Bebop, jazz has been a part of a proud African American tradition for over 100 years. Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, and Billie Holiday are examples of some of the most celebrated jazz musicians of America’s past.

Important features of Jazz music
It could be argued that improvisation is the most defining feature of jazz, from the collective improvisation of early jazz to solo improvisations. Another of the important features in jazz is Call and Response. This was invented by the slaves and was a way of telling a story, and pass the time. It works by a song leader calling out a line and the rest of the workers would respond to his call. Jazz often had a strong rhythmic under structure and contains a lot of “Blues Notes” which are flatted thirds, sevenths and later fifths. Jazz is widely known for its endless amounts of solos.

It also often entails off beat, syncopated cross-rhythms and pentatonic scales. In later jazz smoother longer notes called legato notes where also used.

Different “types” of jazz
* New Orleans
* Dixieland
* Boogie woogie
* Swing
* Chicago Style
* Bebop
* Cool Jazz
* Jazz Fusion
* Progressive Jazz
* Latin and Afro-Cuban Jazz
Music Listening Today, Charles Hoffer, 4th ed, 2009, Schirmer Cengage Learning Bands, audiences and...
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