Jazz History

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English III
December 13, 2012
Jazz Music: The Back Story of a “Well Known” Era
Everyone has heard or at least has heard of Jazz music. The bands, the singers, and the instruments make you want to get up and start dancing! Jazz music has been around longer than you would think and is still a very popular type of music today. But do people know of the back story? How jazz started out, how it matured or even how today, it is used in different ways in music that you might not even notice? Not really. Jazz music may be one of the biggest impacts in our world today and we don’t even see how.

Jazz originally started out as sound like every other type of music does. But what makes them different is how the music is played; in a specific way with specific instruments to make that sound. To mix those parts together you would need influences to improve the music in its own way. In jazz, there were influences of “European harmonies and American instruments” (Barber 53) and particularly the “music of African- Americans who were determined to keep their own traditions alive” (Barber 53) during slavery times around the 1820s. The music of the slaves began in New Orleans at a place called the Congo Square (Today known as Louis Armstrong Park) where they played spirituals, blues, and ragtime music and chanted and danced in circular patterns to the music. Then they mixed that music with “European-based military music” (Schuman 31). All this mixed together developed into the earliest form of jazz. Years later, Charles “Buddy” Bolden was named the father of jazz for changing the instruments from strings to brass instruments. People had “began to call it ‘jass.’ Over time it became known as jazz” (Schuman 31). “The exact history of jazz is uncertain, but it is generally accepted that the music was born in New Orleans, came north to Chicago by way of traveling musicians, then spread to New York City—and from there around the world.” (Woog 27). Dance bands were also part of...
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