Jazz is associated with the African American people and this is an influence unequaled in the field of music. The true spirit of jazz arises from a revolt from convention, custom, authority, and boredom, even sorrow, from everything that would confine the soul of man.
The blacks that invented it called their songs the "blues," and they weren't capable of satire or deception. Jazz was their explosive attempt to cast off the blues and be happy, carefree happy, even in the midst of sordidness and sorrow. Jazz is a release of all the suppressed emotions at once.
Jazz is a part of the direct process of African American music. In rhythm it goes directly back through ragtime, through the minstrel period, through the spirituals and dances to its African origin. Jazz, as we know it, is a product of the age in which we are living. For that reason, it is not pure black music, but rather, the African American reflected in modern life. The music is reflective of the restlessness and syncopated lives of the American temperament.
The manner of production of jazz is rhythmic and usually referred to as "black rhythm." In it there must exist a spontaneous physical abandonment to the moving accents of the music. Jazz began as an improvisation. The first jazz players knew the tune, but all of the "quirks" and "turns" which made it "jazzy" were created as they progressed; each man for himself, blending, syncopating, gliding, harmonizing, throwing in offbeat and rhythmic patterns which somehow or another held together and made jazz. In addition, jazz has created its own method of instrumentation, unlike that of any other type of music. Molded in native rhythms, improvised melodies, stimulating harmonies, and refreshingly new methods of instrumentation, jazz has come to develop that quality of music which is an aspect of permanency, namely style.
As early jazz developed in the US, so did its popularity. Although other cities caught on, the primary... [continues]
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