John Coltrane

Topics: John Coltrane, Jazz, Tenor saxophone Pages: 4 (1566 words) Published: March 13, 2008
Intro to Music Masterworks
Final Paper

Jazz music was originally developed by African Americans during the start of the twentieth century. Throughout the semester we have studied the timeline of musical periods including the Romantic and Classical eras of music. Becoming internationally popular in the 1920's, jazz music has been typically described as "America's Classical Music." The musical periods we have discussed in this course have influenced and show a strong relation to jazz music and also jazz musicians. Among these musicians, is John Coltrane, considered one of the greatest jazz saxophonists and composers of all time. He was also one of the most important and influential musicians of the twentieth century.

John William Coltrane was born in Hamlet, North Carolina on September 23, 1926. Moving from Hamlet as an infant, Coltrane grew up in High Point, North Carolina, where most of his family lived. John had a very rough life as a kid due to the fact that he grew up in a racially segregated area most of his childhood. However, racism was the least of his problems. In his early life, John lost his close aunt, grandfather, and most importantly his father. Also, he was traditionally influenced by a Southern background which meant religion always came first no matter what. The large emphasis on religion affected his music later in his career. Through these hard times, the only thing that kept John motivated was music; he had a love for it.

Coltrane's musical interest was triggered by his early clarinet lessons. However, he did not play clarinet for long as he became more interested in jazz music resulting in a change of instrument to an alto saxophone. By this time, John was seventeen years old and was already a very skilled musician that had great potential to lead a successful career. In June of 1943, he moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Coltrane was drafted into the Navy when he was nineteen years old and was released returning...
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