The Arts That Shaped America: Arts of the 1920s

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Art by definition is the conscious production or arrangement of sounds, colors, forms, movements, or other elements in a manner that affects the sense of beauty, specifically the production of the beautiful in a graphic or plastic medium. Whether it was shown visually or musically, the arts of the twenties were reflective of the time period. Even in books, the extravagance that people lived in was evident.

The music of the twenties was on the opposite end of the spectrum from the music that had been its predecessor. With a quicker tempo, dynamics different then anything before it, dances that were of the youth and viewed as taboo, and powered by brass and rhythm instruments , jazz had become a mainstream for the youth of the twenties (Handley). In stark contrast of the Beethoven and the "usual" waltzes that people danced to, jazz was in your face and frowned down upon. According to the older generation, and quoted in the New York American, "Moral disaster is coming to hundreds of young American girls through the pathological, nerve-irritating, sex-exciting music of jazz orchestras" (Ward, Burns). In the 1920s, Jazz and Blues became very popular. Singers and musicians like Fat Waller, "Jelly Roll' Morton, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Lucille Bogan could be heard world wide. Bing Crosby, Annette Hanshaw, Al Jolson, Maria Anderson and George Gershwin were also making in big in the music world.

George Gershwin composed some of the most noticeable blues pieces of the nineteen twenties. Rhapsody in Blue, An American in Paris, and Piano Concerto in F, Rhapsody No. 2. Louis Armstrong, by far the king of the trumpet is the poster boy for pure jazz. With his revolutionary playing, he was able to break the trend of the typical "Dixieland" jazz music with his solos alone.

During the nineteen twenties films were becoming more popular, creating five major studios and three minor studios ("Films History of The 1920s.") The five major studios, some of...
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