The Definition of Jazz

Topics: Music, African American, New Orleans Pages: 2 (834 words) Published: April 24, 2013
What is the definition of Jazz?

Jazz music is a genre that is very hard to define, because it encompasses so much over the course of a very long time. It has been around for a century – over 100 years now! – and has permeated different facets of our nation throughout different fulcrums in time as well as other crucial moments within our history. All in all, jazz should undoubtedly be considered an art form for a variety of reasons, stemming from its interpretive and improvisational nature, all the way to its creation and origins. The clash between African American music and that of Europeans during the beginning of the 20th century in America was where jazz all started. The genre became associated with the racial divide in America, and was used as an expressive medium by African Americans in the south to musically paint a picture of their lives and the culture from which they lived. One of the most important elements of jazz is the interpretive aspect of it. While it may just be a type of music, it is able to express different emotions and depict certain expressions by the performer; making it unique in comparison to other types of music at the time. Typical European musicians would never dare play music without having the music to read in front of them, and this is a common occurrence; those musicians would play music the same way every time without changing even a single note. Jazz was artistic in that a performer could take a certain piece of music, and transform it on stage into something far different than anybody could have ever imagined. This exclusive ability allowed jazz to be so interpretative, and therefore artistic in nature indefinitely; there are even different types ranging from swing to bop, as well as different styles, for example New Orleans southern jazz and many others from different places. Another important detail of jazz music, and arguably the most important, is the improvisational aspect within it. It is music that is played without...
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