Music in the Roaring Twenties

Topics: Jazz, Roaring Twenties, 1920s Pages: 5 (1273 words) Published: October 22, 2012

➢ Introduction
The 1920s known as the “Roaring Twenties” were a time of great change, economic growth, mass production, urbanization (farmers moved to larger industrial cities), cars, telephone, radio, record players and prohibition. It was a period of a new freedom for women. It was for Americans and western Europeans, a break period from the first world, a time for happiness and peace.

Finally the Wall Street Crash of 1929, ended this period as the Great economic depression set in worldwide. The Roaring Twenties were the first golden age of the American music and often known as “The Jazz Age”. This "movement" in which jazz music grew in popularity, also influenced other parts of the world. However prior to the Jazz, dance was to dominate all forms of music.

➢ America export Music to the world

When the American dancer Josephine Baker visited Berlin in 1925, at the time when Francis Scott Fitzgerald published the Great Gatsby in the US, she performed at the “Theater Des Westens” and found it dazzling. "The city had a jewel-like sparkle," she said, "the vast cafés reminded me of ocean liners powered by the rhythms of their orchestras. There was music everywhere." Eager to look ahead after the crushing defeat of World War I. The music played in Berlin, Amsterdam, London, or Paris, mostly originated from small towns in America.

➢ Origins of music in the ‘roaring twenties’
Following World War I, around 500,000 African Americans in search of better employment opportunities moved to the northern part of the United States. They left their home towns of New Orleans, (Louisiana), or Saint Louis (Missouri), Kansas City (Missouri)… With them, they brought their culture to the North in places like Chicago (Illinois), Detroit (Michigan), Cincinnati (Ohio), Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania), and York City (NY) which became the place for the “Harlem Renaissance” During this period of time, the works of African Americans in fields such as writing and music escalated. Styles of music including Dixieland and blues became popular as well. Throughout the 1920's many people took an interest in music and in dance. They owned pianos, trumpets, saxophones, drums, bass, guitars, clarinets, trombones and played sheet music, listened to records and visited theatres, and dance clubs. With the help of radio broadcasting, new artists become famous all over the United States and for some around the world.

➢ Dance clubs in the 1920’s

Dance clubs became enormously popular in the 1920s. Dance music came to dominate all forms of popular music by the late 1920s. Classical pieces, operettas, folk music, etc. were all transformed into dance music in order to please young people much as the disco phenomena would later do in the late 1970s. For example, many of the songs from the 1929 Technicolor musical operetta The Rogue Song (starring the Metropolitan Opera star Lawrence Tibbett) were rearranged and released as dance music and became popular club hits in 1929. Dance clubs across the U.S. sponsored dance contests, where dancers invented, tried, and competed with new moves. Professionals began to perform in tap dance and other dances across the United States. With the advent of talking pictures (sound film) musicals became the main attraction. Film studios flooded the box office with new musical films, many of which were filmed in ‘Technicolor’ ne of the most popular of these musicals, ‘Gold Diggers of Broadway’ became the most known film of the decade. Harlem played a key role in the development of dance styles. With several entertainment venues, people from all walks of life, all races, and all classes came together. The ‘Cotton Club’ featured black performers and catered to a white clientele, while the ‘Savoy Ballroom’ catered to a mostly black clientele.

➢ Popular dances & Musicians

The most popular dances throughout the decade were...
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