The History and Characteristics of the origins of JAZZ!
The American/Africans are a major part of the history of jazz. Jazz originated from the African American slave trade. In Africa, natives danced to celebrate cycles of life; birth, puberty, marriage and death. Children, adults and the elderly all depended on dance to express to express their cultural beliefs. Drums, string instruments, chimes, reedpipes and other percussion instruments set the beat for the dancers. Slaves continued to interpret life through dance. However, their dances, while based on the traditions of Africa, were influenced by the European background of the plantation owners and the restrictions that they faced, so the dances changed. African slaves found ways to adapt their dancing and continue their traditions in secret, causing some changes in the dances. For example, since slaves were prohibited from lifting their feet, they created moves that included shuffling the feet and moving the hips and body. The only place where African dances remained outside this influence was Congo Square in New Orleans. From 1805 to 1880 slaves were permitted to dance by the French and Spanish Catholics who inhabited the area. They felt that providing slaves with an opportunity to dance under supervision would make the slaves happier, monitor plans for revolt, and prevent secret voodoo dances from being performed. The dance of Africans is one technique the cultures had of passing on their histories and beliefs. African dancing holds more importance than the dance steps of other cultures, since it is part of their oral history practice rather than solely for social entertainment. The dance passed down each clan’s beliefs and history long before they’d written records. It is an element of the oral history of each tribal country. In time, the African dances and songs gradually became urban music and dances which were spirited and lively, and because new steps and variations were constantly being created,...
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