Jazz Essays

History of Jazz

Jazz is a form of American music which began in the 20th century though it has some of the elements of songs which had evolved in the late 19th century. It originated from the African Americans who were living in the southern parts of United States. Jazz is a combination of African and European traditions of music. Jazz developed mainly due to the cultural experiences which were being experienced by the African American as a result of slavery. Jazz is…

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Bebop Jazz and Its Influence

Developed in the 1940’s, bebop jazz expanded upon the restrictive and structured arrangements of big band music, changed the way music was enjoyed, and provided a foundation for future innovators of jazz music. Bebop was a revolutionary sound that captivated the audience due largely to the new found creative freedom of musical expression allowed by extensive improvisation. According to John Andrews (1998), “Bop marked the point at which both the musicians and their audience became widely conscious that jazz was…

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Art Tatum

From the time Tatum was born on Oct. 13, 1909 in Toledo, Ohio, he was destined for revolutionizing jazz. He was born with a blind eye and the other partially blind, but his ears were his way of seeing the world. He could sit down and play the same music meant for four hands. He was unbeatable at any piano competition. His influence on jazz will be forever respected by jazz pianists (and non-pianists) worldwide. As a child, Art received…

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History of the Trumpet

Trumpets are one of the oldest instruments. In ancient times, people used animal horns or shells like a trumpet. It was first used for signaling in ancient China (2000 BC), Egypt (1500 BC), and Scandinavia (1000 BC). It was long and had no valves. In Roman times, the trumpet was played at military and civilian ceremonies. The first musical use of the trumpet was in the late 1300’s where it had acquired the folded shape similar to today’s. In the…

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The Effects of Jazz and Classical Music on Musicians

A thesis presented on the history of jazz as compared to classical music and the effects on musicians, beginning with the birth of jazz, and covering the twentieth century. Berliner (1994) impresses upon the idea that jazz music is more important to a musician’s development and an individual’s mental health than classical music. It is this author’s opinion that Jazz is superior over classical music because jazz music is often soft, smooth, and reflective. In addition, the world of jazz…

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Duke Ellington

One of the greatest jazz bandleaders, arrangers, recording artist, and composers of all time is none other than Duke Ellington. Born on April 29, 1899 in Washington, D.C., Ellington was destined for musical talent. His family was musically talented; both of his parents could play piano even though neither could read music. Ellington did not grow up in a poor family; and he had educational advantages that many black musicians in his time didn’t have. He received the nickname “Duke”…

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Music in Civil Rights

How did musicians influence the civil rights movement? During the Civil Rights movement of the mid-twentieth century, music was used to spread word of equality and respect in America. Jazz, rock & roll, blues, gospel & reggae music were among the prominent genres of music during this time. With music, African-American artists like Little Richard, Aretha Franklin, and Bob Marley wanted to present positive and uplifting messages to the country that was full of hatred for other people. African Americans…

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Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday

Bill Crow’s Jazz Anecdotes is a thought-provoking, often amusing collection of stories from within jazz’s inner circles, told by and about some of the genre’s leading figures. While not a history of jazz, it gives readers some insights to how jazz artists worked, lived, bonded, and coped with an America in which many were still outsiders. The book’s forty-three chapters (expanded from the original 1990 edition) describe the life jazz musicians shared, offering insights into a rather exclusive, unconventional circle…

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Jazz Concert Reflection

Jazz is a musical style that began in African American communities in the southern United States around the beginning of the twentieth century. It was a new style of music that brought together music traditions from West Africa and Europe. Some of its West African musical influences give jazz its unique sound. Jazz has many different elements, which are improvisations, swinging, using blue notes, and combining different rhythms. I attended The Bill and Helen Murray Jazz Residency Program featured Ellery…

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The Roaring Twenties

The Roaring Twenties implies the phase that is used to describe the North America in the 1920s regarding its social, artistic and cultural dynamism, that turned to politics in the wake for the World war I (Sammis, 43). The phase is characterized by the several innovations and discoveries during the time, and the industrial growth. There was also an increase the demand for consumer goods and aspirations among the Northern America population. The lifestyle of the population also drastically changed….

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Jazz Performance Review

In the month of April, Da Camera had a series of Jazz concerts at Discovery Green. On April 12 Pamela York and Trombone Summit with Andre Hayward and Thomas Hulten performed before a crowd of jazz enthusiasts as well as everyday people curious as to what the sounds they were hearing were coming from. Pamela York is a Canadian born Jazz pianist, vocalist and composer (York). She was classically trained at an early age, but when she was exposed to…

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History of Jazz Concert Report

Since I have been in university, most talk of live music has revolved around “what club has a special on tonight?” or “which DJ is going to be in town this weekend?” I have nothing against electronic music but sitting in a packed bar near the Halifax Harbor listening to jazz and conversing in a booth with my friends, instead of shouting to clear the volume of dance music, has been one of the most enjoyable nights of my time…

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The Birth of Cool – Miles Davis

The “Birth of the Cool” (original recording reissued) album is a compilation of 12 songs that helped hoist Miles Davis to possibly the most influential jazz artist of all-time. In 1947, Davis moved away from the Charlie Parker’s band, consequently becoming intrigued by the work of Gil Evans. Gil Evans had developed a laid-back, low-vibrato “cool” style, using unique instruments such as tuba and French horn. Not long after, Davis began gathering a rotating troupe of musicians to assist him…

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Tap Dance

?Jazz dancing involves movements that are specially choreographed to West-African music compositions. The movements are termed as jazz, which is basically an umbrella term, and set to ‘blues’ notes, polyrhythms, improvisations, the ‘swung’ note, and syncopation. The Jazz form of dancing actually relates to several dance styles that are related, such as ballet, tap, and the African-American rhythms-and-dance styles. This dance form originated in the late 1800s. The trend took time to catch on, but eventually did by the mid…

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Readings in Jazz History

Jazz, the music which was born and blossomed in New Orleans at the turn of the twentieth century, later traveled all over the country acquiring new features and forms. The New Orleans jazz style included polyphonic music in which different musical instruments simultaneously play different variations on a particular piece of music and which includes freer rhythmic improvisation. Usually the musical instruments included trumpet, clarinet, and trombone all playing different melody at the same time. Starting from New Orleans jazz…

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