The Jazz Age Essay

1590 Words7 Pages
The Jazz music of the Big Band Era was the peak of over thirty years of musical development. Jazz was so innovative and different that it could literally sweep the world, changing the musical styles of nearly every country. Big band Jazz that makes the feet tap and the heart race with excitement that it is recognized with nearly every type of music.
The musical and cultural revolution that brought about Jazz was a direct result of African-Americans pursuing careers in the arts following the United States civil war. As slaves African-Americans has learned few European cultural traditions. With more freedom to pursue careers in the arts and bringing African artistic traditions to their work, African-Americans changed music and dance, not
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Some of the notes don't even exist in European musical scales, so they were not recognized easily.
The New Orleans bands of the late 19th century from which Big Bands evolved were varied. Some were social bands that played popular songs and music for dancing, some played marches and rags for weekend picnics and parties. Others specialized in their own variations on work and blues songs.
Big Band Jazz had its start in New Orleans in 1898 at the end of the Spanish-American war. Military bands returned to the port to flood the city with used band instruments. And African-Americans interested in music quickly bought up hundreds of these instruments and began to form bands. Starting from square one, enthusiastic African American musicians taught themselves to play.
This had two results: unconventional playing techniques and unconventional rendering of popular musical tunes. The playing techniques led to new and interesting sounds entering musicians' vocabulary: trumpet and trombone growling sounds, wah-wah sounds, the use of odd household objects as mutes, and others. The unconventional rendering of popular musical tunes led to Jazz. An African-American playing a popular tune would play it adding some African musical traditions, different musical scales and different and complex rhythms.
These early Jazz bands played music that was, to put it mildly, loosely structured. A soloist or an instrumental section of the band played the melody and the
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