Jazz became popular from 1917 to 1923. This term refers to collectively
improvised small band music. It includes rags, blues, one steps, two steps,
marches, and pop tunes. As rural music moved to the city and adopted new
instruments, the typical African-American singing tradition found an expression
in the style now identified as Early New Orleans Dixieland Jazz. The first
Dixieland groups used a cornet, clarinet, and trombone. The rhythm section
was made up of a banjo, tuba, and drums. These instruments were first used
in marching bands. This beginning reflected the need to move while playing.
Later, New Orleans Style Dixieland Jazz merged with Ragtime to form what
is now referred to as Chicago Style Dixieland Jazz.
Ragtime began to be published in the late 1890's. It is sometimes played
fast and shallow. Ragtime was basically a piano keyboard music. It is an
African-American version of the Polka. Early African-American music inspired
the development of Ragtime Jazz, however, there are no recordings of this
music. One early form was the cakewalk which originated in the Caribbean's
and arrived in the United States as a syncopated music form based on a
march, the Polka, and a two-step. From this, ragtime emerged as a unique
musical form. It became a strong base for the later forms of jazz. By the
early 1900's, Ragtime was no longer being performed by a solo rianist.
Instead it was played by small orchestras and military bands.
Jazz is characterized by a "big band" sound. It has up tempos, "horns a-blazin",
and people "swingin til dawn". Swing jazz emerged during the early 1930's
and emphasized big band sounds. It spilled over into the late 1940's and
remained popular in recordings, film, and television. Most swing groups
usually have ten musicians and feature at least two or three saxaphones.
This type of jazz depends on how the musicians play. If the musician plays
good, it will sound good. But if the musician plays bad, it will be bad.
The name swing comes from what the people did when they danced to this
music. They "swing" so that is why they called it swing jazz.
Jazz is named for the kind of music some early jazz musicians played. Though
free jazz had been recorded before the 60's, the term "free jazz" was not
common until then. Non-musicians may find free jazz indistinguishable from
bebop. However, musicians make distinctions according to the methods used
and the melodic vocabulary. Much of this music is extrememly active. It
is packed with rapidly shifting layers of complex harmonies and rhythms.
Many listeners associate the term free jazz with high energy.
is characterized by fast tempos, complex harmonies, intricate melodies,
and a rhythm section. Bebop tunes were often full of surprising twists
and turns. Bebop became the first style of jazz that was not used for dancing.
It is interesting that Bebop is considered the mainstream jazz style today.
Bebop is the kind of music you can boogie to. People like to listen to
bebop when they want to be wild or after they have had a long day. The
name Bebop came from the kind of music the people play. Somebody heard
the music and they called it bebop. Then others started calling it bebop
too and the name stuck. Now people all over the world know this type of
jazz as Bebop.
Jazz is otherwise known as Rock and Roll Jazz. This was the most poular
music in its day. It became known as Fusion Jazz around 1965. Rock and
Roll Jazz is different from the music we know today. This type of Jazz
has many different instruments. There are not people rapping like today's
music. It is the kind of music you can boogie with. The music of today
is much different. Many times you can't even understand what they are saying.
Jazz is slower than other jazz styles. There are usually two or more saxaphones
and a piano. This is music you can relax to. Some people have this kind
of jazz played after their wedding. This type of jazz is quiet and peaceful,
not noisy like some of today's music. Slow Dance Jazz is romantic. It is
good for couples who want to have a quiet evening together. It is not wild
like our loud music. Some people like this music better and other's don't.
Some people prefer the more modern sounds of today.