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The Development of Jazz Music (Essay Sample)


This sample is a reflection of how jazz developed through years with the different artists that made the differences. it gives the specific timeframes from the time blacks were taken into slavery by the whites, what motivated the start of jazz and the main ideas behind the beginning of this type of music that iss now celebrated worldwide.


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Reflection Paper: The Development of Jazz Music
Jazz has a long history that does not start in the late twentieth century but instead dated to the era of slavery. And just as Nathan Davis asks if Jazz would still be there if Europeans did not take African slaves to America or if Africans were the captors. This artistic music form in which comprises African and American musical elements. It makes it a very unique and exciting musical genre. The studying of Edward Shearer's Music 101 has built a strong foundation for the liking of Jazz. These are summarised chapter-wise as follows.
As presented in the opening chapter, the organization of jazz music attracts any first listener of the music. A typical Jazz band includes the piano, whose function is to fill in the harmony, a string bass that incorporates the bass notes, and a drum set. A jazz band also comprises the clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, and trombone (Shearer 8). These act as the front-line instruments. All these accompany the improvised jazz players. I call this combination magical since they give Jazz a rare and unique taste that you would not wish to see or hear fade. This particular aspect in jazz, organization helps in developing active listening skills. Listening to this combination to listen to how perfect they blend, the turns and interjections serve this exact purpose. This significant aspect of Jazz made my liking for this genre grow much more than I expected.
I like Jazz in the second chapter of this book because, unlike most genres, it is deeply rooted in functionality or purpose. Africans used music only for ceremonies and different functions in their communities. Therefore, when enslaved, Africans managed to carry this culture, functional music. Tune in this culture was not artistic as described by David Locke. The ceremonies that included music include rituals to mark transitions in life, work, for young children, for example, to soothe them while performing routine chores. This music went under change when they were captured into slavery (Shearer 16). This transformation led to the eventual creation of Jazz. Its embellished nature gives Jazz a string of variations and widens creativity. Jazz, therefore, developed with purpose. The aspect natured my liking towards the genre. It has positively impacted my perspective of this type of music,
Chapter three presents Jazz as hazing performed a significant role in history. One that could not be easily accomplished, breaking racial barriers. It was conducted by Louis Armstrong, the founder of many traditions followed in Jazz. Louis managed to make his way to the top of the chart with his music called Hello Dolly. It was followed by several invitations to join a band with white artists such as Fletcher Henderson. He proceeded to produce the first record of a scat song that involved using syllables that do not make sense to imitate a horn using a human voice (Shearer 44). From this, Armstrong went up the ladder using Jazz. It helped achieve fame and awareness about the good and pleasure that can find in such a genre. Understanding this made me realize that despite the play-like beginnings of the genre, it still managed to be very popular, emerging from a slave community to royalty. It also encourages creativity since these songs involve alterations from a simple form to even bringing up another thing completely new.
Duke Ellington started by leading a small society band n Washington DC, his birthplace and the foundation for his musical work. He moved together with the band to New York and indulged more in hot Jazz involving a lot of improvisation. The sidemen, the players' name, frequently moved from one bar to another, looking for a better one. Ellington soon managed to build a spot for himself in a famous club from a creative and unique style he developed (Shearer 81). He also managed to earn the loyalty of his men by treating them with respect. He finally managed to make it to greatness with the creativity he explored to pass his message through performance.
A born Ohio pianist, Art Tatum comes to feature in chapter five of this book. Despite being almost entirely blind, the story of his abilities encourages people, especially those feeling that goals might have limits. He is described as a person who managed to play a piano tune that was initially played by two pianists, all by himself. He earned respect from everyone and influenced quite a number. It happened so because he could improvise tunes without messing the original.
Another famous figure we meet and can learn a lot from in this book is Dave Brubeck. Brubeck learned the art of composition with several French classical composers (Shearer 173). His perspective was that Jazz expressed an American culture. Like most, Brubeck got his style by experimenting with the written arrangements combined with his unique creations. He commonly used classical music to approach his ideas in improvisation and even appealed to giving Jazz a classical approach in his book, Jazz Styles. Brubeck developed a much simpler improvisation in his creations.
Chapter seven gives an analysis of a drummer, Art Blakely. Blakely was a very creative drummer who inspired the uprising of several jazz musicians. This band produced a piece of intense but lovely music (Shearer 185). They referred to themselves as the jazz messengers, and The greatest jazz artists in the 60s passed through this same band. It trained many musicians, as stated by Marsalis. He also mentioned that passion is key to great jazz music.
Art Ensemble had its roots in Chicago as an association that comprised creative musicians. The association, in chapter eight, did not restrict themselves to one type of playing. The explored varieties through creativity may have caused retaliation from other performers. They engaged in free Jazz, which was not only accessible in tone but also in the choice of the path it takes.
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