About this sample
About this sample
Words: 691 |
4 min read
Published: Feb 12, 2024
Words: 691|Pages: 2|4 min read
Jazz is a music genre that is difficult to define, as it incorporates various musical elements such as ragtime, blue notes, brass band tradition, European harmony, swung note, syncopation, polyrhythms, and improvisation . The appeal of jazz lies in the fusion of these different musical elements and the unique improvisation and personal interpretation of each performer. Jazz has a rich history that spans over a century and is commonly associated with the African American community as its originators. This paper aims to discuss the social influence of jazz music.
The origins of jazz can be traced back to the late 19th century when it was used to interpret West African and European cultures. The African slaves brought to America during the slave trade period largely came from West Africa, particularly the region around the Congo River basin . These slaves had a strong musical tradition characterized by single-line melodies and rhythmic structures that reflected their speech patterns. They would organize dance and musical festivals every Sunday in New Orleans, and church music among the African American community also played a significant role in the development of jazz.
During the late 19th century, many black people began to learn how to play European musical instruments, such as the violin, despite the strict segregation rules that prevented African Americans from accessing employment opportunities . They used their newfound skills to parody European music during their festivals, creating a unique blend associated with the African American community. The abolition of slavery opened up new opportunities for African Americans to be educated and pursue careers in the entertainment industry, where they found opportunities for performance in clubs and bars. The jazz age officially began in the 1920s when the prohibition of alcohol led to the emergence of illegal establishments that hosted jazz musicians. However, jazz was often associated with immorality and vices in society, leading to a bad reputation and criticism from the media.
Despite the challenges and discrimination faced by the African American community, jazz music provided solace and became a means for them to express themselves. It played a crucial role in creating racial integration between African and white musicians, a phenomenon that was rare during that time . While racial discrimination was still widespread in the United States, jazz musicians were seen as equals, and the music itself was considered a positive force for cohesion within society. Jazz became popular among both African Americans and whites, and musicians could name their albums and music using international connotations, demonstrating its global appeal.
Jazz festivals held in the United States and around the world have further contributed to the global recognition of the music. These events provide a platform for jazz musicians to showcase their talents and entertain large crowds. Kenya recently held an international jazz festival, where renowned jazz artists from different parts of the world performed. Such festivals play a crucial role in the survival and promotion of jazz. Additionally, the recording music industry has played a significant role in making jazz more marketable. However, the discrimination against black musicians affected the industry, with many talented individuals forced to record music that appealed to white audiences. Moreover, the exploitation of black musicians by white individuals who controlled recording, distribution, and marketing further perpetuated discrimination within the industry.
In contemporary times, jazz has become a popular music style, with its performances featured in television shows, movies, and music videos. Many radio stations have dedicated jazz shows, and young people also enjoy listening to jazz music. Jazz concerts often attract large crowds, indicating its enduring popularity. Furthermore, jazz has had a significant influence on the development of other musical genres, such as afro fusion, with many performances incorporating elements of jazz.
In conclusion, jazz music, which originated as an African folk music, has had both positive and negative influences on society. It has played a crucial role in promoting racial integration and bringing together African Americans and whites, not only in the United States but also globally. However, jazz has also faced discrimination and exploitation within the music industry. Despite these challenges, jazz remains a popular and influential music genre that continues to evolve and inspire musicians and audiences alike.
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