As an introduction, we want to ask you: What is jazz? These exciting rhythms, pleasant live music, which is constantly evolving and moving. With this direction, perhaps, no other can be compared, and it is impossible to confuse it with any other genre, even for a beginner. And here’s a paradox, to hear and recognize it is easy, but to describe it in words is not so simple, because jazz is constantly evolving and the concepts and characteristics used today will become obsolete in a year or two.
The history of jazz music
The history of jazz is very interesting, we can compare it with a type of reflection paper as it includes our opinion concerning the crucial idea. Jazz is a style of music that originated at the beginning of the 20th century. It is closely intertwined with African rhythms, ritual chants, work, and secular songs, American music of past centuries. In other words, this is a semi-improvisational genre that emerged as a result of mixing Western European and West African music.
It is believed that it came from Africa, complex rhythms testify to this. Add to this also dances, all sorts of stomping, clapping, thesis, and here it is ragtime. Clear rhythms of this genre in combination with blues melodies and gave rise to a new direction, which we call jazz. Wondering where this new music came from, any source will give you the answer that from the songs of black slaves that were brought to America in the early 17th century. Only in music did they find comfort. The topic about jazz and in general jazz music essay is very interesting to write.
The primary distinguishing features of jazz
At first, these were purely African motifs, but a few decades later they began to be more improvisational in nature and overgrown with new American melodies, mostly religious tunes – spirituals. Later songs-complaints were added to it – blues and small brass bands. And so a new direction appeared – jazz.
The first and most important feature is improvisation. Musicians should be able to improvise both in the orchestra and solo. Another equally significant feature is polyrhythmic. Rhythmic freedom, perhaps, is the main feature of jazz music. It is this freedom that makes musicians feel light and moves forward continuously. Remember any jazz composition? It seems that the performers easily play up some wonderful and pleasant to the ear a melody, sometimes using guitar, no strict framework, as in classical music, only an amazing lightness and relaxation. Of course, in jazz compositions, as in classical ones, there is a rhythm, size, and so on, but due to the special rhythm called swing (from English swing), this sensation of freedom appears.
What else is important in this direction?
Of course, a bit or another regular ripple is important.
The massive enthusiasm for jazz in 1930-1940 led to a demand for larger orchestras that could perform various dance tunes. Due to this, a swing appeared, representing some deviations from the rhythmic pattern. It became the main focus of this time and overshadowed collective improvisation. Swing bands became known as big bands.
Of course, there is such a departure of swing from the traits inherent in early jazz, from national melodies, caused discontent among true connoisseurs of music. That is why big bands and swing performers begin to oppose the play of small ensembles, which included black musicians. Thus, in the 1940s, a new bebop style emerged, clearly distinguished from other music trends. He had incredibly fast melodies, a long improvisation, and the most complex rhythmic patterns. Among the performers of this time are the figures of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie.
The destiny of jazz music in the middle of XX century
Since 1950, jazz has been developing in two different directions. On the one hand, the adherents of the classics returned to academic music, pushing bebop aside. The resulting jazz has become more restrained and dry. On the other hand, the second line continued to develop bebop. Against this background, a hard-bop appeared, returning traditional folk intonations, a clear rhythmic pattern, and improvisation. This style was developed together with such directions as soul-jazz and jazz-funk. They brought music closer to blues the most.
Originating in New Orleans, jazz is rapidly spreading, becoming more and more popular. Amateur groups, consisting mainly of Africans and Creole, begin to perform not only in restaurants but also tour in other cities. For example, in the north of the country, another jazz center appears – Chicago, where night performances of musical groups are in particular demand. Performed compositions are complicated arrangements. Among the performers of that period, Louis Armstrong stands out, who moved to Chicago from the city where jazz originated. Later, the styles of these cities were merged into Dixieland, which was distinguished by collective improvisation.
The misunderstanding of jazz and its variation
In many directions, there was the introduction of phenomena that are fashionable and not very, but to the greatest degree, this is peculiar to jazz. A mature hipster who is accustomed to seek out rare and strange things will not understand why Czech jazz of the 40s is not interesting. Find something conditionally “unusual” and trump its “deep erudition” here will not succeed. To imagine the style in general terms, it is necessary to list and review its main directions since the end of the XIX century.
Ragtime and blues are sometimes called proto-jazz, and if the first, being not quite a full-fledged form from the modern point of view, is interesting just as a fact of the history of music, then the blues is still relevant.
In the 1960s, various experiments and t, analysis and the search for new forms were carried out. As a result, there is jazz-rock and jazz-pop, combining two different directions, as well as free-jazz, in which the performers refuse to regulate the rhythmic pattern and tone. Ornate Coleman, Wayne Shorter, Pat Methane became famous among the musicians of this time. It would be very interesting to hear all tones of jazz; it has its own style and brings perfect sounds in our ears.
Initially, Soviet jazz orchestras mainly performed fashionable dances such as foxtrot, Charleston. In the 1930s, a new direction began to gain more and more popularity. Despite the fact that the attitude of the Soviet government to jazz music was ambiguous, it was not prohibited, but at the same time it was strongly criticized as belonging to a Western culture. In the late 40s, jazz bands were completely persecuted. In the 1950s and 60s, the activities of the orchestras of Oleg Lundstrem and Eddie Rosner resumed, and more and more musicians became interested in the new direction.
In conclusion, even today, jazz is constantly and dynamically developing, a lot of trends and styles appear. This music continues to absorb sounds and melodies from all over the world, saturating it with new and new colors, rhythms and melodies.