A Brief Jazz History Cultural Studies Essay

Music is populating entity, which is continuously altering, accommodating and reflecting each environmental and cultural alteration. The American music has been shaped by the state ‘s societal and cultural environment. It is ever characterized by the usage of syncope with irregular beat and tunes, which reflects the American landscape and the sense of personal freedom feature of American life. Since 1920s, wind has been intertwined with facets of American societal and cultural individuality, including through societal category, race and ethnicity, and environment.

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Thesis statement ( At the terminal of debut ) :

Wind is non merely a manner to reflect the landscape of the U.S.A. in the 1920s, to showcase parts of African American to American society, to foreground black history and affirm black civilization, but besides a reminder of an oppressive and racist society.

Body paragraphs:

Brief Jazz history:

Jazz takes its roots from bondage in the 17th and 18th centuries in America, where subjects like religious music and the less spiritual music based off of common people traditional knowledge and field work. The less spiritual, or secular subjects would travel on to play a cardinal function in the foundations of the Blues genre in Jazz, with much of the irregular musical facets such as the rearticulating of words and the calls and cries that have become a trademark of the genre.

The American environment ( urban capitalist environment )

Topic sentence: Wind is a musical portrayal closely identified with American urban scenes, portraying the urbanisation, industrialisation and the growing of the state at that clip.

The birth of wind as a musical signifier occurred at a alone clip in the history of the United States. In the early 1900 ‘s the industrialisation of our society was good under manner. Millions of people were traveling to metropoliss for employment chances, and in-migration from other states.

The bulk of the population was populating in the urban countries of the United States instead than the rural countries.

Reacting to the material dealingss of urban life, the propertyless ethos of music switches from secular to sacred, particularly as urban secular life became prevailing in African American civilization.

Wind was incubated and inspired by the new metropolis experience, with its pull into capitalist production and commercialism.

It encouraged improvisational manners of look, which offset the plodding and humdrum of difficult humble work

The beat and meter of Jazz is a cultural challenge to the insistent downbeat of mensural clip over work and life. The urban propertyless experience is the root and foundation for this originative musical tradition.

The syncope and cross-rhythms create the image of the metropolis rush-hour and bustling modern life.

Example: George Gershwin ‘s symphonic wind Rhapsody in Blue composed in 1924 expresses a forward-driving energy towards urbanisation of the U.S.A at that clip. Write on a series of train trips between Brooklyn and Boston, Gershwin devised this iconic piece, implanting the clickety-clack esthesiss of the train into the music with its steely beat and rattly-bang. It is a musical portrayal of America, arousing the temper of skyscrapers by dark and jazzy urban hustle.

Jazz highlights the black history and affirm black civilization

Topic sentence: Wind is an artistic look of African American national civilization within the United States.

Wind was born in the street parades and featuring houses of early twentieth-century New Orleans. Jazz was forged in the caldron of Jim Crow segregation by the posterities of slaves, who transformed antebellum spirituals, work vocals, bellows, and pealing cries into the witness-bearing, intensely expressive truthfulness of the blues, every bit good as the sparkling spirit of ragtime. Marrying these currents of sorrow and joy, subjugation and opposition, wind captured and heralded the battle for Afro-american freedom.

Jazz ‘s rhythmic delicacy, melodious ingeniousness, and improvisational energy expressed the dreams and desires of a modernizing people, a people dying to project off the ironss of bondage and segregation in order to catch the pulsation of America ‘s outgrowth as a twentieth-century beacon of technological and cultural invention.

It is the soundtrack for the migration of African Americans from the rural plantation civilization of the Old South to the modern urban civilization of the North, Midwest, and West.

African music was mostly functional, for work or ritual. Wind shows the usage of the African traditions of a single-line tune and call-and-response form. The beat besides have a counter-metric construction, and reflected African address forms.

Racism and Bondage

Topic sentence: Race and category are elemental conditions in Jazz, particularly with regard to its societal import. Racism, national subjugation, and category development interact to organize Jazz ‘s material footing, as a originative look of the African American experience in the United States.

After Spain took control of Louisiana in 1763, New Orleans became the centre of slave trade in America.

The demand for originative responses is particularly acute for the African American working hapless because of the double load of racism and national subjugation.

The alone experiences of bondage and segregation gave rise to the spirituals, work vocals and blues.

With migration into the metropoliss, the African American worker was oppressed. As a freshly established urban working category, African Americans were denied equal entree to occupations, lodging, schooling and other affairs of civil society and the province. They responded to the urban capitalist environment with new signifiers of cultural/musical look.

Jazz syncope is an cheerful response to the downbeat state of affairs of being at the underside of the societal order.

Jazz as a interactive procedure

Topic sentence: Wind is the great cultural accomplishment of America where inkinesss took a prima function as Godheads and practicians, and where inkinesss and Whites performed and listened in harmoniousness.

Wind is the Americanization of African music, every bit good as the Africanization of American music. It is the intermixing together of cultural elements that antecedently existed in the European and African civilizations individually.

As the music bombilation progressed to the metropoliss, Jazz became the mainstream for all races. The Jazz Age was a measure in doing America genuinely equal in the battle for civil rights. The African American race evidently moved up the societal ladder every bit good during the 1920s.

Although the Afro-american practicians of wind found racial favoritism in virtually every facet of their lives, from segregated dance halls, cafes, and barrooms to exploitative record companies, early wind was popular with Whites, in portion because it reinforced “ darky ” stereotypes of African Americans as carefree and irrepressibly rhythmic.

However, many black wind instrumentalists used wind as a vehicle for cultural, artistic, and economic promotion, and were able to determine their ain fates in an frequently hostile environment.

Afro-american wind was frequently performed for or by Whites, and it was assimilated into the overall cloth of popular music, to the edginess of some on both sides of the racial divide.

For white work forces to play wind, they had to turn to the Negro in all his magnificence and, in the procedure, the majority of them were able to interrupt free of the racialist conventions that surrounded them. So wind was merely as of import socially as it was artistically.


Wind is closely identified with American urban scenes. It creates images on cultural, geographic, cultural, and economic degrees, utilizing the proficient constituents of tune, harmoniousness and beat to arouse American individuality. It does non merely portray the growing of the U.S. and affirm black civilization, but besides shows the interaction, the clang and merger of African and European civilization. Nowadays, Jazz has continued to mirror and represent the complexnesss and sarcasms of the altering position of African Americans within the broader civilization and civil order of the United States.


Blumenthal, Bob. Wind: An Introduction to the History and Legends behind America ‘s Music. New York: Collins, 2007. Print.

Fitzgerald, F. Scott, and James L. W. West. Narratives of the Jazz Age. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge UP, 2002. Print.

Raeburn, Bruce Boyd. New Orleans Style and the Writing of American Jazz History. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 2009. Print.

Tucker, Mark. “ Robert G. O’Meally- The Jazz Cadence of American Culture. ” JazzTimes Magazine Apr. 1999: n. pag. Apr. 1999. Web. 11 Nov. 2012. & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: //jazztimes.com/articles/20739-the-jazz-cadence-of-american-culture-robert-g-o-meally & gt ; .

Turner, Richard Brent. Jazz Religion, the Second Line, and Black New Orleans. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 2009. Print.

Ward, Geoffrey C. , and Ken Burns. Wind: A History of America ‘s Music. London: Pimlico, 2001. Print.


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