The Definition of Jazz

11 November 2017

Jazz music is a genre that is very hard to define, because it encompasses so much over the course of a very long time. It has been around for a century – over 100 years now! – and has permeated different facets of our nation throughout different fulcrums In time as well as other crucial moments within our history. All In all, Jazz should undoubtedly be considered an art form for a variety of reasons, stemming from its interpretive and improvisational nature, all the way to its creation and origins.The clash between African American music and that of Europeans during he beginning of the 20th century In America was where Jazz all started.

The genre became associated with the racial divide In America, and was used as an expressive medium by African Americans in the south to musically paint a picture of their lives and the culture from which they lived. One of the most important elements of Jazz is the interpretive aspect of it.While It may Just be a type of music, it Is able to express different emotions and depict certain expressions by the performer; making it unique in comparison to other types of music at the time. Typical European musicians would ever dare play music without having the music to read in front of them, and this is a common occurrence; those musicians would play music the same way every time without changing even a single note. Jazz was artistic In that a performer could take a certain piece of music, and transform it on stage into something far different than anybody could have ever imagined.This exclusive ability allowed Jazz to be so interpretative, and therefore artistic in nature indefinitely; there are even different types ranging from swing to bop, as well as deferent styles, for example New Orleans outworn Jazz and many others from different places. Another Important detail of jazz music, and arguably the most important, is the improvisational aspect within it.

It is music that is played without being written, unique with every performance, with many sets never to be played the same way ever again.It Is music that comes from the heart, and invokes emotions In that of Its performers and listeners, letting It possess such a strong message and carry it far across the country. When many musicians play the same music note for note, it is hard to distinguish their individual uniqueness and artistry, and in Jazz this is more possible than ever before and even depending on the mood or a personal experience of the performer could alter a performance greatly. Jazz music is a language, sometimes intimate, often boisterous, but always layered with experience and life profoundly lived… Jazz is not the result of choosing a tune, but an ideal that is first created in the mind, inspired by ones passion and willed next In paying music; It Is In the act of creating the form Itself, that we truly find jazz” (Cindy Poplin).

After exploring the PBS website I was able to earn more about Jazz, and understand it even deeper.Through “Jazz in Time” I was able to grasp an understanding of how Jazz evolved throughout different time periods ranging from times of slavery and the Jim Crow Era, through the Great Depression and both World Wars, all the way to modern times. Its evolution throughout the ages proves it’s timeless novelty, and therefore establishes its artistic 1 OFF and Jazz is no different. Its ability to pass the test of time is certainly a benchmark among other forms, and Jazz is certainly an art that has proven this time and time gain.Two articles in particular that I focused on were “Jim Crow Era” and “The Great Depression”, and these articles only further strengthened my arguments for Jazz being an art form, and explained to me even more about its evolution which led to the creation of my definition for Jazz music as a whole. Louis Armstrong was one of the most important figures of Jazz music, and his biography was intriguing, as well as informative. As I mentioned before about the mood or personal experience able to shape the sound of the performer, Armstrong let his positive disposition come out in is music and make everybody feel good.

He became the icon of New Orleans Jazz music, which was the birthplace of Jazz, and he taught the world how to “swing”. In conclusion, it is exceptional how profound of an impact Jazz music had on the 20th century, and its ability to continue into the 21st century as well. While I had an understanding of Jazz music before this assignment, my exploration of the PBS site and further researching has given me an even greater comprehension of this music and how influential and significant it has been throughout the history of the country in which we live.

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