Jazz Music

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Which of the following is NOT a characteristic of jazz music?

Simple chords

What is the origin of the word 'jazz'?

It comes from a slang term meaning 'pep, energy'

Which of the following musical genres did NOT influence the development of jazz?


What is the significance of the habanera rhythm in African-American music?

It reinforced the use of tresillo-based rhythms

Which musician is credited with developing an innovative musical idiom for his orchestra, which he called American Music?

Duke Ellington

Which style of jazz shifted the emphasis from harmony to melody?

Modal jazz

Which genre of jazz introduced clave, an African timeline or key pattern, into jazz?

Afro-Cuban jazz

Which style of jazz was described as 'funky'?

Hard bop

Which musician's early work was a major contributor to the development of free jazz?

Ornette Coleman

Study Notes

A Comprehensive Overview of Jazz Music

  • Jazz is a music genre that originated in New Orleans in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with its roots in blues and ragtime.

  • Jazz has a wide range of musical styles that have developed over time, including New Orleans jazz, swing, bebop, cool jazz, hard bop, modal jazz, free jazz, and jazz-rock fusion, among others.

  • Jazz is characterized by swing and blue notes, complex chords, call and response vocals, polyrhythms, and improvisation.

  • Improvisation is a defining element of jazz that allows for individual expression and creativity in performance.

  • Jazz has been influenced by diverse musical cultures from around the world, giving rise to different styles and genres.

  • The word "jazz" has a complex and contested history, with its origins traced back to a slang term meaning "pep, energy".

  • Jazz has played a significant role in African-American culture and history, drawing attention to their contributions while also reflecting the realities of systemic racism and oppression.

  • Women and Jewish Americans have made significant contributions to jazz throughout its history, although their contributions have often been overlooked or undervalued.

  • Jazz has its roots in African and European musical traditions, with African rhythmic patterns and European harmonic styles combining to create a unique sound and style.

  • Jazz has been influenced by a variety of musical genres, including blues, spirituals, hymns, marches, vaudeville songs, and classical music.

  • Jazz has evolved over time, with each performer's personal interpretation and improvisation contributing to its ongoing development and appeal.

  • Jazz is a form of art music that originated in the United States and is characterized by its special relationship to time, improvisation, spontaneity, and vitality of musical production.Evolution of Jazz: From African Rhythmic Patterns to the Jazz Age

  • Tresillo is a basic and prevalent duple-pulse rhythmic cell in sub-Saharan African music traditions and the African Diaspora.

  • Tresillo is prominently heard in New Orleans second line music and in other forms of popular music from that city from the turn of the 20th century to present.

  • African Americans developed a drumming tradition featuring tresillo and related syncopated rhythmic figures.

  • The habanera, a Cuban music genre, gained international popularity in the 19th century and influenced African-American music.

  • The habanera rhythm is a combination of tresillo and the backbeat and reinforced the use of tresillo-based rhythms in African-American music.

  • Ragtime, a popular music genre in the early 20th century, incorporated African-based rhythmic patterns such as tresillo and its variants.

  • Blues, a musical form and genre, originated in African-American communities of primarily the Deep South of the United States at the end of the 19th century.

  • W.C. Handy became interested in folk blues of the Deep South while traveling through the Mississippi Delta and wrote about his adopting of the blues.

  • The music of New Orleans had a profound effect on the creation of early jazz and was mostly performed in African-American and mulatto communities due to segregation laws.

  • Swing, the most important and enduring African-based rhythmic technique used in jazz, is heard in more rhythmically complex Diaspora musics and places strokes in-between the triple and duple-pulse grids.

  • New Orleans brass bands are a lasting influence, contributing horn players to the world of professional jazz and helping black children escape poverty.

  • Prohibition in the United States banned the sale of alcoholic drinks, resulting in illicit speakeasies which became lively venues of the "Jazz Age".A Brief History of Jazz: From its Origins to Post-War Developments

  • Jazz was born in New Orleans in the late 19th century, with influences from African American and European musical traditions.

  • Jazz music was initially seen as immoral and a threat to cultural values by some members of older generations.

  • Kid Ory's Original Creole Jazz Band became the first black jazz band of New Orleans origin to make recordings in 1922.

  • Paul Whiteman and his orchestra became a hit in San Francisco in 1918, and he became the top bandleader of the 1920s.

  • Duke Ellington spent the late 1920s and 1930s developing an innovative musical idiom for his orchestra, which he called American Music.

  • European jazz began to emerge in the interwar period, with the Original Dixieland Jazz Band touring the continent in 1919.

  • Swing-era jazz challenged other popular music as being representative of the nation's culture in the 1930s, with big bands reaching the height of the style's success by the early 1940s.

  • The bebop style began to shift jazz away from danceable popular music towards a more challenging "musician's music" in the early 1940s.

  • Bebop established itself more as an art form, thus lessening its potential popular and commercial appeal.

  • Key figures in bebop included saxophonist Charlie Parker, pianists Bud Powell and Thelonious Monk, trumpeters Dizzy Gillespie and Clifford Brown, and drummer Max Roach.

  • Bebop musicians employed several harmonic devices which were not previously typical in jazz, engaging in a more abstracted form of chord-based improvisation.

  • Jazz lost its cachet as pop music after World War II, with bebop largely remaining on the fringes of American audiences' purview.The Evolution of Jazz Music

  • Bebop introduced new forms of chromaticism and dissonance into jazz, using passing, substitute, and altered chords, and was characterized by complex melodies and chord progressions.

  • The development of bebop is traced back to Charlie Parker's experimentation with higher intervals of chords as melody lines while retaining the central tonality of the blues as a basis for drawing upon various African matrices.

  • Afro-Cuban jazz, or cu-bop, introduced clave, an African timeline or key pattern, into jazz, and brought African-based rhythms into bebop, with Dizzy Gillespie and Chano Pozo's collaboration producing some of the most enduring Afro-Cuban jazz standards.

  • Modal jazz, developed in the late 1950s, takes the mode or musical scale as the basis of musical structure and improvisation, with Miles Davis' Kind of Blue introducing the concept to the greater jazz world.

  • Hard bop, developed in the mid-1950s, incorporated influences from blues, rhythm and blues, and gospel, and was described as "funky," with Miles Davis' performance of "Walkin'" at the first Newport Jazz Festival introducing the style to the jazz world.

  • Free jazz, and the related form of avant-garde jazz, broke through into an open space of "free tonality" in which meter, beat, and formal symmetry all disappeared, with Ornette Coleman and Cecil Taylor's early work in the 1950s, and John Coltrane's late style being major contributors to the development of the genre.

  • The Dixieland revival in the late 1940s was driven by record company reissues of jazz classics by the Oliver, Morton, and Armstrong bands of the 1930s, with two types of musicians involved in the revival: those who had begun their careers playing in the traditional style and were returning to it, and younger musicians.

  • Gerhard Kubik postulates that the harmonic development in bebop sprang from blues and African-related tonal sensibilities rather than 20th-century Western classical music.

  • Bebop made use of several relatively common chord progressions, such as blues and "rhythm changes," and late bop moved towards extended forms that represented a departure from pop and show tunes.

  • Modal jazz shifted the emphasis from harmony to melody, causing a seismic shift among jazz musicians, away from thinking vertically (the chord), and towards a more horizontal approach (the scale).

  • The late 1950s to early 1960s saw hard boppers form their own bands as a new generation of blues- and bebop-influenced musicians entered the jazz world, from pianists Wynton Kelly and Tommy Flanagan to saxophonists Joe Henderson and Hank Mobley.

  • Free jazz tunes gave players much more latitude, with the loose harmony and tempo deemed controversial when the approach was first developed.

  • Hard bop was prevalent within jazz for about a decade spanning from 1955 to 1965, but has remained highly influential on mainstream or "straight-ahead" jazz.

Think you know everything about jazz music? Test your knowledge with our comprehensive overview of jazz music quiz! From the origins of jazz in New Orleans to the development of bebop, modal jazz, and free jazz, this quiz covers all the different styles and genres that have emerged over time. Learn about the key players who have made significant contributions to jazz, and explore the cultural and historical context that has shaped this unique form of art. With questions that cover everything from rhythm and harmony to improvisation and musical

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