Jazz music has been with us for decades. It’s been used in films, plays, musicals, art exhibits, and countless more. Thus, this makes the genre of Jazz very popular in the mainstream musical consciousness. But did you know that Jazz as a style of music goes back to the turn of the century? It was through classical composers like George Gershwin, Charles Ives, Igor Stravinsky, and countless others, where Jazz got its introduction during the turn of the century.
Where Did It All Begin?
Jazz has an African origin. It was through the African-Americans where Jazz got its first exposure. The musicians in the 1920s performed in bars and taverns with the aid of the saxophone, piano, double bass, guitar, and percussion. Then the genre got more sophisticated as the decades progressed. The style of Jazz started splitting into several sub-genres. That’s when you got the vocal Jazz, the trio, quartet, and even other cultural cross-pollination like the Brazilian Jazz, Blues jazz, and many more. Blues is its closest cousin because they have the same cultural origin.
Jazz is distinctive as it makes use of improvisation, syncopation, and sometimes abstract melodies. Improvisation is the style of creating a different melody around the same chord pattern. It is also a play of virtuosity, creativity, and dexterity. Syncopation deals with rhythmic patterns, where players sustain the same rhythm for seconds before moving to another rhythmic pattern. Thus, this is typical of Brazilian jazz music. People noted in the Jazz genre are Dizzie Gilespie, Cole Porter, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, and many more
How The Genre Of Jazz Evolved?
Jazz evolved due to commercial radio and records. When people started hearing Jazz on the radio, they could not get enough. The demand for concerts and new recordings drove the market to sign up for new acts. Because of its popularity, people started creating their styles and also drawing influences all over the world. That’s how other sub-genres like Latin jazz, bebop, New Orleans jazz, pop-jazz, and acid Jazz came to be. Somewhere around the 50s, the Beat Generation started adopting Jazz as the music of the youth culture. So, it was hip to like jazz music. In the 60s to 70s, Jazz started fusing with new music. That’s why there’s fusion Jazz and acid Jazz. In the 80s, Jazz fused with contemporary instrumental music, pop music, and so-called ‘elevator music’ resulting in lounge jazz, pop-jazz, and Smooth Jazz.
What Genre Of Jazz Is Played Today?
People are more familiar with pop and lounge jazz than any of its other sub-genres. Thus, this is because this type of music is often heard in coffee shops and other gentrified places of food and drinks. There are still those who love the fusion of Jazz and Classical music, such as in the works of Wynton Marsalis. Young people are also experimenting with new forms of music, such as the fusion between Jazz, rap, hip-hop, and reggae. If you look at YouTube and search for modern jazz music, you will be surprised to know that many young people are getting into the genre.
Music, in general, has a significant effect on the mind and body. Jazz, for instance, can soothe the mind, and it can also inspire one to move. Understanding and appreciating Jazz doesn’t need a degree in music. All you need to do is to keep an open mind and continue to listen to music that you would not otherwise have in your playlist. Music streaming has opened doors of appreciation for Jazz music. Young and older people can now explore the recordings they used to listen to, or haven’t heard before. The popularity of vinyl has also paved the way for the massive appreciation for classic Jazz.