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Compare And Contrast Between Popular Music And Jazz

1288 words - 6 pages

    Music expresses what words cannot express; music reflects the improvement of the society; music calms our hearts and inspires people. Everyone enjoys music because he or she can have good moods while listening to music. Composers express their feelings in songs. Some put in their ideas about nature, politics and life, others write songs to reflect the progression of society. Popular music in the Gilded Age and jazz music in the Roaring Twenties are examples of music which correspond to the society’s movement. The rise of popular music was the result of the anti-German movement. American composers rose to replace the German culture. Also, popular music was popular because of its affordability. Every class of people could enjoy this kind of music by simply going to music halls. On the other hand, Roaring Twenties was a period of time which marks color line upheavals. Although music in Gilded Age and Roaring Twenties are quite different about their styles, genres and lyrics; popular music and jazz music were both adaptions to the society’s movement during these two periods.
    In the 1870s, the society was experiencing a huge reform and movements, such as the Temperance Movement and anti-German movement. The latter one accelerated the rise of American composers, and the American artists started to replace the historical German orientation with French culture (Ogasapian). The Gilded Age had prepared the way for this transition after Civil War, many people moved to the West. People who were oppressed and frustrated by their lives made up their minds to seek for gold, to escape suffering, and to find better lives in the West. Composers started to write songs containing people’s daily lives such as new inventions and adventure stories. When musicians perform these songs, people would be familiar with the rhythms and were able to sing together because their lives were depicted in the songs. Both the lyrics and melody of popular music were not difficult, so people could easily follow along with singers. It can be illustrated with the example of “Home on the Range”, popular music prevalent during the Gilded Age. This song mainly described cowboys and settlers’ new lives in the West. The society’s movement was reflected in this song.
    During the Roaring Twenties, music was considered a sort of necessity among people. Under the society atmosphere, people were seeking for music that would be both eloquent and quiet as background musics. Highly-developed cities need this type of music so that people could focus on enjoying themselves such as alcohol and parties, with no intervene of the background music. In addition, Roaring Twenties included both color lines’ cultural upheaval (Barlow). White people revolted against the old-fashioned English Victorian-style culture. Jazz music became popular in respond to this need. With jazz music, people could pay more attention to talking while the atmosphere was not too dull. A famous song “What a Wonderful...

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