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Jazz And Political Connections Essay

1249 words - 5 pages

Jazz has been a genre we have been studying over these past couple of weeks. During these weeks I have acquired new knowledge that has interested me in this genre. I never viewed jazz as being a political style of music nor did I know that there were songs that contained political messages. Finding out about these different songs and jazz having some aspect of political style to it intrigued me to write about this genre.
Throughout the many artists and songs we have study on this genre there have been a few ways jazz has incorporated political styles into the genre. Moments in history and events that happened in the past are ways that jazz musicians have incorporated political styles into ...view middle of the document...

In her lyrics it is stated that “Blood on the leaves and blood at the root, Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze.”(Holiday). Here Billie is singing about how African-Americans were beaten so bad that blood is all on the leaves and root. They were hung from trees when lynched so the bodies swung as the wind blew and the blood from the bodies poured down on to the tree and down into the roots. Rasim is a major political issue in history and Strange Fruit was able to tell and
describe one tragic treatment towards the African-American race.
Another way Jazz has incorporated political styles is through the song Fables of Faubus by Charles Mingus. This song was written in response to Arkansas governor’s use of the national guard to prevent integration of Little Rock Central High School. This event is also another political issue of racism. The governor of Arkansas did not want Little Rock high school to be integrated and he wanted no blacks whatsoever going to school with whites. The government had to intervene to let these young adults attend the high school. Charles Mingus discusses this event and his feelings toward the governor’s actions. He states “Faubus, Rockefeller, Eisenhower Why are they so sick and ridiculous?” (Mingus). He believes that they are acting ridiculous and are sick people for the trying to prevent these kids for going to school. Another line which incorporates political style to the song is "Oh, Lord, don't let 'em shoot us! Oh, Lord, don't let 'em stab us! Oh, Lord, no more Ku Klux Klan!” This is how African-Americans were treated. They were beaten, shot at and killed. This song successfully depicted the political issue of racism as well as Strange Fruit.
Fables of Faubus and Strange Fruit are song that contains political styles and it falls under the genre of jazz. These songs causes jazz to incorporate into political discourse. They have done this by discussing political issues that had arisen in history. The songs describes stories that have impacted people’s life in history and that have impacted America as a whole. By having different songs that discusses the issue of racism and other subjects causes the genre Jazz to incorporated into political discourse.
The political connections to the music did not change any musical aspects of the works. Jazz songs talk about the lives of African-American and their experience. Especially in blues. Take for example Muddy Waters, his songs discusses hardship and events that happen to African American. Thus, by having these political connections in Jazz, it does not change any musical aspects of the works. Jazz...

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