This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Historical Genesis Of Jazz Essay

1746 words - 7 pages

When tracing the sources of any artform it is easy to get lost. Sure, one can connect the dots from one milestone to another before finally arriving at a defining moment in said artform's history, yet sometimes the dots don't line up that easily. In the case of jazz there are too many factors from too many cultures to make the case for a straight timeline to its beginnings; in fact its history plays more like two or three parallel timelines which finally come to a head to create a new artform. Yet confusing as this may seem it is only fitting that a form of music known mostly for its sense of improvisation should enjoy such a varied, piecemeal background. Jazz, as we know it, is really a fusion of three separate cultures and their musical contributions: African, African American, and European, each of which play an important part in the creation of one of the most enduring forms of popular American music.
It seems terrible to think of anything positive coming from such an ugly tragedy, and indeed no excuses can be made for something so atrocious, but in the 1800's when hundreds of thousands of Africans were enslaved and brought to work in America, they were bringing with them the seedlings of a musical tradition whose legacy would still be felt today. Though the Africans may be far removed from the African Americans who pioneered jazz, they are still responsible for many of the building blocks that were later to be found in jazz music. Their propensity for music as a group, rather than a singular experience, as well as their usage of a “call-and-answer” device and what Collier calls a “coarseness of timber” (Collier, p. 13), namely an impure tone similar to the instrumental blue notes later popularized in blues music, would all rear their head in jazz music, although instrumentally
Fitzgerald 2
as opposed to its African counterpart which was mostly vocal, Africans relying heavily on the rhythmic use of drums for instrumental accompaniement.
Upon their arrival in America, and forced placement in plantations, it was clear that the cultural traditions of the Africans were at risk. Forced by separation and, in some places, the loss of the use of drums for fear that “the slaves could communicate and concert a revolt” (Oakley, p. 15) Africans now had to develop new musical outlets. Stripped of their drums they were forced to revert to an oral outpouring, which was perfectly suited to the workfields where their hands were constantly busy. The work songs and “field-hollers” utilized both the group dynamic and the call-and-answer music of their traditional African upbringing. The other alternative, and one which gained widespread popularity (where available) was to learn European instruments, such as crudely fashioned banjos, violins or guitars. With these European instruments came an understanding of the previously ignored European concept of harmony and thus the advent of the heavily harmonized negro spiritual, devotional songs sung...

Find Another Essay On The Historical Genesis of Jazz

Nimrod and Babylon: The Birth of Idolatry - Genesis 10:8-12; Genesis 3:15; Genesis 11

1055 words - 4 pages sun and of fire; other 'sky gods' would also be included. Therefore, Genesis 11:4, in speaking of "a tower and his top with the heavens (literal translation)," is not referring to the height of the tower, but instead to the inscriptions of the stars on the walls of the shrine. The constellations were there, but with outlines of the 'sky gods' on them in order to cause people to associate the 'pictures in the sky' that they had known about from

Summary of the Creation in Genesis

1036 words - 5 pages Genesis is the first creation story. God creates, establishes, and puts everything into motion. After putting all of this in motion he then rests. He creates everything on earth in just seven days. Before creation Gods breath was hovering over a formless void. God made earth and all of the living creatures on earth out of nothing. There was not any pre-existent matter out of which the world was produced. Reading Genesis 1 discusses where living

Comparing the Epic of Gilgamesh and Genesis

1427 words - 6 pages The Epic of Gilgamesh has many similarities to the Bible, especially in Genesis and it’s not just that the both begin with the letter “g”’! One major similarity being the flood story that is told in both works. The two stories are very similar but also very different. Another being the use of serpents in both works and how they represent the same thing. A third similarity being the power of God or gods and the influence they have on the people

Genesis Shows the Deceitfulness of God

1492 words - 6 pages The book of Genesis is the story of creation according to Hebrew text, God creates the world as a paradise, a lush green world that is good, a world that is right, God himself is presented as being caring and fair. However later on there are many stories within Genesis which question God's morality towards his creations. The supposedly just God is at many times shown to be petty, deceiving, and unequal in his treatments towards his creations

Genesis and The Book of Mathew

1082 words - 4 pages 1.What does the story of Genesis tell us about the biblical view of the universe and humankind's place in it?The Book of Genesis tells of the beginning of the world and how God created it. It implies that God did not create the earth without form and empty. It became formless and empty. He created the heavens and the earth and this was perfect, because nothing imperfect can come from God. The universe was created by God's command. The story of

Comparing Genesis and the Epic of Gilgamesh

1466 words - 6 pages the beginnings of their religious scripture, Genesis and Exodus, the first two parts of the Bible. Though set in different times, by different authors, for different beliefs and cultures, there are many evident parallels between The Epic of Gilgamesh and the Bible. The Bible borrowed many stories from The Epic of Gilgamesh to explain the events of the time before its writing. The well known tale of Adam and Eve has similarities with the epic

Louis Armstrong: The King of JAzz

888 words - 4 pages Louis Armstrong: The King of JAzz Known as the King of Jazz, Louis “Stachmo” Armstrong was one of the most important figures in early jazz. He was said to have defined jazz music. Only Charlie Parker comes close to having as much influence on jazz as Louis Armstrong. Armstrong was born on July 4, 1900 in New Orleans. He grew up singing on the streets of New Orleans at a young age and had a troubled childhood. At the age of

Miles Davis and the Evolution of Jazz

1852 words - 7 pages      Who was Miles Davis and why was he such an important element in the music of Jazz? Miles Davis, as we would know him, was born Miles Dewey Davis in Alton, Illinois on the 25th of May 1926 to a middle-class black family.. A couple of years later, Miles went on to St. Louis where he grew up. Since he was a youngster, Miles' hobby was to collect records and play them over without getting tired of them. Since his family knew Miles was so

The Beginning of Jazz and The Effects Early Jazz Had in the 1920s

1203 words - 5 pages Jazz could be what describes America to a “T” in the 1920s. It was very popular throughout the entire decade of the 1920s. This era was called “The Jazz Age”, which was a term coined by F. Scott Fitzgerald (Campbell 52). It not only affected music, but it also contributed to an entire cultural renaissance in Harlem, brought other cultural groups together in a time of segregation, and the lifestyle of many Americans throughout the 1920s. Jazz

The Meaning of the Days of Creation in Genesis One

4961 words - 20 pages The Meaning of the Days of Creation in Genesis One A matter that weighs heavily between the science world and the biblical world is the meaning of the ?days? of creation in Genesis 1. Are God?s creative days to be taken as long periods of time, eons, or short periods of time, i.e. 24 hours? We will examine the biblical evidence for possibly applying a long-term definition to the word, ?day? in English, yom in Hebrew, and see that in the

The Cosmogonies of Genesis and the Laws of Manu

2733 words - 11 pages Simarjot Singh Philosophy of Religion Mid-term Examination Part A: The cosmogonies of Genesis and the Laws of Manu The symbolic world views of how the world was created can be described through the cosmogonies of Genesis and the Laws of Manu. It is through these theories that one can learn how the universe came into existence. Many individuals consider a certain religion to be their ultimate realm of reality, and it is within religion that

Similar Essays

The Value Of Genesis Essay

1220 words - 5 pages 1970s. The English musician Neil Andrew Megson’s stage name is Genesis P-Orridge, yet another reference. In addition to the bands, many albums have been titled Genesis. American jazz drummer Elvin Jones released an album titled Genesis in 1971. The second studio album of the hard rock band Talisman was called Genesis. Taiwanese Mandopop girl group S.H.E. released their third studio album, titled Genesis, in 2002. Beyond whole albums, many songs

The History Of Jazz Essay

927 words - 4 pages When you think of Jazz immediately think of New Orleans which is the birth place of Jazz. Jazz was a cultural mix of whites of English and French descent, African Americans, immigrants from the Caribbean and Europe, plus many citizens of mixed race. New Orleans was also known for Mardi Gras, which was an occasion to listen to Jazz as well. New Orleans was a place where tourists and locals always had a good time. Segregation of schools in 1892

Genesis, The Education Of Abraham Essay

2498 words - 10 pages repeated involvement. Repetition is also the concept that the Hebrew Creator-God uses throughout the story of Genesis to educate Abram about God's purpose and His nature. God is aware of the doubtful and cynical nature of Abram. Over time, God uses Abram's own repeated mistakes to build a conceptual understanding of Himself for Abram. This model provides Abram with a relevance for God in Abram's own life. Though the classic view depicts the

Histoy Of The Jazz Age Essay

681 words - 3 pages The decade of the 1920's, called the Jazz Age, was one of the most exciting and creative times in U.S. history. The history of the Jazz Age reflects the African American music that came out of the American South. There were many important musicians who became famous in the Jazz Age, such as Duke Ellington. The Jazz Age made a big impact on other parts of American culture besides music, such as literature and painting. It also led to such