The Jazz Age Essay

2249 words - 9 pages

"Jazz is a good barometer of freedom. In its beginnings, the United States spawned certain ideals of freedom and independence through which, eventually, jazz was evolved, and the music is so free that many people say it is the only unhampered, unhindered expression of completer freedom yet produced in this country."Duke EllingtonThere are quite a few significant decades that have been glorified in the American History, their importance is crucial because of the impact that these times have on the society, economics, behavior, culture, literature, innovations, racial interrelation and music. In spite of the fact that music is not always considered the major aspect of the human's life, it is crucial to create an understanding that with its seemingly minor role, music has an ability to reflect the attitude of people in general at the time it was created. This is evident if the period of the 1928 through 1929 is revised. In the period of the Harlem Renaissance jazz was one if not the one of the most important tools of reflecting the time it was played in. It had a quality of transferring the upheaval of the country to all the generations to come. It alone was so important during the 1920s that the decade in which it was so popular acquired the name "The Jazz Age"."The Jazz Age glorified city life. Americans, including many African American sharecroppers from the South, were leaving their farms in record numbers to live and work in places like Chicago and New York City. F. Scott Fitzgerald called it a time when "the parties were bigger, the pace was faster, the buildings were higher, the morals looser." (by the "People and Events: The Jazz Age") Of course the 1920's were the years of experimentation and the time when people had more money to spend on entertainment and a fast pace defined the way of life at that time. And jazz was right there to provide the fast pace, the roaring twenties created an admirable period of people's life, the time of excitement, leisure and good music."According to popular music historian Arnold Shaw the jazz age began in 1917, with the appearance at Reisenweber's in New York of the all-white Original Dixieland Jazz Band and their first recordings of "the new music." The years between then and the Wall Street crash of 1929 often recalled as the roaring, torrid, frenzied." (by Arnold Shaw from "The Jazz Age: Popular Music in the 1920's")Music was one of the most popular provided entertainments during the roaring twenties, but there were other types of music other than jazz, such as: "Ragtime, blues, the Charleston, the black bottom, the slow drag, black slang, and jokes all became fashionable within this subgroup of "white Negroes," and symbolic of their generational revolt against the established social order. This sort of selective expropriation of African American culture by certain sectors of white society was nothing new - it had been going on since slavery; and, more often than not, the outcome was contradictory." (by...

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