Types Of Jazz Music

Jazz music types and how the history of jazz music evolved. This article gives a brief overview of four styles and muscial elements.

Jazz music originated solely in the United States. It is a distinctly and uniquely different style of music. Jazz music can be considered a musical collision of American and African cultures. It evolved out of three centuries of cultural and racial conflicts, meaning a clash of the more subdued dominant culture and the more powerful subculture. Jazz is composed primarily of four musical elements: melody, harmony, rhythm and tone color. However, harmony does not play such a powerful role in the evolving of the music itself. The melody, rhythm and tone color make up the primary elements of jazz.

The varying styles of jazz include the "Work Song." This is mainly a rhythmic song which could be referred to as making hard work easier and to go by faster. These are usually unaccompanied upbeat rhythm songs that are usually repeated over and over, a sort of chanting, to make the time go by faster on the job.

Another style is the "New Orleans." This style began in the 1890's as brass band performances of gospel songs and marches. With this came along the formation of the big bands, such as the great jazz pianist and bandleader William Basie. Mr. Basie's band, known as the Count Basie Orchestra, was famous for the driving beat considered to be the epitome of the swing feel. This style of jazz still exists today and is normally referred to as the original style of jazz. This style is also considered to be ensemble jazz and is known for its polyphonic texture.



The "Chicago Style" of jazz music evolved after 1917. Chicago then became the home of jazz music because of the prohibition in the south. Unemployed musicians moved to the Chicago area playing new sounds and searching for places to play the new, exciting style of jazz. With this style the musicians play popular songs with a more homophonic sound. This is the era when the piano is introduced into the background accompaniments.

"Bebop" came about through and after World War II. Due to an opposition of white establishment, jazz took a turn. It became a fast, but upbeat use of tempos, using elaborate melody and rhythmic patterns. With Bebop, the beat of jazz became lighter. During the later 1940's, Bebop combined dissonance and abstract chording with traditional jazz. This style showed more emphasis on the solo performer.

Later came the style known as "Fusion." This style of jazz reflects back closer to the jazz tradition. Only now the use of electrical and acoustic instruments gives a more modern sound. Jazz popularity grows at this time to a time high due to the use of electrical instruments and the formation of jazz clubs and festivals, directed toward the youth of America.

Jazz music has and will always reflect the artist of the time through the different styles this form of music has taken. Through the years jazz music has changed to meet the needs of changing times and the people's changing taste of music, and for the people's listening enjoyment. Jazz has introduced new sounds and styles to stay afloat in the ever-changing modern world.

The core of jazz music has not changed that much since it began all those many years ago. The framework is still there and always will be. However, the surface will change, as in the different styles that have evolved over the years. The deep down earthy tones, melody and rhythm have made jazz music what it is today and has enlisted memories in all of what it once was.

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