Essay on Jazz1

This essay has a total of 648 words and 4 pages.


As the United States entered the 1920’s it was not as unified as one might think.
Not one, but two societies existed. The Black society, whose ancestors had been oppressed
throughout the ages, and the White society, the oppressors of these men and women. After
emancipation the Whites no longer needed the Blacks, but were forced to live with them.
The Blacks despised the Whites, but even so they became more like them in every way. Even
though these two races had grown so similar over the past century and a half, they were
still greatly diversified. One aspect of this great diversity was the difference in music
trends. The White society was still in love with the European classical music. The
Blacks on the other hand had created something all their own. Jazz, Blues, and Ragtime
originated in New Orleans in the 19th century, but by the 1920’s it had become
famous throughout America. The Whites tried to suppress the Blacks with new laws, but the
power of this strengthened race was too great. The Negro music of the 20th century had a
huge affect on Black and White relations, and helped to bring the two societies together.

When the slaves first came to the colonies they brought nothing with them, that is, except
their music. They sang their songs while at work in the fields. This original music is
called the old blues. The blues became the symbol of the new American race, and the home
of this music was New Orleans. New Orleans had been a melting pot of culture ever since
emancipation had freed the slaves, but more was being mixed than just culture. Music from
the Blacks was blending with the Whites music, and creating an entirely different form of
music, which had never been seen before. This early form of Jazz began to be heard in the
North and was developed further with the help of technical devices. Blues music had
become more than just a symbol of the slaves, now it was becoming a symbol of America.
The reason for this was because jazz and blues could be played by anyone from the whitest
white to the blackest black. By this time White Americans could be heard playing the
“true” jazz and blues. The true jazz was music played by the black man,
because it was his music. Even white jazz players were beginning to be famous. Artists
such as Paul White man and O.D.J.B. were whites who began to play jazz. Music played by
these people was really the first jazz that northerners were exposed to, and because of
this black northerners began to think of jazz as a white dilution of blues. Jazz music
used the same instruments as ragtime did except for the piano. The piano was not brought
into the picture until later. In 1921 the first Black jazz band broke onto the national
scene. This band contained many of the greats such as Joe Oliver and Louis Armstrong.
They offered a smoother type of jazz compared to the sloppy jazz of the early White

Continues for 2 more pages >>