Jazz Is a Complex and Challenging Essay

Pages: 3 (893 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Music

Jazz is a complex and challenging for of music. The genre is also one of the most diverse, making it important to distinguish between different types of jazz. Compared with rock, jazz involves a vast array of song structures and sonic elements. Rock relies heavily on steady beats, usually in 4/4 tempo. Jazz, on the other hand, uses unconventional time signatures as well as more straightforward ones. Both jazz and rock share similar roots in African-American folk music, and both genres have influenced one another.

Jazz began in conjunction with the blues, as a purely African-American art form that became embraced increasingly by mainstream audiences and listeners. As the commercial music industry developed in the United States, certain types of jazz and jazz performers became famous starting with ragtime, bebop, and big band. From Duke Ellington to Count Bassie, from Ella Fitzgerald to Louis Armstrong, early jazz made a major impact on the development of Western music in general. Jazz borrowed many elements from blues music, and at times the two genres are nearly indistinguishable except for instrumentation. Jazz incorporated brass and woodwind instruments during the big band era, and instruments like trumpet and saxophone continue to characterize jazz music more than a century after it developed.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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Like other forms of Western music in the 20th century, jazz became more experimental by the 1960s. Improvisation has always been a keynote of jazz music, but the big band styles proved more predictable and easier to dance to. As musicians began experimenting more with improvisation, unconventional time signatures, and irregular rhythms, jazz became less of a dance hall genre and shifted into the province of the intellectual and thought-provoking arts. Seminal artists like Miles Davis have spearheaded various movements within jazz, from the traditional to the radical. Just as rock became radicalized by the end of the 1960s, so too did jazz. Jazz and rock started to infuse each other and progressive rock and jazz bands borrowed elements from each others' repertoires.

Also like rock music, jazz has been sold to the highest bidder in the music industry, leading to a plethora of limp artists and genres like smooth jazz. In fact, many listeners associate jazz with the insipid tones of Kenny G. And other smooth jazz artists. The sound of smooth jazz is indistinguishable from elevator music. Rock has also fallen pray to the evils of commercialization and the bad taste of an undiscerning listening public. However, jazz and rock have both survived. Jazz festivals held around the world continue to introduce new and innovative artists while celebrating the classic stars. World music, the sounds and beats from non-Western nations, have also infiltrated jazz in a wonderful… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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