Snazzing-Up Society and the Jazz Movement

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Thomas Georgiou Writ 1301 – 043 4/27/11 Snazzing-up Society and the Jazz Movement Music has been an indispensable part of human history. With each generation comes a different taste of music, yet the necessity of it remains. The spirit of the 1920s was as dynamic and rebellious as the music which accompanied it; jazz, America's unique contribution to music emerged during the “Roaring Twenties” and had an immense impact on the development of many aspects of society. The roots of jazz can be traced all the way back to Africa, where music was a vital part in many African religions. Call-and-response patterns, as well as improvisation of lyrics and melody were encouraged in these societies. As slaves were brought to the United States, they brought their music with them in an attempt to preserve their heritage. Slaves would often sing while they worked. The songs told of the slave's hopes, dreams, and torture they experienced in their everyday lives, and served as rhythmic accompaniment to their difficult labor. Following the emancipation of slaves, rhyme songs, ballads, and blues became abundant in the African American community. Blues was a reflection of the trials and tribulations of African American life and tended to have a melancholy tone. These genres were a form of solo folk song in which the performer translates emotion into music by using wordless sounds, and they became the foundation for the development of jazz. Although blues and jazz are considered musical cousins, jazz was a joyous revolt from convention, authority, and sorrow. Jazz was characterized by a sense of energy and a melody that did not always follow the beat. Improvisation played a key role in jazz music. Different from conventional music of the time which required the musician to play a piece exactly as written, jazz musicians rarely had sheet music and if they did, often altered

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