did you know? / music

The origins of the jazz music

Hi guys, I’m back. Today I’m gonna talk about music, in particular about jazz music. Have you ever listened to it? 🙂

To begin with, jazz is a particular genre of music that was born in the United States during the IX century. It is a mix of African and European musical traditions and is characterized by particular features: for example, in this type of melody wind instruments (saxophone, trumpet, oboe, clarinet) and percussion instruments (drum, double bass, piano) are fundamental; it is a very rhythmic music that includes some techniques like: polyrhythms, syncopation and the swung note (the swing). Moreover, the tone of voice and the ability to modify and use it have a great influence in jazz but also improvisation is important.

Jazz in fact is a sort of language thanks to which a person can express his feelings or ideas in music. Therefore it is the expression of unrestricted creativity; moreover, a jazz performer will interpret the tune in individual ways and may change harmonies and melodies so that the same composition is never played exactly in the same way twice!

And now, here is an example of a jazz song 😉

The video presents Louis Armstrong (also called ‘Satchmo’), an American jazz trumpeter and singer and one of the most important figures of jazz music. However, before getting to Armstrong, jazz had complex origins. Do you know how it was born?

Regarding its birth, jazz appeared in southern America during the years of the American Civil War and Colonialism, when communities of black slaves coming from Africa were put-upon and forced to work in fields of cotton in inhuman conditions. This is when the Africans started to search a way to alleviate pain and found the solution in music; they started to perform songs in choirs, proving that they had an incredible musical and rhythmical intuition. These performances were the so-called ‘work songs’. In a little while, the African-American black workers started to be appreciated by the colonisers and were converted to Christianity, and in this way spirituals and gospels were born: songs dedicated to God.

Later the communities of slaves started to combine their voices with instruments; in fact, they took the instruments discarded by the whites and created an out-and-out music genre characterized by a funny rhythm. It was the birth of jazz and from that moment it started to spread first in New Orléans and then throughout America and later in Europe.

In conclusion, jazz is a pleasant and amusing music genre and if I have intrigued you, I suggest you to search more information about it and listen to a good deal of nice music! 😉

Bye! See you!

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