The JAZZ AGE was a period in the 1920s, ending with the Great
Depression , in which jazz music and dance styles became popular,
mainly in the
* 1 How the
HOW THE JAZZ AGE BEGAN
The birth of jazz music is credited to
African Americans , but
expanded and over time became modified to become socially acceptable
to middle-class white Americans. Those critical of jazz saw it as
music from people with no training or skill. White performers were
used as a vehicle for the popularization of jazz music in America.
Even though the jazz movement was taken over by the middle-class white
population, it facilitated the mesh of African American traditions and
ideals with white middle-class society. Cities like New York and
From 1920 to 1933
Kid Ory 's Original Creole
That same year, Louis Armstrong joined the Fletcher Henderson dance band as featured soloist, leaving in 1925. The original New Orleans style was polyphonic, with theme variation and simultaneous collective improvisation. Armstrong was a master of his hometown style, but by the time he joined Henderson's band, he was already a trailblazer in a new phase of jazz, with its emphasis on arrangements and soloists. Armstrong's solos went well beyond the theme-improvisation concept, and extemporized on chords, rather than melodies. According to Schuller, by comparison, the solos by Armstrong's bandmates (including a young Coleman Hawkins ), sounded "stiff, stodgy," with "jerky rhythms and a grey undistinguished tone quality." The following example shows a short excerpt of the straight melody of "Mandy, Make Up Your Mind" by George W. Meyer and Arthur Johnston (top), compared with Armstrong's solo improvisations (below) (recorded 1924). (The example approximates Armstrong's solo, as it does not convey his use of swing.) Top: excerpt from the straight melody of "Mandy, Make Up Your Mind" by George W. Meyer ">, Louis Armstrong , Duke Ellington , and Count Basie . Several musicians grew up in musical families, where a family member would often teach how to read and play music. Some musicians, like Pops Foster , learned on homemade instruments. Urban radio stations played African-American jazz more frequently than suburban stations, due to the concentration of African Americans in urban areas such as New York and Chicago. Younger demographics popularized the black-originated dances such as the Charleston as part of the immense cultural shift the popularity of jazz music generated. The migration of African Americans from the American south introduced the culture born out of a repressive, unfair society to the American north where navigating through a society with little ability to change played a vital role in the birth of jazz.
The spread of jazz was encouraged by the introduction of large-scale radio broadcasts in 1932. The radio was described as the "sound factory." Radio made it possible for Americans to experience different styles of music without physically visiting a jazz club. The radio provided Americans with a trendy new avenue for exploring the world through broadcasts and concerts from the comfort of their living room. These were broadcast from cities such as New York, Chicago, Kansas City, and Los Angeles. There were two categories of live music on the radio: concert music and big band dance music. The concert music was known as "potter palm" and was concert music by amateurs, usually volunteers. This type of radio was a way of making broadcasting cheaper. This type of radio's popularity started to decrease as commercial radio increased.
The next type of music is known as big band dance music. This type is
played by professionals and was featured from nightclubs, dance halls,
and ballrooms. Musicologist
Charles Hamm described three types of
jazz music at the time: black music for black audiences, black music
for white audiences, and white music for white audiences. Jazz
Louis Armstrong originally received very little airtime
because most stations preferred to play the music of white American
jazz singers. Other jazz vocalists include
Bessie Smith and Florence
Mills . In urban areas, such as
1920s youth used the influence of jazz to rebel against the traditional culture of previous generations. This youth rebellion of the 1920s went hand-in-hand with fads like bold fashion statements (flappers ), women smoking cigarettes, free talk about sex, and new radio concerts. Dances like the Charleston , developed by African Americans, suddenly became popular among the youth. Traditionalists were aghast at what they considered the breakdown of morality. Some urban middle-class African Americans perceived jazz as "devil's music", and believed the improvised rhythms and sounds were promoting promiscuity.
ROLE OF WOMEN
Women played an important role throughout jazz\'s history . With women's suffrage —the right for women to vote—at its peak with the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment on August 18, 1920, and the entrance of the free-spirited flapper , women began to take on a larger role in society and culture. With women now taking part in the work force after the end of the First World War there were many more possibilities for women in terms of social life and entertainment. Ideas such as equality and free sexuality were very popular during the time and women seemed to capitalize during this period. The 1920s saw the emergence of many famous women musicians including Bessie Smith . Bessie Smith also gained attention because she was not only a great singer but also an African-American woman. She has grown through the ages to be one of the most well respected singers of all time. Singers such as Billie Holiday and Janis Joplin were inspired by Bessie Smith.
Lovie Austin (1887–1972) was a Chicago-based bandleader, session musician (piano), composer, singer, and arranger during the 1920s classic blues era. She and Lil Hardin Armstrong are often ranked as two of the best female jazz blues piano players of the period.
Piano player Lil Hardin Armstrong was originally a member of King Oliver's band with Louis, and went on to play piano in her husband's band the Hot Five and then his next group called the Hot Seven It was not until the 1930s and 1940s that many women jazz singers, such as Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday were recognized as successful artists in the music world. These women were persistent in striving to make their names known in the music industry and lead the way for many more women artists to come.
ORIGINS OF JAZZ
As jazz flourished, American elites who preferred classical music sought to expand the listenership of their favored genre, hoping that jazz would not become mainstream. Controversially, jazz became an influence on composers as diverse as George Gershwin and Herbert Howells .
* 1920s portal
* ^ McCANN, PAUL. 2008. "Performing Primitivism: Disarming the
Social Threat of
* Allen, Frederick Lewis (1931). _Only Yesterday: An Informal
History of the Nineteen-Twenties_. online edition
* Best, Gary Dean. _The Dollar Decade: Mammon and the Machine in
1920s America_. Praeger Publishers, 2003.
* Berger, Morroe. "Jazz: Resistance to the Diffusion of a
Culture-Pattern". _The Journal of Negro History_ 32 (October 1947):
* Chevan, David. "Musical Literacy and