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Jazz And Blues Influence Essay

1013 words - 5 pages

In the early twentieth century, the emergence of two very unique genres of their time and also two of the most influential forms of music began to develop, jazz and blues. The blues were created by African-Americans in the southern region of the United States, who drew their influence from work songs, folk songs, and another popular music genre at the time called Ragtime. Blues songs gave artists a method of expressing their emotions and feelings. As one person stated, “The emotion expressed is generally one of sadness or melancholy, often due to problems in love.” The musical elements that made blues very popular also sparked the development of a very distinct and unique style of music ...view middle of the document...

Armstrong’s charismatic style and popularity among whites and blacks made jazz music and Armstrong a global phenomenon.
The integral role blues and jazz music played for the African-Americans in the early twentieth century cannot be understated. For African-Americans, blues and jazz music were a means of expressing their emotional feelings and a way of uplifting the oppressed spirit as they were withheld from the social liberties of the common man. This excerpt from Holmes’ Jazz best explains what jazz meant to African-Americans. “Jazz is more than music. It is a way to communicate the emotions that trouble one’s soul, the ideas that stir a nation, the love that enlightens a child, and the aspirations of all people to make a better life” (Holmes xxi). This form of musical expression also acted as a method of breaking the racial barrier between white and black people in America. As jazz music began to grow amongst all races, the acceptance and popularity of African-American musicians expanded across the United States.
In today’s society, I would agree that listeners are much more accessible to blues/jazz music compared to classical music. Based on my experience, the likelihood you will find a blues/jazz concert in any city is far greater than locating a venue playing classical music. Growing up around the city of New Orleans, jazz/blues bars are located at just about every popular locale around the city. Any night of the week there is usually a popular New Orleans brass band performing around the city, from concerts in the park to your local bar in the French quarter. I also believe that jazz/blues music appeals more to the common person than classical music does. Jazz/blues music is more vibrant and it is all about having a great time.
Jazz/blues music has been a major factor throughout my life living in New Orleans. Every aspect of this musical genre draws my attention toward it. Growing up just ten minutes from the city of New Orleans, I was exposed to...

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