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Music - Jazz & Influence - Essay Example


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Music - Jazz & Influence

Jazz music serves as a base for various music styles in America. Improvisation enabled jazz musicians to express their thoughts and feelings. While creating and performing music, artists promote self-expression; this process provides self-gratification whilst giving pleasure for others. The characteristics of jazz are off-beat rhythm, improvisation, and syncopation. These qualities make jazz music a unique form of self-expression (Lopes 264). Musical improvisation may be defined as the spontaneous, creative procedure of making music during its performance. Jazz music primarily relies on the spontaneous expression of the musicians. Self-expression through improvisation is a vital component of jazz music. Jazz improvisation is the procedure of spontaneously generating fresh melodies over the constantly repeating series of chord changes of a tune. Jazz improvisation is usually in variation and theme form (Gioia 15). The theme is frequently a popular song melody; through improvisation, the original melody is varied by altering its rhythms and pitches. Series of chord or harmonic pattern forms the basis of some jazz improvisations. The harmonic pattern is repetitive, and in the process, the improviser creates melodies on top of it. Harmonic, melodic, and motivic are the three methods of jazz improvisation (Lopes 268). Improvised melody arises when musicians employ alternate notes, syncopation, and slurs in order to regenerate the melody in new and fascinating ways. Improvising harmonically uses

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tone centers, and chords to inspire new soloing (Lopes 270). Historically, jazz has interacted with other forms of art; its influence has gone beyond music through various representations, on film, on recordings, on art, literature, photography, advertising, speech, food and drink, clothing, and other forms of music (Gioia 20). Other types of music such as hip hop borrow a lot from jazz music. Individuals use art forms such as music, graffiti, and literature for self-expression. However, jazz is a sophisticated art form, which requires in-depth understanding of the jazz music. Jazz music requires new musicians to interact with experienced jazz musicians so that they can gain ample understanding of this art form. Compared to other art forms, in jazz music, creativity is employed during music performance; some art forms require writing before presenting or performing (Lopes 272). Jazz music has its roots from Chicago, New Orleans, and New York City where the African Americans derived this form of music to express their feelings regarding their ordeals during slavery. African Americans used music and dance to express their social philosophies. Elements of work songs and spiritual are components of jazz foundation (Lopes 273. During 1800s, America was considered as the land of opportunity; numerous Europeans immigrated to different cities of America. The immigrants came with various musical traditions, such as German waltzes, Irish gigs, and French quadrilles. These different musical traditions influenced the jazz musicians, for example, Scott Joplin an African American composer introduced new European compositional styles with the melodic and rhythmic music of the black community; this style of music was known as ragtime. New settlement in New Orleans brought different music traditions from different parts of the world. African American musicians combined the musical traditions of Europeans, with music such as ragtime, blues, and marching


Author Tutor Course Date Jazz and Influence Jazz is an original United States form of music, associated with African Americans who initially enjoyed this form of music. Jazz music reflects the cultural traditions and social history of the American people; reflecting historical events, ethnic influences, and cultural changes…
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