Jazz Blues Jazz And Blues Essay

Length: 4 pages Sources: 1 Subject: Music Type: Essay Paper: #55544731 Related Topics: Musical Genres, Ragtime, Genre, Classical Music
Excerpt from Essay :

Both musical genres also marked a thriving underground arts scene among not only African-Americans but also European-Americans. Whites became increasingly interested in and involved with both jazz and blues, and by the 1920s, jazz had especially made waves in Europe. As Kirchner points out, Eastern European folk music and some European classical music in fact shared much in common with American jazz. The acceptance of jazz in Europe came earlier than acceptance of the blues. Therefore, jazz retained a more cosmopolitan aura than the blues in the early 20th century. Even though African-American jazz musicians were treated as second-class citizens in the cities where they were born, they were on the cutting edge of the international music scene.

With great band leaders like Duke Ellington jazz gradually became mainstream American music, changing its form for different audiences. Jazz shared instrumentation, structure, and tonality with some European music (Kirchner). Therefore, jazz was perhaps more palatable to the Caucasian ear than the blues were early in that genre's evolution. European-Americans like Frank Sinatra entered the Big Band scene with a bang, and whites as well as blacks performed jazz. The blues, for the most part, remained mostly an African-American cultural tradition.

However, it would be the blues that rose to the forefront of musical innovation during the middle and later part of the century. The invention of electric instruments, especially the electric guitar, greatly changed the blues. "Chicago bluesmen such as John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters...

...

When the blues became electric, rock and roll was born. Both American and European musicians jammed to blues scales, creating a stunning fusion of sounds and rhythms. The British invasion bands borrowed (and sometimes stole) heavily from the blues. Led Zeppelin, for example, were successfully sued for their having covered Willie Dixon's music without permission. In any case, the blues paved the way for rock and roll.

Texas blues musicians such as Stevie Ray Vaughan took the genre a step further, hearkening back to traditional blues song structures. Bars in the 21st century continue to feature blues and blues-rock bands; the genre has not died out even though others are more popular. Even when rock and roll changes forms, listeners can trace its sounds to both the blues and jazz. For instance, many of the same scales are used in blues, jazz, and rock and roll.

Jazz and blues are more accessible genres of music than European classical music for several reasons. For one, jazz and blues tend to have regular beats that classical music lacks. Jazz and blues are therefore more conducive to casual dancing. Because jazz and blues formed the foundation of the bulk of all 20th century popular music in the United States, most listeners will find the scales and compositions familiar. Western classical music, on the other hand, employs instruments and song structures that may seem strange to young listeners. Finally, jazz and blues are traditionally the music of the people. Jazz and blues have been played in bars and smokey lounges. Classical music has traditionally been reserved for the elite. This class-based distinction reflects the way jazz and the blues evolved out of the American south.

Works Cited

Kirchner, Bill. The Oxford Companion to Jazz. Oxford University Press, 2005.

Kopp, E. A brief history of the blues. All About Jazz. 2005. Retrieved Feb 16, 2010 from http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=18724

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Kirchner, Bill. The Oxford Companion to Jazz. Oxford University Press, 2005.

Kopp, E. A brief history of the blues. All About Jazz. 2005. Retrieved Feb 16, 2010 from http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=18724


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