The Emergence Of Jazz And Ragtime Essay

The Emergence Of Jazz And Ragtime Essay

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The Emergence of Jazz was the result of varying musical styles that were established due to an especially high intensity of musical activity in New Orleans during the 1800s, originally for the entertainment of social dancers. Two primary genres of music that played an essential role in contributing to what is known as Jazz, include “blues” and “ragtime”, these genres of music both carried imperative value in the creation of Jazz, however, each has its own set of normality’s that distinguish one from the other. Moreover, both there is an extensive amount of contributors that helped each genre to expand on a much greater scale. Despite blues and ragtime having different musical elements, together each had a lasting impact in the development of jazz.
The popular music style of blues did not have a slow emergence, but rather developed fairly quickly, with its formation being dated all the way back from approximately 1895 to 1900. The blues were developed primarily from the sharecroppers, slaves, and ex-slaves who’s long suffering and cries from such harsh circumstances turned into the work songs, that were sung constantly throughout their days. As explained by James Haskins in “Black Music In America a History Throughout its People”, “Like the sorrow songs of the earlier plantation slaves, the blues represented the cries of people who had nothing, who seemed to get nothing, no matter how hard they tried, and whose lives seemed hopeless” (44), displaying that during such hard times the blues was all that these individuals had. However, these work songs of the slaves immediately evolved into the popular music amongst the street vendors, even being turned into jingles that were played during television and radio commercials. Nonetheles...


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...songs tended to be at a slower pace, specifically the 12-bar blues in the AABA form with 3 chord patters, while ragtime consisted of its ragged syncopated rhythm. Moreover, the early stages of blues did not rely on any instruments, but solely the vocals of an individual along with the occasional hand-clapping’s, with ragtime’s common instrument being the piano. Despite having several dissimilarities both genres of music succeed in helping jazz to grow.
The musical elements of both blues and ragtime in many ways are different, however, both genres played an imperative role in allowing jazz to flourish. This in many ways is due to the fact that many composers began to take different characteristics from each genre and assimilate them into what is known as jazz. Therefore, jazz was the result of the mergence between two musically historical genres, blues and ragtime.

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