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Influence of Jazz on American Culture

Powerful Essays
Influence of Jazz on American Culture

Now a days, many believe that jazz is not that important of music genre, but with our history, jazz plays a big role. “Jazz does not belong to one race or culture, but it is a gift that America has given to the world.”, quoted by Ahmad Alaadeen. Jazz in the 1920’s opened the eyes of whites and invited them into African American culture; it evolved Americans to where we are today since it brought a change to the music scene, an acceptance of African Americans, and a change of lifestyles.

Jazz began affecting American culture from the beginning of its conception. Ironically, it is nearly impossible to find the pinpoint of where jazz got started. Many early types of music, such as: Blues, Afro-Latin Caribbean rhythms, work songs, Protestant church hymns, Jewish songs, silly contemporary tunes, English and Irish dance music, gospel and spiritual, and ragtime, all went into the creation of jazz. A lot of credit goes to the African Americans for the creation of jazz. (Taborelli, Giorgio). “Jazz was born out of the cultural experience of African Americans and can be traced in a direct line to the slave songs of the plantations through the Negro Spirituals, Ragtime, and the Blues”("Jazz Musicians as Cultural Intermediaries”).The 18th Amendment, or the ban of alcohol also fueled new opportunities for jazz to begin. (Tirro, Frank)

Not only is it nearly impossible to pinpoint jazz’s conception in time, many locations are accredited with its origin, the United States allowed for jazz to start gaining popularity and leading into the change it had to the music scene. When jazz is brought up, many first think of its birth place being New Orleans, Louisiana. New Orleans has always been a big musi...

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...re are still people who enjoy listening to jazz and musicians that strive to learn the genre.

In conclusion, the evidence is overwhelming that jazz has left a large impact on American culture. The birth of jazz started with African Americans and has lasted throughout the years because of African Americans. Events such as the Great Migration and Harlem Renaissance allowed for artists such as Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington to spread the popularity of jazz. Jazz was able to change how Americans viewed African Americans and their culture and essentially invited Americans into their culture and shape America to where it is today. This change was happened because jazz brought a change to the music scene, acceptance of African Americans, and a change of lifestyles to the everyday people. Although some will never be convinced, but jazz is here to stay.
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