Jazz, Society, and Technology Essay

Jazz, Society, and Technology Essay

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Jazz, Society, and Technology

History is often written as if there is a defining moment where everything changes. However, it is most often the case that a series of events and stressors are the culprits of such change, as is the case of the decline of jazz’s popularity. Some point to The Beatles landing in JFK airport and others say Elvis’s television appearance. In reality, there were many evolvements both, technological and cultural, that lead to what some may call the “great decline” in music history. The television had a huge impact on our both our culture and technology, and is still one of the largest influences of our society. One can’t talk about jazz without mentioning the civil rights movement. Likewise, jazz itself cannot be mentioned without talking about drugs and their impact on it’s musicians such as Billie Holiday, Charlie Parker, Lester Young, and John Coltrane (Geoffrey C. Ward, 2000). At it’s peak jazz music could be heard in nearly every hall of every major city in America. Big bands were everywhere, musicians were uncountable, and the nation’s appetite for music seemed to be insatiable. But, as musicians became more virtuosic and crafted in their respective instruments, the music changed, from dance tunes to an artistic expression.
Most bands that dominated popular music before 1941, such as Basie, Armstrong, and Miller stayed in business post-war, despite a declining market. New families simply did not have budgets for live entertainment because of the recession. As a result dancing became less popular, and jazz evolved into more of a listener’s market. Because of the new business-model bands had to adopt to this new market, income for jazz musicians declined. It most case, became difficult to compete aga...


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...September 28). Gary Bartz Talks About Drug Use Among Jazz Greats. (irockjazzmusictv, Interviewer) Youtube.
Boyle, P. (2013, February). Week 6: Duke Ellington and Count Basie. Victoria, BC, Canada.
Geoffrey C. Ward, K. B. (2000). Jazz: A History of American Music. (K. Burns, Ed.) Alfred A Knopf.
Gioia, T. (2012). The Jazz Standards: A Guide To The Repertoire. Oxford University Press.
Hasse, J. E. (2000). Jazz: the First Century. Harper Collins.
Jost, E. (1974). Free Jazz (Vol. 4). De Capo Press.
Nicholson, S. (2005). Is Jazz Dead? : Or Har It Moved To A New Address (1st Edition ed.). Routledge.
Nisenson, E. (1997). Blue: The Murder of Jazz. St Martin's Press.
Myers, M. (2012). Why Jazz Happened. University of California Press.
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