Louis Armstrong: "Pops" of Jazz Essay

Louis Armstrong: "Pops" of Jazz Essay

Length: 1196 words (3.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Louis Armstrong, asked to define jazz, said “if you’ve got to ask, you’ll never know” (Cooke and Horn 2). As he put it, jazz has been an ever evolving genre. Armstrong’s style itself became out of step with a public demand by the early 40s (Larkin 246). Yet, even as Armstrong fell out of style, he greatly influenced later jazz artists. Armstrong’s creation of scat singing – vocal with random syllables – has been imitated by other musicians. Armstrong’s sophisticated pitch choice and extended range of his trumpet was revered and imitated. Armstrong was so greatly imitated that he became the most imitated jazz artist until the 1940s (Sadie 31). Armstrong was not the only significant jazz artist at his time, but with his vibrant and creative playing style as well as his natural ability to entertain thousands, he played a great role in turning jazz into the genre of individual expression.
Armstrong was born in Storyville, the red-light district of New Orleans (Greig 9), in August 4, 1901 (Sadie 30). Around the time of his birth, his father, William Armstrong, left the family shortly after Louis was born. He was raised by his mother, Mary Albert Armstrong, and his maternal grandmother. While attending grade school, Armstrong got his first taste in music from a junk dealer whom he worked for. The dealer helped Armstrong buy a cornet, and Armstrong immediately fell in love with the instrument. At the age of 11, Armstrong dropped out of school in the fifth grade to join a street-cornet quartet as a cornettist (Baker 115). Unfortunately, his career took a little detour as he was convicted of firing a gun in a public place on New Year’s Eve 1912 (Baker 115). On the other hand, Armstrong received his first formal music training in the refo...


... middle of paper ...


...s across different genre.



Works Cited

Baker, Theodore, Nicolas Slonimsky, and Laura Kuhn. Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. Centennial ed. Vol. 1. New York: Schirmer, 2001. 114-16. Print.
Berliner, Paul. Thinking in Jazz: The Infinite Art of Improvisation. Chicago: University of Chicago, 1994. Print.
Cooke, Mervyn, and David Horn. The Cambridge Companion to Jazz. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2002. 2+. Print.
Dance, Stanley. The World of Swing. New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1974. 6+. Print.
Greig, Charlotte. Icons of Black Music: A History in Photographs 1900-2000. Brown Partworks: London, 1999. 9. Print.
Grove, George, and Stanley Sadie. The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. 2nd ed. Vol. 2. London: Macmillan, 1980. 30-32. Print.
Larkin, Colin. The Encyclopedia of Popular Music. 4th ed. Vol. 1. Oxford: Oxford Univ., 2006. 245-47. Print.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Louis Armstrong : The King Of Jazz Essay

- Louis Armstrong was known as the King of jazz, a trumpeter and singer who was one of the most influential figures in jazz music. Famous for his innovative methods of playing the trumpet and cornet, he was also a highly talented singer blessed with a powerful voice. Known for his skills on being able improvise, he would bend and twist the many lyrics and melody of a song with dramatic effect. As his popularity grew in the mid-20th century America when racism was more prevalent, he was one of the first African-American entertainers to be highly popular among both the white and the colored segments of the society....   [tags: Louis Armstrong, Jazz, Kid Ory, New Orleans]

Strong Essays
788 words (2.3 pages)

Jazz The Sound Of The Heart Essays

- Jazz the Sound of the Heart In a blog written by Virginia Hughes she states that “Music moves people of all cultures, Vocal Jazz and collaborations with other sub-genres such as bebop jazz, cool jazz and hard bob didn’t only affected the culture throughout the eras, but created an outlet for many artists to express their repressed feelings during difficult time periods, and allowed a strong rooted foundation for Jazz in whole to continue to develop. “Vocal Jazz” has been able to touch the deepest human emotions through the voice of the songs and powerful melodies behind them.in a way that doesn’t seem to happen with other animals....   [tags: Louis Armstrong, Jazz, Billie Holiday]

Strong Essays
1174 words (3.4 pages)

Louis Armstrong and His Music Essay examples

- Louis Armstrong and His Music “The essence of jazz- making something new out of something old, making something personal out of something shared- has no finer exemplar than Armstrong.” (Hasse par. 3) During the 1920’s a young African American man, otherwise known as Louis Armstrong, helped create and represent a new twist on popular music. This music that became so famous and well loved today is also referred to as jazz. Louis Armstrong had a very successful jazz career performing and composing popular jazz hits in the 1920’s....   [tags: jazz, new orleans, scat music]

Strong Essays
1382 words (3.9 pages)

Louis Armstrong Essay example

- New Orleans, Louisiana, a city most known for its tasty seafood, its French cuisine, and its largest celebration of Mardi Gras in the nation, also has a long history of being innovative when it comes to the subject of music. This can be proven when looking at the creation of multiple musical genres including jazz. Most notably, Dixieland Jazz or New Orleans style jazz took root in the city throughout the early 20th century. Throughout this period, many artists began to implement this new style of music that derived ultimately from the roots of jazz....   [tags: New Orleans, Jazz Music, Biography]

Strong Essays
1420 words (4.1 pages)

Youth Behaviors and The Jazz Age Essays

- In the 1920s the youth made a break from the traditional way of life. This caused much misunderstanding from the old who didn’t like nor wanted to understand the new behaviors of the youth of the day. The decade didn’t just give birth to an age of jazz and rebellious behavior but an age of expression of one’s self, a time of fun and testing one’s human limits. Even though the 1920s were about more than just jazz, Jazz played a big part in the decade. Louis Armstrong was more than just a trumpet player; he was the father of scat singing which is using syllables instead of words....   [tags: rebellious behavior, women, underage drinking]

Strong Essays
1038 words (3 pages)

Louis Armstrong : The Foundation Of Jazz Music And Helped It Become What It Is Today

- Louis Armstrong once said, “When you play jazz, you don’t lie. You play from the heart. If ya ain’t got it in ya, ya can’t blow it out.” Armstrong truly had “it” in him; there is no doubt that his heart was completely full of jazz. Because of this passion deep in his soul, he made a lasting impact on the world of jazz that still continues to affect our lives. The life, role, and contributions of Louis Armstrong helped lay the foundation of jazz music and helped it become what it is today. To begin, Louis Armstrong was born in 1901 in the worst part of New Orleans, the “Battlefield” in black Storyville (Harker, 2005, p....   [tags: Louis Armstrong, Jazz, New Orleans]

Strong Essays
806 words (2.3 pages)

Essay about Louis Armstrong: The King of JAzz

- Louis Armstrong: The King of JAzz Known as the King of Jazz, Louis “Stachmo” Armstrong was one of the most important figures in early jazz. He was said to have defined jazz music. Only Charlie Parker comes close to having as much influence on jazz as Louis Armstrong. Armstrong was born on July 4, 1900 in New Orleans. He grew up singing on the streets of New Orleans at a young age and had a troubled childhood. At the age of twelve he was placed in the Waif’s Home For Boys for firing a gun into the air....   [tags: Louis Stachmo Armstrong Jazz Music Essays]

Strong Essays
922 words (2.6 pages)

The Music Of Louis Armstrong Essay

- Louis Armstrong, without a doubt, influenced the genre of music we all know as jazz. “Armstrong, to a greater extent than any other early jazz musician, transformed a regional folk music into an international art form through the virtuosity of his playing as the first great jazz soloist” (Oxford). From his not-so-easy childhood to his massive success, I will inform you about this musician’s life, career, and the legacy he leaves behind. Louis Armstrong was born on August 4, 1901, in New Orleans, Louisiana....   [tags: Louis Armstrong, Jazz]

Strong Essays
1082 words (3.1 pages)

Louis Armstrong, An American Genius Essay examples

- Throughout history, different types of music have been a distinguishing characteristic of varying cultures. One genre of music that harbors such culture and historical significance is jazz. Jazz originated between the late 1800s and the early 1900s, right here in the United States. Jazz was known for incorporating African American forms of music with that of European music. It was seen as a cultural movement, and interestingly enough, the emergence of jazz coincided with the Harlem Renaissance. New Orleans, Louisiana is most known for the origination of jazz music, and is also the birthplace of one of the most influential jazz artists of all time, Louis Armstrong....   [tags: Louis Armstrong, Jazz, New Orleans]

Strong Essays
1041 words (3 pages)

Louis Armstrong And Bix Beiderbecke Essay

- Louis Armstrong and Bix Beiderbecke were two of the most popular jazz artists of their times. These two men had the similarity of loving jazz music, however there were also many differences between the two. These two men had different lives growing up, Louis Armstrong grew up in a wealthy family, there was not struggle for him growing up while on the other hand Bix Beiderbecke grew up in a poor family and he had many struggles growing up in the streets of New Orleans. Then there were their musical styles, these men were known for their distinct musical styles....   [tags: Jazz, Louis Armstrong, Cornet, Bix Beiderbecke]

Strong Essays
1503 words (4.3 pages)