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Compare the decades 1910-1920 and 1930-1940 in the development of Jazz music.

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Introduction

Compare the decades 1910-1920 and 1930-1940 in the development of Jazz music. There is no doubt that the development of Jazz music began in America's southern city of New Orleans. As the home of many African Americans, as well as native citizens, there was a fusion of the African and European styles these two groups had acquired. Prominent features of European music, for example its primary chord harmony and fairly rigid structures, merged with African traditions such as vocal call and response patterns, polyrhythm and use of blue notes. Early African forms of music in the U.S.A included gospels, spirituals and work songs, which collectively influenced, and helped form the blues. Blues was a very important style in the creation of Jazz, and it also originated in southern America, flourishing among oppressed, restricted African Americans. W.C Handy was one of the first musicians to notate a 12 bar blues structure; his 'St. Louis Blues' is a good example of this, which was later to become a Jazz standard. Hardy's style captured many aspects of blues which would become regular elements, for example the 12 bar structure which uses an AAB lyrical structure, flattened inflections of the major scale in the tune, especially the 3rd, 5th and 7th degrees, and harmonic pattern across the 12 bar which often consists of a common chord progression, featuring chords 1,4 and 5. Another important style to emerge from New Orleans was Ragtime; also later to fill a significant role in the creation of Jazz. ...read more.

Middle

The piece consists of nine 16 bar strains, with a short introduction and coda. There are two solo strains featuring clarinet solos, and other strains which vary the featuring of some other instruments. The piece is a prime example of Morton's development of solo ragtime playing, using a ragtime structure with a C strain modulating to the subdominant, to more complex band arrangements with the use of improvisation, a feature to gain greater popularity in the expansion of Jazz. Stride pianists also maintained a close connection to the ragtime form and performance practice. Inevitably the roles of different instruments within a band changed over time, due to the changing and developing of the players' talents. The cornet usually carried the melody; however it was eclipsed by the trumpet in the 1920s. In the traditional collective improvisational style of New Orleans, the trombone would play countermelodies, bass pitches and harmony, often sliding between notes. Many early New Orleans clarinettists were readers of music rather than improvisers; however they developed a more blues-based style of playing which was to become part of the New Orleans tradition. Most of the musicians played the normal B flat clarinet, although some players preferred the E flat soprano, favoured by some older clarinettists. A bass instrument was regularly used in ragtime groups from the 1890s, with players often doubling on tuba for marching bands, and string bass for 'sit-down' groups. The bass was originally bowed, as this was typical of New Orleans string bands. ...read more.

Conclusion

They adapted to the urbane musical professionalism of Chicago, and the higher level of musical competition led to the creation of distinct ensembles with their own stylistic arrangements, as well as the development of individual improvisational skill. The competition in Chicago required a higher level of virtuosity from the players than ever before, and up-tempo compositions were expected, for people to dance to. The beginning of the 1920s, show a general shift from melodic to harmonic improvisation. At the beginning of the decade 'improvised solos' sometimes adhered to the melody of the composition, occasionally embellishing it. By the end of the 20s, soloists were developing improvisational techniques that reflected the harmonic framework of the composition. Between the years 1920 and 1930, great soloists began to emerge as leaders, or members of different jazz ensembles. Some of the4se players included Louis Armstrong, a trumpeter with an unwavering grasp of swing, and some of the best improvisational skills a jazz musician had ever had, with very high range and fine tone. His improvisations were dramatic and they broke away from the original melody, influencing many jazz ensembles to use more virtuosic individual solos in their arrangements. Other important soloists were clarinettist Sidney Bechet and cornetist Bix Beiderbecke, who specialised in middle range rather than Armstrong's high notes. Leaders were beginning to use bigger ensembles than previously, such as Louis Armstrong's Hot Fives and Hot Sevens, with which he recorded the famous 'West End Blues', and the 'Savoy Blues'. This use of bigger ensembles and more complex arrangements lead and influenced certain trends in the next era of the development of Jazz. ...read more.

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