Music Styles for Popular Music

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Music Styles for Popular Music                                Christopher Brawn

        Jazz was first developed in the late 18th century carrying traits of African black folk music.  Late 18th and early 19th century Jazz was played by Marching bands and sometimes through solo pianists.

The earliest style of Jazz was played in New Orleans and credited the name of ‘New Orleans Jazz’. This style used instrumentation such as trumpet providing the melodic side of the song, the harmony would come from the trombone, a clarinet would have been used while either guitar or piano and drums would have played the rhythm. New Orleans Jazz is known as the happiest and most accessible style of Jazz due to its basic harmonies and the ensemble it uses. An important figure that was playing in this era was Louis Armstrong; he was the first influential soloist that emerged in Jazz. Studio recordings such as his Hot Seven ensembles, laid down a future for Jazz as an imaginative and improvised style.

During the war and a little persuasion from the mafia, most Jazz and Blues players moved to Chicago. Chicago Jazz then evolved. This was place of enthusiastic and innovative young players. Due to its technical arrangements; Chicago Jazz furthered the music of its day.

The next big thing was Swing. Swing differs from New Orleans Jazz and Chicago Jazz due to its simple ensembles, constant repeating riffs, while the musician’s solos are more sophisticated. Even though the soloists were a bit more adventurous they still paid close attention to the melody. Musician Count Basie was influential to the swing era due to the way his orchestra was played. The piano led this while also a lively ensemble played but Basie was not an important soloist; his instrument was the band.

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Be-Bop was now introduced and it lasted literally 15 years. The main difference between swing and Be-Bop is the improvisation from the soloist. Most of the time the melody was forgotten after the first chorus while the chords was the basis for the solo. The soloist was allowed to adventure as much as he/she wanted to as long as it stayed in line with the chord structure. Be-Bop is known as art music due to the innovations that may be a foundation for all ideas that followed. Thelonious Monk was one of the original idea thinkers that promoted the Be-Bop ...

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