Jazz and the History of the Many Styles We Listen to

Jazz is the type of music that many take pleasure in listening to. However, they may not have much knowledge about it. To enjoy this music fully, one should have some understanding where this smooth music came from and how it evolved though the years. The many types of jazz styles make this music a true form of art.

Ragtime Jazz
Rhythms brought from Africa that were incorporated into Jig Band music, evolved eventually into what we know as Ragtime. This early jazz was used for waltzes, marches, as well as other traditional forms of song. Syncopation was the common characteristic and became extremely popular among the public. Scott Joplin in the year of 1899, was the first publisher of Ragtime compositions helping to form the jazz music we know today.

Classic Jazz
Taking form of small band music, jazz styles began to change in early 1990’s. New Orleans can take credit for this form of jazz. Originating by use of brass bands where classic jazz vocalists performed for dances and parties. Musical instruments used for these bands were Confederate War salvages. These included saxophone, clarinet, tuba, trombone, bass, banjo, cornet, drums, guitar, and an occasional use of piano.

Classic jazz vocalists’ performances varied considerably. Their music is the combination of Ragtime syncopations with popular adaptations of hymn, melodies, blues, work songs, and marches. Classic style of jazz saw intense resurgence during the mid-1990’s.

Louis Armstrong and Hot Jazz
Considered as jazz classic, Louis Armstrong recorded for the time under his own name in the year 1925. His music was characterized by a sound that built up to a “hot” or emotional climax. Most used were drums, banjo, bass, and sometimes guitar in the rhythm section. Over time, many other bands emulated the energy which came from this style of jazz allowing it reach across the country.

After Hot Jazz, there was Chicago, Swing, Kansas City, Gypsy, Bebop as well as Cool, Hard Bop just to name few styles. The list continues with several more styles of jazz leading us up to what we listen to today. However, classic jazz will always be one of the favorites styles in jazz history.

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