All About Jazz

By Nelly Ruach

Jazz is by far one of the most prominent and well respected forms of music to have ever been created. This form of music is heavily popular throughout the south with its origins tracing to New Orleans. With its transition from the blues and rag time, African Americans began the transition to jazz in the late 19th and early 20th century.


Whether we hear this music as we sit in a Panera Bread studying or waiting on a line while we are on hold, we are almost always listing to some form of this genera. With that being said, there are so many subsets to this form of music so lets go ahead and break it down even more. 

Traditional Jazz

This form of Jazz blew up in New Orleans. It was fresh from the ragtime period and was seen as hot and quick music. 

The type of instruments used in this were violins, clarinets, drums, and trombones.

Swing Era

This Era came about from 1914-1926 and came back around 1930. The fast paced music allowed for crowds to be able to groove and jirate to the music in a swinging fashion, hence the name. 


While this was similar to the swing fashion, this era was considered to be a form of the earliest pop songs as it used melodies and harmonies to center the instruments.

Cool Jazz & Hard Bop

Cool Jazz ran from the 1940s to around 1964. Its name resembles how the music sounded and felt in this time. Everything was toned down and mellow as opposed to its former hard bop.

This style played from the 50s to 60s. It resembled soulful pitches that resembled gospel music and was seen as quite harsh at times. It was heavily drum based. 

Modal & Free Jazz

More so seen through the use of a piano, modal and free jazz created a more original flow for musicians. These styles of jazz allows for an improvised way of playing music rather than sticking with a specific rhythm and flow.

Jazz Fusion

This is the style of jazz was popular from 1968-1984 and was different from the rest. This style put had a mixture rock, soul and funk but still remained withing the jazz category, however, due to the mixture of these other genres, it didn’t stay popular long. 

Works Cited

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