Types of Jazz
New Orleans jazz began in the early 1910s while Bebop emerged in the 1940s, shifting jazz from danceable popular music toward a more challenging music music style. Unlike before, music was played at faster tempos and improvisation. This became a more intellectual music performance for African Americans. Cool jazz developed near the end of the 1940s, introducing calmer, smoother sounds. The 1950s saw the emergence of free jazz. Modal jazz developed in the late 1950s, using the mode, or musical scale, for the structure of music. Jazz-rock fusion appeared in the late 1960s and early 1970s, combining jazz improvisation with rock music’s rhythms and electric instruments. In the early 1980s, a form of jazz fusion emerged called smooth jazz. It very successful on the radio..
Improvisation is one of the genre’s most important elements. In most of the jazz forms, improvisation is done. It is attributed to the influence of earlier forms of music. In particular, this include blues, a form of folk music which arose in part from the work songs and field hollers of African-American slaves on plantations. These work songs had a repetitive call-and-response pattern, but early blues was also improvisational. Depending on the performer’s mood, experience, and interaction with band members or audience members, the performer may change melodies, harmonies, and time signatures.