Jazz: Contribution of Louis Armstrong

Jazz originated from African American communities of New Orleans, Louisiana. Because of its development from roots of blues, it is known as America’s classical music. The music genre is characterized by the combination of African and European music. From an African music standpoint, jazz has a rhythm and feel blues quality to it and from a European music standpoint jazz has a harmony and instruments feel. The major elements of jazz include blues, creativity, swing and syncopation. The blues scale is important because it appeals to people and their emotional satisfaction. Syncopation is the element that keeps listeners on their feet and is often unexpected in the rhythmic accents or stresses. From that, we then transition to swing which creates a feeling of forward momentum for the composer and the listener.

Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana and became known as one of the most influential composers and vocalist in jazz. His career was at an all time peak between the 1920’s and 1960’s so he became a prominent figure in the making of jazz music. He shifted the tone of collective improvisation to solo performance during the 1920’s. Because he was a trumpet soloist and vocalist, his deep and rich voice transformed this African- American art form. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame because of his artistry as a performer.

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