Soundtrack of the 1920’s: Jazz


Jazz was first seen in New Orleans in the early 20th century as a developed form of slave songs and spirituals. Some say that Jazz is a mix between African Music which provides the  rhythm and European instruments such as the piano and horns. New Orleans, being a port city gave this genre what it needed to grow and develop such as different people from different ethnic groups and backgrounds.


Scat – sounds and  syllables to take the place of words

Blues scale – a major scale with flattened 3rd, 5th and 7th degrees

Melody- tune of the song

Improvisation-a form where the artist plays or performs based off emotion  


important Performers

Loiuse Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis (left to right)


As always when it pertains to African American music, they were not the main ones to profitize off of their music. Many jazz artist were not recognized for their accomplishments and most took knowledge of them with them to their grave.

Social Implications

Jazz became the soundtrack for dance in America during the 1920’s up until The Great Depression. Some believe that Jazz made the racial tension in america worse than it already was. Jazz performers were not permitted to enter through the main entrance although they were the ones performing in front of the white crowds.

Influence on Future Genres

Genres like R&B, hip hop, and rock all received some influence from jazz music. Many artist not only use improvisation and rhythms like jazz but even have samples from jazz music.

My Opinion

Jazz music was crucial in the development of music as we know it today. By jazz being created it gave African Americans something to cut up to and just be free  which was something they needed after the hardships they face and we continue to face as a culture and people.

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