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History of Jazz Essay Example

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History of Jazz

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Out, those who regarded themselves as “cultural gatekeepers” of white bourgeois cultural values and standards “descended” on bebop with “fanatical fury.”6 They did not like the originality and independence of bebop that reflected aggression and defiance of rigid social hierarchy through traditional musical norms. Scholars understand this negative perception of bebop from the threatened gatekeepers because changing music means changing culture and that these changes ultimately threaten the status quo of society.Besides rejecting populist big bands, Bebop struggles for autonomy. It wants to chart its direction by creating its music, which has ties to New Orleans jazz, but also develops it into something “modern.”8 Arranger of bebop music, Gil Fuller, describes the meaning of modern music in 1948.9 He says that if modern living is “fast and complicated,” then “modern music should be fast and complicated.”10 His idea of bebop music is different from New Orleans jazz: “Were tired of that old New Orleans beat-beat, I-got-the-blues pap.”11 Dizzy Gillespie is more critical of early jazz and stresses: “That old stuff was like Mother Goose rhymes…It was all right for its time, but it was a childish time.”12 Bebop exhibits artistic autonomy that Scott DeVeaux describes as the decisive shift from early jazz to jazz as “art music.”13 Some of the best-known bebop musicians are trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, alto-saxophonist Charlie Parker, pianist Bud Powell and composer Tadd Dameron. These bebop musicians wanted to control their music, instead of letting the public dictate it, such as what happened to swing and jazz that has been commercialized for jukeboxes. Bebop transforms jazz into an “autonomous art” despite its oppressive socioeconomic and cultural circumstances.14 It does so through rejecting commercial controls by playing small gigs instead of playing for the mainstream.African American innovation played a large role in developing bebop in response to mainstream tastes in the U. through producing bebop that has techniques that came from African American traditions and that express and have roots in African American experiences.16 Bebop did not want to be swing or to retain early jazz. It wanted to experiment and to be modern in its musicality that could be connected to the changing times of the 1940s, when younger black musicians wanted more independence and desired to differentiate their music from other genres.

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Works Cited

DeVeaux, Scott. “Constructing the Jazz Tradition: Jazz Historiography.” Black American Literature Forum 25.3 (1991): 525-560. JSTOR. Web. 10 Dec. 2014.

Macías, Anthony. “‘Detroit Was Heavy’: Modern Jazz, Bebop, and African American Expressive Culture.” The Journal of African American History 95.1 (2010): 44-70. JSTOR. Web. 10 Dec. 2014.

Rosenthal, David H. “Hard Bop and Its Critics.” The Black Perspective in Music 16.1 (1988): 21-29. JSTOR. Web. 10 Dec. 2014.

---. “Jazz in the Ghetto: 1950-70.” Popular Music 7.1 (1988): 51-56. JSTOR. Web. 10 Dec. 2014.

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preview essay on History of Jazz
  • Pages: 4 (1000 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: Music
  • Level: Ph.D.
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