According to music historians, slaves oftentimes celebrated and participated in their annual festivals such as harvest time by constructing musical instruments by utilizing available material to craft drums and various other percussion instruments. These were in turn utilised as a means of helping the performers to keep tempo with the music that was performed.Yet, traditional African music alone cannot be understood to have been the sole determinant of jazz music. Instead, in the early nineteenth century, black musicians learnt to play European musical instruments. Accordingly, they used these ‘new’ instruments in making parodies of European music into their own cakewalk dances. This cultural mimicry resulted in a counter mimicry that saw European- American minstrels blacken their faces and perform for audiences utilizing heavy doses of syncopation alongside European harmonies; allowing the audience to have a brief taste for what developments were taking place in the confluence between African and American/European musical styles.One of the most important socio-cultural elements of the development of jazz music has to do with the fact that African-Americans were largely shunned from society during the time in which this particular genre came to be developed. This unfortunate but unique occurrence culminated in a situation in which jazz music was virtually unconstrained and could develop in whatever way that artists of the times wanted it to. By means of contrast and comparison, other genres of music, throughout the course of history, were oftentimes constrained by prevailing theories of. Jazz Music in America from 1900 to 1920.
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