Jazz music’s connection with the Harlem renaissance
For almost a half of the nineteenth century, from 1915 to about 1950, jazz used to be the dominant type of dance music in America. Dance groups and music existed before the emergence of jazz roots, but after its introduction, there were still several dance bands that never played jazz or applied any of its elements. Due to this reason, the variety was just dance music, and musicians were most likely not captivated by this form of music for quite some time during its existence. Since its initial days, the roots of jazz appeared to have been the type of music that , partially, musical groups played for themselves as a way of freeing themselves from the inflexibility of marching bands or standard dance or any other kind of popular or commercial music that they found unchallenging and boring to play. Nevertheless, jazz appeared to dominate the United States popular culture and acted as the most important musical predecessor for the roots of jazz (Blanchard 45).
A variety of diverse styles has emerged to make jazz, such as blues and ragtime that help to emphasize the class and racial concerns inherent in the formation of jazz roots. In particular, blues and ragtime developed with similar economic, social, and cultural situations that changed American life. A contradictory and volatile period, particularly from 1890 to 1920, represented a vital period of transformation in the United States culture. Several developments, such as improved urbanization, abandoning Victorianism, fast industrialization, as well as the construction of huge corporate practical orders defied the way Americans viewed life. Together with such large transformations in the American community was a time of incredible technological development. With the arrival of the grand piano, phonograph, and broadcasting, the music during the twentieth century would be recorded, conserved, and broadcasted on a bigger range than ever before. In this case, jazz is known to be the bastard youngster of various colliding cultures of racial groups often at conflict with each other, while the associated history of blues and ragtime assisted in the establishment of this cultural tension (Philipp 23).
In spite of its humble beginning among the lowest classes, African Americans and immigrants, jazz root was never actually a folk song variety; however, it standardized and professionalized itself quite faster and became a highly sophisticated stage and show song within a couple of years following its first advent on sound recording. It was the business success of its extensive formularized sound that led displeased musicians to further experimental, less dance-oriented types of jazz. Both whites and blacks in America performed jazz roots and the listeners were diverse, however, in big measure currently, the listeners for this type of music are mainly white. Traditionally, jazz was mainly the work of black Americans because they figured greatly among the main musical expression innovators. This formed some kind of tension. This comprises some white musicians who think that whites have never been given enough credit to compensate for their contributions to this art that has had the participation of whites since its first days. The other tension was between black singers and the white people, who mainly represented the writer opponents, writers, venue, and recording company holders who described, studied, supported, publicized, recorded as well as distributed this song. This last tension was particularly experienced between 1950 and 1960 when the racial conflict in America was more manifested due to the public rights movement, the cruelty it produced, and the extremely politicized fight over the redefinition of race as well as the ending of white domination in the country and in the region of the colonized nations. However, jazz root was more than just music, at the climax of its influence, this type was normally a cultural association, especially meant to influence the young people in clothing, language, and attitude (Oppenheim 76).
The Harlem Renaissance is also a form of music that characterizes an era in the United States history when the exclusivity of black American culture was renowned. It began in 1920 and stayed until1930s. It was referred to as the renaissance as it represented the rekindling of hope for black Americans. Jazz was the central constituent of Harlem that celebrated the singer talents of black Americans. In addition, Jazz arrived before Harlem as the United States in the 1920s became more developed, and abandoned traditional types of songs and notions regarding morality as well as what was considered respectable. Both Harlem and jazz were forms of music that merged African rhythms to generate a unique tune. They spread from America to other countries and made their way to nightclubs of the Renaissance. These clubs featured renowned jazz singers like Ellington. This made celebrities of many black American performers despite that only white clients were permitted into the clubs. Nevertheless, there was no feature of the Harlem Renaissance that changed the United States and the whole world more than how jazz did. Jazz roots flouted numerous musical gatherings with its syncopation of rhythm as well as improvised instrumental music. Renaissance helped to lay the establishment for the Second World War, and most black singers who emerged afterward were motivated by this mythical movement (Patterson 32).
Blanchard, Becky. The Social Significance of Rap & Hip-Hop Culture.(2012). Web. 25th February, 2015.
Oppenheim, Mike. The Harlem Renaissance and American Music. 2013. Web. 25th February, 2015.
Patterson, Courtney. Jazz and the cultural transformation of America in the 1920S. 2003. Web. 25th February, 2015.
Philipp, Zola. The Social Effects of Jazz. 2012. Web. 25th February, 2015.