Jazz Essay, Research Paper

2. List and briefly describe 4 important characteristics of the Blues

-blue notes, a 12 note scale that is used in the blues that often combines

notes in direct correlation to each other such as B and B flat.

-improvisation, keeping the original melody but creating a new musical

tone to the piece.

-interpretation, in this sense one is not required to keep either the

harmony or melody in a piece and the sound is left up to those playing it.

-syncopation, the stressing of a weak or off beat to give an ‘accent’ to the


3. Identify major characteristics of two styles of Jazz

- Early New Orleans Jazz

o This style of jazz had relatively few instruments that normally consisted of a piano, a few horns and a banjo type instrument. Each instrument (normally only one of a type of instrument in a band) had it’s own solo. Much of this early form of jazz was a mix interpretation and improvisation.

- Big Band or Swing

o Big band was big bands. There were more instruments than earlier forms of jazz but there are still no saxophones or bass. This music was meant to be danced to and therefore remained fairly steady in rhythm. Being that the music had to keep this steadiness, there was more interpretation than improvisation.

Section Two

2. Name two blues and two jazz musicians

-Bessie Smith, Blues

-Billie Holiday, Blues

-Louis Armstrong, New Orleans Jazz

-Bix Biederbecke, Chicago Style Dixieland Jazz

3. Why is jazz considered the most democratic form of music?

-Jazz is known for everyone getting a chance to have their own solo. Louis Armstrong showed this in his band with each person getting their own separate turn and in Dixieland whole sections got their own ‘solo’s’. Everyone got a chance and everyone participated.

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