Jazz Scene in Australia

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What is Jazz

Jazz is the art of expression set to music! Jazz is said to be the fundamental rhythms of human life and man’s contemporary reassessment of his traditional values. Volumes have been written on the origins of jazz based on black American life-styles. The early influences of tribal drums and the development of gospel, blues and field hollers seems to point out that jazz has to do with human survival and the expression of life.

The origin of the word "jazz" is most often traced back to a vulgar term used for sexual acts. Some of the early sounds of jazz where associated with whore houses and "ladies of ill repute." However, the meaning of jazz soon became a musical art form, whether under composition guidelines or improvisation, jazz reflected spontaneous melodic phrasing.


Jazz developed in the latter part of the 19th cent. from black work songs, field shouts, sorrow songs, hymns, and spirituals whose harmonic, rhythmic, and melodic elements were predominantly African. Because of its spontaneous, emotional, and improvisational character, and because it is basically of black origin and association, jazz has to some extent not been accorded the degree of recognition it deserves. European audiences have often been more receptive to jazz, and thus many American jazz musicians have become expatriates.


Those who play jazz have often expressed the feelings that jazz should remain undefined, jazz should be felt. "If you gotta ask, you’ll never know" ---Louis Armstrong.

At the outset, jazz was slow to win acceptance by the general public, not only because of its cultural origin, but also because it tended to suggest loose morals and low social status. However, jazz gained a wide audience when white orchestras adapted or imitated it, and became legitimate entertainment in the late 1930s when Benny Goodman led racially mixed groups in concerts at Carnegie Hall. Show tunes became common vehicles for performance, and, while the results were exquisite, rhythmic and harmonic developments were impeded until the mid-1940s.


information sourced from: www.smallsjazz.com

All About Jazz: History of Jazz Time Line

Brief Chronology of African-American Music and Jazz

Before 1850

Folk music based on African forms.

White dance and band music.

Circa 1850

Plantation songs sung by slaves.

Minstrelsy was white music meant to copy plantation songs.

During the Civil War

Slave Songs of the United States published by William Francis Allen, Charles Pickford Ware and Lucy McKim Garrison.

Slave Songs of the Georgia Sea Islands published by Lydia Parrish.

After the Civil War

Prison songs.

Late 1800's

Blues develops and is complete by 1910.


Ragtime develops and is the most popular music in America between 1900 and 1911.

Early 1900's

Marching band music, Ragtime and the Blues begin to be fused into early Jazz roots.

1910 - 1920

Jazz is born in New Orleans via a combination of black and creole music.


New Orleans Jazz is the thing. The Jazz Age is born.


Swing is king and this is the only time that Jazz and popular are the same thing.


Bebop is born. It is later called simply Bop.


Hard Bop or Funk and Cool Jazz take over.


Modal and Free Jazz find followers.


Jazz fuses with one of its derivatives (Rock) to form Jazz-Rock or Fusion.


Contemporary Jazz age begins.


Hip-Hop and other forms emerge. Hard Bop revival.


information sourced from: www.allaboutjazz.com/timeline.htm


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