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Jazz Essay Topics & Paper Examples

History of the Trumpet

Trumpets are one of the oldest instruments. In ancient times, people used animal horns or shells like a trumpet. It was first used for signaling in ancient China (2000 BC), Egypt (1500 BC), and Scandinavia (1000 BC). It was long and had no valves. In Roman times, the trumpet was played at military and civilian ceremonies. The first musical use of the trumpet was in the late 1300’s where it had acquired the folded shape similar to today’s. In the 1500’s, Nuremberg, Germany became the center of trumpet making. During that time, the first music for trumpets was written. In the late 1700’s, the trumpet became a regular member of the orchestra. Short pieces of tubing called ‘crooks’ were invented…

The Birth of Cool – Miles Davis

The “Birth of the Cool” (original recording reissued) album is a compilation of 12 songs that helped hoist Miles Davis to possibly the most influential jazz artist of all-time. In 1947, Davis moved away from the Charlie Parker’s band, consequently becoming intrigued by the work of Gil Evans. Gil Evans had developed a laid-back, low-vibrato “cool” style, using unique instruments such as tuba and French horn. Not long after, Davis began gathering a rotating troupe of musicians to assist him in exploring potentials of this smoother, cool sound. The series of compositions this group produced over the next two years touched off the “cool jazz” movement. It also inspired dozens of musicians that would follow. The “Birth of the Cool”…

Music in Civil Rights

How did musicians influence the civil rights movement? During the Civil Rights movement of the mid-twentieth century, music was used to spread word of equality and respect in America. Jazz, rock & roll, blues, gospel & reggae music were among the prominent genres of music during this time. With music, African-American artists like Little Richard, Aretha Franklin, and Bob Marley wanted to present positive and uplifting messages to the country that was full of hatred for other people. African Americans also wanted to raise self-confidence of those who were affected by these acts of hate and violence. The music stylings of Jazz and its counterpart Blues played important rolls for music during the Civil Rights Movement. Since the majority of…

Ralph Ellison’s “On Bird, Bird-Watching, and Jazz”

Analysis on Ralph Ellison’s “On Bird, Bird-Watching, and Jazz” Ellison’s purpose in this essay is to prove that “Parker was a most inventive melodist-a true songster” which is evident in paragraph one. He uses the fascination of nicknames to symbolize the achievements of “Bird” and the impact the nickname had on others. He adds in a joke near the end of paragraph two, “why, during a period when most jazzmen were labeled “cats”, someone hung the bird on Charlie.” to show that even though most jazzmen were called “cats” at the time, Charles earned the name of “Bird” because he was above other jazzmen, like a bird would hang high above a cat so the cat couldn’t reach the bird….

Jazz Performance Review

In the month of April, Da Camera had a series of Jazz concerts at Discovery Green. On April 12 Pamela York and Trombone Summit with Andre Hayward and Thomas Hulten performed before a crowd of jazz enthusiasts as well as everyday people curious as to what the sounds they were hearing were coming from. Pamela York is a Canadian born Jazz pianist, vocalist and composer (York). She was classically trained at an early age, but when she was exposed to the likes of Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson and Diana Krall she was hooked to jazz. She went on to receive her degree from Berklee College of Music and later got her Master’s degree as well. (York) Andre Hayward is a…

African Americans jazz

Many believe that jazz is a music that African Americans played together with the Creole musicians during the 19th century in New Orleans, Louisiana in United States that bind the race together, black and white Americans. This is also considered as the ancient and most distinguished musical genres in North America and known as “America’s classical music. ” Based from the quote of Gerald Early, a lecturer and a writer of African – American studies, he emphasizes that America will be known from three things: in the Constitution, sports (baseball), and in jazz music, since these are the most captivating things that they developed. Jazz is a type of lyricism that reflects on the Great American promise and expresses hope…

History of Jazz from 1970-1990

American jazz has been studied from many perspectives. The musical form itself, its origins and evolution, and the artistes who perform it have become subjects for a large body of scholarly and critical literature. Jazz is one of the oldest types of music, with origin since the 1400s. This essay focuses on jazz from 1970-1990, and on other aspects within the same period. Section I Since 1970, jazz music took a new direction from the previous one, which was characterized by wide experiments using new electric instruments. Major styles that were introduced include jazz fusion, pop fusion and jazz rock. Jazz fusion, can be defined as an art form that can be called jazz as it does not compromise the…

History of jazz

Jazz is a form of American music which began in the 20th century though it has some of the elements of songs which had evolved in the late 19th century. It originated from the African Americans who were living in the southern parts of United States. Jazz is a combination of African and European traditions of music. Jazz developed mainly due to the cultural experiences which were being experienced by the African American as a result of slavery. Jazz is believed to have originated from the slave songs which the African Americans used to sing while working on the plantations. Music marked an important part of the lives of the African Americans and greatly influenced the American music industry to…

Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday

Bill Crow’s Jazz Anecdotes is a thought-provoking, often amusing collection of stories from within jazz’s inner circles, told by and about some of the genre’s leading figures. While not a history of jazz, it gives readers some insights to how jazz artists worked, lived, bonded, and coped with an America in which many were still outsiders. The book’s forty-three chapters (expanded from the original 1990 edition) describe the life jazz musicians shared, offering insights into a rather exclusive, unconventional circle of performing artists. The numerous anecdotes are categorized by chapters, gathering related tales and moving from a general overview of jazz life to anecdotes about individuals, like Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, and Benny Goodman. Essentially, Crow creates a context in…

If the North Were the South, Same Thing

Ricardo Arjona is one of the most renowned Latin American singers. He is characterized for his socially conscious and heartfelt folk ballads and rock tunes. In addition, he also plays a variety of styles that combine traditional South American folk music with rock, hip-hop, and classical music, Arjona sings about subjects ranging from faded love to social inequities. In 1996, Arjona wrote the song “Si el Norte Fuera el Sur” (If the North were the South), in which he expresses a subjective, yet truthful point of view of what the North American culture is; and how it could change if we exchange places with the South. In this song, Arjona uses many literactully techniques such as irony and analogies; Arjona…

Bebop Jazz and its Influence

Developed in the 1940’s, bebop jazz expanded upon the restrictive and structured arrangements of big band music, changed the way music was enjoyed, and provided a foundation for future innovators of jazz music. Bebop was a revolutionary sound that captivated the audience due largely to the new found creative freedom of musical expression allowed by extensive improvisation. According to John Andrews (1998), “Bop marked the point at which both the musicians and their audience became widely conscious that jazz was an art form.” Andrews also goes on to mention that bebop’s main focus was for people to seriously listen, instead of dancing. After bebop other styles of jazz developed, such as progressive jazz, cool jazz, and hard bop. These three…

Music during WW2 and how it played a role

Music during World War 2 was made to help get people through depression and motivate the men and women fighting in Europe and Asia. Everyone was into patriotism at this time including the music they listened to. At this time music has expanded its demographic to younger audiences, before it popular music was mainly appealing for adults. It contained many uplifting styles of music such as swing, be-bop, and country. For example Frank Sinatra became very popular to the young teenage demographic. He was the first singing teen idol. He created more swinging music to help with the war with songs like “The Birth of the Blues”. Jo Stafford also became famous with her romantic World War 2 ballads. Most…

Jazz: Urban and Rural Reactions In the 1920s

Subject Area: Music and American CultureTopic: Jazz: Urban and Rural Reactions in the 1920sIn parallel with the uproar of jazz during the 1920s came the commotion of different critics from various geographical settings. Many of the white people living in rural areas disliked and rejected jazz as a musical genre. However, the urban city-dwellers were more fond of it; therefore, it was more generally accepted and frequently found in city nightclubs and radio stations. Several characteristics of cities also allowed jazz to survive in urban areas over the rural ones, such as: diversity, tolerance, a more progressive attitude, technology (media, radio), more entertainment locations, and a more educated populace. Cities were known for the more relaxed and less-religious atmosphere; in…

The Great Gatsby Cover Analysis

The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, portrays the Jazz Age and the people living during the time. The reader watches the unfortunate story of the mysterious Jay Gatsby and his love for Daisy Buchanan through the eyes of Nick Carraway. His semi-involved character witnesses the events unfold right in front of his eyes as he lives next door to Gatsby. Critics often regard this tale of love, betrayal, and immoral living an essential classic for all high-school students. The cover provides an excellent source of symbolism and insight into meaning of the novel. The sad, hypnotic eyes of a woman shine through the night sky like two headlights. Inside the eyes, the irises appear as lounging nude women….

The Influence of Coalhouse Walker

In literature, one character can impact the entire story and all of its characters. Such is the case with Coalhouse Walker Jr. in E.L. Doctrow’s Ragtime. His characterization provides insight into race relations in turn-of-the-century America. Many characters react strongly to his mannerisms, as they believe his social standing does not allow for such behavior. Because Coalhouse conducts himself with a sense of pride unusual of African Americans at this point in history, his view of how he should be treated repeatedly come into direct contradiction with others’. He, then, represents all African Americans who oppose the expectations many whites have of them. Coalhouse Walker is the most essential character in Ragtime, because he deeply affects the plot and all…

The Roaring 20s

Some call the 1920s the roaring 20s. I personally think so because the war had just ended and many soldiers are coming back. People started businesses and were doing quite well therefore the people have money to spend. The 1920s was also a time for new inventions and technology, such as the invention of the assembly line, which made production much cheaper and quicker. Another reason why the 20s was in the upswing is because people had money and many invested in the stock market bringing the economy in full drive. Hence the 1920s was a time of prosperity everything working in a cycle benefiting everyone. As the soldiers were returning from the war, people had a sense of settling…

RCC Jazz in Concert

On October 20, I attended a concert by the RCC Jazz in featuring Lanny Morgan at the Digital Library Auditorium. The name of group members which are used were Doug Webb (Tenor Sax), Tom Ranier (piano), Chuck Berhofer (bass), and Steve Schaeffer (drum “The Magic Flea” is an upbeat tempo song with mostly eighth notes, it features the Lanny Morgan as the guest artist on the alto sax. It has many key changes in the solo that he tore through liked pro, Smack Dab in the Middle. This song was a mid tempo song, closer to the paid back style of playing features accidentals to make a jazzy sound out the piece, “Better Days Ahead”. This song featured the guitar….

History of Jazz Concert Report

Since I have been in university, most talk of live music has revolved around “what club has a special on tonight?” or “which DJ is going to be in town this weekend?” I have nothing against electronic music but sitting in a packed bar near the Halifax Harbor listening to jazz and conversing in a booth with my friends, instead of shouting to clear the volume of dance music, has been one of the most enjoyable nights of my time at Dalhousie. I had always wanted to see some live jazz or blues here, but without the extra push of this assignment I couldn’t seem to get out to listen to any. I went to see the Charles Mingus Tribute…

Review and Critical thinking

Review Questions Syncopation is placing emphasis or accents on beats that are unexpected, or, alternatively. Is music that combined the music of marches with the rhythms of African music. The instruments used for ragtime are used in jazz. Cornetist who helped to create jazz music . His music had a loud piercing sound that be heard in the distance. Bebop had faster rhythms and more complex harmonies. A form of jazz that emphasized improvisation. In hot jazz multiple musicians did improvisation, In classic it was one. Critical Thinking Questions Both use improvisation at some point. A difference is that classical music try not to improvise but jazz music use it all the time. A characteristic of jazz is that it…

Good Habit

Good Habit were a professional touring band mostly from Penarth in South Wales, active 1970–1975. They had one single “Find My Way Back Home” that was released by RCA and reviewed by John Peel in Sounds. Some songs including “Ship of Gold” were recorded for Peel’s sessions. For a while the band wore green monastic habits on stage. Live favorites included Danger Zone and King of the Mountain, final numbers would be Keep on Moving and Chicken Shack Stomp/ Hey Bo Diddley. Good Habit toured with many well-known artists over the years, including Thin Lizzy, Gong, The Velvet Underground, Funkadelic, UFO, Focus, Rory Gallagher, The Who, Genesis, and others. Good Habit also played iconic music festivals, the 1972 Reading festival,…

Jazz Concert Reflection

Jazz is a musical style that began in African American communities in the southern United States around the beginning of the twentieth century. It was a new style of music that brought together music traditions from West Africa and Europe. Some of its West African musical influences give jazz its unique sound. Jazz has many different elements, which are improvisations, swinging, using blue notes, and combining different rhythms. I attended The Bill and Helen Murray Jazz Residency Program featured Ellery Eskelin on the Saxophone with Susan Acorn on the pedal steel guitar and Michael Formanek on the acoustic bass and The Towson University Jazz Faculty Ensemble Featuring Dave Balloy on the trumpet, flugelhorn, and piccolo trumpet, Jim Mc falls on…

Writing Prompt: the Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby – Writing Prompt 1 The 1920’s were a time of dramatic changes that affected the economy, society, politics and popular culture. The nation’s total wealth doubled between the years of 1920 and 1929. As modern cities began to develop new buildings and advanced technology, many Americans began to move into the city and started to abandon the rural farm life. This brought a wave of new technologies that could make the modern consumers life easier. The soaring business profits and higher wages gave more Americans the ability to purchase a wide range of consumer products. This gave their modern day society a new outlook on life and brought prosperity to those who were looking for change in…