Essay On The Harlem Renaissance

Words: 399
Pages: 2

The Harlem Renaissance was a period in American history that promoted black arts, literature, and culture in the early 20th century. Throughout this time, poets such as Maya Angelou flourished, the creation of Negro reformation organizations such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) formed, and also the Great Migration of African people from rural areas to urban areas took place. The Harlem Renaissance focused on establishing, exploiting, and unifying the African American culture that took place primarily in the New York area up North. The Harlem Renaissance also changed the African American paradigm to primitivism which was a way to get back in touch with the natural world as opposed to the “overcivilized” …show more content…
Throughout the Roaring 20s, Ellington used to perform with his 10-member band ensemble in Broadway nightclubs, in which Ellington would be the bandleader. A few of Ellington’s most memorable bandmates would be innovative trumpeter Bubber Miley, who utilized the plunger as a mute in order to produce a “wa-wa” sound, and also Joe Nanton, a famous trombonist who would produce a growl like sound from his bell. Ellington sought to define music through characteristic sounds and melodies that reflected a genuine musical experience with African influence. This is how the famous 2/5/7 chord came about, and also playing in a swing style that would focus on the beats 2 and 4 rather than the downbeat of 1, this revolutionized traditional American music which was influenced greatly by European square-like Waltz styles. Instead of playing the traditional American favorites as they were once known, Ellington and other renaissance musicians would add some African characteristics to it, in order to provide a more abstract feel. This was possibly the solution to satiating musicians with what they truly felt and also the listeners by providing them with a sound that would have them either moving to the upbeat jazz/ragtime or taking it slow to the downbeat jazz/blues. The whole coming together of musicians and performing songs together is what shaped