MUL 2380: Popular Music in America
The Jazz era
The Jazz era was a movement that affected the social structure and economy of
American life. Developed in the 1920s, jazz was a mix blend of African American roots and white middle class traditions. Together created a huge cultural change. It was a movement in which creative and talented African Americans went on to pursue their dreams and aspirations and convert them into reality.
African Americans began to feel better about themselves. They showed confidence as well as assertiveness and brought about the concept of "The new negro" as portrayed by
Alan Locke. The United States society invested in the "New Negro" and turned their expression into entertaining individuals, and this was the start of social and racial transformation. It was also referred to as the roaring 20s, where every thing was about change and progression.
Erin Chapman "prove it on me" stated that the concept "New Negro" was a term created by American Writer and philosopher Alain Leroy Locke who himself was African american. this term explains how African americans migrated from small towns and farms of the rural south, to the nations growing countries like Chicago, New Orleans and
New york. A "New Negro" approached with set of ideas and morals and different cultural expressions and self determination that also challenge the while supremacy and created opportunities as well. It was very important for the African americans to be accepted now
that america was changing, and segregation was ending. With this they wanted to prove that they to can be entertainers, with innovative ideas for the world to see.
Duke Ellington, was an African American aspiring jazz artist, and he reflected the term "New Negro" into his music. His piece of work named "Black, Brown and Beige" showed the history of the negro in america. It was his longest and most ambitious work of art created.
Louis Armstrong, an innovator of Jazz, a musician as well as singer. Living in New
Orleans the place where Jazz developed. he was born into a very poor family in New
Orleans, Louisiana, the grandson of slaves. He spent his youth in poverty in rough neighborhoods of uptown New Orleans, know as "Back of Town", abandoned by both his mother and father, he grew up at the bottom of the ladder, in a very segregated city, but despite of that music kept him going. During his youth the music he grew up listening to was called "ragtime", and not yet "jazz". Instead of paying attention to his hard times he focused on success and drew inspiration from his struggles.
Duke Ellington was very unique in his style. Ellington was never formally trained to play music, he learned all by himself. He began practicing piano at age 7, he taught himself harmony with the piano, and he learned orchestration through his band. He is best known as a big band leader, as well as a song writer and as the voice of "Jungle music".
During the 1920s, his band played at the Cotton club in Harlem, NY. He portrayed black music as higher art, and you can clearly see this in his piece of work named "Black,
Brown and Beige" in which her first played in Carnegie Hall. He expressed the desire to create something that would be very important in the musical history of the black
expression and the jazz era. Most of his work include Symphony in black 1934 and Jump joy 1941. Black Brown and Beige was divided in three sections. Black told the story of how blacks in Africa and life as a southern slave. The songs he wrote and poems presented the idea and sorrow of slavery, and the faith and hopes for a better future.
Brown describes the success of blacks over the oppression of slavery. The piece ends with Beige, which celebrates Harlem, describing it as a community that symbolizes pride, dignity and knowledge. Brown also deals with the sacrifices made by the black soldiers in the Revolutionary war and links to the black soldiers participating in the second war, marking African americans