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The Roots of Jazz. European influence on Jazz Church hymns Folk songs and dances Military marches and airs Classical compositions. The Roots of Jazz. Instruments. African instruments Banya = Banjo European instruments Slaves brought no property Varied scales and tuning. Styles.

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The Roots of Jazz

  • European influence on Jazz

    • Church hymns

    • Folk songs and dances

    • Military marches and airs

    • Classical compositions

Instruments l.jpg

  • African instruments

    • Banya = Banjo

  • European instruments

    • Slaves brought no property

    • Varied scales and tuning

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  • Military bands and marching bands

  • Christian hymns

    • Transformed into Spirituals

      • Spiritual: a religious folk song; an expression of hope for release from oppression and sorrow

  • Secular songs, the forerunners of the 12-bar blues, began to appear

    • Orally passed

    • The blues are fundamental to jazz

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    Minstrel Show Music

    • The interchange of cultural elements between whites and blacks

    • 1840s - white stage companies

    • After the Civil War, African-Americans created minstrel companies

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    Cakewalk and Ragtime

    • Sundays

    • Parody dancing

    • “Walkaround”

      • The prize was often a cake

    • Strutting, high-kicking dance to syncopated music became the “cakewalk”, a craze in the 1890s

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    Cakewalk and Ragtime

    • Cakewalk to Ragtime?

    • Ragtime to Cakewalk?

    • Jazz originated from a mix or African and European music and probably could not have developed anywhere but in the United States

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    The Influence of Jazz on Classical Composers

    • Louis Moreau Gottschalk American - 1812-1860

      • Night in the Tropics (c.1858)

        • second movement (allegro molto) is a rumba, a Cuban dance unknown in the United States until the 20th century

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    • Claude DebussyFrench - 1862-1918

      • “Golliwog’s Cakewalk” from Children’s Corner (1908)

      • the cakewalk illustrates the “stride” left hand

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    • Igor StravinskyRussian (1882-1971)

      • Piano Rag Music (1919)

        • dedicated to Artur Rubinstein

      • Ebony Concerto (1945)

        • commissioned b y Woody Herman

        • written for jazz ensemble

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    • George GershwinAmerican (1898-1937)

      • Rhapsody in Blue (1924)

        • 1924 performance by Gershwin

      • Porgy and Bess (1935)

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    • Darius Milhaud (French)

      • La creation du monde (1923)

        • influenced by Harlem jazz

        • jazz saxophone

    • George Antheil (Polish-American - 1900-1959)

      • A Jazz Symphony (1927)

    • William Albright (American - 1944-1998)

      • Grand Sonata in Rag (1967-1970)

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    Today’s ReviewThe Roots of Jazz

    • Musical forms

      • the Spiritual

        • a transformed Christian hymn

        • began about 1780 with the “Great Awakening”

        • lined out

      • Secular songs

        • loneliness

        • infidelity

        • rootlessness

        • repression

        • not written down

        • forerunners to the 12-bar blues

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    The Roots of Jazz

    • Minstrel Show Music

      • the interchange of cultural elements

      • white companies in blackface

      • after the Civil War, black stage companies in blackface

    • The Cakewalk, Ragtime, and the influence of Jazz on European Music and visa-versa

      • parody of European dances

      • contests, with the prize often being a cake

      • very popular in the 1890’s

      • probably resulted in the development of Ragtime

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    The Roots of Jazz

    • Rhythm

      • Polyrhythms

      • Field Hollers

      • Call and Response

    • Instruments

      • no property

        • African instruments were reconstructed in America

        • the bandora became a guitar

        • the balafou became a marimba

        • the banya became the banjo

      • European instruments were adopted

        • military bands

        • social bands

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    Suggested Additional Listening

    • New World Records (RAAM)

      • #205 White Spirituals from the Sacred Harp

      • #224 Brighten the Corner Where You Are: Black and White Urban Hymnody

      • #294 The Gospelship: Baptist Hymns and White Spirituals from the Southern Mountains

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    Wynton Marsalis

    Buddy Bolden

    Louis Armstrong



    Jelly Roll Morton

    Vern and Irene Castle

    James Reese Europe

    Places, Recordings, Styles

    Original Dixieland Jazz Band



    New Orleans


    The Roots of JazzEpisode One - Gumbo

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    Notes from

    Ken Burns’ JAZZ

    Episode One- Gumbo

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    Notes from

    Ken Burns’ JAZZ

    Episode Two - The Gift

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    The Gift

    • Louis Armstrong - the embodiment of Jazz

    • Jazz becomes an art form

    • 1917 - 1st jazz recordings reached the public

    • Chicago and New York became the centers after WW I

    • Duke Ellington called “The Greatest of all American composers” (?)

    • Louis Armstrong said there are two things in music - one is good, the other, bad

    • Louis Armstrong followed Joe “King” Oliver to Chicago - the Creole Jazz Band

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    The Gift

    • Davenport, Iowa, Bix Beiderbecke, Jack Teagarden

    • The “Hellfighters”, James Reese Europe, The “Memphis Blues”, trick instruments

    • Duke Ellington

      • An elegant dresser

      • “Soda Fountain Rag” - 1st piece

    • Chicago - the Great Migration

    • Gennette Records recorded the Creole Jazz Band’s first tune the “Chimes Blues”

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    The Gift

    • Jazz is a disease

    • Piano in Harlem

      • Stride Piano - James P. Johnson - “Charleston” - Willie “The Lion” Smith

    • Cornettist “Bubber” Miley joins Duke Ellington

    • Will Marion Cook advises Duke Ellington to find the logical way and avoid it

    • The Austin High Gang, a white band, learns the jazz style

    • Eddie Condon develops the Chicago style

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    The Gift

    • Violinist Paul Whiteman called the “King of Jazz”

      • First big hit is “Whispering”

      • 2/12/24 Carnegie Hall, “Rhapsody in Blue”

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    The Gift

    • Fletcher Henderson

      • Working on a graduate degree in chemestry

    • The two greatest bands in NYC:

      • Paul Whiteman and Fletcher Henderson

      • Henderson hires Louis Armstrong and jazz is changed

      • Armstrong stayed with Henderson for 2 years

      • Henderson’s band played at Roseland

    • Armstrong’s greatest contribution to jazz was swing