The Jazz musical period

The musical styles of blues and ragtime combined in a new genre that appeared in the late 19th century. It originated in African-American communities from in and around New Orleans, Louisiana and adopted its name from a slang term meaning "peppy", or "animated". The first published use of the word in 1912, described a baseball pitch as a "jazz ball" because it wobbled and was unplayable. Since the Jazz age of the 1920s, this musical form has been recognized as an important musical expression drawing from African-American and European-American musical heritage. Some of the characteristics of Jazz include:
  • Swing rhythms
  • Complex chord progressions
  • Call and response melodies
  • Polyrhythms and
  • Improvisation

An early Jazz ensemble

An early jazz outfit with trumpets and violin
Jazz became a global musical idiom, and as such various sub-styles emerged as national and regional musical tastes merged with the new jazz ideas. Jazz is generally considered to have begun in New Orleans where American ragtime and blues music was combined with Caribbean Biguine music, as well as brass-band marching music. Big band jazz ensembles that were focused on dance music found prominence in the 1930s, along with the bluesy Kansas City jazz , and the French gypsy jazz popularized by Django Reinhardt. Later trends in jazz include fusions with rock music, as well as with Latin American music.

Composers of the Jazz musical period


Philip Braham
George Rodway Poulton