The Jazz Age

The Jazz Age

Jazz was born around 1895 in New Orleans. Originally it was a mixture of Blues and marching band music and was played by African-Americans and Creoles on old U.S Army instruments like the cornet or marching drums. It is also marked through the use of improvisation, because most of the former virtuoso jazz musicians weren’t able to read music at all. Soon the white man noticed the popularity of jazz and started to play it too. Therefore the European and African music culture melted together and a new style of jazz was born.

The twenties, also known by some as the "Jazz Age", were the time for experiments and discovering new jazz-styles. In that period of growing industrialisation black people and new-Orleans-musicians moved from the country site south to Chicago. There they helped creating the (white) Chicago-Style. Lots of Chicago musicians finally moved to New York, which was an important centre of jazz, too.

Jazz bands started the musical revolution using for the first time the saxophone. It has been known to provoke close intimate dancing and many people were shocked by the loud and extraordinary sound of the sax (which happens to sound like sex).That’s why older people blamed jazz to be a bad influence on the younger generation. They began to rebel and refuse to follow the moral traditions.

With the help of national radio, the barely known new jazz sound spread quickly over America, and found many supporters. Lots of important clubs, or speakeasies (illegal pubs), helped jazz bands to get famous and featured their songs. Jazz often got connected with alcohol, intimate dancing and “other socially questionable activities”.

The Jazz Age in The Great Gatsby:

In New York the Jazz Age was a time where hardly anybody worried about money. “It was in such a profusion around you.”(p.3,3.paragraph) and prodigality belonged to everybody’s life-style. This is also a reason for the hospitality that was indispensable for all the parties that were given. To...

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