An umbrella term in itself, Jazz is further categorized into 16 different music genres. From acid jazz and blue note jazz to Latin Jazz and hard bop, Jazz has been experimented with and modified countless times during the past decades.
However, if we really want to get to the crux of it all—how jazz really started—we should focus on a specific type of genre, the original seed that gave way for other tunes.
We, of course, speak of Dixieland Jazz!
The Birth of Dixieland Jazz
Dixieland Jazz, also known as Traditional Jazz or Hot Jazz, originated in New Orleans, some time at the beginning of the 20th century. During this time, immigrant communities did not have as many options to express their music talents. However, they did have many options for experimentation, since New Orleans was home to numerous ethnic communities, such as Germans, Italians and Croatians etc.
As a result, hopeful musicians began experimenting with the various brass instruments that people from these communities brought with them. Since they were not as influenced by European style or tradition, these musicians were able to come up with a music style that was completely their own. What’s wonderful about this style is that there were no limitations. Anyone with musical talent could try it. So you had your white European and black musicians in one group, people from different communities trying new things together.
As a result, Jazz brought people together, and exuded a sense of camaraderie through its tunes. And that is when jazz started becoming more popular.
It spread up the Mississippi River to Memphis, Chicago and eventually made its way to New York, where people started regarding this genre as New Orleans style or Dixieland Jazz.
The Instruments of Dixieland Jazz
Typically, a Dixieland jazz track would use only the following instruments;
- Trumpet or cornet
- Banjo or guitar
- Tuba or string bass
Each was used to create that swaying beat, that seductive rhythm, which inspired so many to create their special styles of Jazz.
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