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“The Shift from Ragtime to Jazz” “jazz styles” [whatever that means] developed wherever musicians, encouraged by the spontaneous performance practices.

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Presentation on theme: "“The Shift from Ragtime to Jazz” “jazz styles” [whatever that means] developed wherever musicians, encouraged by the spontaneous performance practices."— Presentation transcript:


2 “The Shift from Ragtime to Jazz” “jazz styles” [whatever that means] developed wherever musicians, encouraged by the spontaneous performance practices of ragtime and turn-of-the- century popular music, took jazzlike liberties.” – Although New Orleans is often considered the birthplace of jazz, music resembling early jazz may have developed in several places almost simultaneously. – The etymology [origins and historical development] of the word ”jazz”. – Many early jazz musicians referred to their music as ragtime.

3 New Orleans: Brass bands, various kinds of dance bands and orchestras could be found in New Orleans. The Vieux Carré ("French Quarter") was the heart of the French-speaking district. It was home to French families, their servants, and Creoles of Color. – Many of the Creoles were successful business people, and they figured prominently in the Carré's cultural activities.

4 – It was generally understood that, regardless of parentage, the French-speaking "downtown" families were significantly higher on the social ladder than those on the other side of Canal Street. Although it is true that most of the "uptown" people of color had darker skin than their "downtown" counterparts, skin color and physical features were not the only defining features for the two communities. Cultural traits defined the two groups: the Creoles spoke French and had a predominantly Catholic background. Their uptown counterparts were Protestant, English-speaking, and to a large extent had assimilated Anglo-American culture and lost touch with much of their African heritage (Johnson 2000). – Creole musicians (for whom musical performance was a "hobby" rather than a profession) had access to the best formal musical training available, and they participated in opera and symphonic performances as well as the numerous brass bands.

5 After the War Between the States, the cultural distinctions between the creoles and other people of color gradually eroded. – Economics. Some decline in opportunities in skilled trades. Music as a hobby could become a profession. – Imposition of Jim Crow laws and changes in the social definition of the Creoles. – Storyville.

6 Storyville: Alderman Sidney Story wrote Section 1 of Ordinance 13,032 C.S., establishing 38- block area that became known as Storyville. "While some legitimate enterprises were conducted in the area, Storyville was primarily a collage of cabarets, whorehouses, cafes, cribs, honky-tonks, houses of assignation, "dance-schools," gambling joints, and clip-joints, all devoted to fleecing the adventurous sensualist of his money" (Buerkle and Barker 1973, p. 19). A wide variety of music could be heard in Storyville, ranging from string trios to ragtime pianists to the blues: – Musicians listened to each other and adapted their own styles. – The music in Storyville was clearly functional; the music in these establishments enhanced the atmosphere, making customers feel happy and more willing to part with their earnings. – Musicians needed to make a living, and they played (and recorded) whatever produced income. – Early jazz was considered “tainted” by critics both by venues in which it was performed and by the “unpolished,” improvisatory nature of the music. – Playing in Storyville meant a loss of social status within the community, but the work was steadier and the money was a little better. Musicians frequently commented that they did not necessarily enjoy playing in Storyville, although some seemed to revel in the decadence.

7 In August 1917, the Secretary of War and the Secretary of the Navy issued orders forbidding open prostitution within five miles of Army or Navy posts. After much protest, the city finally conceded, and operation of a brothel became illegal anywhere in the city. This of course did not eliminate prostitution, but it was driven underground, and large numbers of musicians lost their jobs. This contributed to the emigration of musicians from New Orleans that had already begun.

8 Buddy Bolden - "Sometime around 1897, the Charles "Buddy" Bolden band began filling the dance halls and streets of New Orleans with a new kind of music. Instead of following the notes on sheet music like they were a railroad track, Buddy made his cornet an extension of his emotions. To this rough Negro barber, popular melodies were only points of embarkation for funky, hip-swinging improvisation. Some twenty years later this new music would be called jazz." (Buerkle and Barker, p. vii) – Bolden played cornet and was generally considered the first to actively embellish melodies in the “jazz style.” – He was the first "King of Jazz" in New Orleans and is remembered by musicians of the time as “one of the finest horn players they had ever heard.” – He became known around 1895 playing in New Orleans parades and dances, and his band eventually rose to become one of the most popular in the city. – In 1907 his health deteriorated and he was committed to a mental institution where he spent the remainder of his life.

9 The Advent of Jazz Recording: The Victor Talking Machine Company – founded in 1901. 1914 – J. R. Europe’s recordings featured ragtime pieces. 1917 – probable 1 st jazz recording by the ODJB (“Livery Stable Blues” and “Dixie(land) Jass Band One Step.”) 1925 – electric recording with microphones.

10 Joe “King” Oliver: – Born in or near New Orleans in 1885. – Began playing with brass bands in New Orleans around 1908. – First called “the King” by Kid Ory while playing in his band in 1917. – Moved to Chicago in 1919 to play with Bill Johnson’s Original Creole Orchestra. He started his own group - King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band - in 1922, and later formed a larger ensemble called the Dixie Syncopaters – 1923 recordings introduced Louis Armstrong to the world, but the group fell apart in 1924. – Two successful weeks at the Savoy Ballroom led to an invitation to open the new Cotton Club with his group as the house band. In one of several disastrous business moves, Oliver decided that he was not being paid enough and rejected the offer. – His final "mistake" was an extended tour of the South beginning in 1931. By 1936 he had ended up in Savannah selling fruit and vegetables and sweeping out a pool parlor. He died there in April 1938. – Oliver's contribution to the music is in some ways difficult to assess. His melodic style differed from that of his protégé Armstrong, and he "had a repertory of expressive deviations of rhythm and pitch, some verging on theatrical novelty effects and others derived from blues vocal style” – He frequently used timbre modifiers of various sorts and was especially renowned for his wa-wa effects, as in his famous three-chorus solo on "Dipper Mouth Blues.” – By 1925 his performance style had been superseded by Louis Armstrong, but he had a significant impact on Bubber Miley as well as on Armstrong himself.

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