Lecture 12
Early American Jazz
What is Jazz?
• It is the irrepressible expression of freedom
and individual rights through musical
• It is a way people express themselves and
their emotions by means of music.
• It is a music built on individualism and
compromise, independence and cooperation.
Early New Orleans Jazz
• It first appeared in the 19th century.
• It was a blend of folk music, work chants,
spirituals, marches, and European classical
• All jazz bands use such instruments as a
trumpet, a clarinet, a trombone, and
percussion instruments like the drum, banjo,
and guitars.
Louis Armstrong
• Born in New Orleans in 1901, Louis Armstrong
learned to play the cornet since his childhood.
After an apprenticeship in several bands in
New Orleans, he joined a jazz orchestra in
Chicago, where he set the style later
indentified as the Chicago style.
• He is now remembered as America’s foremost
jazz musician.
Ragtime music
• Ragtime music refers to a type of piano music of
black US origin, popular in the 1920s. Originally
based on tunes for marching bands ragtime
music is marked by a syncopated melodic line
with a regular accented bass. Ragtime music
has been popularized by such composers as
Scott Joplin whose “Maple Leaf Rag” published
in 1896 was hailed as the first popular ragtime
tune, still listened to with pleasure by all jazz
Boogie Woogie
• Boogie Woogie refers to a piano music style in
jazz music, which emerged in Chicago in the
1920s and 1930s. Jimmy Yancey standadized
the style to a 12 bar blues melodic line with 8
beats to the bar. Like ragtime, Boogie Woogie
is represented by specific pieces of music as
well as an approach to nearly any tune, and a
Boogie Woogie piece was in the repertoire of
every jazz band of the 1930’s.