Cyndi Epplin Reveals Her Treasured Type of Music's HistoryJazz is unequivocally my favorite form of music to listen to and I desired to write about the backgroundof this classic with the readers here. I hope you like it as much as I do.Jazz became structured as a musical genre in the United States in the early twentieth century, but itsroots originated in the l9th century in the South. The Atlantic Slave Trade brought over half a millionAfricans to America and with them emerged musical influences from their native land. As AfricanAmericans learned how to play European instruments in the 19th century and produced their own stylesof music, like the cakewalk. The Cakewalk is a combo of harmony and syncopation. It grew to becomeextremely popular and caught on, and was played in minstrel shows.Towards the end of the 19th century, a fresh style of music came forth called ragtime. After theabolition of slavery, opportunities to learn opened up to many African Americans. Numerous talentedAfrican Americans took jobs as musicians in minstrel shows, in bars and clubs. Ragtime was developed inthe red-light districts of New Orleans and was a modification of the march, characterized by
and syncopation. It was very upbeat and perfect for dancing. Ernest Hogan was a blackentertainer who first recorded ragtime on sheet music in 1895. It became very popular music and waseven adopted by white musicians in America and in Europe. The ragtime is considered the very first typeof jazz music.The ragtime carried its popularity into the 20th century. Little jazz groups set about to travel andgradually spread the music from coast to coast. Jazz even sailed across the seas. During World War I, the"Hellfighters" infantry band carried ragtime to
Europe. By the 1920’s Jazz had become the dominant
genre of music in America. Jazz was related with parties, extravagant tendencies and drinking. The peakof Jazz music in the first half of the century lasted from 1920 to 1933. Many believed it was the cause of moral decay in American society. This period was the dubbed "The Jazz Age."
By the 1930’s ragtime had lost its novelty. A new grand and exaggerated form of jazz was introduced,
the big band swing. Big band or swing jazz was composed of a very large section of brass and reedinstruments and was headed by a bandleader or an arranger. Some of the most famous bandleaderswere Duke Ellington and Glenn Miller.
In the 1940’s Swing Jazz introduced a string section and vocals to the big band. Swing jazz was
broadcasted over the radio and soon traveled to other countries. During World War II, for example, acollection of dissenting German
youth known as the “swing kids” adopted swing jazz and swing culture.
They would dance and play swing music in defiance to Hitler. He had forbidden any Swing Jazz or swingdancing because of its ties with African-Americans and Jews.