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Jazz’s Beginnings

II. Jazz's European Roots

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grand piano

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alto saxophone

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A. as art and entertainment


contrary to the basic concept of African music as functional music, the basic concept of European music was art (and entertainment) music 



both concepts are essential to jazz 



jazz is unquestionably art music; however, it has been and continues to be utilized as functional music as well (e.g., for dancing, atmosphere background music, even funeral music in the 1920s); it has been performed everywhere from the most prestigious concert halls (e.g., Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Los Angeles Music Center, The John. F. Kennedy Center, etc.) to the lowliest night clubs and bars 

B. traits found in jazz that are of primarily European origin include:



instruments (saxophone, trumpet, trombone, piano, bass, etc.) 



harmony (most chord progressions utilized in jazz compositions are essentially European in origin) 

Audio Snippets

speakerspacer Chords and Chord Progressions - Mark Gridley

C. Dance Music and Parade Bands



pre-jazz dance bands of the late 19th and early 20th century primary function was playing for dances, parties, picnics, and funerals 



typical instrumentation consisted of cornet, clarinet, trombone, bass, guitar, drums, and violin 



late 19th and early 20th century dance bands played the popular dances of the day including waltzes, polkas, and quadrilles (high society dance), that is, music with a steady beat 



parade band music provided exhilaration and a sense of non-discipline to the music that was eventually to be called jazz 

the Herbie Hancock institute of jazz
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