The other day in class, we watched a video on the history of Jazz music.  We learned that Jazz roots were similar to other types of music; such as ragtime but no other genre had established such unique sounds up to that point.

In its early days, Jazz music was played all over the United States and Europe where it sent a positive message for all cultures.  As the music progressed, the true message of Jazz music started to fade and it was surrounded by controversy.  With Prohibition in full swing, Jazz music started turning up in speakeasies; making some people believe that the music was the cause of sinful tendencies.

We’ve seen a pattern of extraordinary, self-taught musicians who come from poorer backgrounds.  (Duke Ellington was an exception, having come from a middle class family.)  Jazz music and its pioneering musicians have influenced countless others all over the world.  After many, many years of misconception; Jazz has finally received the recognition it rightfully deserves.

Erika Koerner



9 thoughts on “Jazz

  1. I never really knew Jazz was of high popularity until this video was shown in class. When I came to the states, Jazz was not widely listened to by the general public, so I was not introduced to it until later on via television shows and documentaries. But, Jazz is beautiful music and the people who can produce it are geniuses!

  2. Great post Erika! I agree with you. The documentary did a great job of showing us the roots of jazz, while keeping us entertained at the same time

    Danielle Ross

  3. I never really listened to jazz music until I got older. I am shocked that it is not widely listened to by the general public either. Also, if you like jazz music; I’m sure you’ll be impressed with the sounds of 1940s swing and ragtime music as well.
    Erika K.

  4. I liked the video on jazz music too. My boyfriend is from New Orleans, so I have heard it often. Visiting there, you still see musicians performing jazz in the streets. I like the music because it seems to be so heartfelt, which I guess is partly why it was so popular after WWI.


  5. I think it’s kind of sad that more people don’t know the history of Jazz, or even enjoy listening to it. Today it seems like the only place you can hear Jazz being played is at Starbucks or some café like Panera. I love Fitzgerald, and so many of his stories are centered around the Jazz Age, when things were alive, and dangerous. Jazz so perfectly captured the tone of the time period, and even helped shaped culture during prohibition. Compare that to the music shaping today’s world, and I think it’s safe to say Jazz was infinitely cooler.

    • I disagree with the comment about jazz being infinitely cooler than the music of today… jazz shaped blue shaped rock shaped pop. A great many of the jazz anthems were as contrived as the music we complain about today.

      However, I’m glad we did watch the jazz video, I’ve always had a healthy respect for the artistry of Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington, and as was noted we’ve never really paid much attention to the origins of jazz but rather the effects of Jazz on prohibition culture.


      • I’m with you Luke. I do not agree with any music being cooler than another. I might prefer a certain type of music over another. I have played the guitar since I was 16-years-old and I used to hate country music with a capital H-A-T-E! After listening to country music and attempting to play country music, I discovered that it was one of the hardest types of music to play on the face of the earth. I may prefer rock over country (and I even
        consider many country music artists as rockabilly instead of country) but I have never knocked country music (or any other type of music) to this day and I never will again.
        Erika Koerner

  6. I love Fitzgerald, and so many of his stories are centered around the Jazz Age, when things were alive, and dangerous.

    Fitzgerald is one of my favorites as well. I like how this example ties so well into the other blog post about Jazz. The question of why the upper class could so easily enjoy African-American music without including them in their society is answered in Fitzgerald’s writing. There was so much arrogance and entitlement within the highest class and they seemed unwilling to consider anyone worthy of their admiration unless they were a product of Ivy League education or generations of wealth. It wasn’t just African-Americans, but everyone who they considered to “stumble” upon their wealth that they did not include into their society.


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