Ch.4 An important aspect of jazz through most of its history has been the elevation of individual musicians to stars and heroes – to jazz…


An important aspect of jazz through most of its history has been the elevation of individual musicians to stars and heroes – to jazz “giants.” Discuss the origins of this phenomenon. (Don’t forget to include the names of the first “jazz giants” in your answer)Discuss the social, cultural, demographic, geographic, economic, and technological forces that contributed to the spread and growing popularity of jazz in the 1920s. (Be sure to talk about each of the forces to receive full credit)What event in 1920 opened the floodgates for African American musicians to make records, and why was this important?What characteristics were shared by Chicago, Kansas City, and New York that made them centers of jazz? What were some of the differences? (Be sure to include similarities and differences for each of the three cities!)Talk about race relations in jazz of the 1920s. Did musicians of all colors have equal opportunities? What about audiences – could they enter any dance hall or club?


What was the impact of the Great Depression on popular entertainment of the 1930s?Describe some of the key elements that contributed to the popularity of swing music and the big bands that played it.How would you describe the sound of swing and big bands to someone who has never heard it?What is a “section” in a big band? What instruments constitute a “rhythm section”?Describe what an arranger does. Identify three of the factors that an arranger considers when making an arrangement of a piece.


What factors led musicians of the early 1940s away from commercial popular music and toward more individualized and experimental music?Do you think the names “bop” and “be-bop” served the music well? Why or why not?Describe some of the important differences between bebop and swing music.Why do you think that bebop created such vehement negative reactions among some jazz musicians and listeners?The image of the jazz musician as a doomed genius was fed by Charlie Parker. What other instances of this image have you seen? There have been some in later musical eras and certainly in the world of acting. The image has been promoted in movies and literature. Give at least one specific example of a famous artist (not another jazz musician) that has died at a young age due to various abuses.


What are the key differences between bebop, hard bop, cool jazz, and soul jazz? (you may need to review information in chapter six on bebop and cool jazz)Before you read this chapter, had you heard of any of the major mainstream musicians? Name some of the musicians associated with hard bop and soul jazz.Describe some of the effects of evolving recording technology, such as the development of long-playing records, on the composition and performance of jazz.Discuss key players of the saxophone and how they influenced each other, starting with Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young (Chapter 5) and proceeding through bebop, cool jazz (Chapter 6), hard bop, and modal jazz (Chapter 7). (Be sure to include the names of the main players in each style)Bebop was a breakthrough style when it first emerged. What aspects of it were restrictive in ways that compelled musicians to seek alternative styles?


Free jazz emerged in the 1960s. What else was going on in the 1960s that paralleled the revolution against jazz traditions?Identify some of the major differences between free jazz and the jazz styles that preceded it.Identify at least one way in which free jazz, as revolutionary as it was, can be said to be carrying on a jazz tradition.Do you think free jazz musicians should have expected acceptance by a wide audience? Why or why not?Why do you think there have been relatively few women instrumentalists in jazz? Discuss which instruments have had more female players and which instruments have had fewer. What are the differences.


Discuss some of the music you have heard that has elements of Latin traditions. Describe the feeling and the rhythm. (Pick music that is not discussed in the book)North American jazz, Afro-Cuban jazz, and Afro-Brazilian jazz are traceable to African origins. What developmental factors account for their differences?Name some of the U.S. jazz musicians who helped popularize Latin elements at different points in the twentieth century. What do you think attracted them to the Latin elements?Why do you think that despite Mexico’s much larger population, Cuban and Puerto Rican jazz musicians have had much more overall exposure and influence in the United States?After listening to Manteca and The Girl from Ipanema, compare them in terms of the moods and feelings they convey. Explore the cultural origins of any differences you perceive.


Identify some of the forces and impulses-aesthetic and social, economic-that may have attracted jazz musicians to rock ideas in the 1960s and 1970s.How would you explain the differences between rock, jazz, and classical music to someone with very little knowledge about them?Discuss the impact of Miles Davis on jazz-rock fusion. Then discuss Davis’s impact throughout the history of jazz.What were the key differences between the fusion bands Weather Report, Mahavishnu Orchestra, and Return to Forever?Make an argument for the legitimacy of fusion music as a form of jazz. How would you answer critics’ claims that fusion is simply an attempt to “cash in” on the pop charts?


What were some of the ways American jazz spread around the world?Why would jazz be viewed as subversive by the German government during World War II and by Iron Curtain countries during the Cold War?What aspects of life in Paris and other cities around Europe made those places attractive to American jazz musicians?Identify some of the technological advances of the twentieth century that contributed to the spread of jazz worldwide.In light of jazz’s spread to many parts of the globe, do you think it is still American music? Whose music is it?

Sample Solution
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