Periods of Jazz History

Claire Bownds
Mind Map by Claire Bownds, updated more than 1 year ago
Claire Bownds
Created by Claire Bownds almost 5 years ago


History of Jazz for use with A2 Edexcel Students

Resource summary

Periods of Jazz History
1 Early Jazz/New Orleans & Chicago style Dixieland (1920-1930)
1.1 Characteristics
1.1.1 Use of collective improvisation (polyphony)
1.1.2 Frontline of Trumpet/Cornet, Clarinet, Trombone Chicago Style also typically adds saxophone to the front line.
1.1.3 New Orleans style typically included banjo and tuba, later replaced by guitar and string bass in Chicago Style.
1.1.4 Use of flat four in New Orleans Style, later replaced by lighter two beat feel in Chicago Style.
1.1.5 Modern drum set emerges when New Orleans musicians begin to consolidate the drum section (bass, snare, cymbals) commonly found in early New Orleans brass bands.
1.2 Important Musicians
1.2.1 Louis Armstrong (cornet,trumpet)
1.2.2 Jelly Roll Morton (piano/composer)
1.2.3 Sidney Bechet (soprano sax, clarinet)
2 Swing/Big Band Era (1930-1945)
2.1 Characteristics
2.1.1 Most popular period in jazz history. Large ensembles, less improvisation, more emphasis on written arrangements.
2.1.2 Emphasis on showmanship (band uniforms, theme songs, logos on stands, choreography, singers).
2.1.3 Development of sections (saxes, trumpets, trombones, rhythm) based on the early model of the front line in New Orleans/Chicago Style Dixieland.
2.1.4 Smoother swing feel (steady 4/4 time with emphasis on 2 & 4, walking bass, ride cymbal.
2.2 Important Musicians
2.2.1 Duke Ellington (piano/composer)
2.2.2 Count Basie (piano/bandleader)
2.2.3 Lester Young (tenor sax)
3 Bebop (1940-1955)
3.1 Characteristics
3.1.1 Bebop was primarily played by small groups (combos)
3.1.2 Focus on improvisation rather than on complex arrangements. Rarely written down.
3.1.3 Bebop, developed through jam sessions - informal, non-rehearsed gatherings of musicians where they play together, challenge each other (who can “outplay” whom), and learn from each other. Bebop was and still is the music most played at jazz jam sessions because all the musicians need to know are the head and chord progression
3.1.4 More musically complex than swing, faster tempos, extended chords. Bebop requires musical virtuosity and artistry to play it
3.2 Important Musicians
3.2.1 Charlie Parker (alto sax)
3.2.2 Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet)
3.2.3 Thelonious Monk (piano/composer)
4 Cool Jazz (1949-1955)
4.1 Characteristics
4.1.1 Thinner textures, softer dynamics, smoother melodic phrasing.
4.1.2 Use of Classical” instruments such as flute, French horn, tuba, and vibraphone (vibes)
4.1.3 Wider variety of size and instrumentation
4.1.4 often included counterpoint - two or more melodic lines occurring at the same time
4.1.5 Whereas bebop was “hot,” i.e., loud, exciting, and loose, cool jazz was “cool,” i.e., soft, more reserved, and controlled
4.1.6 Usually arranged (written) ahead of time; unlike Bebop, both the arrangement and the improvised solos were important.
4.2 Important Musicians
4.2.1 Miles Davis (trumpet)
4.2.2 Dave Brubeck (piano/composer)
4.2.3 Stan Getz (tenor sax)
5 Hard Bop (1951-1960)
5.1 Characteristics
5.1.1 A reaction to cool jazz, musicians thought the music had become too classical, too European. Hard bop was a return to music that was more Afro-centric, more blues based
5.1.2 Primarily black musicians from New York City, Detroit and Philadelphia
5.1.3 The most important hard bop group was the Miles Davis Quintet of the mid 1950s.
5.1.4 The size and instrumentation of hard bop combos was similar to that of its bebop forbearer: usually two or three horns plus rhythm section
5.1.5 Raw, hard driving style with an emotional emphasis
5.2 Important Musicians
5.2.1 Art Blakey (drums) & The Jazz Messengers
5.2.2 Cannonball Adderley (alto sax)
5.2.3 Charles Mingus (bass/composer)
6 Free Jazz/Avant Garde (1960s)
6.1 Characteristics
6.1.1 Open or free forms; tunes often complete improvisations. Collective improvisation of a more dissonant, atonal nature.
6.1.2 Experimental instruments & instrumentations. Ensembles omit use of a piano or chord instrument.
6.1.3 Use of unorthodox sounds (squeaks, screams, noise, etc.) and extended techniques (altissimo register, multiphonics, etc.)
6.1.4 Interest in non-western musical concepts (world music) and 20th century classical composers such as Cage and Stockhausen.
6.2 Important Musicians
6.2.1 Ornette Coleman (alto sax/composer)
6.2.2 Cecil Taylor (piano/composer)
6.2.3 Anthony Braxton (saxophones/composer)
7 Fusion/Jazz Rock (1970s)
7.1 Charcteristics
7.1.1 Extensive use of electronic instruments e.g. Fender Rhodes
7.1.2 Focus of attention on the rhythm section, studio recording technology and the process of recording
7.1.3 More emphasis on straight eight note feel (rock) than swing.
7.1.4 Pieces range from simple melodies with vamps and open forms to complex through-composed, sectionalized compositions.
7.2 Important Musicians
7.2.1 Miles Davis (trumpet/bandleader: In A Silent Way)
7.2.2 Chick Corea (keyboards/leader)
7.2.3 Weather Report (group)
8 Eclecticism (1980s & 1990s)
8.1 Characteristics
8.1.1 No single dominant stylistic trend has emerged in the 1980s or 1990s. Instead, a continuation of previous styles, crossovers, and new styles derived from various sources are common.
8.1.2 Some notable trends within this eclecticism seem to be: 1) a further sophistication of electronic jazz through the use of computers 2) a resurgent neo-bop and neo-traditionalist movement (Neo-Classicism) 3) expanded instrumental & vocal techniques 4) a greater involvement of women 5) the growth of European and "world music" jazz styles.
8.2 Important Musicians
8.2.1 Pat Metheny Group (fusion band)
8.2.2 Wynton Marsalis (trumpet/composer: associated with Neo-Classic movement)
8.2.3 Michael Brecker (tenor sax: also founding member of fusion group Steps Ahead)
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