Jazz Chapter5 (1) - Jazz Scott DeVeaux & Gary Giddins...

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Click to edit Master subtitle style Jazz Lecture Outlines and Art Chapter 5 New York in the 1920s © 2009 W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.
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§ Although different urban areas are considered central to the development of jazz at different times (New Orleans, Chicago, Kansas City, Los Angeles), New York has remained central since the 1920s. There are three interlocking spheres of influence that can account for this: commercial, sociological, and musical. § Commercial The entertainment infrastructure is based in New York. As jazz became more commercial, it needed access to this infrastructure. Arabian Nights
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§ Sociological New York was a magnet for immigrants. Contributors to jazz, if not African American, came from immigrant families, especially Jews, whose music contains pentatonic scales and improvisation, making it particularly compatible with jazz. § Musical There were styles specific to New York, such as stride piano, and New York was receptive to modern developments in jazz (bebop, avant-garde), but the growth of big bands and swing and the simultaneous interest in social dancing during the 1920s and 1930s were the most significant contribution. When Ellington arrived in New York in 1923, he described New York as just like “Arabian Nights.” Arabian Nights (cont’d)
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§ Recordings, Radio, and the Movies There are three periods of technological advances in the twentieth century: recordings, radio, and movies during the 1920s; television during the 1940s; and digitalization during the 1980s. In 1925 electrical recording provided sound with much higher fidelity than acoustic recording. This was particularly beneficial for jazz since now drums, cymbals, and polyphonic textures were much clearer. Phonographs and discs became much cheaper as well. 1920s Transformations
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§ Recordings, Radio, and the Movies (cont’d) With the invention of the carbon microphone, and then the condenser microphone, radio broadcasts became much clearer, starting around 1921. NBC and CBS became national networks in 1926 and 1927, respectively. One result was that people stayed at home to listen to the radio and started buying recordings to listen to at home. Movies started using sound in 1927 with the film The Jazz Singer. Radio and recordings spread jazz faster than any music in history. Speed changed everything. Musical styles wore out much more quickly now, so jazz developed very quickly. 1920s Transformations (cont’d)
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§ Prohibition In 1920, Congress passed the Eighteenth Amendment, making the manufacture and selling of alcohol illegal. (It was repealed in 1932.) The result was a vast web of illegal drinking establishments usually controlled by organized crime. Owners of these speakeasies competed by hiring the best
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Jazz Chapter5 (1) - Jazz Scott DeVeaux & Gary Giddins...

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