Ragtime Music Online History
When you go to New Orleans, the history of Ragtime Music and Jazz is in the SOIL baby! I love New Orleans and it saddens me how our country just let it get destroyed without rebuilding it and protecting the culture...
The History of Ragtime Music and Jazz start in New Orleans, can you dig it? The theory as to why New Orleans is the birthplace for this cool music is contributed to the black Creole subculture.
The Creoles were originally from the West Indies and lived under the Spanish and French rule in Louisiana. I think that is why all that Gumbo and nice spicy food comes from New Orleans.. I love the spices in their cooking.I usually gain 10 pounds after staying in New Orleans for a week!
The interesting thing about these people called "Creoles" is that they became free Americans under the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. The Creoles spoke Spanish and French and lived in the high society of the French district in New Orleans.
The Creoles took pride in their formal knowledge of the Western European music and their social and cultural values that classified them as upper class.
Their music focused on sight-readings and correct performances for they played at the Opera House and chamber ensembles.
On the West Side of New Orleans live the uneducated, culturally and economically poor American blacks. A friend of mine once told me you can always find a "ghetto" if you drive anywhere for 20 minutes... usually across railroad tracks as well!
Anyway, these poor, uneducated black folks created music based on simple melodies and complex cross-rhythms mixed in with verbal slurs, vibrato, syncopated rhythms, and "blues notes".
The songs they sang were mostly spiritual or sung to pass the time of hardship and hard labor. The songs were actually encouraged because the workers seem to work better with the soothing effects of the music. Their music was characterized more by memorization and improvisation, and not of formal training.
Once again you can see how history and not having knowledge of what is "correct" adds to making great music... IMPROVISATION... like the foundation of Ragtime Music and Jazz baby!
In 1894, the segregation laws were in effect in New Orleans, which forced the upper class Creoles to live on the West Side with the poor, uneducated American blacks. The mixture of the two styles of music and two cultures clashed and created the start of a new form of music. I alway say, When you mix different folks together and shake it up you either start a RIOT or create ART!
This music changed and new forms were developed often. Between the 1890 and the 1900, "Ragtime" and the Blues was the new craze. New Orleans seemed to be the Mecca of new artists and sounds that included everything including but not limited to brass band, Rag-time, marches, pop, dances, and Blues.
The music spread to the north and west through migrating travelers and records. The music really came into effect by the 1920's when the whites adapted and imitated it.
Some of the leaders of the popular bands include Joe "King" Oliver, Louis Armstrong, and Ferdinand "Jelly Roll" Morton. These bands played in a style that would come to be known as Dixieland.Dancing became the latest craze during the late 30's. Many people wanted to shake off the depression by dancing. So the music developed into new types of music to dance to.
By the 1940's the music had developed into many styles of music. There were Bop, Traditional, Swing, Dixieland, and Latin influences of this music.
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