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Asked by Tony Wilson on Dec. 12, 2019
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What is Impact of Social and Political Issues on Music Styles?


Music is a kind of art that reflects the reality and affects people with the help of meaningful and organized sound consistency. It has the ability to express thoughts, emotions, and the will of a person and serves as a means of communication among people and a means of expressing their behaviors. Jazz is a form of music art that appeared at the end of the 19th – at the beginning of the 20th century in the USA as a synthesis of African and European cultures and soon became widely popular. This music style was strongly influenced by social and political factors of that time.
This style of music is characterized by a range of features among which are: peculiarity of the rhythm, in particular, syncopation and polyrhythm and of the timbre in the instrumental and vocal performances. The formation of jazz is connected with blues, spiritual, and reggae. Blues is actually an exponent of secular music of African-Americans that appeared long before jazz. The word “blues” is polysemantic and has such meanings as melancholy, sad, and unhappy. The time of its birth will probably never be defined, but it is known that it had emerged in the period of slavery. Blues was closely connected with the music of Baptists, but the sacred music addressed God and blues addressed human.
The blues was created as a result of social and political oppression. It represents the survival in hardship and depicts the realia of life. It expressed people’s desire of unity and liberation, a wish to put an end to the division between lower and middle classes. Through their songs people opposed Puritan views that oppressed slaves for centuries and suggested to focus on the Christianity and morality. Blues was extremely important for slavery revolts and at the beginning was used to spread messages that could not be understood by the whites.
The history of jazz began in the 19th century in New Orleans. It has evolved as a music style that represented ethnic and national hopes of the people in the USA. New Orleans was settled by citizens from all the corners of the world. There were people of all the nationalities and occupations. At the beginning of the 19th century this city was the centre of slave trade. The descendents of slaves have created jazz. Jazz improvisation has emerged at the time of searching for self-identity in the foreign country. This style was considered to be a sublimation of the freedom that the black people were deprived of in America. It was the effect of African Diaspora and incessant racial discrimination that helped to form jazz within the communities of the black.
The main feature of jazz is improvisation that denotes human freedom and free will. Despite all the contributions to this style of music made by white musicians, jazz has been viewed for a long time as a “black music” that provided more opportunities for the self-expression of Afro-Americans. The majority of educated people of the middle class considered it to be vulgar music of the low class. It was later hated by the bourgeoisie that identified jazz with bawdy houses and illegal drugs.
In the 20th century a lot of new musical styles – the offshoots of jazz and blues –appeared as a result of social and political changes. First of all, the country was in the state of the Cold war. Besides, it has witnessed Civil Rights movements that aimed to rock the existing power structure. These were the premises of rock-n-roll arrival that represented aspirations and hopes of the American society plagued by misery and social inequality. Funk and hip-hop emerged nearly in 1970’s. This funny and freaky music has introduced new philosophy and lifestyle that could make Afro-Americans be proud of their origin and assert their rights.
Thus, music is not only a range of sounds, but an important means of reflection of social and political events in the society that can serve as an appeal to struggle. Jazz, blues, and their offshoots were especially influenced and shaped by all the events in the country. The aim of these music styles was to educate and enlighten people. And it has really become successfully ingrained in the society changing its views and ideas.
About the author: Thony Wilson is a master in English philology and histoty at California University. Tony is currently working as one of the best writers at the https://essaysempire.com He also studies feminine psychology.




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