Jazz is the art of expression set to music. It is characteristically an American form of music, and its history occupies a much smaller span of time. The term jazz first surfaced around the year nineteen hundred. It is believed to be the fundamental rhythms of human life and is man's contemporary re-examination of his traditional values. The early influences of tribal drums and the development of gospel, blues and field hollers seems to point out that jazz has to do with human survival and the expression of human life. The origin of the word "jazz" is most often traced back to an offensive term used for sexual acts. However the meaning of jazz soon became a musical art form. Looking back at the background of jazz, one cannot fail to notice the evaluation over the decades and the fact that jazz spanned many musical forms such as Ragtime, Swing, Scat and BeBop. A New Orleans barber by the name of Buddy Bolden picked up his cornet and blew the first stammering notes of jazz in the year of eighteen ninety-one. A half-century later, jazz, Americas great contribution to music crossed the threshold of the universities and became seriously, even religiously considered. .
The influence of jazz music seems to come from all directions. The African musical practices that remained a part of the slave culture were superimposed on the main white musical culture of Western Europe. The popular music of the day had simple harmonies and simple rhythms. The black tradition depended more on spoken conduction and was represented by field hollers and later the blues. At this same time, four million slaves had become American citizens. The four million slaves mixed their African background with church music that was around them and would create the heart of jazz. Among the artist that had the most important impact on jazz were Clarance Williams, Bessie Smith and Bix Beiderbecke. .
A jazz form called Ragtime began to be available in the late eighteen nineties.