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A Comparison Of The Classical Era And The Jazz Era

             No matter where a person lives, works, or plays, there is some form of musical expression. It can create a tender moment, be quite haunting, make a person laugh aloud, and music completes the setting or mood of every atmosphere. The variety of music available today is vast, ranging from simple tones to complex compositions. Both classical and jazz music offers a profound listening experience, and although they share similarities, their styles are quite diverse. Comparing classical and jazz music leaves one with a great appreciation of the performance and composition of both of these kinds of music.
             Let us begin with a look at the histories of the two. The music called classical, found in stores and performed regularly by symphonies around the world spans a length of time from 1600 up to the present. This period includes the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Contemporary periods. The classical period of music actually spans a time from of 1750 to 1800; thus, the term Classical is a misnomer and could more correctly be changed to Western Art Music or European Art Music. Vivaldi was Italian, Bach was German, Mozart and Beethoven were Austrian; they are some of the more prominent composers. Not until the twentieth century with Gershwin and a few others do we find American composers writing this kind of art music. For the sake of convention, we can refer to Western Art Music as Classical music. .
             Jazz origin date back to the 1890's, created in the heart of New Orleans by mainly those of Afro-American descent. Early exponents of this dance music were Jelly Roll Martin (a blues player) and Scott Joplin (ragtime). The terms "Jazz" and "Jazz Band" first surfaced in the year 1900. Some say this occurred in New Orleans, although similar music was played at the same time in other places. The most prominent exponents of this early music, called Dixieland Jazz, included Louis Armstrong and Sidney Bechet.

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