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Ch 9: Jazz Music

About This Chapter

Watch our video lessons and take self-assessment quizzes to learn about the different aspects of jazz music. These video lessons are short and engaging and make learning easy!

Jazz Music - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Jazz music was born in the United States and was influenced largely by African American soul music, like the blues and spiritual songs sung by the slaves in the pre-Civil war era. At the heart of jazz music is emotion and deep feeling. It also borrows from religious music, marching songs and ragtime. Jazz music is truly a blended art. It takes from many influences and becomes unique in its own way. As you'll learn in this chapter, jazz music is perhaps best known for its up tempo beats and instruments, like the trumpet. It is also known for the many artists who helped to make this a famous musical style. You'll learn about its history and foundations in these lessons, too. By the end of this chapter, you'll have studied:

  • The elements of jazz, from swing to scat
  • Famous jazz artists, such as Louis Armstrong and Charlie Parker
  • The role of the piano and Big Band in jazz
  • Improvisation in jazz
  • The chordal complexity of this music
  • Vocal phrasing in jazz

Video Objective
Elements of Jazz: Swing, Syncopation, Styles & History Discover how swing influenced jazz and study elements of jazz, like scat and improvisation.
Jazz Masters: Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker, Cole Porter & More Explore the work of famous jazz artists.
Duke Ellington: Music, Piano & Big Band Learn more about Duke Ellington and his music.
Louis Armstrong: Music, Trumpet & Vocal Style Find out why Louis Armstrong is such a famous jazz musician.
Charlie Parker: Jazz Styles, Saxophone & Improvisation Discover how the saxophone made an appearance, different jazz styles and Charlie Parker's contributions to jazz.
Miles Davis: Compositions, Improvisation and Trumpet Examine the style of cool jazz and Miles Davis.
Dizzy Gillespie: Compositions, Trumpet & Latin Jazz Find out how Latin influences were brought into jazz by artists like Dizzy Gillespie.
Ella Fitzgerald: Songs, Improvisational Style & Vocal Phrasing Analyze the female role in jazz, and see how female artists, like Ella Fitzgerald, influenced this music style.

8 Lessons in Chapter 9: Jazz Music
Elements of Jazz: Swing, Syncopation, Styles & History

1. Elements of Jazz: Swing, Syncopation, Styles & History

Jazz music may be difficult to define, but it does have some common elements that help characterize it. Explore the elements, styles, and history of American jazz music and test your understanding with a brief quiz.

Duke Ellington: Music, Piano & Big Band

2. Duke Ellington: Music, Piano & Big Band

Duke Ellington was a famous American composer and musician of the 20th century with an incredible role in the history of jazz. Explore his life and legacy, and then test your understanding with a brief quiz.

Louis Armstrong: Music, Trumpet & Vocal Style

3. Louis Armstrong: Music, Trumpet & Vocal Style

Louis Armstrong is arguably one of the most famous jazz musicians in American history. Come check out his musical style and legacy, then test yourself with a brief quiz.

Charlie Parker: Jazz Styles, Saxophone & Improvisation

4. Charlie Parker: Jazz Styles, Saxophone & Improvisation

Despite dying at age 34, Charlie Parker made an important impact on the genre of jazz. Among the most important of these was improvisation, which influenced other jazz musicians as well as the hipster subculture of the 1940s.

Miles Davis: Compositions, Improvisation and Trumpet

5. Miles Davis: Compositions, Improvisation and Trumpet

Miles Davis (1926-1991) was a legendary trumpeter and composer who pioneered the genres of bebop and jazz fusion. Learn about his career, albums, and improvisational work in jazz, then test yourself.

Dizzy Gillespie: Compositions, Trumpet & Latin Jazz

6. Dizzy Gillespie: Compositions, Trumpet & Latin Jazz

In this lesson, you will explore the performance and composition styles of jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie. Then, you'll be able to test your understanding with a brief quiz.

Ella Fitzgerald: Songs, Improvisational Style & Vocal Phrasing

7. Ella Fitzgerald: Songs, Improvisational Style & Vocal Phrasing

Ella Fitzgerald was one of the greatest singers of the 20th century. In this lesson, you'll explore her personal style and discover where she fits in the history of jazz. Then, you can test your understanding with a brief quiz.

Jazz Masters: Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker, Cole Porter & More

8. Jazz Masters: Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker, Cole Porter & More

Jazz is one of the most American of art forms, and it has helped to define the country's culture. In this lesson, we will take a look at a few of the masters of the genre and how they made an impact on music of the twentieth century.

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