Jazz (English Jazz) – a form of musical art that arose in the early XX century in the United States as a result of the synthesis of African and European cultures and subsequently received widespread distribution. The characteristic features of the musical language of jazz were originally improvisation, polyrhythmia based on syncopated rhythms, and a unique set of techniques for performing rhythmic textures – swing. Further development of jazz occurred due to the development of new rhythmic and harmonic models by jazz musicians and composers.
The most important characteristics of jazz are the presence in the rhythm, firstly, of a regular pulsation, the so-called “beat,” and secondly, deviations from this pulsation – “swing” (from English – “swing”, “swing”). They originate in the traditions of African music. Swing is one of the expressive means of jazz. In addition to the special expressive role of rhythm, jazz inherited other features of African music: the interpretation of all instruments as percussion, rhythmic; the predominance of conversational intonations in singing and imitation of colloquial speech when playing instruments. The works performed by Negro musicians often took the form of alternating a very short solo motive – a call and a choral or instrumental response.
Jazz is an art based on improvisation in combination with a pre-thought out, but not necessarily recorded in notes form of composition. Several musicians can improvise simultaneously, even if a solo voice is clearly heard in the ensemble. The finished artistic image of the work depends on the interaction of the members of the ensemble between themselves and with the audience. The early New Orleans stage of traditional jazz (until about the end of the 10s of the 20th century) is characterized by the collective improvisation of several, usually three, versions of the same melody by a trumpeter (main voice), clarinet player and trombonist against a background of marching accompaniment of copper bass and drums.
In the 20s. The main features of future styles were found: the uniform ripple of double bass and percussion, which facilitated swinging, virtuoso soloing, the manner of vocal improvisation without words using separate syllables (“sket”). A significant place in the repertoire of traditional jazz was taken by the blues. Later, both stages of early jazz – New Orleans and Chicago followed it – are combined by the term “Dixieland.” Attempts have been made to use jazz elements in large-scale works (the so-called symphojazz). The most famous are the ballet The Creation of the World by D. Millau, Rhapsody in Blues Tones by J. Gershwin, and a number of symphonic and jazz compositions by I.F. Stravinsky. Since the mid 50’s. experiments on combining the principles of jazz and modern music have again spread, already under the name “third movement”, also in Soviet music (“Concert for orchestra” by A. Ya. Eshpay, “Concert for jazz” M. M. Kazhlaeva, 2- concert for piano and orchestra R. K. Shchedrin, 1st Symphony A. G. Schnittke).
In the late 20s – early 30s. there was a harmonious system, called the style of “swing” and subsequently acquired the significance of jazz classics. First of all, swing is characterized by the appearance of a new type of orchestra – the big band. With the increase in the orchestra, it was necessary to abandon collective improvisation and move on to performing arrangements recorded on notes. The arrangement was one of the first manifestations of the composer’s beginning in jazz: it limited improvisation, for which the score provided for free windows.
The big band consists of three groups of instruments – sections, each can sound like one polyphonic instrument: sections of saxophones (later with clarinets), “copper” sections (trumpets and trombones), rhythm sections (piano, guitar, double bass, drums).
Secondly, there was a solo improvisation based on the “square” (“chorus”). A “square” is one variation equal in duration (number of measures) to the theme and performed against the background of the same theme as the chord accompaniment to which the improviser adjusts new melodic turns. In the 30s – 40s. along with the blues, a song form of 32 measures became widespread. Thirdly, “riff” is widely used in swing – two or four clock rhythmically flexible replicas. The orchestra performs it while the soloist improvises. And finally, fourthly, a swinging four-lobed pulsation, in which even beats of the measure are accented in any way. Among the first jazz big bands are the orchestras of F. Henderson, C. Basie, B. Goodman, G. Miller, D. Ellington. The latter is already in the 40s. He turned to large cyclic forms based on Negro and Latin American folklore, as well as the genre of concert miniatures. In the late 30s. most American swing orchestras (their repertoire almost supplanted other types of pop-entertaining music) switched to commercial music. Therefore, among jazz lovers and musicians, there was even a movement for the revival of earlier, genuinely jazz styles ..