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Jazz’s Beginnings


1. National Center for History in the Schools, UCLA

2. Music Educators National Association

3. Student handouts may be down loaded from the web site, printed, and photocopied.

4. Any material from the web site may be down loaded, printed, and made into a transparency as the instructor sees fit.

5. IHJ = selection is found on Willie Hill's The Instrumental History of Jazz; Web = selection is found on the Monk Institute Jazz in America National Curriculum web site (www.jazzinamerica.org)

TOPICS: Jazz's Beginnings

  1. Roots
  2. Ragtime
  3. Early Jazz (Dixieland)

National Standards for United States History (Grades 9-12)1

Historical Thinking
Students should be able to:
  1. draw upon visual, literary, and musical sources. (Historical Comprehension Standard 2i)
  2. compare and contrast differing sets of ideas, values, personalities, behaviors, and institutions (Historical Analysis and Interpretation Standard 3a)
  3. consider multiple perspectives (Historical Analysis and Interpretation Standard 3b)
  4. hypothesize the influence of the past (Historical Analysis and Interpretation Standard 3j)
  5. obtain historical data (Historical Research Capabilities Standard 4b)
Historical Content
Students should:
  1. understand African life under slavery (Colonization and Settlement Standard 3c), able to analyze how Africans in North America drew upon their African past and upon selected European customs and values to develop a distinctive African American culture
  2. understand "scientific racism," race relations, and the struggle for equal rights (The Development of the Industrial United States, 1870-1900 Standard 2b), able to analyze the role of new laws and the federal judiciary in instituting racial inequality and in disfranchising various racial groups
  3. understand how new cultural movements at different social levels affected American life (The Development of the Industrial United States 1870-1900 Standard 2c), able to investigate new forms of popular culture and leisure activities at different levels of American society
  4. understand how new cultural movements reflected and changed American society (The Emergence of Modern America 1890-1930 Standard 3c), able to examine the contributions of artists and writers of the Harlem Renaissance and assess their popularity

National Standards for Arts Education (Music Grades 9-12)2

Content Standard #6 - Listening to, Analyzing, and Describing Music
  1. analyze aural examples of a varied repertoire of music, representing diverse genres and cultures, by describing the uses of elements of music and expressive devices
  2. demonstrate extensive knowledge of the technical vocabulary of music
  3. identify and explain compositional devices and techniques used to provide unity and variety and tension and release in a musical work and give examples of other works that make similar uses of these devices and techniques
  4. demonstrate the ability to perceive and remember music events by describing in detail significant events occurring in a given aural example
  5. compare ways in which musical materials are used in a given example relative to ways in which they are used in other works of the same genre or style
  6. analyze and describe uses of the elements of music in a given work that make it unique, interesting, and expressive
Content Standard #9 - Understanding Music in Relation to History and Culture
  1. classify by genre or style and by historical period or culture unfamiliar but representative aural examples of music and explain the reasoning behind their classifications
  2. identify sources of American music genres, trace the evolution of those genres, and cite well-known musicians associated with them
  3. identify various roles that musicians perform, cite representative individuals who have functioned in each role, and describe their activities and achievements
  4. identify and explain the stylistic features of a given musical work that serve to define its aesthetic tradition and its historical or cultural context.
  5. identify and describe music genres or styles that show the influence of two or more cultural traditions, identify the cultural source of each influence, and trace the historical conditions that produced the synthesis of influences

The student will
  1. gain a fundamental understanding of jazz's roots and their hybridization in New Orleans in the early 20th century
    1. African Roots
    2. European Influences
    3. blues, dance music and parade bands, and ragtime
  2. gain a fundamental understanding of Early Jazz (Dixieland) - 1900-mid 1920s
  3. learn the basic definition of several terms associated with jazz
    1. blues
    2. ragtime
    3. polyrhythm
    4. solo/soloist
    5. ensemble
    6. break (stop time)
    7. mute
  4. listen to ragtime and early jazz recordings
  5. become acquainted with Louis Armstrong and Bix Beiderbecke
  6. participate in a class discussion regarding jazz's contribution to and reflection of American culture in the first quarter of the 20th century

  1. CD player
  2. chalkboard (with chalk and eraser)
  3. overhead projector (optional)
  4. computer logged onto www.jazzinamerica.org (optional)

  1. The Instrumental History of Jazz
    1. two CDs
    2. accompanying booklet
  2. Student Handouts (one per student)3
    1. chapter glossary
    2. two American History (AH) handouts: Slavery in America and Jim Crow America
    3. Primarily African/Primarily European Influences on Jazz chart
    4. Ragtime Characteristics
    5. Early Jazz Characteristics
    6. time line (first quarter of 20th century)
    7. Important Jazz "Firsts"
    8. Jazz Biographies (JB) handout (Louis Armstrong and Bix Beiderbecke)
  3. Overhead projector transparencies4

The instructor will
  1. distribute student handouts
  2. discuss how the Black experience in America led to the development of a distinct African American culture
  3. discuss jazz's roots and their hybridization in New Orleans in the early 20th century, defining terms associated with jazz as needed
    1. African influences
    2. European influences
    3. blues
    4. dance music and parade bands
    5. ragtime
  4. discuss Early Jazz (Dixieland)
  5. have students read and discuss the student handouts, Slavery in America and Jim Crow America
  6. discuss how new interpretations of the Fourteenth Amendment legalized segregation
  7. examine the biographical sketches of Louis Armstrong and Bix Beiderbecke
  8. play significant recordings of ragtime and early jazz
    1. Maple Leaf Rag, Scott Joplin (IHJ) or The Entertainer, Scott Joplin (Web)5
    2. Dippermouth Blues, King Oliver/Louis Armstrong (IHJ) or Working Man Blues, King Oliver/Louis Armstrong (Web)
    3. Dixie Jazz Band One Step, Original Dixieland Jazz Band (IHJ) or Livery Stable Blues,Original Dixieland Jazz Band (Web)
  9. lead a class discussion regarding jazz's contribution to and reflection of American culture in the first quarter of the 20th century

Test Bank
  1. Multiple Choice
  2. Fill in the Blank
  3. True-False
  4. Matching
  5. Essay

the Herbie Hancock institute of jazz
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