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Early Jazz


1. National Center for History in the Schools, UCLA

2. NAfME: The National Association for Music Education

3. For information on ordering The Instrumental History of Jazz 2-CD set, click here.

4. Student handouts can be downloaded from the Jazz in America website and photocopied.

5. Any material from the Jazz in America website may be downloaded, printed, and/or made into a PowerPoint slide as the instructor sees fit.


  1. Early Jazz
  2. Cultural Implications of Early Jazz

National Standards for United States History1

Historical Thinking
Students should be able to:
  1. Draw upon the visual, literary, and musical sources, including (a) photographs, paintings, cartoons, and architectural drawings; (b) novels, poetry, and plays; and (c) folk, popular and classical music, to clarify, illustrate, or elaborate upon information presented in the historical narrative (Historical Comprehension Standard 2I).
Historical Content
Students should understand the limitations of Progressivism and the alternatives offered by various groups (Era 7: The Emergence of Modern America Standard 1C). Therefore, the student should be able to:
  1. Examine the perspectives of various African Americans on Progressivism and their alternative programs.

National Standards for Music Education2

Artistic Process - Responding: Select, Analyze, Interpret and Evaluate Music
  1. Choose music appropriate for a specific purpose or context. – Demonstrate and explain, citing evidence, how selected music connects to and is influenced by specific interests, experiences, purposes, or contexts (MU:Re7.1.5a).
  2. Analyze how the structure and context of varied musical works inform the response. – Demonstrate and explain, citing evidence, how responses to music are informed by the structure, the use of the elements of music, and context (such as social, cultural, and historical) (MU:Re7.2.5a).
  3. Support interpretations of musical works that reflect creators’/performers’ expressive intent. – Demonstrate and explain how the expressive qualities (such as dynamics, tempo, timbre, and articulation) are used in performers’ and personal interpretations to reflect expressive intent (MU:Re8.1.5a).
  4. Support evaluations of musical works and performances based on analysis, interpretation, and established criteria. – Evaluate musical works and performances, applying established criteria, and explain appropriateness to the context, citing evidence from the elements of music (MU:Re9.1.5a).
Artistic Process - Connecting: Synthesize and Relate Musical Ideas
  1. Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make music. – Demonstrate how interests, knowledge, and skills relate to personal choices and intent when creating, performing, and responding (MU:Cn10.0.5a).
  2. Relate musical ideas and works with varied context to deepen understanding. – Demonstrate understanding of relationships between music and the other arts, other disciplines, varied contexts, and daily life (MU:Cn11.0.5a).

The student will:
  1. gain a fundamental understanding of early jazz, including:
    1. Early Jazz and Dixieland
    2. Roaring Twenties
  2. understand the American historical significance and cultural implications of early jazz

  1. computer logged onto www.jazzinamerica.org
  2. LCD projector and screen
  3. CD player (optional)

  1. The Instrumental History of Jazz (IHJ)3 – optional
    1. two CDs
    2. accompanying booklet
  2. Student Handouts4 (one per student)

The instructor will:
  1. distribute student handouts5
  2. discuss the fundamentals of Early Jazz and Dixieland
  3. discuss American history and culture regarding Early Jazz
  4. play various jazz recordings of Early Jazz

The students will:
  1. participate in a class discussion regarding Early Jazz and Dixieland
  2. participate in a class discussion regarding jazz history as a part of American history, including jazz's cultural implications
  3. listen to jazz recordings of Early Jazz
  4. follow and interact with the animated student handout entitled "Journey #2: Chicago, Illinois" (click the Student Handout button on the left-hand side of your screen)

A Test Bank is provided that includes questions in the four formats listed below. At the teacher's discretion, all of the questions in each test bank may be used, or a few questions from each format may be selected to compile a shorter test.
  1. Multiple Choice
  2. Fill in the Blanks
  3. True / False
  4. Matching

The following topics and activities are covered in the Student Handout:

  1. Destination and Dates: Chicago, 1920's

  2. Historical Event: Great Migration (1910-1920)

  3. Vocabulary:
    black and tan
    Free Jazz
    Great Migration
    moving assembly line
    steady beat
  4. Jazz Artists:
    Louis Armstrong
    Art Ensemble of Chicago
    Association for the Advancement
    of Creative Musicians
    Bix Beiderbecke
    Eddie Condon
    Bud Freeman
    Earl 'Fatha' Hines
    James P. Johnson
    Freddie Keppard
    Jimmy McPartland
    King Oliver

the Herbie Hancock institute of jazz
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