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Roots of Jazz: Folk:



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Also historically you can think of jazz as coming from three different kinds of directions at the beginning of the twentieth century. There are ways in which it's drawing out of folk traditions, which means it's really drawing on the musical vocabulary that had existed in America for centuries and in some ways is the inheritance of musical practices from Africa. These are oral practices that are happening, you know, on the ground in agricultural communities and then moving to the city by the beginning of the twentieth century. And you can see how kinds of music were happening at the same time as jazz, like the blues, which really was beginning as a musical genre around 1900, 1905. You can see that this folk tradition is, in fact, quite alive and producing new kinds of music on the spot.

A lot of jazz musicians drew their techniques directly from that kind of experience so in that sense it is a, there is a way in which jazz is pulling directly from the folk tradition every time a musician picks up their trumpet and tries to find a way to imitate what they've heard in a church or in a barroom or whatever [way] it is they happened to have encountered the folk tradition and find a way to reproduce that on their instrument.

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