Last Updated 27 Jul 2020

Music in the Roaring Twenties

Category Jazz, Music
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MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT IN THE ROARING TWENTY’S [pic] ? Introduction The 1920s known as the “Roaring Twenties” were a time of great change, economic growth, mass production, urbanization (farmers moved to larger industrial cities), cars, telephone, radio, record players and prohibition. It was a period of a new freedom for women. It was for Americans and western Europeans, a break period from the first world, a time for happiness and peace. Finally the Wall Street Crash of 1929, ended this period as the Great economic depression set in worldwide.

The Roaring Twenties were the first golden age of the American music and often known as “The Jazz Age”. This "movement" in which jazz music grew in popularity, also influenced other parts of the world. However prior to the Jazz, dance was to dominate all forms of music. ? America export Music to the world When the American dancer Josephine Baker visited Berlin in 1925, at the time when Francis Scott Fitzgerald published the Great Gatsby in the US, she performed at the “Theater Des Westens” and found it dazzling. The city had a jewel-like sparkle," she said, "the vast cafes reminded me of ocean liners powered by the rhythms of their orchestras. There was music everywhere. " Eager to look ahead after the crushing defeat of World War I. The music played in Berlin, Amsterdam, London, or Paris, mostly originated from small towns in America. ? Origins of music in the ‘roaring twenties’ Following World War I, around 500,000 African Americans in search of better employment opportunities moved to the northern part of the United States.

They left their home towns of New Orleans, (Louisiana), or Saint Louis (Missouri), Kansas City (Missouri)… With them, they brought their culture to the North in places like Chicago (Illinois), Detroit (Michigan), Cincinnati (Ohio), Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania), and York City (NY) which became the place for the “Harlem Renaissance” During this period of time, the works of African Americans in fields such as writing and music escalated. Styles of music including Dixieland and blues became popular as well.

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Throughout the 1920's many people took an interest in music and in dance. They owned pianos, trumpets, saxophones, drums, bass, guitars, clarinets, trombones and played sheet music, listened to records and visited theatres, and dance clubs. With the help of radio broadcasting, new artists become famous all over the United States and for some around the world. ? Dance clubs in the 1920’s Dance clubs became enormously popular in the 1920s. Dance music came to dominate all forms of popular music by the late 1920s. Classical pieces, operettas, folk music, etc. ere all transformed into dance music in order to please young people much as the disco phenomena would later do in the late 1970s. For example, many of the songs from the 1929 Technicolor musical operetta The Rogue Song (starring the Metropolitan Opera star Lawrence Tibbett) were rearranged and released as dance music and became popular club hits in 1929. Dance clubs across the U. S. sponsored dance contests, where dancers invented, tried, and competed with new moves. Professionals began to perform in tap dance and other dances across the United States.

With the advent of talking pictures (sound film) musicals became the main attraction. Film studios flooded the box office with new musical films, many of which were filmed in ‘Technicolor’ ne of the most popular of these musicals, ‘Gold Diggers of Broadway’ became the most known film of the decade. Harlem played a key role in the development of dance styles. With several entertainment venues, people from all walks of life, all races, and all classes came together. The ‘Cotton Club’ featured black performers and catered to a white clientele, while the ‘Savoy Ballroom’ catered to a mostly black clientele. Popular dances & Musicians The most popular dances throughout the decade were the: foxtrot, waltz, and American tango. From the early 1920s, however, a variety of eccentric novelty dances were developed. The first of these were the Breakaway and Charleston. Both were based on African-American musical styles and beats, including the widely popular blues. The Charleston dance became popular after appearing along with the song, "The Charleston," by James P. Johnson in the Broadway musical Runnin' Wild in 1923.

Although the origins of the dance are obscure, the dance has been traced back to blacks who lived on an island off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina (which is why the dance is called "Charleston"). A brief Black Bottom dance, originating from the Apollo Theatre in Haarlem (NY), swept dance halls from 1926 to 1927, replacing the Charleston in popularity. By 1927, the Lindy Hop, a dance based on Breakaway and Charleston and integrating elements of tap, became the dominant social dance. Developed in the Savoy Ballroom, it was set to stride piano ragtime jazz.

The Lindy Hop would later evolve into Swing dance. These dances, nonetheless, were danced by small groups of people. The majority of people continued to dance the foxtrot, waltz, and tango. On the singing side, top singers were Nick Lucas, Scrappy Lambert, Frank Munn, Lewis James , Gene Austin, Franklyn Baur, Johnny Marvin, and Ruth Etting. Leading orchestra leaders included Bob Haring, Harry Horlick, Louis Katzman, Leo Reisman, Victor Arden, Phil Ohman, George Olsen, Ted Lewis, Abe Lyman, Ben Selvin, Nat Shilkret, Fred Waring, and Paul Whiteman. ? All that jazz in the 1920’s

However, despite all these trends and forms of music, the most known would remain the Jazz. Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in black communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. One name, one of the most famous jazz musicians of all time, is worth mentioning. Louis Daniel Armstrong (1901 - 1971), from New Orleans, Louisiana, displayed his amazing talents as a trumpeter, cornet player, and singer during the Jazz Age. He studied and played with a famed cornet player named Joseph "King Oliver" Oliver (1885 - 1938).

In 1925, "Satchmo," (his nickname) who had learned to play cornet at the age of twelve, started The Hot Fives. The band would later gain two more musicians and was appropriately renamed The Hot Sevens. He did not restrict his talents to just music, however. He also starred in films such as Pennies from Heaven. He continued working in the last three years of his life, most of which was spent in hospitals. He died at home on July 6, 1971. Some of the many artists of that time also included Duke Ellington (1899 - 1974), Joseph "King Oliver" Oliver (1885 - 1938), Bessie Smith (1894? 1937), Benny Goodman (1909 - 1986), and Ma Rainey. ? Conclusion: The Roaring Twenties: a golden age for American Music and dance The Roaring Twenties period has long been considered a golden era of American society; the standard of living was rising, morality was being re-defined, innovation and business was soaring, and the general public perceived that times were good. It has been considered also as a golden age for the music and entertainment industry such as dance, theatre and film industry. Definition: The Harlem Renaissance was a cultural movement that pned the 1920s and 1930s. At the time, it was known as the "New Negro Movement", named after the 1925 anthology by Alain Locke. Though it was centered in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City, many French-speaking black writers from African and Caribbean colonies who lived in Paris were also influenced by the Harlem Renaissance. PICTURES [pic] New York Dance Club 1923 [pic] Jazz Orchestra Houston Tx. [pic] Fashion models listening to radio [pic] News [pic] Dance club : Cotton Club [pic]

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