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Controversial Movements In Music

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"The ultimate achievement for any culture is the creation of an art form" (Marsalis, Pg 3). Wynton Marsalis is a strong supporter of traditional jazz whose impression is that music should stay traditional. On the other hand, Herbie Hancock believes the opposite. For music to grow or become anything, the artist must experiment and try new things. Herbie Hancock's theories allow for the movement of jazz music from the traditional to a more progressive new form. He believes what makes history is what music reflects on.

Music has made an impact on all levels in history. The early days of jazz provided many styles which highlighted the talent and innovation of African American music including Ragtime and Dixieland. Ragtime also contributed to the movement of African Americans to march against racism. Dixieland was a form that made a mockery of how Caucasian people danced. Soul, the movement of power to African Americans. All of which reflected what was going on in history during that time. For traditional jazz to be played in the present time would have no meaning to the people playing it. For instance, a young jazz musician playing Charles Mingus' song "Fables of Faubus" (which was about the wrong doings of governor Faubus) would have no meaning to the musician because he/she never lived that era. As for new, recent music, the artist plays what he/she feels in respect to the present. For instance, Herbie Hancock's new album came out about a month ago called "Possibilities". This album was called his "all-star project" (Downbeat; Pg 38) because it featured new artists like John Mayer, Christina Aguilera, and Paul Simon. The album shows the movement of music to what new form of jazz, soul, and pop our recent era has developed. The development of history is the development of music, and visa versa.

Jazz has progressed into many different forms but also styles. Styles are what makes the music change. For instance, traditional Ragtime style moved to Dixieland which moved to Bebop. And from there traditional jazz was created. But jazz kept progressing the way it did. Bebop to the birth of Cool. Cool to Funk and Fusion. Funk and Fusion to Free Jazz. And so on. So where is our music heading? Our styles from jazz has moved to a new style that is now apart of our era. This new style can create a form of inspiration towards the listener. This inspiration can breach outside of music and into the present time. For traditional jazz to create inspiration may only be within the music itself since the style is so far passed. "I've found from my own life that I can get more accomplished by getting a person inspired to do something. Inspiration, not intimidation." (Hancock, page 7).

Music has a large impact on people. It can bring a person out of depression as well as bring them into it. It can create fights as well as solve them. Traditional jazz was a source for this back in the 20's to late 60's. Now, traditional jazz does not have much of an impact on people as much as newer music does. For example, John Coltrane's album "A Love Supreme" was considered spiritual at its time. Today, there are still some who consider it spiritual but not as many. As times change, the popularity of albums change making the impact of certain albums change or just dissipate. Certain types of music create certain types of impacts on people. With different types of music you can find different types of people, too. Certain people are a certain type of music. For instance, "Beatniks" are considered "jazzy". "Goths" are considered to listen to Grunge. "Gangstas" are considered rappers. These are stereotypes and not all people fall under one category, of course. But a large majority of people are what they listen to. Back in the late 40's and 50's, there were a larger amount of "beatniks". As time goes on and the music progresses, the "beatnik" era slowly dies off as it gives birth to new types of people who correspond to their type of music. These groups of people are what forms our present into history.

Music business is growing to fit the current population. New artists are arising from what is new music. If a musician, even a prodigy, were to release a traditional jazz album with a musician who released a new and creatively different album, the new and creative album would get a larger crowd and a larger market no matter how amazing the traditional jazz musician is. Listeners are looking for what's new and "hip". So for a musician to become successful he/she must create what is new towards the current population. Music is trendy and musicians must realize that.

Traditional Jazz opposed to new, recent music has many differences but one stands out from the rest; electronic. The use of electronic instruments has created a new breed of music and musicians that traditional jazz could not use. The use of electric guitars, synthesizers, drum machines, and computers all create a new sound that traditional jazz could never use. But, of course, these electronic instruments could create a new and interesting sound that could, again, further the music. For example,



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