Jazz and Rap
What is known today as “pop” or popular music evolved in American society at the end of 19th centry. Pop music, which accounts for the majority of the music, is a mix of many different styles of music, such as jazz and rap. Although jazz and rap originate from two different groups of people, the African-American and South African, they are both musical art forms and related to African people. However, there are some obvious differences, which are reflected in instruments, musical styles and effects on the audience.
First of all, different instruments have different effects on jazz and rap. Considering many genres of jazz, many instruments are used, such as piano, violin and guitar. “Meanwhile, the central instruments remained central, with the exception of the clarinet, and new approaches developed for the trombone, saxophone, piano, guitar, string bass, and drums”(Kernfeld 167). On the other hand, ...view middle of the document...
A complex vocabulary and an “unique regional slang”(Kool Moe Dee 2003, p.224), which are more aggressive and vulgar, play an effective role on the performance of rappers. However, jazz music is more complicated because of its wide ranges of active styles, such as cool jazz, soul jazz, modal jazz, free jazz, Latin jazz, jazz rock and jazz junk. Poetic lyrics and techniques of expression are the main characteristics of traditional jazz music, which is quieter than fierce rap music. Take modern jazz quartet as an example, “it usually has a “ lighter” sound that avoids the aggressive tempos and harmonic abstraction of bebop”(Acosta.p102 ).
Thirdly, the effects of jazz and rap on the audience are dissimiliar. Young people are the main targets of rap music. Undoubtedly, rap music incites to behave aggressively and enthusiastically, makes them dance while listening to it and stimulates them to become more creative. In contrast, jazz music is smooth and quiet. That is why most coffee bars prefer playing jazz music for their customers. Customers in many bars would like to enjoy themselves in a calm way while the bands are playing old jazz music. Consequently, jazz music has had a dramatic development over one centry.
To sum up, there is no doubt that jazz and rap can be regarded as “leaders” in the popular music field. It is the difference between them that continually gives the public more fresh ways of hearing. In the meantime, contemporary composers, musicians and pop singers are combining the traditional music elements with the current advancements to further develop these beautiful genres and to make them full of more creative characteristics.
Kernfeld, Barry. “Chapter2, Rhythm.” Want to Listen For in Jazz.
Yale University,1995.Print.17 October 2013
Edwards, Paul. “Chapter1, Advanced Rhythm Techniques.” How to Rap2.
Chicago: Chicago Review Press. 2013. 113-116
Kool Moe, Dee. There's A God On The Mic: The True 50 Greatest MCs.
Thunder's Mouth Press. n,d. 224.17 October 2013
Acosta, Leonardo. Cubano Be Cubano Bop. One Hundred Years of Jazz in Cuba.
Washington D.C: 2003. 102. 17 October 2013