Music is a popular and universal media that is enjoyed by all, different cultures, young and old and for many reasons. There are more benefits in music than just as a form of an entertainment. These benefits include a way to express feelings and emotions, a method to pass on information and important messages. Music has been said to be universal and is also said to be a universal language. It is appreciated by all cultures, rich and poor, young and old. Music can be used to define ones lifestyle. Its universality, acceptance by all, plus its many benefits make it a popular culture which is used to influence the society. Music is more than just entertainment as it influences people’s way of living. It is a lifestyle and a form of identifying oneself.
Popular culture is the informal wide acceptance of shared practices preferred and appeals to the public. This common practice has an influence in the groups’ way of life and is reflected in the groups’ lifestyle. It affects people’s ideas, attitudes, perspectives and images. Popular culture is subject to change as popularized by the mass media. Music fits in this definition of popular culture. Music has an influence in the way of life of those who enjoy some type of music. A certain age group can be identified with the kind of music they enjoy. This is more so with the young people. The chosen style of music will have an influence in the group’s lifestyle, their personal image, choice of dressing and their choice of communication. This is more so with the young people. Ones taste of music can be used to determine ones class and taste (Shuker, 2001). There are certain factors that will influence the popularity of music with a certain group. These factors include one’s background, age and gender and sometimes ethnicity. The choice of music will have an influence on the choice of friends one has. Friends are mostly people with whom one shares some likes and dislikes and music can be used to identify ones preferences.
May be there is no music that exemplifies America’s cultural diversity and individualism as much as Jazz Music. Jazz Music is richly American. Little wonder its popularity has barely found a huge following in other parts of the world as is the case with other genres of American music. And that is exactly why Jazz is my favorite type of music. It is the kind of music that refreshes my patriotism.
Jazz’s unique expression borrows from human emotion and life experience. These are the inspiration of the inventive force through which this discourse is chronicled and the history of a people found. Jazz music brings people from different races, regions and natural boundaries. And what makes it even more American is the fact that it has always made potent statements about creativity, freedom, and American identity. That is why Jazz music is intrinsically American. Even its historical development proves so.
This innately American music began in Louisiana in early 20th century. Then, Louisiana was a melting pot, teaming up with a multiple of cultures and types of music. Here American blues, South American blues, European classical music and rhythms coalesced into what to be known as Jazz. Jazz music was also highly influenced by West African culture, and that can be felt in its pedigree. Of course, some observers think that Jazz developed simultaneously in Louisiana and other parts of the United States. While this may be in doubt, there is no doubt that Louisiana in New Orleans played an instrumental role in the initial stage of what would grow to become America’s purest art form.
When this music moved to the cities of New York, Chicago, and Kansas in the 1940s it found there a bust of music scenes. It is in these cities and at these times that dancehalls would be filled up with fans keen to see the large jazz ensembles. This is the “Swing Era,” thanks to the little swings featured by the Big Bands.
Two members of a Big Band, Dizzy Gillespie-a trumpeter-and Charlie Parker –a saxophonist came up with an extremely virtuosic and harmonically appraised style that would later be known as "Bebop." Bebop was used in reference to the rhythmic punches that would be heard in the music. Bepop was slowly but surely replaced by another genre of jazz music that was calm and smooth and favored long and linear melodies. This was cool jazz.
Today, Jazz is highly developed, thanks to its affinity to improvisation. Louis Armstrong is regarded among many jazz enthusiasts as the founder father f modern jazz improvisation. As a result of his improvisation today there is classical jazz, modern jazz, rock jazz and pop jazz.
Like every other popular culture, music is subject to change and is used to initiate change. This change is reflected in the beats and in the dancing style. Music is used to pass on an important message that is relevant to the group that enjoys a certain type of music. Thus music is a very important tool in influencing people’s lifestyles as it is popular with all.