The origins of jazz lie in the heart of the deep south of America, in New Orleans, Louisiana during the time of the black American enslavement before the American Civil War. But first let us look at what the main ingredients were for this inventive mix of white and black culture.
The styles present in New Orleans before the development of jazz, that led up to its creation, would include the work, prison and spiritual songs of the west African slaves, the dance music of both the white Europeans and the black Americans, military dance music and the call and response style that was mainly of the black church. These styles all contributed to the development of jazz but through a process that was very similar to the general process of the integration of the black slaves African culture with the white European culture already there. Cornel West, an African-American cultural theorist, claimed the main black means of cultural expression lay in music and preaching.
"The stylistic combination of the oral, the literate and the musical is exemplary... it is part and parcel of black underclass youths, energies hat are forced to take a cultural mode of articulation because of the political lethargy of American society."
West, C. (1994:402)
Although this was stated about the more modern uprising of black music in American culture I believe it states what is so appealing about the music African-American's create and why it is so appealing to American youth, regardless of when it comes about.
In New Orleans, dancing was a basis of social events and therefore, led to the encouragement of the black slaves on the plantations to learn to play instruments although the slaves still did not own anything least of all the instruments they played. It is unlikely they had...