Jazz is a genre of music, originally from the African American, which became popular at the beginning of the 20th century. Jazz was influenced by the African rhythms and the structure of the European harmonic. The view that jazz is solely of the African-American origin has elicited a lot of criticism. Critics like Wheaton believe that it “can be defined as a combination of improvisatory styles with European form and harmony” (Wheaton 90). Maybe a clearer picture can be painted by the story of New Orleans – the cradle of jazz. The three major social groups that lived in New Orleans during the rule of the Catholic French were; Creoles, Whites, and Blacks. Initially, the Creoles and the whites had an equal status, and so they were allowed to study European music. However, a few years after the Louisiana Purchase, the Creoles were pushed into the black quarters. The Creoles with their knowledge of European music and the Blacks with their rhythmic music provided the ingredients for jazz music.
Smooth jazz developed around the 1980s. It was influenced by jazz, pop music, rhythm and blues and rock ‘n’ roll. According to Nicholson, smooth jazz is ‘airplay-friendly instrumental pop-jazz with slick production values and musical hooks from contemporary popular music.’ (Nicholson 222). This pop-influenced jazz was made for a specific target audience – 25-30-year-old ‘affluent’ adult professionals, something that t…
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