Introduction: My Extended Essay topic details the black influence on music during the Harlem Renaissance era. I believe that the topic I’ve chosen is vitally important because the Harlem Renaissance was one of the most popular cultural, social, and artistic movements that took place in Harlem between the end of World War I and the middle of the 1930s. It is a fact that the Harlem Renaissance helped pave the way following the World War II phase of the Civil Rights Movement. Many black artists who rose to new heights after the unrest were expressed being inspired by the Harlem Renaissance and its movement. Understanding, this was a cultural endeavor that lead many artists to reach deeper into their creative thinking to further develop the black music industry and its growth. The Harlem Renaissance was more than an artistic movement; this movement included valuable and sociological development.
This topic is important to me personally. As an African American young man, it is always fun and very interesting to learn more and more about my own culture and history. The impact that black people had on music at that time reached across many lanes of diversity. Even the foundation of the music that I personally listen to daily has been heavily influenced by the Harlem Renaissance movement. Black culture is the direct connection to the Harlem Renaissance. Black culture continues to expand with no limits on what you can or cannot express lyrically. The main idea of being free and open about expressing everything regarding one’s life has been passed down through the ages of black culture.
This has transitioned to the music and poetry that we so commonly see today. Similar to rap music, although, misunderstood by many rap music is very prolific and insightful. Every album released by a rap artist is simply a new piece of poetry waiting to be heard. This musical platform is even more important to me because my older brother is a rap artist. Having many opportunities to see and listen to his music up close and in person has given me a perspective on how the Harlem Renaissance movement has contributed to the music industry overall.Music Industry:There are many ways in which black people have influenced the music industry.
Just as there are many music styles, techniques, and cultural aspects that come into play with their influence on the music. Many different lyricist, artists and composers became popular during this time period and in the process, they influenced other artist and their music. These artists were a part of the most significant, intellectual and artistic trends of the twentieth century American history.
Their impact on the music industry was not their end. Their influence on music shifted the culture during this era as well. Jazz Age:”Jazz Age” was said by people that viewed this music that it was very influential. It was to be a defining features of the Renaissance. They surfaced out of the African American experience around the southern towns and cities, like New Orleans, Memphis, and St.
Louis. Being that these were prime cities these musical forms quickly spread across the country. Influential Musicians:Jazz certainly defied many musical conventions with its compressed rhythms and spontaneous instrumental solos, that would highlight the seen! Masses of city locals gathered night after night to view the same performers repeat with style. Harlem’s Cotton Club advertised the talents of well renowned Duke Ellington and many others. Headliners such as Bessie Smith popularized blues and jazz vocals with every stop. One of the many influential musicians during this time was Duke Ellington. He was a jazz composer, conductor, as well as an amazing performer during the Harlem Renaissance. He experimented with and ultimately developed the style that would quickly bring him success worldwide.
He was among the first to focus on the musical form and the composition of Jazz. As a writer He had written over 2,000 pieces of music in his career. Another influential musician was Louis Armstrong. “Louie” was also a jazz composer, but unlike Duke Louie made magic with happen with his trumpet during the Harlem Renaissance. Louie was widely recognized as a “founding father” of jazz. He performed hundreds of concerts per year as he was an absolute musical genius. Many wanted to see him in action and would travel for miles. Performing for both kids and adults all enjoyed watching his passion and the enthusiasm of his performances.
Louis Armstrong became well known in the 1920s, influencing numerous of musicians with both his bold style and his distinct vocal sound. Another musical genius was a woman by the name of Bessie Smith. Bessie Smith was a famous jazz and blues performer during the Harlem Renaissance. Betsy Smith recorded with several of the popular , including Louis Armstrong. She was very popular with both black communities as well as with the white community as she was an entertainer that shared her talents with both. Harlem Renaissance:The Harlem Renaissance was established 1918 and ended in 1933. Even though it was brief the Harlem Renaissance altered the African American society.
Featuring the well known composers in music as well as other aspects. The black community played a key role in influencing the music industry during the Harlem Renaissance. The Harlem Renaissance was flourishing of African Americans feelings that was conveyed in music. The economic opportunities of the era started a widespread migration of black Americans from the rural south to the industrial centers of the north.
These migrants mostly traveled to New York City. In many cases Black American artists and musicians used their talents to work for civil rights in order to seek equality. African American musicians played a significant role in influencing the music industry. No particular aspect of the Harlem Renaissance shaped America and the entire world as much as Jazz did. Jazz is the foundation of every musical sound. Without jazz we wouldn’t have the music we have today.
Music Impact:Each of the artists involved in the Harlem Renaissance undeniably changed the music industry overall. It’s also true to say that the effect on the americans way of doing things was just as powerful. The music created during the movement was historical to African-Americans, therefore it is essential to research the aspects that contributed to the African-American community we see today. The self confidence and persistence that the African American public displayed during The Harlem Renaissance represented a milestone in the African-American community.Music Influence:The music industry changed drastically during this time period. Many aspects of music were positively influenced in every way. Not only with the artists and composers but, with all music genres in general. Music was an outstanding characteristic to African Americans during the movement.
“Jazz Age” was added by several people that believed African American music was significant. With amazing sound being the primary feature of the Renaissance you would begin to see many different entertainers to choose from. Black American blues performers such as vocalist Ma Rainey and musician W.
C. Handy were very popular on the Vaudeville circuit in the late 1900 hundreds. The publishing of W. C. Handy’s “Memphis Blues” in 1912 and the initial recordings just a few years after brought the 1900’s into the mainstream of American popular culture. Jazz is said to have been established amid New Orleans composers that performed in adult outlets in the city. Jelly Roll Morton claimed to have invented jazz in 1902. African Americans established something that would have a widespread impact and drastically changed America with its musical influence for the better.
In 1905 a group of African American performers showed up on the seen in New York They called themselves the “Memphis Students”. James Weldon Johnson described the band as “a playing, singing and dancing orchestra, making a lot of use of various instruments like banjos, mandolins, guitars, saxophones, and drums. Band leader James Reese Europe, one of the “Memphis Students,” decided to take his Club Orchestra straight to the world renown Carnegie Hall.
War I, James Europe, brought in the sounds jazz, and the blues to Europeans. Following the war, jazz and the blues became increasingly popular with all American audiences. This is significant because before this movement African Americans really had no voice and weren’t respected to any degree, but when they began developing new and unique music African American artist became popular and admired. Different artists and singers that did blues and jazz started singing recording contracts. This began with African American record companies . For example, Black Swan Records rapidly, then Paramount, Columbia, and many common recording companies.
In Harlem, one club was opened constantly and it kept expanding, each featuring jazz orchestras or blues singers. Harlem was the forefront of an empire of arts and culture in black America.With the rise of jazz came the Harlem Renaissance also known as the “New Negro Movement”. This was a truly productive time for more it was also the reason for new careers for many african americans. This came with a new sense of self worth that could not be taken away.
The Harlem Renaissance details a group of artists as the reason for such amazing outburst of black American creativity. Many believe that the black community, although rather short, had a lasting impact on American culture and music. “Black Americans gained a new feeling of pride as many determined to find other ways to push back on prejudices that still held firmly in America”. The educated sections of our African American community believed that they could resist the stereotypical view by issuing their own competencies. With a increased cultural output many work against those associated with any sector of the white supremacy group. This leans towards showing that Black Americans were choosing NOT to tolerate their uncivilized stance. This created a profound strength in the black community and its musical industry. This also spilled over and provided needed confidence to the black culture.
To many this wasn’t just about the music industry it was about its effect on an entire culture. New StylesThe Harlem Stride Style, is best known as a new form of piano playing. This new form initially began during the Harlem Renaissance. Again tool that established the differences between poor and the elite black community.
Traditional jazz bands made up of mainly brass instruments were considered to be a symbol of the South. Where as the piano was considered to be an instrument primarily used by the wealthy. With having such a different distinction to the existing genre, the wealthy African Americans were now considered to have the access they needed to jazz music. Such popularity took off and spread throughout the entire country. As with all performers having access to such innovation was vitally important for performers. Musicians at the time showed great talent and didn’t at all mind competition. MAny African American musicians were looked upon as having paved the way for our next generation of musicians. This was a time seen as when the blacks musical style was becoming more interesting by far more americans that stretched far beyond blacks.
Unfortuniatly, this was also a time that created opportunity for musicians to be exploited. Some composers were seen to use written context such as poems that had been written by other African American poets in their songs. This happened along while the foundational context of the African American harmonies, and melodies remained. They incorporated styles such as blues, spirituals, and jazz into their concert pieces. African Americans also began to merge with artists in the classical world of musical composition, which had long been popular among white audiences. Even while including the most famous African-American musicians of the time, they were still highly by the idea of the “New Negro”.
Through employing the idea of the “New Negro,” the image of African-Americans in American art music changed from a stereotype to a depiction of people of African descent as significant contributors to the American cultural landscape. With the Harlem Renaissance moving forward completely , jazz evolved into the “people’s” music. The Harlem Renaissance music meant more than just music, it was seen as a way of life.
It touched all the African American creative arts. While its participants were determined to truthfully represent the African American experience and believed in racial pride and equality, they shared no common principle. By at least one measure, its success was clear: “the Harlem Renaissance was the first time that a considerable number of mainstream publishers and critics took African American music seriously, and it was the first time that African American music and its composers and the arts attracted significant attention from the nation at large.Impact on music today The black culture that we can see around us today comes from many different aspects. There are many different factors to the way black people go about their life today. Their popular music during the harlem renaissance contributed to modern black society.
The Harlem Renaissance is the origin of the black culture we see today. “The black community began to gain huge self esteem in a massive wave of solitude and stability” (African American literature). This is significant because this led the black culture to be so open and free in today’s culture. The mindset of freedom is the reason why rap and hip hop lyrics can say or mean whatever they want.
Much of the music today is about sex and illegal activities that have been under expressed until now. Another reason for the jump in popularity is because rather than soul and R, hip hop and rap are now the popular music produced by black people. Hip Hop/ Rap This genre of music used today stems from the path paved by the artists during the Harlem Renaissance.
Like the Harlem Renaissance, hip-hop was a former musical expression and artistic culture that originated in African-American communities in New York and the inner cities. Both Hip-hop and Jazz are music genres that were made by influential African Americans. Hip-hop transcended from the same musical techniques used by African American Jazz creators back then. You can see how the same unique styles used in Harlem , are still relevant today.
Jazz and Hip-hop both use the style of “improvisation”. Hip-Hop primarily uses improvisation when freestyling verses. These styles and techniques live on through this generation’s popular Hip-Hop artists such as Future, Drake.
And Kendrick Lamar. Conclusion:The African American community had a outstanding impact in the music industry during the Harlem Renaissance. They developed many new music styles, techniques, and cultural aspects that come into play with their influence on the music. Many different artists and composers became popular during this time period and in the process, they influenced other artist and their music. These artists were a part of the most significant, intellectual and artistic trends of the twentieth century American history. Their impact on the music industry was not their end.
Their influence on music shifted the culture during this era as well. Music was a prominent feature of the African American culture. In our musical genre today you can see the structure in the music that began in as early as 1920. Many young artists in today’s culture continue to sample music from other artists who paved the way for them. Although the music was of decades ago, it still carries heavy influence in the heart’s and the mind’s of many people. Our current generation as respect for musical artists of our history.
These past composers and creators of Jazz and the Blues, built something that would not only drastically change the way they enjoyed music back then, but would completely influence future artists from across the world for years to come. These musicians played a significant role in influencing the music industry. With the important Harlem Renaissance Era, came musicians that we associate to this movement.
No aspect of the Harlem Renaissance shaped America and the entire world as much as Jazz did. Jazz is the foundation of every musical sound. Without jazz we wouldn’t have the music we love today.
The unique styles and techniques used by these influential musicians will be used and praised forever, the black community played a significant role in changing America as we know it. African Americans should be so proud of how they are represented in musical history. Not only did the black community strengthen the music industry during this period, but they also gave confidence and power to the African American culture. To them it wasn’t just about the music industry it was about its effect on the culture.