Jazz Culture

In the 1920s, Jazz music was played in American dance halls, roadhouses, and speakeasies- nightclubs that sold alcohol illegally. This type of music was upbeat just like the mentality of the era. Post- World War I, people began to once again believe in the American Dream and focused on innovation and creativity. Although conservative mentalities were becoming more liberal during the 1920s, this time of innovation and creative thinking was the beginning of unbelievable progress in America. Since the 1920s, America has created the first automobile, flown the first airplane, landed the first man on the moon, and become the technological empire of the entire world.



The “Jazz Age” may be characterized by jazz and bebop music, but this era was more than just an era of innovative music but innovative literature. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” was published in 1925 and embodied the mentality of the 1920s. The positive mentality of this age helped post-war America regain some of its stability due to the progress and optimism of the American people. Literature, during this decade, as well as culture, can be characterized as a breath of fresh air. These fresh ideas helped America jumpstart as of social, economic, and political powerhouse.


Most of modern music finds its roots in jazz. R&B, hip-hop, rock, and pop all focus on the music itself and let the lyrics tell the story that the instrumental, or modern-flushes of noise, suggest. Just like modern music, jazz’s upbeat sound makes it easy to dance to and enjoyable for most audiences to listen. Modern genres of music try to embody this appeal which is just one of the many ways that jazz is modeled in modern music. Although, the “Jazz Age” has come and gone, its legacy will not be forgotten because of the permanent stamp it placed on the music world.


The “Roarin’ Twenties” were about more than just music, but a redefining of American culture. The real-life femme fatal, a characteristic of film noir and hard-boiled fiction, could be seen during this era. Women started leaving the home to go out to nightclubs and dance halls while wearing more provocative clothing. Flapper dresses had much shorter hemlines than were previously accepted and bathing suits become more of fashion statements than social fractions. This newfound “sex appeal” was just the beginning of American sexuality. Teenagers wanted to get in on the sexual revolution and began to by sexual experimentation, which had never been seen before. This is just one example of how the 1920s were just the beginning of modern-America-one that is more socially liberal and accepting.



The “Jazz Age” embodied the beginning of modern America (Gaddis). This modern way of life is characterized by the less conservative music, fashion, and behaviors of this era. Jazz music was once referred to as “Devil’s Music,” some may argue for racist reasons, but agreeably because of its affiliation with sex and partying. Jazz music has impacted not just music, but culture in general. This decade , 1920s America, was full of new ideas that laid the groundwork for innovations of the decade and for decades to come.

No comments:

Post a Comment