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Compare And Contrast Of Jazz And Rock And Roll Music - With A Free Essay Review

It is interesting to look back and see how jazz started from marching bands and later branched out into other styles with rock and roll as one of them. Marching bands consisted of snare drummers, base drummers, cymbal players, trumpets, baritones and other brass instruments. The drum part has since changed though with the onslaught of the modern music scene and now it usually includes just one drummer playing all the various drums and cymbals in a form of a drum set. In the 1950’s rock and roll was forming from jazz into a different style with slightly diverse choice of instruments, meanwhile jazz was identified with wide range of instruments. These days rock n’ roll and jazz intertwine, but still there are specific traits that make each of these music styles unique.

We can tell it is a jazz style by feeling the rhythm of the music. Jazz mostly uses swing pattern, which has a lot to do with playing eighth notes unequally. Jazz has uneven, random beats that follow swing pattern while rock n’ roll has steady beats. In jazz the drummer feels free to improvise and add his or her own input to the music flow. As about rock and roll, the drummer has to usually follow a certain pattern to fit the music.

Many people associate saxophone with jazz and it is not wrongly to do so due to the fact that this instrument is widely used in jazz music. Again these days artists play all sorts of instruments in both styles, but it is still common to find jazz trios that consist of simply piano, bass and drums whereas rock and roll uses electric guitar and bass. The Harvard Dictionary of Music tells us that jazz first originated in the 1900’s in New Orleans, and the first jazz band used wind instruments such as cornet, clarinet, tuba, trombone with saxophone improvising elaborate countermelody. The band also included piano, banjo and drums.

Lastly it is important to note the quality of words and songs used in both styles. Rock and roll music is mainly vocal, while jazz might use some vocals or again improvised singing or no vocals at all. Jazz singers make their performance more about expressing inner feelings rather than thoughts put into words. Rock and roll music likes to showcase their vocalists upfront as much as possible. Rock and roll is also the type of music that we dance to. For example, Buddy Rich would have his drum set positioned closer to the audience as if the drummer is the main performer, thus allowing for his talented and expressive drumming to do the talking.

In conclusion we can say that both styles are very similar in their use of instruments and vocals but different in their tempo, choice of instruments and the quality of vocals. Jazz offers a way to express our inner feelings and emotions whereas rock and roll is fun music with steady beat that is easy to follow and with catchy lyrics.


I'm sorry to say that I know very little about the topic of your paper so my remarks will be quite limited in scope. If I were to question any of the content here, it would be the apparent claim, in the first paragraph, that rock and roll music developed exclusively from jazz, but I suppose your answer to that question would depend on how distinct you think blues music (which influenced developments in rock and roll) is from jazz.

Although your claims are not difficult to follow, I think I would have learned more from your essay with a few more examples. I appreciated the Buddy Rich example, for instance. Note, however, that you seem to have put that example in the wrong place in your essay. It is clearly not an example that immediately explains why rock and roll is "the type of music that we dance to."

You devote a little bit of attention in your conclusion to the human quality of jazz (which expresses "our inner feelings") and rock and roll ("fun music"). If you were to develop your comparison of the two genres further, you might do so by considering the influence of such music on society. This might be one way to discuss the relative importance of the two genres, which the essay does not do. Doing that would give your essay an obvious critical purpose. Of course, you could also discuss the relative importance just in terms of each genre's contribution to music theory or to music generally.

Best, EJ.


As FOR rock and roll (not "as about...")

it is not wrong (not "wrongly")
Submitted by: actionjcl

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