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The jazz music production titled “Livery Stable Blues” by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band (ODJB) is renowned as one of the most famous jazz production in pre-World War I America. The song’s popularity is attributable - albeit indirectly – to the massive immigration into the United States before World War I and the evolving geopolitical landscape on the international arena before the war. The United States’ booming economic growth had invoked the interest of immigrants from across the world who moved into the country in search of better economic opportunities (Lornell, Kip, and Anne 33). Their arrival signalled the introduction of various cultures whose interaction stimulated changes in the artistic landscape with the consequence that musicians would begin incorporating multiple cultural influences into their music Stevenson (205).
The dawn of World War I also had a significant impact on the artistic landscape. (Peretti 165) attributes the tensions of the upcoming war and uncertainties of life to changes in common artistic expression. Artists indeed began experimenting with new styles to satisfy the musical needs of an American population suffering seeking distractions from the tension and uncertainties of war. The American youth, for example, was enlivened by the pace of an urban industry on the brink of the global conflict. Casey (85) notes that jazz music allowed artists to break the rules of conventional musical styles in preference for the freedom of unique expression. In ODJB’s production, the audience hears the trombone and clarinet play concurrently with the beat of drums and keys of the piano ("Original Dixieland Jazz Band - Livery Stable Blues"). The music’s spontaneous nature and lack of improvisation indeed deviates from that of the typically organized ragtime that was popular at the time (Maskell . “Livery Stable Blues” represents the culture breakdown and spirit of the youth of the era before World War I.
"Original Dixieland Jazz Band - Livery Stable Blues". YouTube, 2014, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9chC3kBlDdQ. Accessed 25 May 2018.
Casey, Brian. "A Cultural History of the First Jazz and Blues Communities in Jacksonville, Florida, 1896-1916: A Contribution of African Americans to American Theater." The American Music Research Center Journal 24 (2015): 89-95.
Lornell, Kip, and Anne K. Rasmussen, eds. The Music of Multicultural America: Performance, Identity, and Community in the United States. Univ. Press of Mississippi, 2016.
Maskell, Katherine Murphy. Who Wrote Those “Livery Stable Blues”?: Authorship Rights in Jazz and Law as Evidenced in Hart et al. v. Graham. Diss. The Ohio State University, 2012.
Peretti, Burton W. "The History of Jazz: Views from Outside and Inside the Mainstream." Journal of African American History 101.1-2 (2016): 164-175.
Stevenson, Nick. "Jazz as cultural modernity: Consumerism, nationalism and cosmopolitan freedom." International Journal of Cultural Studies 19.2 (2016): 209-223.
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