The immigration of Europeans and the importation of West African slaves to America resulted in a convergence of cultures, traditions, and art forms, including music. Jazz, first played in New Orleans in the early 1900s, borrowed heavily from the European musical scale and harmonic system. Jazz ensembles were built predominantly on European instruments, such as the trumpet, trombone, saxophone, and piano. The West African influence on jazz was manifested primarily in its performance. Scatting, a technique used by jazz vocalists to mimic the sounds of instruments, had its origin in West African vocal traditions. The emphasis on improvisation in jazz music, in addition to group participation, also came from West African music.
Some musicologists argue that jazz is a purely American form of music. Others, however, contend that jazz is rooted in a history similar to that of America itself, a history of confluence. Proponents of the argument that jazz is purely American often point to its genesis in New Orleans as evidence for this perspective. The irony, however, is that the essence of America lies in the plurality of its roots. To deny the rich and complex history of jazz, and the true origins of the art form, is to deny the very aspects of the art form that make it undeniably American.
1- It can be inferred from the passage that the author would be less inclined to label jazz an American art form if which of the following were true?
A- New Orleans was not the place where jazz music was first played.
B- Jazz music was first created in New York when four avant-garde musicians from different cultural backgrounds came together to experiment with unprecedented musical concepts.
C- With the influx of West Africans to the Americas came a very specific West African musical style which eventually came to be called “jazz” in New Orleans
D- Jazz music actually draws more of its character from South American and Native American traditions than from those of Europe or West Africa.
E- The instruments used by jazz musicians were predominately of West African origin, not European origin.
2- Which of the following statements concerning jazz is most directly suggested in the passage?
A- The plurality of jazz’s roots has led multiple cultures to claim jazz as their own.
B- If jazz musicians had not borrowed from the European musical scale, they would have used the West African musical scale instead.
C- Only European and African cultures had an influence on the development of jazz
D- Jazz was played in West Africa prior to its introduction in New Orleans in the early 1900s.
E- Instrumentation was not a primary component of the West African influence on jazz.
3- Which of the following elements of jazz most likely has its origin in West African musical traditions?
A- the emphasis on a tonal harmonic structure
B- the use of an instrument to mimic a vocalist’s sound
C- the use of traditional African instruments
D- the use of many instruments in a jazz ensemble
E- an impromptu call-and-response between two instruments in the ensemble
3. was confused b/w A and E - chose A because if the word 'tonal' - somehow related it to performance., but now totally get why it is E.