Bebop and cool jazz essays examples

Both bebop and cool jazz emerged in the middle of 20th century; bebop was formed as a reaction to the mass development of trendy jazz dance orchestras in the early 1940s and cool jazz, in its turn, originated from the bebop in the late 1940s. Although both of these jazz styles arose in the same period and cool jazz as such is considered to be a modification of bebop, there are several fundamental differences between them. These differences lie in the mood of the music, expressivity of sound, causes of styles emergence and purposes of each style.
Developed in the 1940s, bebop opened the modern-jazz era. By that time, a number of creative musicians started to be acutely aware of stagnation of jazz since the rapid development of commercial dance and jazz orchestras of a swing style covered the country. Initially, it was an experimental direction in jazz music that was characterized by small ensembles (combo) and anti-commercial orientation. The main difference of this new jazz style was a complicated harmony that was built now on new principles. Forefathers of bebop – Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie – introduced ultra fast tempo and multiple improvisations in order to prevent the interference of nonprofessionals in the bebop. The rhythm of bebop was too fast for dancers, it included extremely rhythmical and steady beat style that was exploring the improvisational elements of jazz; bebop musicians applied to the new and more complex melodies in order to replace popular dance melodies. This form of jazz was highly popular, but by the end of 1940s musicians started to exhaust the standards of bebop, thereby the new form of jazz, and particularly bebop, emerged – it was cool jazz.
Cool jazz was similar with modal jazz due to its sound production and harmonic thinking. In contrast to bebop, cool jazz was characterized by emotional restraint and intensification of composition role and harmony form. Bebop was intended for epatage and virtuosity, when cool jazz rejected excessive rhythmic expressivity and intonation instability. Bebop was usually associated with the East Coast and cool jazz – with the West Coast. In the same time, there is one feature that made these two forms of jazz similar – they both were highly artistic and intelligent styles and were presenting the true spirit of jazz in contradistinction to swing.
The album “ Birth of Cool Jazz” by Miles Davis gave the name to the new form of jazz, but according to another version, the origin of the name “ cool” connected with swing saxophonist Lester Young, who developed the new, “ cool”, manner of sound producing in contrast to hot-jazz. Cool jazz was really “ cool” due to its soft and controlled sounds; it used to include a variety of the instruments of Symphony Orchestra, so the bands ranged in its size – from trios to nine-piece bands. On the other hand, bebop bands were characterized by its small amount of musicians; usually they were quartets or quintets. Moreover, if bebop was built on rhythm section and mostly included trumpet and saxophone, then cool jazz often involved flute and tuba.
Both emerged in the 1940s, bebop and cool jazz opened the new form of jazz music, though these two styles were not similar. Bebop was the reaction on commercial dance jazz that involved popular melodies, thereby it was intended to awaken true sense of jazz. On the other hand, cool jazz was the reaction on bebop that has exhausted itself by the end of 1940s. Both styles were called to present people the beauty, intelligence and high artistry of jazz, but bebop have done it with the help of rapid tempo and complex harmony and cool jazz was more like mix of classical music and jazz.