History of Jazz

The History of Jazz

  • History of Jazz

    Mr. Isai Acevedo

    Room 119, Period 9





    Jazz is arguably the most important and original contributions to music, dance, and culture of the United States. It has shaped the musical and cultural lives of generations of Americans since the early twentieth century and constitutes an important part of the American musical and cultural heritage. It has also had a significant impact on artistic, social, and political movements led by African Americans and others.


    This course is a survey of jazz music from its origins to the present. It focuses on jazz’s historical as well as musical developments in the United States and on those musicians who have led in shaping jazz’s musical, cultural, social, and political significance. The course will help students develop the critical listening skills needed in order to identify the music’s defining elements and leading figures. In addition to fundamental aspects of the music – form, rhythm, harmony, style, aesthetics, and dance – this course will also emphasize the meanings that jazz music and dance has had in its various social, political, and historical contexts. Classes will draw on various forms of media including recordings, videos, films, literature, and the visual arts in order to present a culturally broad perspective on the history of jazz.


    By the end of this course each student will be able to identify and discuss the following:

    Jazz’s stylistic developments from the late 19th century through the 20th century

    Jazz’s most important composers, arrangers, instrumentalists, and musical groups

    Jazz’s most important musical works and recordings

    Jazz’s impact on the social, cultural, and political history of the United States



    Mr. Isai Acevedo

    Email: isaiacevedo@paps.net

    Visual and Performing Arts Academy

    Office hours: Wednesdays 3:15-4:00 pm at the Learning Center. By appointment only.

    Participation and Class Behavior

    Please make a commitment to respect your fellow students, professor, and the course material each time you walk into class.

    Students are required to:

    1. attend class lecture and participate in discussions
    2. listen to jazz recordings
    3. read assigned material (student handouts)
    4. keep an organized notebook of handouts and class notes.
    5. take several quizzes, exams, and produce a research essay.


    LATE WORK & MAKE UP POLICY: Please note that late work will absolutely not be accepted unless you have an excused absence on the day the work is assigned.

    Grade Policy


    30% Major Assessments (tests, projects, research papers, quarterly exams, essays)

    30% Essays and Projects

    20% Minor Assessments (quizzes, essays, exercises, writing folder, weekly submissions to Google Discussion Groups)

    10% Class work/Participation (Do Now’s, note taking, preparation for class, following directions, cooperation, and attendance/punctuality)

    10% Homework (Reading, vocabulary, grammar and writing assignments)