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Basic Knowledge About Jazz Music That You May Not Know

Are you interested in knowing everything about jazz background music? Stay with us because we have got wonders to tell you.

Max Wales
Max Wales
Originally published Jan 12, 22, updated May 20, 24

Back in the early twentieth century, black musicians in New Orleans, Louisiana, developed the Jazz style of music. The jazz background music is characterized by complex harmony. The music style has an emphasis on improvisation and syncopated rhythms.

Within a short time, jazz music spread throughout America. As soon as it reached Now York, it became Jazz capital. Not only for America but for the entire world. If you are interested in knowing more about jazz background, then keep reading.

Part 1. Types of Jazz Music

Over the years, this music style has evolved a lot. The evolutions were made to meet the popular music standards, pop, funk, rock, etc. With this, jazz has a variety of different styles. A lot of people don't have enough knowledge about the wide range of jazz styles.

The jazz background music is a crazy fusion and mix of hymns, ragtime, marching bands, folk music, etc. The music has traveled from streets to dance halls and drinking clubs. Let us add more to your knowledge by sharing the types of jazz music.

· Early Jazz

The earliest style of jazz background music is the 'Early Jazz.' The style came to be in the late 1800s or the early 1900s. The style took off in New Orleans. It was famous as 'playing hot' or 'ragtime.' The rhythms and the syncopated notes became popular among the audience.

The bands used to have cornet, trombone, 1 or 2 wind instruments, violin, drums, and clarinet. Louis Armstrong, Buddy Bolden, King Oliver are some early jazz band artists.

· Free Jazz

The next type of jazz background music that we are sharing is 'Free Jazz.' The style is also known as 'Avant Garde.' This jazz style emerged between the 1950s and 1980s. Free jazz style bought freshness to jazz music which was much needed at that time.

As the name represents, this style of Jazz is free of rules. The musicians weren’t bound to anything. They had a free hand to do anything. Free Jazz was often negatively targeted and criticized.

· Big Band

Big band is another type of jazz music. This is also referred to as 'Swing' jazz background music. The style began in the 1930s. It had a stronger emphasis on the rhythm part. Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, and Artie Shaw are among the outstanding instrumentalists of Swing bands.

The style used piano, drums, and guitar. These rhymes were mixed with saxophone, violin, trumpet, clarinet, and also trombone to make the perfect jazz style.

· Latin Jazz

The next style is Latin Jazz. This is the steady rhythm jazz background music. Latin Jazz is a combination of Afro Cuban and Afro Brazilian. The Afro Brazilian jazz is subtle, whereas the Afro Cuban jazz is dance-based. In Latin Jazz, claves are used instead of using backbeat. Woodwind instruments were also used. Candido Camero, Chick Corea, and a few others are famous for Latin Jazz.

· Bebop

The most intellectual of all the jazz background styles is Bebop. The style began in the mid-1940s. It was a crazy mix of trumpet, piano, and saxophone. Bebop has chromatic passing notes at very fast tempos. Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Bud Powell are the three who created the gamble of Bebop. This jazz music style is complex and a piece of art.

· Modern Jazz

This jazz background music is also referred to as contemporary jazz style. As the name explains, this style depends on which era you are living in. It is best to denote the style of the late 1950s and early 1960s products. The goal of Modern Jazz music remained the same. It focused on melody and harmony. The instruments widely used were drums, bass, piano, and two lead horns.

Part 2. 10 Classical and Famous Jazz Music

Few of the different jazz styles have been discussed already. Now, it's time to share some of the classical and famous jazz musicians. The fact because there are many jazz styles, the internet is full of jazz background music.  

You only get confused when you have too many options to select from. Let us help you a little in this situation. The following section will be sharing 10 famous classical jazz music with you.

1. Somewhere Over the Rainbow – Judy Garland

The song is a 1939 classic. This masterpiece is a blend of the rainbow, colors, joy, and the opening song for ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.' This song took over the Jazz music world at that time.


somewhere over the rainbow

2. My Favorite Things – John Coltrane

The jazz song ‘My Favorite Things’ got released in the year of 1961. However, it was originally written in 1959. This is a 14 minutes version of a memorable melody on soprano saxophone.


my favorite things

3. So What – Miles Davis

‘Kind of Blue' is an important jazz album composed by Miles Davis. ‘So What’ is a part of this album. It was composed in 1959. The song is known for its magic and simplicity with two chords.


so what

4. Moon River – Audrey Hepburn

The next classical famous is 'Moon River.' It was written by Henri Mancini in 1961 and lyrics by Johnny Mercer. Audrey Hepburn was originally not a singer. This song is famous because Henri took months to perfect the melody for Audrey’s limited vocal range.


moon river

5. Don’t Know Why – Norah James

This song is from Norah James' album 'Come Away with Me.' It was written and composed by Jesse Harris in the year 1999. This is the best modern jazz song of the last twenty years.


don’t know why

6. Body and Soul – Coleman Hawkins

Body and Soul was written in 1930 and is all about yearning and devotion. This is a sad jazz song. Coleman Hawkins is the father of jazz tenor saxophone.


body and soul

7. Autumn Leaves – Nat King Cole

The song is slow jazz, comped by Joseph Kosma in 1945. The song was initially written in French by Jacques Prévert. Later, Johnny Mercer translated it into English.


autumn leaves

8. Night and Day – Joe Henderson

‘Night and Day’ is a part of the 'Inner Urge' album. The song is modal Jazz played on tenor saxophone. Joe Henderson composed the song in 1966. The song has a single note repeated 35 times.


night and day

9. My Funny Valentine – Chet Baker

This is classic jazz and a memorable piece of art. The music for 'My Funny Valentine' was written by Richard Rogers. At the same time, its lyrics were written by Lorenz Hart.


my funny valentine

10. God Bless the Child – Billie Holiday

Arthur Herzog Jr. wrote the song 'God Bless the Child.' This song refers to something her mother said in an argument. It has religious overtones.


god bless the child

Part 3. 3 Top Platform to Listen to Jazz Background Music

Do you know any platform to listen to jazz background music? Now that you have complete knowledge about different jazz styles and the best classical jazz music. It is the perfect time to share the top 3 platforms to listen to and enjoy jazz music.

1. JazzRadio

The first platform to enjoy jazz music is JazzRadio. This is the hub for Jazz background music. You can find any jazz-style music on this site. With JazzRadio, you can enjoy your favorite jazz songs and save them. The sign-up for your account is free.


jazzradio music platform

2. Soundcloud 

Soundcloud is a very famous music platform. You can get a variety of music on Soundcloud. To listen to jazz background music, you can type ‘Jazz Music’ in the search bar. This will display all the related results on the screen. You will get different albums, playlists, and tracks.


soundcloud free music streaming

3. Spotify 

The last but top-rated platform to enjoy jazz music is Spotify. It offers music at a whole different level. You get a wide range of results for anything you search. To enjoy the jazz background music, search for it. You will get a variety of different jazz music-related playlists, albums, artists, and profiles.


spotify music hub

Final Thoughts  

Are you a jazz music fan? This article is for you. We have talked about various jazz music styles. Along with that, we also shared 10 famous jazz songs.

Are you a content creator, and do you like to add jazz background music to your videos? If so, then we have a little surprise for you. The surprise is a fantastic video editor, Wondershare Filmora. You can edit cool and classy videos with this. It is the perfect editor for all content creators with endless features. You can edit limitlessly with Filmora.

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