Pat Matshikiza, South African pianist (Photo Tony McGregor)

How Did Jazz Originate?

Jazz was born out of the pain of slavery and the clash between the cultures of West Africa and the Protestant ethos of the Southern states of the United States. This is a first article in a series looking at the history of jazz through an examination of its many genres.

Ernest Shololo Mothle

What is Jazz? How is it different from other music?

According to the Concise Oxford English Dictionary (Revised Edition 2006) jazz is "a type of music of Black American origin characterised by improvisation, syncopation, and a regular rhythm, and typically played on brass and woodwind instruments" and the origin of the word itself is given as "early 20th Century: of unknown origin."