Why were so many brass instruments used during the Jazz Age?

“Why were so many brass instruments used during the Jazz Age?” One of the kids in my U.S. History class asked this after watching a movie and no one knew why. And since then, I have been curious.

So, do any of you know why this was? Why didn’t they use as much piano, or drums, for example? Why so much brass like, trumpets, trombones or saxophones used?

Ok thanks a lot and please no rude or pointless comments/answers. Thanks again(:

3 thoughts on “Why were so many brass instruments used during the Jazz Age?

  1. Bix

    Sorry, but this is simply not true.

    I’m a collector of 78 rpm phonograph jazz records and there are only few records I know of without a piano.

    Drums are also used very often but on recordings, particularly on earlier recordings (1918-1927), there is no bass drum. The reason for that is that this instrument ruined the recording.

    But careful! Only on recordings!!!

    Here is a photo from Wolverine Orchestra during a recording session:


    As you can see, there is no bass drum…

    Here, the same band but not in the studio:


    Following instruments were common in jazz orchestras:

    Trumpet or cornet
    C-Melody Sax, Alt Sax, Tenor Sax and Bass Sax
    Sometimes a goofus (Couesnophone)
    String bass (not very common in early recordings because of the same reason like the bass drum), the bass sax took over the function of the string bass.

    In jazz music of this period, there was not much singing though. It can be said that the singer was more or less considered (not always) as a necessary evil. His function was to sing the refrain and because of this refrain, people who liked the song knew the name of it. The singer became a full value member of a jazz band in the 1930s.

    If we are not talking about jazz music during jazz age, there are also other instruments such as cello.

  2. ? Mahrie ?

    Ah, the Jazz Age.
    Because Jazz was a type of music, people liked back then.
    Piano, Drums & other instruments were used later on because they just didn’t entertain people, Yes they were in movies, but People didn’t seem to like them.
    My history teacher , was telling us about the Jazz Age. She even danced. lol. Jazz was more entertaining, since that took their mind off certain things that were happening that time period.

    Hope I helped.

  3. BackstrokerJC

    I think it’s because the particular mood that they (jazz composers) were going for was achieved by a loud and brassy sound. Also, in many pieces, the rhythm section (piano, drums, guitars) were mainly playing the supporting chords and rhythm for the solo instruments (the brass instruments). Hope this helped


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