Music of New Orleans

A New Orleans brass band parade

The music of New Orleans assumes various styles of music which have often borrowed from earlier traditions. New Orleans, Louisiana, is especially known for its strong association with jazz music, universally considered to be the birthplace of the genre. The earliest form was dixieland, which has sometimes been called traditional jazz, 'New Orleans', and 'New Orleans jazz'. However, the tradition of jazz in New Orleans has taken on various forms that have either branched out from original dixieland or taken entirely different paths altogether. New Orleans has also been a prominent center of funk, home to some of the earliest funk bands such as The Meters.

Early 19th century

The African influence on New Orleans music can trace its roots at least back to Congo Square in New Orleans in 1835, when slaves would congregate there to play music and dance on Sundays. African music was played as well as local music, including that of local white composers, such as Louis Moreau Gottschalk. Along with European musical forms that were popular in the city, including the brass band traditions, the cultural mix laid the groundwork for the New Orleans musical art forms to come.

By 1838, the local paper—the daily Picayune—ran a scathing article complaining about the emergence of brass bands in the city, which it stated could be found on every corner.[1]

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