What Was the Next Style of Music After Jazz?

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Jazz was a major force in music for decades, but what came after it? In this blog post, we explore the various styles of music that emerged in its wake. From bebop to fusion, there’s a lot to explore!


Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, United States. It originated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and developed from roots in blues and ragtime. Jazz is seen by many as “America’s classical music”. Since the 1920s Jazz Age, jazz has become recognized as a major form of musical expression. It then emerged in the form of independent traditional and popular musical styles, all linked by the common bonds of African-American and European-American musical parentage with a performance orientation.

The Birth of Jazz

While it is impossible to determine exactly when or where jazz was created, the earliest recorded jazz performance took place in New Orleans, Louisiana, on November 16, 1912. The band was led by cornetist Nick LaRocca and included Luis Russell on piano, Tony Sbarbaro on drums, and Bill Johnson on banjo. The band recorded two songs, “Livery Stable Blues” and “Dixie Jass Band One-Step.” These recordings were made for the Victor Talking Machine Company and were released as Victor 18255 and Victor 18256.

The birth of jazz is often attributed to the meeting of two musicians: trumpeter Buddy Bolden and pianist Jelly Roll Morton. While there is no recording of their playing together, it is believed that they influenced each other’s style of music. Jelly Roll Morton claimed to have invented jazz in 1902, while Buddy Bolden is credited with creating the “first truly original jazz style.”

The Spread of Jazz

The popularity of jazz spread quickly throughout the United States and Europe in the 1920s. American jazz musicians such as Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington became very popular, and their records were widely available. European musicians began to experiment with jazz, and soon there were jazz bands in England, France, Germany, and Italy. Some of the most famous European jazz musicians included Django Reinhardt and Coleman Hawkins.

The End of Jazz

The end of Jazz is often seen as 1979, when Herbie Hancock released his album “Man-Child”, which contained disco and pop songs. This is not to say that Hancock was the only jazz musician to embrace other genres; many others were doing the same thing. Miles Davis had moved into funk and rock with his “On the Corner” album in 1972. But Hancock’s “Man-Child” was the straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak. It signaled to most people that Jazz was over, and a new style of music had begun.

That new style of music was called “fusion”, and it blended elements of Jazz with elements of rock, funk, and sometimes even classical music. Some people argue that fusion was simply a continuation of Jazz, but others believe that it was its own distinct style. Regardless, fusion marked the end of Jazz as a truly popular genre; from then on, it would be overshadowed by other genres such as rock and pop.

The Next Style of Music

After Jazz, the next style of music was bebop. Bebop was a style of jazz that was fast-paced and had complex harmonies. The bebop era lasted from the mid-1940s to the early 1950s. Bebop was created by African American musicians who wanted to create a style of music that was different from the mainstream.

The Birth of Rock and Roll

In the early 1950s, a new style of music was born. Called rock and roll, it combined elements of rhythm and blues, country, and pop. The first rock and roll records were made by artists such as Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and Elvis Presley. Rock and roll quickly became popular with young people all over the United States.

The Spread of Rock and Roll

In the decade following the Second World War, a new style of music emerged in the United States. This style, which came to be known as rock and roll, was a fusion of several different genres, including blues, country, gospel, and rhythm and blues. Rock and roll quickly became popular with young people all over the world, and its popularity has only grown in the years since. Today, rock and roll is one of the most popular genres of music in the world.

The End of Rock and Roll

The next style of music after jazz was announced by the death of Elvis Presley in 1977. The end of rock and roll was declared by many people, including Presley himself. Presley’s death signaled the end of an era, not just for him, but for rock and roll itself. The commercial success and critical acclaim that Presley had achieved with his music was unmatched by any other artist up to that point. With his passing, it seemed that there was no one left who could take rock and roll to the next level.

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