The essay studies the influence of Harlem Renaissance on the American aesthetics. The essay begins with an introduction explaining the notion of Harlem Renaissance. The introduction also gives background information on the changes thereafter discussed in the body. The paper ends with a conclusion that contrasts two arts, modern and traditional ones.

Harlem Renaissance is a world accepted flowering of the African-American traditional culture; the literal approach includes a range of different art forms from written pieces to oral art. This modernization of both African and American arts was as a result of the interaction between the two rich cultures. The wars, migration, common territory and interests have made the two different races closer. The First World War brought the two cultures together, and was followed by a number of changes in the political setup to accommodate the black people into the American life. The war was followed by rapid social, economic, and political changes, including advancement of industrial technology, urbanization, and incorporation of the black people into the community development activities. The 20th century saw the black people gain freedom in an American setup, giving them a chance to influence the culture and tradition of the American people. The emergence of social movements, the famous Negro movement, led to the perception of the Black as citizens of the United States. These changes in the social, economic, and political setup led to the alteration of people’s ways of doing things, not only at the national level but also at a personal level.

Changes Brought by Harlem Renaissance

The changes that came with the inclusion of the Africans into the national social, political, and economic activities affected the American culture in diverse ways. This gave rise to a new form of a lifestyle affecting not only the culture of the people but also their art, both oral and written. This new political and social front cultivated a new lifestyle presented by changes in outfits, cosmetics, conduct, as well as style. Artistic tools and styles were also diversely affected by the emergence of the new trends. Music and other art pieces were influenced in a variety of ways, some of which are hereby discussed.

Social Confusion

With the emergence of new trends, crowds and fans were sent into a state of confusion. It was no longer clear whether the new trends were genuine art, whether they would last, and what their effects would be in the future. There were immediate rebellions evident in the 1930s with some people preferring to stick to the traditional music rather than adopt the emerging trends. Despite the opposition and uncertainties in the field, some artists, such as Duke Ellington, a musician, remained focused on their passion. Ellington and others kept the transformation alive; and, although his audience remained uncertain, he was focused and determined to prove his point. Work of the musician and his colleagues led to the emergence of new trends not only in the pace of music but also in the introduction of the new instruments. 

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Photography and Visual Art

The new jazz was characterized by technological advancement with the inclusion of a visual aspect, especially in the entertainment industry. Rise of the Black American culture was characterized by advancement in technology, leading to the emergence of the film industry, and invention of the first cameras among others. Photography was giving art a new taste. Real images would be captured and incorporated into the audio music for the entertainment industry. In the written art, it was now possible to demonstrate scenes and incorporate them in photographs.

Emergence of New Career

The inclusion of expensive facilities into art led to the emergence of a new career. Art was now viewed as a source of livelihood for the participants, especially because art required people with new skills and ideas, in order to prevail in the market. Studios and broadcast rooms were created, leading to the emergence of the new employment opportunities for people. The changes also caused the need for more visual facilities, to be used not only in clubs and other public places but also at homes. In the times, corporate groups, popularly known as bands, also emerged. Teddy Hill’s band, in which John Gillespie gained experience, is a good example. Gillespie considered the ordeal that he had gone through to be an economic endeavor, in which he paid dues for his involvement in the music field. As a result, writing was viewed as a career and so were music and other arts.

Style and Conduct of Artists

Modern bebop music, for example, is characterized by new style and conduct, as compared to the traditional one. Today, singers are accompanied with a variety of instruments, ranging from traditional drums to modern music systems, such as pianos. The music rhythm is created harmoniously, both by the use of the instruments and the variation in styles. The music is characterized by flashy style and fast tempos meant to attract a new audience. The 1950s brought fire into music. Emotions and quick movements were adopted by the musicians, with upcoming trends of dressing to attract an audience. The songs of the time were usually performed by quartets.

The interaction between the Black and the White Americans brought diverse changes into the art. Traditional and modern arts differ immensely in style, attire, presentation, as well as effects. Modern American aesthetic is characterized by photography and broadcast media that can convey a variety of messages. Traditional art, on the other hand, was limited to customs and religious practices. Art in the earlier days concentrated on few aspects of man’s life, with great limitations in the ways of conveying messages to the audience. Today, art can cover almost all aspects of nature and people’s lives, both real and imagined, with a wide variety of messages, ranging from real and live broadcast to traditional paintings.

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