Jazz developed in turn-of-the-century New Orleans from the confluence of multiple music traditions. The new style incorporated blue notes, call and response, syncopation, polyrhythms and improvisation. The basic instruments of jazz were those used in marching bands and dance bands: brass, reeds and drums, played in the equal temperament 12-tone scale. Small bands of musicians, most of whom came from New Orleans, played a seminal role in the development and dissemination of early jazz.
The origins of the word jazz are uncertain. The word is rooted in American slang, and various derivations have been suggested. Jazz was not applied to music until about 1915. Earl Hines, born in 1903 and later to become a celebrated jazz musician, used to claim that he was “playing piano before the word “jazz” was even invented”.