Jazz is a music genre that originated at the beginning of the 20th century, arguably earlier, within the African-American communities of the Southern United States. Its roots lie in the combining by African-Americans of certain European harmony and form elements, with their existing African-based music. Its African musical basis is evident in its use of blue notes, improvisation, polyrhythms, syncopation and the swung note. From its early development until the present day, jazz has also incorporated elements from popular music especially, in its early days, from American popular music.
As the music has developed and spread around the world it has, since its early American beginnings, drawn on many different national, regional and local musical cultures, giving rise to many distinctive styles.