Unit 5 - Party Music
Unit 5 - Party Music
American Intersections: Jazz and Blues Traditions
BB King was a populars blues artist. One of his more famous songs was "The Thrill is Gone." This song exemplified the different difficulties of everyday life, three-line stanzas, and 12-measure harmonic patterns.
Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington
Major figure in the Harlem Renaissance
Composed music for his band with Billy Strayhorn
Concern for structure resulted in complex forms
Born in Washington DC
1920s played in NYC jazz clubs
The Swing or Big-Band Era
Wide audience- both white and black audiences
Larger group of players
2 Trumpets, one cornet, 3 trombones, 4 saxophones (double on clarinet), 2 basses, guitar, drums, vibraphone, and piano.
Written, arranged, and composed vs. improvised
In scatting, you still know the format and structure, but then you can bounce of off that and have fun with it
Very famous for scatting - improvisation, impromtu
"A Tisket a Tasket/Imgaination/Lady Be Good"
No formal training
Learned by listening to Bessie Smith and Louis Armstrong
Later life sad
Substance abuse and abusive relationships
Most famous song
Strang Fruit (1939)
1935 recording with best jazz musicians of her day
Born in Philadephia, PA
1933 discovered by a talent scout who arranged to record with Benny Goodman
Moved NYC- sang at clubs in Brooklyn and Harlem
What a Wonderful World (1967) - Doesn't have the most pure, clear voice; however, it's very expressive and characteristic. He became very popular during this time period. His voice was natural and something that couldn't be taught or practiced.
Charismatic; know for his humor,
New Orleans Jazz scene
Famous Blues Artists
Civil war: Mississippi Delta Blues
Voiced difficulties of everyday life
Twelve-measure harmonic patterns (12 bar blues)
Blues traditionally associated with the U.S.
Famous jazz artists
Jazz traditionally associated with the U.S.
Keeps evolving by incorporating many styles
Euro-American vernacular traditions
West African traditions from 18th century slaves
Call and response
Blues was an essential factor in the development of the New Orleans jazz tradition. This city, which had long facilitated interaction across races and cultures, was where jazz gained momentum through the fusion of ragtime and blues with other traditional styles-spirituals, work songs, and ring shouts, but also Caribbean and Euro-American styles.
A blues text typically consists of a three-line stanza whose first two lines are identical. The vocal lines featured melodic "pitch bending," or blue notes, sung over standard harmonic progressions (chord ranges) - usually twelve (or occasionally sixteen) bar in lengths.
In the nineteenth century, black music also embraced dancing and the singing of work songs (communal songs that synchronized the rhythm of work), ring shouts (religious rituals that involved moving counterclockwise in a circle while praying, singing, and clapping hands), and spirituals.
"All riddles are blues, and all blues are sad, and I'm only mentioning some blues I've had."-Maya Angelou
"It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing" -Duke Ellington
As the century wore on, many musicians attempted fruitful "cross pollinations" between jazz and blues, another tradition rooted in black culture, as well as between jazz and Euro-American cultivated music.
Primary antecedents of jazz were West African musical traditions brought to this continent by slavs and developed (sometimes in secret) to both maintain continuity with a lost homeland and provide a creative distraction from hard labor.
By the late 1940a, big-band jazz gave way to smaller group styles, including bebop, cool jazz, and West Coast jazz; Latin American music also influenced later jazz styles.
The 1930s saw the advent of the swing (or big-band) era and the brilliantly composed jazz of Duke Ellington
Armstrong's groundbreaking improvisatory style was a huge influence on jazz musicians, including singer Billie Holiday
The roots of jazz lie in African traditions, Western popular and art music, and African American ceremonial and work songs.
Louis Armstrong (trumpet player, singer) was associated with New Orleans-style jazz, characterized by a small ensemble improvising simultaneously.
Blues, a genre based on three-line stanzas set to a repeating harmonic pattern, was an essential factor in the rise of jazz.
By the end of the 1940s, musicians were rebelling against big-band jazz and developing new styles. Bebop was an invented word mimicking the two-note trademark phrase of this new style of fast tempos and complex harmonies.
Trumpeter Miles Davis was the principal exponent of cool jazz, a laid-back style characterized by sense harmonies, lowered levels of volume, moderate tempos, and new lyricism.
Listening Guide 48
Strayhorn: Take the A Train, by the Duke Ellington Orchestra
Disjunct, syncopated themes with call-and-response exchanges between instruments
Broad quadruple meter, at a moderate temp
Syncopated rhythms, short riffs (repeated phrases)
Genre: Big Band Jazz
Modulates to another key
Complex, advanced harmonies
Recorded February 15, 1941
32-bar song form (A-A-B-A) for each of three choruses, with introduction and coda
Animated movement with special jazz effects (bent notes, shakes, glissandos)
Big-band sound, with reed, brass, and percussion sections
Jazz big band (trumpets, trombones, saxophones, piano, guitar, bass, drums)
soloists: Duke Ellington (piano) and Ray Nance (trumpet)
Billy Strayhorn composed
Intro followed by three choruses then a coda
Lush, composed-out jazz style
Riffs- repeated phrases
Call and response
Bent Notes- in and out of pitch
Still some elements of improvisation
Shakes- brass extreme vibrato
Glissandos- fast up and down of pitches
Listening Guide 47
Holiday: Billie's Blues
Recorded in 1939
12-bar blues (introduction and six choruses; choruses 2, 3, 6 are vocal)
Genre: 12-bar blues
Polyphonic, with countermelodies against a solo voice or instrument
Syncopated melodies with pitch inflections
Reflected harmonic progressions for each chorus (I-IV-I-V-I)
Steady rhythmic accompaniment under more complex, flexible solo lines
Slow tempo, 4/4 meter
Laid-back feeling, different moods in the solos
Holiday, vocal, with trumpet, clarinet, piano, guitar, string bass, and drums
Chorus 2 is a typical blues text
The others are more free
Intersection between jazz and blues, also jazz and dance
MIx of jazz, blues, and dance
Short intro and then 6 choruses - Pattern of melody and
Marketing Music: Foster and Early "Popular" Song
Nineteenth-century songwriters in the United States combined elements of European art song and opera with other traditions to create commercially successful "popular" music
Songs often were popularized through minstrel shows, which were racially charged theatrical variety shows
The minstrel and parlor songs of Stephen Foster (including Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair) were very successful during his lifetime and remain so today.
"Weep no more my lady, Oh! Weep no more today; We will sing one song for the old Kentucky home, For the old Kentucky home far away." -Stephen Foster
What makes a song successful?
Some melodies become so beloved and familiar that we no longer associate them with an individual composer.
Connects to the idea of success; some music has brought great financial profit, partly because it has been carefully marketed
European immigrants to the Americas brought with them cultivated repertories such as operas, chamber music, and symphonies. Along with this imported "high art," they also began to develop traditions of lighter music - for dancing, singing at home, and public events such as parades.
Stephen Foster blended the two traditions of vernacular American spirit and the European art tradition in his parlor songs, which are often sweet, sentimental, and nostalgic.
Minstrelsy can be unpleasant for modern audiences to face; the shows featured white performers in blackface, acting out idealized "scenes from the plantation" that were vastly different from the realities of slave life.
Posters advertising minstrel shows often used images of performers both in blackface costume and in more formal poses, perhaps to reassure audiences of the "proper" nature of the show.
Many of Stephen Foster's early songs were for the blackface minstrel shows that were popular in this era. From 1847 on, he was under contract with the Christy Minstrels, who specialized in performing blackface shows.
19th Century American Music Pop Culture
American Style Developed
American popular identity
Popular = Belongs to the People
European immigrants brought cultivated repertories to the US
Opera, chamber music, symphonies
The US changes and develops the European art
song and opera
Marketing and pop culture
Minstrel- Variety shows
White performers, black face, plantation life
Amateurs at home
Songs from minstrel shows published later as love songs and ballads
Mostly wrote parlor songs but some for minstrel shows
Sympathetic to abolitionist cause
He was perhaps the first American to make a living as a professional songwriter
Listening Guide 28
Foster: Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair
Written in 1854 as a parlor song after separation from wife
Wavelike (descending, then ascending)
Moderate tempo in broad quadruple meter
Major key, simple block- and broken-chord accompaniment
Strophic, in A-A'-B-A song form
Tenor and pianoforte
Strophic poem by Foster (verse 1 only)
Anglo-Irish folk song tradition
A Good Beat: American Vernacular Music at the close of an Era
Ragtime was an African American piano style characterized by syncopated rhythms and sectional forms, made famous by Scott Joplin, the "King of Ragtime."
Joplin's "Maple Leaf Rag" is made up of four repeated strains in a form that resembles the marches of Sousa, whose band often played arrangements of Joplin's rags.
The great bandmaster and composer John Philip Sousa fostered the American wind band tradition, an outgrowth of the British military band.
The piano roll was an early form of musical playback technology.
Both marching and dancing rely on music to structure their regular patterns of moving, and in late nineteenth-century America those patterns overlapped and reinforced each other in two very popular traditions: the ragtime piano dance and the win-and-brass-band march.
In addition to parlor ballads and piano music, nineteenth-century America's vernacular traditions also encompassed music for brass bands. An outgrowth of the British military band, wind groups thrived throughout the United States, beginning with the regimental bands that played during the Revolutionary War.
By the Civil War era, both Northern and Southern regiments marched to the sound of bands that included brass instruments as well as woodwinds, thanks to the pioneering efforts of such designers as the Belgain Adolphe Sax.
America's most famous bandmaster was John Philip Sousa, who conducted the US Marine Band from 1880 to 1892, after which he formed his own group
In the last decades of the 1800s, ragtime developed primarily among African American performers that took Euro-American traditions and modified them through rhythmic and melodic variation
Quite simply, the Maple Leaf Rag dance presents four sixteen-measure sections, called strains, in a moderated duple meter; each strain is repeated before the next one begins
A piano roll is a long strip of paper with holes punched in it
The Band Tradition
Music for brass bands in Britain
Revolutionary War regimental bands
18th century US Marine Band
Civil War era bands
Concert and dance assemblies
Patrick S. Gilmore- leader
John Philip Sousa
The “March” King
Wrote over 130 marches for band
The Washington Post
Stars and Stripes Forever
The Liberty Bell
Conducted US Marine Band
1892 Formed civilian group
Sheet music sold incredibly well
Mass-marketing of recordings
Pre-Jazz: Ragtime Dances
African American style that modified Euroamerican traditions
Rhythmic and melodic variation
Pianists accompanying social dancing
Left home at age fourteen; played in honky-tonks and piano bars
Notice - Performed ragtime at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893
Born in Texas
"The King of Ragtime"
Balanced phrasing and key structures with highly syncopated melodies
Strove to elevate ragtime to a serious art form
Listening Guide 42
Joplin: Maple Leaf Rag
Published in 1899
Genre: Piano rag
Catchy, syncopated, disjunct melodies
Marchlike duple meter
Syncopated in right hand, steady beat in bass
Shifts to a new key in C section (the trio); decorative rolled chords
Dance made up of four section (strains), each 16 measures and repeated
Chordal accompaniment to the melody
Joplin plays on a 1910 Steinway piano roll
Syncopated melody with steady accompaniment
Maple Leaf Rag sold a million copies
Joplin insisted on royalties rather than a flat payment