Jazz

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  • Topic: Jazz, Miles Davis, Bebop
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History of American Jazz

Appendix A: Understanding Jazz

-Americas art form
-European- African musical traditions
-Hard to define

Defining Jazz
Improvisation- spontaneous and simultaneous composing and performing Rhythm- a unique interaction with time involving: -syncopation, -jazz swing rhythm Dissonance- extending common rules of music; “pushing the envelope” Jazz interpretation- a unique way of producing sound and phrasing melodies Interaction- listening to and reacting to musical ideas from other musicians

Swing Rhythm

Beat |1 |2 |3 |4 | |Straight | I |I |I |I | |Swing | I | I | I | I | | The Jazz Soloist
-The improvised solo
the highest form of individual expression in a performance
soloists create unique musical personality through note selection, tone quality, etc “telling your story”
-Lay out
-”Blue Skies”

How the Rhythm Section Works
Piano (or guitar)- plays chords in a syncopated and interactive way known as comping Bass- plays a note on every beat that outlines the chords, a technique called walking bass Drums- swing rhythm is played on the ride cymbal(ride rhythm); syncopated accents played on bass drum (dropping bombs)

Commonly Used Wind Instruments
The Saxophone Family
Cornet, Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Trombone

Electronic Instruments
MIDI- introduced in 1984

Melody, Harmony, and Rhythm
Melody- the ‘tune’
Harmony- chords that accompany the melody
Rhythm- the relationship of notes and time

Form
Chorus
Head
Improvised Solo

Jazz Performance Form
-Head: 1 chorus
-1st improvised solo: (x) choruses
-2nd improvised solo: (x) choruses
-3rd improvised solo: (x) choruses
-Head: 1 chorus

Chapter 1: A Quick Look Back on the Early Years of Jazz

Melody
Riff
Phrasing
Hot/Cool
lyrical

Rhythm
Pulse
Temp
Bar/Measure
Syncopation
Polyrhythm

Harmony
Chord- 3 or 4 notes played at a time
Chord progression (changes)
Chord symbols
Lead Sheet- leading the musician to read melody notes
Fake book

Some Other Jazz Terms
Jazz standard
Gig
Call and response (“Moanin”- the Jazz Messengers)
Trading 4’s (“Strong Rode”- Sonny Rolling
Double Time (“I Mean You”- Michael Brecker)

From Dancehall to Concert Hall
In its early years, jazz had an image problem
renamed ‘Swing’ in the 1930s and 1940s, jazz briefly became America’s pop music Around 1940, a new breed of musician begins to transform jazz into an intellectual artistic expansion From this critical moment jazz changes from a retail product to an art form

New Orleans/Chicago
New Orleans- the birthplace of jazz in early 20th century
Creoles of Color
Legislative Code No. 111
Buddy Bell
Chicago- becomes center of jazz word after Storyville closes Joe “King” Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton, L. Armstrong move there Louis Armstrong (w/the Hot Five)
-changes jazz to a soloists form
-brings new vocabulary
-codifies modern swing rhythm
Chicago- white musicians begin playing jazz, create Chicago Style Austin High Gang
Bix Beiderbecke
“Clarinet Marmalade” Bix Beiderbecke
Red Hot Peppers- Jelly Roll Morton, the 1st jazz composer and arranger playlist: “Black Bottom Stomp” Red Hot Peppers

New York, Kansas City, and the Swing Era
New York City- by the 1930s, the center of the jazz universe Tin Pan Alley
dance halls - Savoy Ballroom
night clubs - Cotton Club
jazz bands become larger
Duke Ellington(Most important jazz composer, wrote over 2000 songs, got career started at cotton club) Kansas City- introduces a simpler formula to swing
Count Basie
head arrangements
Kansas City jazz- the precursor to R&B, rock & roll
Playlist: “One O’ clock Jump” Count Basie
The Swing Era- 1935-46
-Benny Goodman becomes 1st swing star; Let’s Dance Radio program Music Cut 1: “King Porter Stomp” Benny Goodman
a time of musical consolidation
complex pop music
swing is big business
Swing becomes a drag to black musicians
-poor working conditions
-boring/monotonous
-black musicians...
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