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Chapter 1: Music Elements and Instrument

by: Maria Sales

Chapter 1: Music Elements and Instrument MUS 114

Maria Sales
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About this Document

8/25/16 Jazz History notes
Jazz History
Madsen, Christopher A.
Class Notes
Jazz, history, instrumentation, polyphonic, homophonic, piano, Guitar, Bass, basic, Music, Theory




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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Maria Sales on Wednesday August 31, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to MUS 114 at University of Illinois at Chicago taught by Madsen, Christopher A. in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 25 views. For similar materials see Jazz History in College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts at University of Illinois at Chicago.

Popular in College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts


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Date Created: 08/31/16
Chapter 1: Music Elements and Instrument  Although not absolutely necessary, learning about the fundamental rules and techniques of jazz can deepen one’s understanding and appreciation of the art form.  wind instruments (horns) make up “front line” o Will play melody and mostly take the lead in a performance  Rhythm section typically is placed behind horns and plays a supportive role  Provides rhythmic and harmonic  underpinning for the ensemble  Rhythm Section o Another way to classify instruments is by their musical use­­ for example, soo  instruments ersu rhythm­section instruments o The rhythm section consists of harmony, bass, and percussion instruments. o Harmony instruments  Piano (most important because of its popularity and range) o Bass instruments  The string bass is the foundation of the jazz ensemble, although it is  seldom noticed  The bas provide two role: harmonic support and rhythmic foundation, and  is usually played pizzicato in jazz  The electric bass is sometimes used instead of the acoustic bass  In early jazz, the tuba provided the bass o Percussion Instruments  Drum kit, drum set, or trap set (traps)  It originated in the marching band, where separate players played  the bass drum, snare drum, and cymbal  The drum set includes these same drums, with a foot pedal used  for the bass drum. The bass drum, snare drum, and hanging  cymbals are all played by one person. o Polyrhythm  In contrast to European music there are usually at least two layers of  rhythm occurring at the same time in African and African derived music  The foundation layer in jazz is persistent and repetitive: bass and ride  cymbal perform the function known as “keeping time” o Syncopation  Jazz soloists add the variable layer of rhythm. The rhythm section can  add layers as well, by the rhythmic placement of piano chords and drums  Syncopation occurs whenever a strong accent contradicts the basic  meter; it is central to jazz rhythm.  A downbeat is the first beat of every measure. o Blues Scale  Not just a set of pitches, but also a central musical influence in jazz.  The blues scale is a system of making melody that includes variable  intonation (blue notes, bent notes)  Blue notes are available on most instruments, but the piano is  problematic. The solution is to play two neighboring notes simultaneously. Their clash with underlying major­scale sounds is appealing because of  its “otherness”  Blue notes ­ flat the 3rd, 5th and 7th  The simultaneous sounding of pitches creates  chord. The most  fundamental chord in Western music is the triad. The chord takes its  name from the root; for example an A­major triad is built upon the root  pitch A. Voicings rearrange specific note ordering within  chord and may  include the use of chord extensions o Homophony  Melody supported by harmonic accompaniment  Usually melody and Harmony are in Separate layer  Sometime they are in a single layer: harmony occurs when two or more  instruments play the same phrase with the same rhythm but with different  pitches filling out the harmony, often in the context of soli  Counter melody occurs when the subordinate instrument have their own  melodic interest, but it does not compete with the main melody o Monophony  Melody performed by a single voice with no harmonic accompaniment  Monophony is rare in jazz but i found in early jazz “breaks, where a  musician plays while the rest of the band is silent  It is similar to “stop­time” in which the band plays short chords at brief  intervals while the soloist improvises  Monophony can be used to begin or end a piece o Polyphony  Two or more simultaneous melodies of equal interest played at the same  time.  Polyphonic writing is regularly heard in New Orleans, or Dixie, jazz.  New Orleans jazz uses polyphonic textures. 


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