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Traditional World Music - North American Jazz

by: Bridget Dixon

Traditional World Music - North American Jazz MUSI 3583 503

Marketplace > Oklahoma State University > Music > MUSI 3583 503 > Traditional World Music North American Jazz
Bridget Dixon
OK State
GPA 3.9

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World Traditional Music
Kunzel, Stephen N
Class Notes
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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Bridget Dixon on Sunday April 3, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to MUSI 3583 503 at Oklahoma State University taught by Kunzel, Stephen N in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 688 views. For similar materials see World Traditional Music in Music at Oklahoma State University.


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Date Created: 04/03/16
N. America – Jazz in America  Introduction  Remains difficult to define  Originally associated with African musicians around New Orleans at the end of t19th century; now transcends racial, ethnic and geographical boundaries  Blends African, Caribbean and western European culture  Democratic, the individual expression is king  Rooted in oral tradition  Immediacy makes it difficult to capture in music notation; more ephemeral (short lived) than other kinds of western music  Advantage: jazz coincides with the advent of recording technology  Most essential aspects of jazz – syncopation and improvisation o Syncopation - The effect of displacing the emphasis so that the strong beats are undermined and the weaker beats strengthened (instantly identified with jazz because it is unique from other western music) o Improvisation – making up music on the spot o Scat singing – singers use nonsense words or syllables that can often sound like musical instruments  improvised section usually comes in between two statements of the main tune (head – generally straight forward performance of the composed music)  This section is often of indeterminate length but generally lasts as long as it takes for each musician to make an improvisation over one pass of the composed tune.  Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me – rhythmic sensibility; strong sense of beat  “swing” – music has a strong sense of beat, seems to float above the air; impossible to describe  The upright bass playing pizzicato (plucking the strings rather than bowing them as in classical music) is commonly heard in jazz. This is called a "walking" bass. "Walking" occurs when a bass plays equal note values (usually quarter notes) on every beat in an unsyncopated manner. Jazz Begins 20 century, New Orleans saw musicians with many stles, including military marches, opera, and slave music The French Quarter and Congo Square were the sight of Mardi gras and funerals where these bands played The performers found employment in the red-light district just outside the French quarter (Storyville) The French Quarter and Storyville were the birthplace of jazz – was first called “ragtime” ( this term is more commonly applied to the highly polished and notated music style associated with Scott Joplin (“King of Ragtime”) Trained pianist and composer who wrote an opera called Treemonisha no allowance for improvisation purists do not believe it to be jazz "Maple Leaf Rag," published in 1899, became Joplin's most famous composition, selling more than a half a million copies by 1909. But as ragtime gave way to stride piano, Joplin's music fell out of favor, and when he died in 1917 his music was virtually unknown. A revival of Joplin's music began when Marvin Hamlish used it in the Oscar winning movie The Sting. "The Entertainer" (composed in 1902) catapulted to number 48 on Billboard's Top 100 in 1974 and in 1976 Joplin was posthumously awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his significant contributions in American music. The Golden Age of Jazz  The Roaring Twenties, The Great Gatsby helped to popularize jazz  classical composers like Igor Stravinsky, Maurice Ravel and Aaron Copland to compose jazz inspired music  Brought the Sax to the classical orechestra  The Harlem Renaissance  Post WWI – center of culture shifts from Europe to NY  Harlem - extraordinary black artists like Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston and James Weldon Johnson gravitated towards it.  Cotton Club music venue in Harlem o Owner Edward Dthe Ellington o Becomes 20 centuries jazz artist o Self taught  "Mood Indigo": a mood setting vignette with a lush orchestration and understated character. In this work, the melancholy of the trumpet (played by Arthur Whetsol), the smooth trombone sound (played by Joe Nanton) and the rich warm sound of the clarinet would later inspire many black and white band leaders to form their own big bands. Blues  Mamie Smith is acknowledged as the first black woman to record a song and her 1920 recording of Perry Bradford's "Crazy Blues" started the national blues craze.  Sold more than 800,000 records  Difficult for blacks to book theaters in white communities  Theater Owner’s Booking Association founded to give blacks a place to perform Blues Characteristics  “blues scale”  important to note that non-western music has more pitches than the 12 tempered notes; the expressivity of these, esp. applied to the third and seventh scale degree creates the blues feel  Fairly standardized harmonic plan  12 bar blues is popular  Blues lyrics are often comments on relationships and can be quite suggestive o Often sung in two bar trades with instrumental breaks  The blues then really refers to a combination of things: a special kind of scale, a sequence of relatively fixed harmonies, a standardized lyrical pattern, a type of performance style and even a state of mind. High Society and Hot Jazz  Paul Whitman – self proclaimed “King of Jazz” o Thought that jazz could be “improved” by creating professional arrangments of tunes o Commissioned “Rhapsody in Blue” from George Gershwin in 1924 o Some feel his music isn’t really jazz  Louis Armstrong – undisputed King of Jazz o "Hot jazz" mirrored the youthful exuberance of the times: it was fast, with brilliant improvisations and had an energy that the "high society" dance bands lacked.  Improvement of radio technology after stock market crash; mid- 1930s big band music dominated the airwaves Berry Goodman – “King of Swing” (Swing Era: 1935 – 1946)  His band's performance at the Palomar Auditorium in Los Angeles, California on August 21, 1935 is widely recognized as the birth of "swing jazz."  Three years later Goodman would again create history by bringing his band, along with members of the Count Basie and Duke Ellington bands, to perform hot jazz in Carnegie Hall to a sold-out crowd. o Represented the arrival of mainstream jazz  Goodman insisted on working with the best musicians, regardless of color “Lady Sings the Blues” – Billie Holiday (Lady Day)  Ability to reach the emotional depth of songs  Discovered by John Hammond  1937 - she met her musical match in the tenor sax styling of Lester Young. Ella Fitzgerald  Ability to imitate musical instruments with her voice  First success = Chick Web Orchestra  Joined forces with Norman Gans  Arguably the greatest jazz singer of all time  Ganz built his record company Verve around her talent and began documenting a definitive collection of the Great American Songbook with discs devoted to single composers like Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, and George Gershwin. Hipsters and Lindy-hoppers  Jazz had its own lingo and it became a part of the Swing Generation  Layed the foundation for beatnik language  Jitterbug called “America’s National Folk Dance” o The Savoy Ballroom in NY’s Harlem  One of the few places whites and blacks could dance together  Whitey’s Lindy-hoppers  Appeared in 1941 film Hellzapoppin Bebop  NYC  Would rebel against the normal jazz sound and its use as background music for dancing  Recreated their sound night after night  Was not trying to become jazz  The fav spot = Harlem and Minton's Playhouse on West 118th Street in New York City  Thelonius Monk, Miles Davis, John "Dizzy" Gillespie, and Charlie "Bird" Parker  Bebop's characteristics include angular and irregularly accented melodies, extending the harmonic palette to include more chromatic notes, an intense and often blues' inflected expressivity, and bravura virtuosity. Performers actively explored the extreme ranges of their instruments and extremely fast tempos are the norm rather than the exception.  Borrowed chord progressions from classic American songs from a repertoire known as the Great American Songbook Afro-Cuban Jazz Dizzy Gillespie "Manteca," now regarded as the first Afro-Cuban jazz composition. Miles Davis was directly involved in the establishment of bebop, modal and cool jazz, free jazz, electric jazz, and fusion. The Birth of Cool Not only did the ensemble have an unusual instrumentation that included french horns and a tuba, but Evans extended the harmonic language of jazz to include ambiguous harmonies and chord progressions. Inspired those working on the west coast Model Jazz But Davis kept moving forward and in the late 1950s formed a quintet with John Coltrane (tenor saxophone), Red Garland (piano), Paul Chambers (double bass) and Philly Joe Jones (drums) King of Blue most significant For nearly twenty years the Evans/Davis collaboration would reconfigure jazz's sound, leading to several recordings such as Porgy and Bess and Sketches of Spain that were often criticized as something other than jazz. But Davis kept moving forward and in the late 1950s formed a quintet with John Coltrane (tenor saxophone), Red Garland (piano), Paul Chambers (double bass) and Philly Joe Jones (drums). Later John "Cannonball" Adderley would step in to create a sextet. With this ensemble, Davis returned to his bebop roots. With his insistence on playing longer and more legato phrases, he began exploring music made with modes—a set of musical scales used during the Medieval Period that was now being explored more theoretically by composer/performer George Russell. Russell began to formulate ideas on how jazz could extend its musical resources by exploring outside the traditional major/minor systems of music. One of his most gifted students was pianist Bill Evans, who was asked to join Davis' group in what is considered to be Davis' most essential recording Kind of Blue. The first track appearing on Kind of Blue has arguably become Miles Davis' most influential recording. "So What" is an exploration of the Dorian mode based on a 32-bar blues form that alternates between only 2 chords. The piano chords played by Evans in the opening are based on chords built from stacked fourths (rather than the traditionally tonal chords built on stacked thirds). So important are these harmonies that they have been called the "So What chords" by many musicians. Cool Jazz  Synthesizing classical music with jazz evolved into what Gunther Schuller dubbed "third stream."  Commercial success and crosses over into popular music  Appealed to sophisticated college students because it relied on an expanded musical form, stylish counterpoint, and experiments with unusual musical meters with compositions lasting longer than much popular music of the time. The Surprise Return of Louis Armstrong Hello Dolly beat The Beatles for the #1 spot on Billboard What a Wonderful World written in 1967 to address racial conflicts Very well known, used in many movies Freeing Jazz: Ornette Coleman and John Coltrane Free jazz, or anti-jazz as it is sometimes called, became one important expression of the Black Power movement and its innovative spiritual leader was Ornette Coleman. Freed from melody, harmony, meter, etc 1960s - critics and musicians all agreed that John Coltrane was the single most significant jazz musician of the time. Coltrane now created improvisations that were "sheets of sound" - a term that represented Coltrane's dense improvisations that included rapid arpeggios and fast running scales. Experimented with LSD to deepen his spiritual awareness Miles Davis took the job of opening act for bands like the Grateful Dead, and Santana at the famed Fillmore in San Francisco in 1970. Accepting pay cuts and second-tier billing, Davis was willing to make sacrifices to accomplish his goal of breathing life back into jazz by blending jazz with elements of rock and roll music. Used rock instruments Bitches Brew – cut and sliced into music "Pharaoh's Dance" uses a myriad of studio edits along with several special effects processing like echo, tape delay, looping, and reverberation. This recording is more similar to a piece of electronic music composed in an avant-garde classical manner than jazz and much credit needs to be given to Teo Macero, who was the producer for the session


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