9-25-08 - Jazz A Ridiculously Brief History of Jazz...

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Unformatted text preview: Jazz A Ridiculously Brief History of Jazz Important Announcements Midterm Exam will be given on Thursday, October 9 A review session for the midterm will be given on Tuesday, October 7 Before you ask, the course web site will be your best study guide I will draw most of the exam from what weve covered in class Some will also be drawn from the assigned reading (not the summer reading) What is jazz? Not much agreement on a standard definition Contains swing To be defined in a moment Contains improvisation Improvisation is an important part of the development of jazz and it is particularly important in bebop Is associated with the jazz tradition In other words, if people call it jazz, it is What is swing Not to be confused with the Swing Era, a style period in jazz Ill discuss in a bit Can refer to a rhythmically cohesive performance In other words, it grooves That band really swings. Can refer to the manner in which the beat is subdivided Swing 8th Notes In standard musical notation the beat is usually subdivided into two parts that are referred to as 8th notes When the 8th notes divide the beat into two equal parts jazz musicians call this straight 8ths or even 8ths When the first 8th note is played a little longer than the second jazz musicians call this swing 8ths Swing 8ths Dave Grusin Theme to Peter Gunn , composed by Henry Mancini Back To What Is Jazz? So for many, a piece must contain swing 8ths to be considered jazz This becomes problematic as many so-called jazz artists dont always play music with swing 8ths, although they may contain improvisation and be associated with the jazz tradition For our purposes, consider that jazz styles must emphasize improvisation and be associated with the jazz tradition Early Jazz (1920s-1930s) Dance music that evolved in New Orleans and spread to other parts of the country, notably Chicago New Orleans a port city with lots of commerce and a party spirit New Orleans also a city of ethnic diversity, with people of African, French, Spanish, and Caribbean descent and cultural influences Early Jazz Style Traits Smaller ensemble (called a combo) Trumpet, Trombone, Clarinet (sometimes sax), piano, bass (sometimes tuba), drums, banjo Features collective improvisation, each instrument filling a particular role Trumpet - improvises around the melody Clarinet - improvises a rhythmically active line above trumpet Trombone - improvises a less active line below trumpet, called tailgate style Rhythm section - improvises a march-like accompaniment Listen to Just Gone Louis Armstrong (1901 1971) Considered the first genius of jazz Trumpet player Large tone Wider range than other trumpet players, especially high range Better technical command than other trumpet players Singer His singing was an extension of the same musical personality Pops (as in, Father of Jazz)...
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9-25-08 - Jazz A Ridiculously Brief History of Jazz...

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