He was given his nickname duke as a child because of

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Unformatted text preview: reated as opposed to re- creating music by following the directions provided by a composer on a notated score. As we have seen in previous chapters, improvisation is a strong characteristic of African music traditions and it continues to be one of the most distinguishing characteristics in African American music. At its earliest stage (the New Orleans style), jazz was collective improvisation. To some degree, as each new style became more mainstream (with increased influence from the European traditions), the emphasis on improvisation would give way to notation. But in the 21 inevitable reaction, often as an attempt by African American musicians to reclaim their own musical tradition, the new style would re- assert an emphasis on improvisation. PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER: “ROUND MIDNIGHT” BY THELONIUS MONK PERFORMED BY HERBIE HANCOCK AND BOBBIE MCFERRIN Now let’s listen to “Round Midnight” to see how these structural characteristics are incorporated into a single jazz ‘standard’ that is reportedly the most- recorded jazz standard composed by a jazz musician. Please listen once just to hear the general structural characteristics: Rhythm: The rhythm is basically a slow tempo quadruple that is played with lots of syncopation and fluidity. Melody: The melody consists of two 8- bar phrases that are repeated in varied manner as the instrumentalists and vocalist improvise Harmony: Listen for the complexity of the harmonic language. Consider doing an internet search for an image of the “lead sheet” (the notated guide jazz musicians use that includes the melody with the chord changes) so that you can see the difficult and intricate chords (such as a C- 7 b5) the piece uses. Texture: This song is in homophonic texture, with the primary melody either sung or played by the pianist. The other instruments provide the harmonic/rhythmic accompaniment. Instrumentation: This is a vocalist singing in a manner that evokes an instrumentalist – many people think it is an instrumentalist! A rhythm section (piano, drums, bass) provides the accompaniment to the vocalist. The pianist becomes ‘soloist’ for the two statements of the “A” phrase in the second statement “verse.” Form: This is the classic AABA form consisting of 32- bars subdivided into 8 phrases. This basic form is stated twice with a brief t...
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This document was uploaded on 02/16/2014.

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