Music Flashcards

Music 131 – Lecture 3

Overview ~ Basic elements of swing era big band jazz~ Written arrangements and improvisation~ Early big bands of the 1920s~ Benny Goodman~ Duke Ellington~ Count Basie~ Other swing era jazz innovators and big band vocalists
The Swing Era ~ The Swing Era, or Big Band Era was largely associated with popular bands roughly between 1930 and 1945~ Swing music represents the period where jazz became America’s popular music~ Some jazz musicians became pop stars~ Many important big band leaders came out of the Chicago jazz scene of the 1920s -> Benny Goodman -> Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey -> Glenn Miller~ Swing evolved our of New Orleans and Chicago jazz and New York society bands (e.g. Paul Whiteman)**************************Jazz began to take on several new characteristics in the mid 1920s into the 1930s, allowing the music to cross over into the world of popular music. By the mid 1930s, jazz entered a ten-year phase where it became America’s most popular music. This period of cultural turbulence–when much of the world was at war or preparing for it–is now referred to as the Swing Era. The most striking change in the sound of jazz during the Swing Era involved the size of bands, which increased dramatically from six or seven musicians to fourteen or more. It is not surprising that this period in popular music is also referred to as the Big Band Era. Swing music, or big-band jazz, evolved smoothly out of the New Orleans and Chicago jazz styles. The concept of the big band was born in New York when popular society orchestra leaders (such as Paul Whiteman) decided to add jazzy elements to their polite ballroom music in response to the rising popularity of jazz sparked by Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, and other early musicians. By the end of the 1920s, several young Chicago jazz musicians including Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, and the Dorsey Brothers had relocated to New York, where they began organizing their first swing bands, modeled commercially after the popular success of Paul Whiteman, but musically tied to Fletcher Henderson’s band, universally cited by historians and musicians as the first jazz-based swing band (more discussion about Fletcher Henderson a bit later in Lesson 3).
The Two Types of Swing Bands ~ Sweet bands (pop-based, little jazz improvisation) and hot bands (loud, swinging with aggressive improvisations by notable jazz soloists) -> Both sweet bands and hot bands played for dancers (jitterbugs) -> Both sweet bands and hot bands played written or pre-planned arrangements of pop songs or original compositions~ Three important terms: -> Composer: A creator of music -> Arranger: One who takes existing music and writes it out for a band or singer to perform -> Composer/Arranger: One who creates and arranges the music for a band or singer**************************In addition to the size of the bands, the most important difference between swing music and early jazz styles centered around the use of written arrangements. Musicians, for the first time on a large scale, used notated or written music in combination with improvised jazz solos. This allowed non-improvising players to participate alongside those that specialized in jazz improvisation in creating the new jazz of the thirties and beyond. Many musicians and critics felt then, as today, that this constituted a severe compromise in the music that had so emphasized improvisation–collectively and solo–during the previous decades. Because jazz became more structured, or arranged, ensemble playing and written notes were emphasized at the expense of improvisation; and, therefore, improvised solos were kept at a minimum in frequency and length. However, despite the cutback of improvisation in the music, several important jazz improvisers appeared during the Big Band Era, including a few that would influence succeeding musicians in later years–such as tenor saxophonists Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young, electric guitarist Charlie Christian, and vocalists Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald. The 1930s was a decade of turmoil in the United States, suffering a severe economic depression coupled with political instability in Europe. Swing or big-band jazz provided an escape from these social and political pressures; by the beginning of World War II, the Swing Era, and jazz itself, had become largely associated with the big bands that played in large ballrooms for scores of dancers (commonly referred to as jitterbugs). There were two primary types of swing era big bands identified by the press, musicians, and music fans alike: sweet bands and hot bands. Bands performing exciting, hot arrangements and featuring the most innovative improvisers were known as “hot bands” contrasting with the more commercial “sweet bands” who focused on easy listening melodies with little or no jazz improvisation. This course will concentrate on the important hot bands, who remained the closest to the traditions of jazz performance and improvisation set down by the previous generation of musicians.
Jelly Roll Morton and His Red Hot Peppers ` Morton was one of the first to combine written music with improvisations in the 1920s~ He is cited as the first important jazz composer~ His band, The Red Hot Peppers, was based in ChicagoL Recorded for Victor Records~ Morton experimented with arranging techniques: -> Used different combinations of instruments throughout the arrangement -> Arranged 3-part written counterpoint (from New Orleans jazz tradition)~ Early use of the string bass playing walking lines taken from the left hand of stride pianists.***************************Besides being an important innovative stride pianist, Jelly Roll Morton was the first significant jazz composer, and one of the pioneers in combining improvisation with written music. After settling down in Chicago in the 1920s, Morton formed a small band called the Red Hot Peppers, similar in scope to Louis Armstrong’s Hot Five, but a septet instead of a quintet. Unlike the Hot Five however, Morton wrote notated music for the band members to read; and within the written music, he inserted areas of improvisation. Morton experimented with different combinations of instruments played by the Red Hot Peppers. For example, at various points in his arrangements, he might have the banjo and string bass play alone, or the clarinet and piano accompanied only by the banjo. He included a lot of composed or arranged call and response segments between various instruments within the band, or between an improvising soloist and the rest of the group playing a written response. Morton also transferred the left hand striding bass lines of his piano playing to the string bass to fortify the rhythmic groove of the music. This was the forerunner to modern walking bass lines played by contemporary jazz bass players.
The Black Bottom Stomp (1926, Chicago) – Jelly Roll Morton ~ Composed in 2 sections: -> Section 1: Focus on a call and response between written and improvised parts -> Section 2: Focus on solo improvisation with various accompanying instruments.***************************Jelly Roll Morton’s Black Bottom Stomp was a model example of an early attempt to combine written or arranged music with jazz improvisation. Recorded in 1926 by his Red Hot Peppers, Morton’s composition was structured in two basic sections. The first section focused on call and response segments of composed and improvised phrases, while the second part of the piece featured individual solo improvisations with various combinations of accompanying instruments. Near the end of the recording, Morton’s arrangement had the whole band kicking into gear in the style of New Orleans jazz with some instruments playing written-out parts and other instruments simultaneously improvising. This collectively performed part of the piece was the forerunner to what would be called a shout chorus, the most exciting part of a swing era jazz band arrangement.
Fletcher Henderson (1897 – 1952) ~ Established the instrumentation for the modern big band (multiple saxophones, brass and rhythm section)~ Set the early standards for jazz arranging -> Pitted saxophones against the brass -> Developed effective block chord voicings -> Introduced the concept of soli (plural of solo) -> Introduced the shout chorus into jazz~ Two type of shout choruses -> Tutti shout chorus: the whole band plays the same thing in unison -> Call and response shout chorus: multiple riffs simultaneously played by each horn sections in the band (creating up to 3-part counterpoint).**************************Jelly Roll Morton’s Red Hot Peppers cannot be considered the model from which the modern big band was drawn, since it was a relatively small group with only one of each instrument. The musician credited with establishing the instrumentation of and arranging techniques for modern jazz bands was Fletcher Henderson. Often cited as the “Father of the Modern Big Band”, Henderson formed his first large jazz ensemble in 1923 by modeling the instrumentation of New York society orchestras as well as vaudeville pit bands. Henderson, a pianist, broke into the New York music scene by organizing various bands for the Pace-Handy Music Company to accompany blues singers performing in vaudeville theaters. This experience led him to form his own band, using multiple saxophones doubling on clarinet, trombones, trumpets, and a rhythm section comprised of piano, guitar, bass, and drums. The instrumentation of his first 1923 band remains relatively the same for twenty-first century big bands. Henderson developed jazz band arranging methods still in use today, including concepts of pitting the saxophones against the brass instruments in call and response segments, techniques of block chord voicings, effective use of instrumental soli (the plural of solo), and expanding the effectiveness of the shout chorus. Henderson’s arrangements always seemed to set up a sort of conversation between the saxophones and the brass instruments (trumpets and trombones). For example, he would have the saxophones play a short phrase with a response by either the trombones or trumpets–or vice versa. Or, whenever a saxophonist was improvising a solo, the brass section would provide the accompaniment, while the saxophones would do the same behind a trumpet or trombone solo. Since a single saxophone, trombone, or trumpet cannot alone play a chord (since it takes a minimum of three notes to make a chord), multiple instruments are needed to establish harmony or chords in a performance. The technique of have a group of instruments playing a chord is called block chord voicing. Fletcher Henderson is credited for developing the early models for effective block chord voicings within a section of the band; for example, the saxophone section playing block chords or harmony behind a brass soloist. Remember that the plural of “solo” is “soli.” In conjunction with his use of effective block chord voicing techniques, Henderson introduced the concept of an entire section in the band playing the same line, usually in harmony with itself, as though it were one large solo instrument. For example, Henderson would write a jazzy chorus for the trumpets in order to showcase the whole section as though they were one large harmonizing trumpet, hence the term “soli”–since more than one musician was actually functioning as the soloist. Fletcher Henderson also expanded the concept of the shout chorus in jazz. Shout choruses were common in New Orleans and Chicago jazz and were the crowning highlight of a song’s arrangement–for example the ending chorus of Bix Beiderbecke’s Jazz Me Blues. Henderson used two types of shout choruses: the tutti shout chorus and the call and response shout chorus. Tutti is an Italian music term meaning “everyone” and was used in orchestral music to denote the whole orchestra playing the same thing. Therefore, a tutti shout chorus in jazz refers to the whole band playing the same thing–sometimes in harmony, sometimes in unison. On the other hand, a call and response shout chorus would have the trumpets, trombones, and saxophones all playing simultaneously, but each section playing a different melody line–very similar in concept to New Orleans collective improvisation, but written down or arranged.
The Stampede ~ Increasing demands as a bandleader led Fletcher Henderson to hire a “schooled” composer arranger, Don Redman (1900-1964) to write for the band. -> Expanded Henderson’s writing concepts -> Refined black chord voicing techniques -> Expanded complexity of shout choruses~ The Stampede contains numerous examples of -> Call and response between saxophones and brass -> High-pitched clarinet soli after the cornet solo -> Complex shout chrus near the end of the piece~ Features two brilliant solo improvisations -> Rex Stewart cornet solo -> Coleman Hawkins tenor sax solo (more on Hawkins later in this section)***************************Fletcher Henderson featured several innovative soloists in his first band including Louis Armstrong who had just arrived in New York from Chicago in 1924, and the first great jazz tenor saxophone soloist Coleman Hawkins. We will spend more time discussing Coleman Hawkins later in Lesson 3. Increasing demands as a bandleader led Fletcher Henderson to hire a “schooled” composer and arranger, Don Redman to write for the band. In addition to his saxophone playing duties, Redman, who studied music in college, expanded Henderson’s arranging concepts, refining block chord voicing techniques and expanding the complexity of the shout chorus. Redman’s 1926 arrangement of Fletcher Henderson’s composition The Stampede contained numerous examples of call and response conversations between the saxophones, trombones and trumpets. A high-pitched clarinet soli performed by the saxophone section doubling on clarinets was another highlight of the recording. Redman’s arrangement concluded with a complex shout chorus utilizing both tutti and call and response techniques. However, without the brilliant improvisations by cornetist Rex Stewart and star soloist Coleman Hawkins, Henderson’s composition and Redman’s writing would have been missing the soul of jazz.
Benny Goodman (1909-86): “The King of Swing” ~ Clarinetist Benny Goodman was a product of the 1920s Chicago scene -> Studied classical clarinet -> Jam sessions with New Orleans musicians~ New York studio musician 1929-1934~ Started his own band in 1934 with help from John Hammond (1910-1987), wealthy jazz fan~ Big break: NBC radio program “Let’s Dance”~ Good Example: King Porter Stomp -> Composed in 1905 by Jelly Roll Morton; arrangement purchased from Fletcher Henderson; considered the first swing era big band hit recording.****************************Benny Goodman was known as the “King Of Swing” during the Swing Era and his band was one of the most popular of that period. Goodman, one of the young Chicago jazz musicians of the 1920’s, was a classically-trained clarinetist who brought high musical standards to jazz and insisted on performing with the finest musicians, black or white. Goodman arrived in New York from Chicago in 1929 and spent the next several years performing in various bands as well as being a first call musician in the recording studio scene. However, his ambition was to become the leader of his own big band, not an easy thing to organize during the height of the great depression in the early 1930’s. In 1933, he was befriended by John Hammond, the son of wealthy New York patrons of the arts. With Hammond’s connections in the New York music scene and some timely financial help, Goodman was able to realize his dream of leading his own band. His big break occurred in 1934 when Hammond secured a spot for the band on a nationally broadcast radio program on NBC entitled Let’s Dance. The national exposure resulted in a record contract and transcontinental tour catapulting Goodman into pop stardom and jump starting what was about to be called the swing era. Benny Goodman’s first hit recording was a Fletcher Henderson arrangement of an old Jelly Roll Morton composition, King Porter Stomp. Henderson had run into financial difficulty during the depression and was eager to sell his arrangements to keep his own band afloat. Goodman became a good customer knowing full well the quality of Henderson’s writing. The arrangement recorded by Goodman’s band was classic Henderson: lots of call and response between saxophones and brass, terrific improvised solos backed by interesting block chord harmonies concluding with an exciting, loud shout chorus at the end of the performance. In addition to Goodman’s clarinet playing, King Porter Stomp featured two key musicians in the band: trumpet soloist Bunny Berigan and drummer Gene Krupa who would become an important band leader in his own right a few years later. A final note about John Hammond. Over the years, he became a recording company executive with Columbia Records and discovered and molded the early careers of several important popular musicians. Besides Benny Goodman, Billie Holiday, Count Basie, Lionel Hampton, Charlie Christian, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen were a few of his discoveries!
More on Benny Goodman (Goodman’s band and Carnegie Hall Performance) ~ Benny Goodman’s bands featured several important jazz musicians -> Gene Krupa, drums -> Bunny Berigan, trumpet -> Fletcher Henderson, staff arranger~ John Hammond arranged for the band to perform in New York’s Carnegie Hall in 1938 -> Primarily reserved for classical music concerts -> Jazz was not originally conceived as concert music~ Also appearing: Members of Count Basie’s band -> First time black and white musicians performs together on stage in public: considered culturally and politically wrong in 1938.****************************At first devised as a publicity stunt, John Hammond booked the Goodman band to play a concert at Carnegie Hall in January, 1938. Jazz had never been presented in such a formal concert hall and Benny Goodman wasn’t all the excited about it at first. However, Hammond and Columbia Records launched a big promotion campaign about the concert, how Goodman was going to present jazz from a historical perspective by performing examples of early styles leading up to his latest recordings. Goodman finally agreed to the Carnegie Hall concert provided he could share the stage with his favorite black musicians. In 1938, having black and white musicians perform together in public was culturally and politically not acceptable for many people, especially in certain areas of the country. However, Goodman insisted that since jazz came out of Afro-American culture and because he learned the art of jazz by hanging out with and jamming with the likes of Louis Armstrong, Johnny Dodds and Kid Ory in Chicago, the historical theme of the concert needed to include the best available black jazz musicians. Carnegie Hall was sold out with extra seats placed on stage behind the musicians to handle the overflow audience. Goodman and Hammond were on pins and needles over what the audience reaction would be when the stage was shared by members of Count Basie’s band and members of Goodman’s. The concert was a rousing success without any significant racially charged incidents. One of the highlights of the concert was the first public performance of the Benny Goodman Quartet – two white musicians, Goodman and drummer Gene Krupa paired with pianist Teddy Wilson and vibraphonist Lionel Hampton, two significant black jazz soloists. It should be noted that the integration of black and white musicians performing in public together happened nine years before professional sports took that step in allowing Jackie Robinson to play major league baseball with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. Columbia Records captured the whole concert by using two disc cutting machines to record the music without interruption. Don’t Be That Way featured the well-rehearsed Goodman band with terrific solos by its leader, trumpeter Harry James, tenor saxophonist Babe Russin and maybe the star of the whole night, drummer Gene Krupa whose loud, aggressive playing supercharged the band’s performance. Note the reaction of the audience every time Krupa played a drum solo or loud drum fill.
More on Benny Goodman ~ Goodman organized small group recordings -> Terrific Improvised solos -> Preplanned, polished arrangements -> Some observers labeled it “chamber jazz”~ Featured black and white musicians -> Goodman was a superstar: he could play and record with anybody he wanted -> Goodman respected the history of jazz and wanted to embrace that legacy~ His sextet introduced two significant black jazz musicians: -> Lionel Hampton (1908-2002) vibraphone: later a major jazz and R&B star -> Charlie Christian (1916-1942) the first grate electric lead (solo) guitaristGood Example: Seven Come Eleven***************************Benny Goodman performed most often with his big band, although he received the most critical and artistic praise with his small group or combo–known first as the Benny Goodman Quartet, and later expanded to a sextet by 1939. John Hammond had already discovered vibraphonist Lionel Hampton in Los Angeles and brought him to New York to record with Goodman in 1936, joining pianist Teddy Wilson and drummer Gene Krupa. In 1939, Hammond found an incredible electric guitarist playing in a local club in Oklahoma City: Charlie Christian. Christian was brought to Los Angeles to audition for Goodman, who was absolutely knocked out by his brilliant improvising skills. By adding Christian and bassist Artie Bernstein to the Quartet, the famed Benny Goodman Sextet was born. Charlie Christian’s life was cut short at the age of 25 in 1942 by tuberculosis, a deadly disease at that time. However, in less than four years in the national spotlight, he revolutionized the role of the guitar in jazz and popular music by not only being an early user of an amplified instrument, but by playing lead lines and incredible horn-like improvisations. He took the guitar out of the rhythm section and placed it squarely in the front row as a lead instrument. Every lead guitarist in jazz or rock music owes much of their heritage and role in music to Charlie Christian. That alone would rate Christian an important place in music history. However, he had even more to offer in his short life by being one of a group of New York musicians who were in the early stages of a revolution in jazz that would become known as bebop, the first modern jazz style. Had he lived beyond 1942, Charlie Christian would undoubtedly be listed among the great modern jazz players like Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, and John Coltrane. Precious few recorded examples of Charlie Christian’s playing exist, but his best work can be found on the Benny Goodman Sextet recordings between 1939 and 1941. The Benny Goodman Sextet was often referred to as a “chamber jazz” group, meaning that they played with the precision of a tight-knit classical string quartet or woodwind quintet while performing some of the best solo improvisations by anyone in the swing era. They appealed to both popular and jazz audiences. Pop audiences preferred the polished sound of the group while jazz audiences marveled over their brilliant spontaneous improvisations. Seven Come Eleven, jointly composed by Goodman and Christian, was one of the Sextet’s most famous recordings. A Count-Basie-like riff tune, Seven Come Eleven was based on the harmony and structure of I Got Rhythm and featured outstanding solos by the three lead instrumentalists, Goodman, Christian, and Hampton. Sitting in on piano for this recording session was the famous big band arranger, Fletcher Henderson.
Benny Goodman’s Legacy to Jazz ~ Popularized swing music more than anyone else~ forced the use of racial integration in music: first bandleader to perform in public with an integrated band~ Brought jazz out of the bars, clubs and taverns into the finest concert halls in the world: first to present a formal jazz concert~ The first jazz musicians to have success in the classical world: recorded Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet in A Major with the Budapest String Quartet, 1938; Aaron Copland wrote clarinet concerto for him in 1948.***************************Benny Goodman accomplished much during his lifetime in music, but the most important contribution he brought to American culture was forcing the issue of integration in music. Growing up in Chicago and learning the art of jazz directly and personally from significant transplanted New Orleans musicians taught Goodman about the music’s true heritage. Throughout his career, he insisted on playing with the best musicians, regardless of race. As a pop superstar, he was in a strong enough position culturally and politically to be able to break down racial barriers by sharing the Carnegie Hall stage in 1938 with the finest black jazz musicians in New York. He became the first white bandleader to not only perform with black musicians in public, but the first to hire blacks to play in his band–most notably, former Duke Ellington trumpeter, Cootie Williams, in 1940. Goodman was among the first jazz musicians to perform in theaters and concert halls, away from bars, clubs, and dancehalls, where the music had been traditionally played. He was also the first jazz musician to have success in the classical music world. His early classical music studies on the clarinet provided him with the discipline and technique needed to record Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet in A Major with the Budapest String Quartet in 1938, as well as having a concerto written for him by the famous American composer Aaron Copland, ten years later. At the time of his death in 1986, Benny Goodman was preparing to play a series of classical music concerts with several European symphony orchestras, a tour that unfortunately never took place.
Chick Webb (1909-39) ~ Spinal tuberculosis left him with a hunched back and minimal use of legs -> Learned drumming as therapy -> 16 year-old studio musician in New York~ In 1931, bandleader at the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem -> Recurrent winner of “Battle of the Bands”~ Set the early standard for jazz drumming -> Propelled his band with energizing “fills” -> Strong four beat groove for dances -> First to play rhythms on hi-hat cymbals~Good Example: Harlem Congo -> Webb’s drum solo set the standard for everyone else: Benny Goodman’s drummer, Gene Krupa, derived much of his style from Chick Webb.****************************Despite suffering from spinal tuberculosis as a child, which left him with a hunched back and minimal use of his legs, Chick Webb became the most influential drummer of his generation, as well as the leader of Harlem’s most popular band in the 1930s. Webb originally took up drumming as physical therapy for his condition, but by the time he was sixteen, he was a first-call musician in the New York Studio scene. He formed his own band in 1926. The Chick Webb Orchestra was so good, they reigned supreme in numerous “Battle of the Band” competitions held at their home base, the Savoy Ballroom. As a drummer, Chick Webb set the early standards for big-band drumming technique, propelling his ensemble with energizing fills and creating strong rhythmic grooves based on the four-beat style of the blues–much to the delight of Harlem ballroom dancers and jitterbugs. Webb was also the first jazz drummer to play rhythmic patterns on his high-hat cymbals (two smaller cymbals brought together by a foot pedal in an open and closed position still commonly used by contemporary jazz, rock, and pop drummers). Chick Webb’s recording of Harlem Congo in 1937 provided a showcase for his powerful drumming style, as evidenced in one of the earliest extended drum solos in recorded jazz. Webb had a profound influence on the other drumming star of the 1930s, Gene Krupa who always maintained that he learned everything about jazz drumming from Chick Webb.
Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington (1899-1974) ~ Parents ran the household of a prominent Washington D.C> physician~ Professional pianist in his teens~ Music director at New York’s Kentucky Club, 1924~ Publishing/Management partnership with Irving Mills in 1926~ Music director at famed Harlem Cotton Club, 1927 -> Whites only club with black entertainers -> Jungle theme; fostered vile stereotypes of black cultureGood Example: The Mooche -> Composed by Ellington as a dance number for the Cotton Club Floor Show***************************Long considered one of America’s most unique musical treasures, Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington brought a sense of class and dignity to a musical style that had mostly been identified with brothels, taverns, and dance halls during its short history leading into the Swing Era. Jazz trumpeter Miles Davis once said; “All musicians should get together on one certain day and get down on their knees to thank Duke.” A stride style pianist, Duke Ellington considered his primary instrument to be the one that he himself invented and perfected: the Ellington Orchestra. Unlike other bandleaders who chose the hottest musicians to play in their bands, Ellington carefully selected his musicians based upon their empathy for his music and whether or not they fulfilled his musical expectations in the performance of his music. As a result, Ellington’s band was filled with the highest quality musicians–maybe not the hottest stars, but the best musicians for his music. Duke Ellington was born in the lap of luxury. His family ran the household of a prominent Washington D.C. physician who attended to important political figures and dignitaries. In his autobiography, Music Is My Mistress, Ellington talked about his childhood: “I was raised in the palm of the hand. I was pampered and pampered and spoiled rotten by all the women in the family, aunts and cousins. My parents were very strict; very strict about seeing that I got everything that I wanted. Ellington had formal piano lessons beginning at age seven, but he was also an emerging track star in high school. In making the choice between music and sports, Ellington explained in Music Is My Mistress: “After performing at various parties, I learned that when you were playing the piano, there was always a pretty girl standing down at the bass clef end of the piano. I ain’t been no athlete since.” In 1922, Duke decided to give the New York music scene a try, but after a few months of unemployment, he returned to Washington D.C. His second journey to New York with his own group, The Washingtonians, resulted in his first important music job, leading his band at a sleazy Times Square nightclub known by many names, but most famously as The Kentucky Club. The Washingtonians made their first commercial recordings in 1924; and by 1926, the group had grown in size. After he signed a management contract with a New York music publisher and part-time mobster, Irving Mills, Ellington’s career took off. In 1927, he was named music director at the famous Harlem nightclub, The Cotton Club. Located in the heart of New York’s vibrant black neighborhood, the club was operated by a Broadway show producer and featured black musicians, singers, dancers, and comedians performing in a floorshow with a jungle theme. To make matters worse for the surrounding community, the Cotton Club had a policy of admitting whites only; and the jungle theme of the show only served to foster racist stereotypes of black culture. Despite those culturally vile circumstances, the musicians and entertainers who performed there gained exposure to important music industry people. Several well-known stars were discovered performing at the Cotton Club, including Lena Horne, Bill Robinson, Cab Calloway, Dorothy Dandridge, and Sammy Davis, Jr.–not to mention Duke Ellington. The Cotton Club shows were broadcast nationally on network radio, providing further exposure for the musicians and entertainers. As music director of the Cotton Club, Ellington had to compose and arrange music for his band to accompany the floorshow entertainers, as well as provide music for dancing. Constantly arranging all types of music, Ellington was able to quickly develop his writing skills and, with the jungle theme of the club, create new instrumental textures that would complement the show. Throughout his career, Ellington kept experimenting with sound textures and how to best express his ideas through creative arranging techniques. The Mooche, was originally composed by Ellington as a dance number for the Cotton Club show. The piece featured two contrasting themes: a melancholy melody written in a minor key and an uplifting theme written in a major key. Recording in 1928, Ellington was already trying to portray the irony of the Cotton Club in The Mooche, with the melancholy theme representing Duke’s commentary on the racist policies of the club and the uplifting theme representing the career opportunities through national radio exposure for the club’s performers. The message in his music probably passed by unnoticed by the club’s white clientele. Ellington wrote a comment on the sheet music of The Mooche published by Irving Mills: “I feel in this piece a conflict of two elemental forces: (1) The violence of nature, which is an eternal struggle with the other (2) the force of man, a more melancholy, restrained, and mental force.” Duke relied on the improvisational skills of his musicians to take some of the pressure off of having to write down every note of music for the Cotton Club shows. Improvised sections were inserted into the piece, based on the 12-bar blues, while the song’s composed melancholy melody was extended into a 24-bar AAB blues form. Another outstanding feature of The Mooche was the sound of Bubber Miley’s trumpet. By using a mute stuck in the end of the bell of his horn and by incorporating a vocalistic throat sound while playing, he was able to create a “growling” effect on the trumpet, further enhancing the jungle theme of the music.
Duke Ellington, the Composer In Jazz styles, Mark Gridley discusses he seven “books” comprising Ellington’s repertoire:1. Impressionistic book, or tone poems: pieces that describe places, moods, people, culture, etc. 2. Romantic Ballads3. Exotic Book4. Concert Book5. Concertos6. Scared Concerts (3)7. Popular Song Book**************************Duke Ellington was one of the greatest composers of American music during the twentieth century. The experience of writing music for the Cotton Club shows opened his imagination for exploring new sounds and compositional techniques. In your textbook, Mark Gridley discusses the seven “books” that eventually comprised Ellington’s repertoire. While the scope of this course doesn’t allow us to examine each book, we will take a look at some of his more interesting compositions. Duke wrote dozens of popular songs that remain standards in the American songbook. One his more unique popular songs was It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing) from 1932. Every swing band before and during the big-band era featured at least one vocalist, and Ellington’s band was no exception. Ivey Anderson never achieved the same popular fame as other big band vocalists such as Ella Fitzgerald or Frank Sinatra, but she was perfectly suited for Duke Ellington’s music. Unlike other bandleaders, Duke utilized Ivey’s smoky-flavored voice beyond the normal role of singing popular songs. He often wrote parts for her that blended into the texture of his music, essentially adding another tone palette for him to draw from in creating the band’s sound. This technique was used quite effectively in It Don’t Mean a Thing. From his earliest days as a composer and arranger, Ellington was fascinated by the use of mutes on brass instruments. Mutes of various shapes are placed in the bell of a trumpet or trombone, and were commonly used in classical music but rare in jazz until Duke came along in the 1920s. Photos and descriptions of the various types of brass instrument mutes can be found in the Gridley textbook in Appendix B. In the recording of It Don’t Mean A Thing, trombonist Joe Nanton used a plunger mute to create the illusion of his horn actually speaking. Affectionately called “Tricky Sam” by Ellington, Nanton added further texture to the sound of his muted trombone by creating the same “growling” effect played by trumpeter Bubber Miley on The Mooche. It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing) also featured a terrific saxophone solo by Johnny Hodges who spent nearly all of his career playing in Duke Ellington’s band. Hodges was the premier alto saxophone soloist during the swing era, and Duke effectively used his big, full sound and bluesy lines to full advantage.
Duke Ellington’s Concertos A concerto is normally linked with classical music and features a musician performing a solo with accompaniment by an orchestra, chamber group, or simply a piano. All of the great European master composers including Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven composed concertos for soloist and orchestra. Duke Ellington began writing pieces as showcase numbers for various members of his band. Using the basic format of a classical concerto, Ellington managed to compose concertos that would still allow for swing dancing–not to mention fitting within the three-minute time limit of a 78-RPM phonograph record. In the most basic form of a classical concerto, the composer introduces two contrasting themes, followed by a developmental section that showcases the soloist’s musical abilities. Sometimes the solo accompaniment stops and the soloist plays alone, referred to as a cadenza, before the accompaniment resumes and the piece concludes with a return to the main theme followed by a coda or ending. Concerto for Cootie was composed in 1940 by Ellington for his brilliant solo trumpet star, Cootie Williams. The structure of the piece follows the same format as the basic classical concerto: two contrasting themes followed by a developmental section and ending with a partial statement of the main theme concluding with a coda. Duke did not include a solo cadenza for Williams. After all, this music had to be danceable, and stopping the whole band for a cadenza would have been disruptive. Furthermore, Ellington had to consider the limitations of a 78-RPM phonograph record, which allowed for approximately three to three and a half minutes of recording time. Cootie Williams had replaced an ailing Bubber Miley in the band and in doing so, expanded the “growl” trumpet technique of Miley. In the concerto, Williams was required to change the sound of his trumpet several times by using a plunger mute over the top of a straight mute, or using a plunger mute over an open bell, in addition to an open trumpet sound and, of course, the growling technique that so identified his style.Concerto For Cootie: -> Use of mutes dictated in the wrtten music -> Form: A1-A2-B3-C-A4-coda ->> A = theme 1 (10 bar phrase, slight variations on repeats) ->> B = theme 2 (8 bar phrase, change of trumpet mute) ->> C = development (improv) section (unmuted growl trumpet)
Ellington’s Tone Poems The first book of Duke Ellington compositions discussed by Mark Gridley in your textbook is labeled “impressionistic” by the author. A more appropriate musical term would have been tone poem, since the impressionistic label is more commonly applied to art and music of French painters and composers around the turn of the twentieth century (including the aforementioned Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy). Gridley is not referring to the influence of the impressionists in his labeling of Ellington’s music. He is talking about music that is descriptive in nature–music that emotionally describes a place, an idea, colors, even a person. That type of music is more commonly referred to by musicians and musicologists as tone poems. For this course, we will re-label the first book of Ellington’s compositions discussed in your textbook as tone poems rather than impressionistic. Duke Ellington composed dozens of tone poems throughout his career. The earlier example of The Mooche would easily fall under that label, since it was music that Ellington intended to project specific feelings about Harlem and The Cotton Club. In 1940, Ellington composed another tone poem about life in Harlem, entitled Harlem Air Shaft. As you listen to Harlem Air Shaft, you are immediately transported to an apartment in the middle of a vibrant African-American neighborhood in New York, complete with the sounds of the people who inhabit the building. (By the way, an air shaft is an open courtyard in the middle of an older apartment building, allowing the residents to open their windows to get the air flowing through their apartments in the summer heat.) Ellington so strongly felt the need for all to experience this apartment building that he wrote the following program notes, which appeared on the sheet music and the record album in 1940: “So much goes on in a Harlem air shaft. You get the full essence of Harlem in an air shaft. You hear fights, you smell dinner, you hear people making love. You hear intimate gossip floating down. You hear the radio. An air shaft is one great big loudspeaker. You see your neighbor’s laundry. You hear the janitor’s dog. The man upstairs’ aerial falls down and breaks your window. You smell coffee. A wonderful thing is that smell. An air shaft has got every contrast. One guy is cooking dried fish and rice and another guy’s got a great big turkey. Guy-with-fish’s wife is a terrific cooker but the guy’s wife with the turkey is doing a sad job. You hear people praying, fighting, snoring. Jitterbugs are always jumping up and down, always over you, never below you. That’s a funny thing about jitterbugs. They’re always above you. I’ve tried to put all that in Harlem Air Shaft.” Ellington’s composition contained many standard big-band arranging techniques including a saxophone soli, lots of call and response between the saxophones and brass, and a driving shout chorus near the end. He also incorporated musical sound effects, such as having drummer Sonny Greer choke the sound of his cymbal from time to time representing someone banging on radiator pipes to signal the building custodian in the basement to turn up or turn down the heat. Harlem Air Shaft also featured two impressive solo improvisations, one by trumpeter Cootie Williams and the other by clarinetist Barney Bigard. Through tone poems like Harlem Air Shaft, Ellington brought to mainstream America and the world the experience of African-American culture. His music helped to close gaps in the understanding of black society in America; and without his tone poems, which vividly captured the spirit of African-American culture, the world would be much poorer in understanding the complexities of a unique and creative society.
Ellington’s Arrangements Duke Ellington’s band always sounded bigger, with a richer overall tone, than other swing era big bands–even though Duke’s band contained the standard number of musicians and used the same instrumentation as everyone else. A lot of that had to do with Ellington’s arranging techniques and his use of creative combinations of instruments. Ellington also employed a different approach to arranging chords by using a technique, commonly found in symphonic music, known as cross-section voicings. Where Fletcher Henderson established effective block chord voicing techniques whereby a chord was voiced by one section of the band (for example, the saxophone section), Ellington began voicing chords across different sections of the band. For example, the root of the chord might be played by the baritone sax, the third of the chord by a trombone, the fifth of the chord by a tenor sax and other chordal tones by another trombone or trumpet. By using cross-section voicings, the unique overtones of the different instruments seemed to create a bigger, fuller sound than voicing chords within the same family of instruments. With more instruments available to build chords, Ellington was able to use more complex harmonies, such as altered 9th, 11th, and 13th chords. During his tenure at The Cotton Club, Ellington developed an ear for exotic sounds and music from other cultures. His 1940 composition Ko Ko was built on the traditional 12-bar blues form; but the melody of Ko Ko evoked Middle Eastern flavorings, a far cry from traditional Mississippi Delta blues songs. His cross section voicing of altered 9th, 11th, and 13th chords effectively supported the exotic nature of the melody and brought more tension to the music. Joe “Tricky Sam” Nanton’s unique technique of speaking through his trombone, along with Sonny Greer’s use of tomtoms, added further textural interest to this unusual swing era performance.
Duke Ellington’s Legacy to Jazz More than any other jazz composer, Duke Ellington brought the essence of African-American urban culture to middle class America and the world through his music, and more specifically, his tone poems. Duke’s compositions were complex and sometimes based on classical music forms, such as the concerto or suite (a style beyond the scope of this course). Ellington brought a sense of dignity and class to jazz, and he raised the perception of the music in the eyes of the public. His arranging techniques took off where Fletcher Henderson left off by exploring the textural possibilities of standard musical instruments, creating “moods” through his exotic melodies and tone poems, and adding musical tension through creative cross section voicings of complex, altered chords. Duke Ellington became the most decorated jazz musician of the twentieth century, receiving honorary doctorate degrees from Yale, Columbia, Brown, and many other universities, being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the French Legion of Honor, and serving as the first black member of the National Council for the Arts.
Kansas City Jazz Kansas City was another center of significant jazz activity during the 1920s and 30s, although culturally and politically different than the jazz scenes in Chicago and New York. Kansas City was unrefined, culturally speaking, compared to Chicago and New York. After all, the biggest thing in Kansas City at that time was the massive Stockyard where beef, hogs, and sheep were processed for sale and distribution across the country. During this time, prohibition was in full force, making it a federal crime to manufacture and sell alcohol. Of course, many books and films have been produced over the years about the Chicago mobsters who kept alcohol flowing in that city throughout the 1920s and early 30s. Where Chicago was divided into territories by the mob gangs, Kansas City’s underground alcohol business was firmly under the control of one man, city manager, or mayor, Tom Pendergast. Pendergast bribed the police to allow clubs to serve alcohol, and he effectively eluded several attempts by federal prosecutors to convict him under the Volstead Act. Because alcohol was flowing freely in Kansas City, as it was in Chicago and New York, musicians found steady work in the local bars and clubs. Most of the music heard in Kansas City was blues, although jazz became more popular as the 1920s came to a close. Many of the jazz musicians stayed in Kansas City instead of moving on to Chicago or New York because they lacked the musical skills necessary to survive in the bigger cities. Therefore, Kansas City jazz tended to sound rougher and less polished than Chicago or New York jazz and the music was much more blues-based. When the first Kansas City big bands were organized in the late 1920s, most of the musicians couldn’t read music very well or not at all. That didn’t stop them from creating jazz arrangements that sounded as if they were pre-planned or written down. Instead, they relied on building their jazz arrangements around two basic song forms: naturally, the 12-bar blues, and interestingly, the 32-bar form of a popular song composed by George Gershwin, I Got Rhythm. The harmony of that tune is quite simple and easily assimilated by musicians who have limited technical skills on their instruments. Like the blues, the form of I Got Rhythm has become universal; and hundreds if not thousands of jazz, popular, and even rock songs have been based on its form. The term “rhythm and blues” came about as a direct reference to the blues form and shortening I Got Rhythm to just “rhythm.” In other words, rhythm and blues were songs that used either the 12-bar blues form or the rhythm form. Nearly every tune the Kansas City big bands played was based on rhythm and/or blues. Once the form was settled on by the musicians, each section in the band made up their own riffs, or short melodic fragments, to play behind improvising soloists. If a saxophonist was improvising, either the trombones or the trumpets would play their riff behind the soloist. If a brass player was improvising, the saxophones would play their riff behind him. At the end of the piece, the saxophones, trombones, and trumpets would play their riffs simultaneously creating an exciting shout chorus. It was a simple formula that worked, and it really caught on with the public. Since the musicians memorized their own riffs, these arrangements were called head arrangements, because the music was stored in their heads, not written down on music paper.
William “Count” Basie (1904-84) William “Count” Basie led perhaps the greatest jazz band in history; and, according to most musicians, the most swinging band of all. Benny Goodman may have been called the “King Of Swing,” but even his band was no match for the rhythmic drive of the Basie band. Basie was born in Red Bank, New Jersey, and at one time, he took a few lessons from Fats Waller. Basie arrived in Kansas City as part of a traveling vaudeville show in the late 1920s. When the show folded, Basie remained there and was soon the most active pianist in town. By 1929 he was the featured musician in the Bennie Moten band, Kansas City’s most popular jazz group and he played and recorded with the group until 1935 when Moten died suddenly. Basie then formed his own band with some of Moten’s musicians but adding more competent players including tenor saxophonist Lester Young. In 1935, John Hammond, Benny Goodman’s manager, heard the Basie band on the radio performing at the Reno Club in Kansas City. At the time, Basie was still going by his given first name Bill, but by the time Hammond arrived in Kansas City to hear the band in person, Basie had acquired his royal nickname, Count. What drew Hammond to the Basie band was the Kansas City big band style which was all about head arrangements of tunes based on 12-bar blues or I Got Rhythm chord changes and blues-laced improvisations by Lester Young, Basie and other inspired members of the band. After Hammond brought the band to New York, Count Basie’s career caught fire with local audiences and subsequent recordings on Decca Records brought them national fame and much critical acclaim. One O’Clock Jump was one of the first recordings made by the Basie Band in New York in 1937 and one of his biggest selling phonograph records. The performance was pure Kansas City jazz: a head arrangement of a riff-based 12-bar blues tune featuring exciting solos by tenor saxophonist Herschel Evans, trombonist George Hunt, trumpeter Buck Clayton and one of the most significant tenor sax soloists of the swing era and beyond, Lester Young.
More on Basie The secret to the popular and critical success of the Count Basie band during the Swing Era was his rhythm section consisting of Basie on piano, bassist Walter Page, guitarist Freddie Green, and drummer Jo Jones. The energy and consistency of these four rhythm players was superior to the rhythm sections in other bands. The Basie rhythm section rightly earned the title “All-American Rhythm Section” during the late thirties and early forties. In your textbook, Mark Gridley discusses each member of the All-American rhythm section in his chapter on Count Basie. The outstanding characteristic of Basie’s piano style was his extreme use of space as a dramatic effect. Basie would sometimes play just one note in a solo fill but that one note was perfectly timed and just as effective as if he were playing a complex line. Basie’s piano style in one word could best be described as economical. He could make one note swing if he had to. Jumpin’ At The Woodside, recorded in 1938, was a rhythm tune based on the 32 bar AABA form of the pop song I Got Rhythm. The A melodies were built on a single riff while the middle B melody of the tune was improvised by tenor saxophonist Lester Young on the first chorus and Basie on the second chorus, but never permanently written down. Besides blues-laced improvisations by Young, Basie, trumpeter Buck Clayton, and tenor saxophonist Herschel Evans, the real musical stars of this recording were the All-American Rhythm Section. Listen especially to the jazz swing patterns being played on the cymbals by Jo Jones. He was the first to do that. And then, during the exciting call and response shout chorus, Jones propelled the band with powerful drum fills while bassist Walter Page and guitarist Freddie Green drove the four-beat pulse into the ground, making all the jitterbugs extremely happy.
Coleman Hawkins (1904-1969) Until Coleman Hawkins legitimized it in the mid-1920s, the saxophone wasn’t a seriously recognized jazz instrument. It had been used on occasion by New Orleans clarinetists as a novelty and Sidney Bechet performed on the instrument in Europe in the early 1920s. Young Chicago musicians were the first to incorporate the saxophone on a regular basis in their music, about the time Hawkins arrived in New York from Topeka, Kansas in 1923. When Fletcher Henderson began featuring Coleman Hawkins as a solo artist, however, the popularity of the saxophone in jazz soared. After a while, other saxophonists started referring to Hawkins as the “Father of The Tenor Saxophone,” a title that followed him the rest of his life. Hawkins had the good fortune of joining Henderson’s band about the same time Louis Armstrong was hired to play. Being exposed to a master of improvisation like Armstrong on a daily basis had a major impact on Coleman. Over the next year, his improvisational skills improved by leaps and bounds. Hawkins was also developing his own stylistic voice on the tenor sax during the short time Armstrong played with the Henderson band. By the mid-1920s, Coleman had created a “school of saxophone playing” that remains influential even today. His approach to playing the instrument involved creating a big, full-bodied tone with an expressive vibrato, improvising angular or non-lyrical melodic lines that tended to outline chords, and developing densely packed phrases with few breaks in the music except to take a breath. After several years with the Fletcher Henderson band, Hawkins spent five years in Europe in the mid-1930s before returning to the United States in 1939, when he recorded a landmark version of the popular song, Body And Soul. The song had been a big hit with pop audiences prior to Hawkins’ recording, so it was a familiar melody to a large audience by 1939. What set Coleman’s recording of Body And Soul apart from all the others was his jazz-based approach to the song. He played only the first few bars of the original melody before taking off on an extended improvisation over the structure of the tune, never to play any of the original melody again. Incredibly, the recording became a commercial success, selling over 100,000 copies even though his performance contained only four bars of the original melody. Some jazz historians and many tenor saxophonists compare the impact of Coleman Hawkins’ version of Body And Soul to the impact that Louis Armstrong’s West End Blues had on the development of jazz eleven years earlier.
Lester Young (1909-59) Ten years after Coleman Hawkins arrived on the New York scene, Lester Young came to town as the star tenor saxophone soloist with the Count Basie Band. Young also arrived with a different approach to saxophone playing that he developed in the Kansas City jazz scene, away from the influence of Hawkins. Young’s style was virtually the opposite from Coleman’s. He played the tenor sax with a softer, more buoyant tone, with little use of a vibrato. His phrasing featured smooth, flowing, bluesy lines that were quite lyrical, and he used space as a dramatic device instead of a chance to take a breath. Where Coleman Hawkins relieved musical tension by using brief periods of space while improvising, Young created musical tension by employing longer periods of space in his solos. Both Hawkins and Young were aggressive players, but Young’s approach to improvisation was much more blues-based than Hawkins’s–not surprising, considering the Kansas City environment that shaped his musical sensibilities. Lester Young spent a good portion of his career playing with Count Basie. One of his best recordings, Lester Leaps In, was made in 1939 with Basie’s small group, the Kansas City Seven, modeled somewhat after the Benny Goodman Sextet. Lester Leaps In was pure Kansas City jazz: a riff tune based on the AABA form of I Got Rhythm, relying primarily on terrific improvisations by Young and Basie to make the recording work. Sparked by the All American Rhythm Section, the easy, flowing performance on the recording was highlighted not only by Young’s exquisite solo, but also by the call and response duet between Basie and Young, with Basie throwing out sparse or economical ideas that were answered by Young’s bluesy responses. At the time Lester Leaps In was recorded, Young had acquired his own title: President of the Tenor Sax, or Prez, for short. Like Hawkins’ approach to the tenor sax, Lester Young’s school of saxophone playing is still influencing young tenor saxophonists today.
Django Reinhardt (1920-53) By the mid 1930s, jazz had become very popular in Europe, with important American musicians touring the continent regularly, including Sidney Bechet, Coleman Hawkins, and Louis Armstrong. A young Belgian guitarist, Django Reinhardt, had the opportunity to play with those musicians on tour; and with their encouragement, formed his own band in Paris in 1934: Quintette du Hot Club de France. Reinhardt was born and raised in gypsy camps outside of Paris and learned to play the banjo at a young age. However, a devastating fire in the camp severely burned his left hand, leaving him with permanently crippled fingers and forcing him to adopt a new technique with the hand. After hearing recordings of Louis Armstrong, Reinhardt switched to the guitar and settled into the growing jazz scene in Paris, where he soon established himself as a formidable jazz soloist. The Quintette du Hot Club de France was an unusual jazz group. Instead of the standard instrumentation of one or two horns and a rhythm section, the quintet was comprised of three guitars, a string bass, and violin. Despite the lack of drums and horns, Django’s group swung as hard as any American ensemble, and his improvising was on par with the best American soloists. Violinist Stephane Grappelli, a classically trained musician, was also a terrific improviser, and he provided a one-two soloing punch with Reinhardt that resulted in some of the best jazz anywhere. Rose Room, recorded in Paris in 1937, was one of the Quintette du Hot Club de France’s most memorable recordings. The driving beat laid down by the two rhythm guitars and string bass perfectly set the foundation for Reinhardt’s and Grappelli’s respective solos. Jazz had truly become an international phenomenon.
Mary Lou Williams In the male dominated world of jazz, Mary Lou Williams was sometimes dismissed as a novelty, although musicians generally respected her talents as a pianist, composer, and arranger. Born in Atlanta but raised in Pittsburgh, Mary Lou taught herself to play the piano at a very young age; and by the time she was seven, she was giving local performances, billed as “The Little Piano Girl of East Liberty.” At fourteen, Williams had become a ragtime vaudeville pianist in New York and received much praise from those who saw her, including Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong–both of whom offered words of encouragement that inspired her to begin writing and arranging her own music. By the time she was 19, Mary Lou was playing stride, and had become the pianist and primary music arranger for a well-known New York band led by Andy Kirk. By the mid 1930s, Kirk had recorded several of William’s arrangements and compositions with his band, The 12 Clouds Of Joy, and she was providing most of the material that the band played for dancing. As her reputation spread, other bandleaders started commissioning her to write arrangements for their bands. While still under the employ of Andy Kirk, Mary Lou sold arrangements to Tommy Dorsey, Earl Hines, and Duke Ellington. Benny Goodman was so thrilled with the music she wrote for his band, he wanted to buy out her contract from Kirk.Mary’s Idea, an original composition by Mary Lou Williams, was recorded in 1938 by Andy Kirk’s 12 Clouds Of Joy. The song’s melody was built on a simple motif repeated with clever pitch and rhythmic variations. Her arrangement, designed for dancing, featured an easy but effective rhythmic groove with a boogie woogie style counterline played underneath the melody. After the Clarence Trice trumpet solo, Mary Lou’s piano improvisation contained no traces of her ragtime roots, and featured a sophisticated style of stride more in the manner of Earl Hines than of James P. Johnson.
More about Mary Lou Williams After leaving Andy Kirk’s band in 1942, Mary Lou Williams returned to Pittsburgh for awhile before joining Duke Ellington’s band as a non-performing music arranger. She wrote several tunes for him and traveled with the band until 1945, when she resettled in New York and began a new phase of her career. While redefining her piano and writing styles, she became one of the earliest female musicians to host a weekly radio program on WNEW, the Mary Lou Williams’ Piano Workshop. That same year, Williams composed an ambitious 12-movement concert piece, entitled Zodiac Suite. Scored for piano, bass, and drums, the 12 movements were each based on a sign of the zodiac and each dedicated to a close friend musician or entertainer. “Gemini” from Zodiac Suite was built around two contrary motion melodic lines, one played by the piano and the other by the bass. Both lines, played simultaneously, represented the Gemini twins. A contrasting boogie woogie middle section was dedicated to her husband, trumpet player Shorty Baker, who loved boogie woogie. The Gemini motifs were dedicated to Benny Goodman. In composing Zodiac Suite, Mary Lou Williams had once again redefined herself as a musician and composer, as she had done fifteen years earlier when she made the transition from ragtime to stride.
Billie Holiday (1915-59) Billie Holiday was born Eleanora Fagen in Baltimore, Maryland, where she lived a tragic childhood laced with poverty, sexual abuse, and drug addiction. Her absent father, Clarence Holliday, was a guitarist with Fletcher Henderson, and her mother was a local prostitute. Eleanora became a prostitute call girl by the age of ten, and at twelve years of age she moved to New York City, where she and her mother found work as prostitutes. The one positive element in her early life was music; she became a great admirer of blues singer Bessie Smith, and learned all of her recordings. In 1930, 15-year old Eleanora auditioned for and won a singing job at a Harlem nightclub where she soon became a favorite, earning as much as $50 per night in tips. It was at the request of the nightclub owner that she change her name from Eleanora Fagen to something more memorable. She chose Billie Holiday, after her favorite actress Billie Day and the last name of her father (dropping one of the l’s in Holliday). In 1933, she was discovered by John Hammond, who was Benny Goodman’s manager at the time; and she made her first recordings with members of Goodman’s band that same year and again in 1935. In 1937, Hammond had her singing with the Count Basie Band (whom he also managed), although that relationship only lasted a short time. However, while singing with Basie, she developed what would be a lifelong friendship with tenor saxophonist Lester Young. Young had a major impact on her singing style. She influenced his playing as well, and the two of them recorded together many times over their respective careers. All Of Me, recorded in 1941, is a representative example of Billie Holiday’s singing style. All her primary vocal techniques can be easily heard in this classic recording. First of all, Billie Holiday loved to paraphrase a song’s melody. Paraphrasing a melody would be the equivalent of paraphrasing a person’s speech or statement. Instead of quoting the exact words that a person spoke, you might give an overview of what was said without losing sight of the message. The same thing in music. Holiday would change the melody just enough to make it her own song, but not enough that the listener didn’t recognize the tune. She did this by inserting blues notes in place of the original melody notes or by keeping the contour of the melody line but singing it in a different part of the scale. Nearly every popular singer after Holiday, regardless of genre, has used her technique of paraphrasing melodies. Another outstanding characteristic of Billie Holiday’s singing was her employment of melismatic phrasing. Melismatic phrasing is a technique where the rhythm of the melody is altered from its original state. For example, an opera singer might hold a dramatic note longer than its notated value to create musical tension; the orchestra has to stop until the opera singer decides to continue with the music. In popular music, especially music for dancing, it would be very disruptive for a singer to hold a note longer than usual for dramatic purposes, causing the band to stop and wait until the singer resumed the song. However, Billie Holiday used melismatic phrasing without having the band stop to wait for her. Instead, she would hold a note out and then catch up with the band by leaving one or two words out of the lyric, or by singing the next phrase with a faster rhythm to get back on with the beat. This technique, popularized by Holiday, has been used by nearly every pop and jazz singer since including Frank Sinatra who once stated (and I’m paraphrasing here) that without Billie Holiday, there would not have been a Frank Sinatra.
Ella Fitzgerald Born in Newport News, Virginia but raised in Yonkers, New York, Ella Fitzgerald first gained recognition as a singer by winning the famous amateur night competition at Harlem’s Apollo Theater when she was a 17-year-old high school student. One year later in 1935, she was singing with Harlem’s most popular band, The Chick Webb orchestra. When Webb passed away in 1939, Ella took over leadership of the ensemble until it disbanded in 1942. Fitzgerald broke away from the big bands after World War II ended and sang with smaller groups, changing her style to include extended scat solo improvisations in her recordings and live performances. Her scat singing had its roots in Louis Armstrong’s vocal style, although Fitzgerald sang in a more contemporary bebop style, creating melodic lines that were horn-like and quite virtuosic. Because of her more contemporary approach to scat singing, she was never considered a blues stylist in the mold of Billie Holiday. Additionally, Fitzgerald’s scat improvisations broke completely away from a song’s original melody–unlike Holiday, who merely paraphrased original melodies without losing sight of them. However, Ella used many of the same vocal techniques as Billie Holiday. She often paraphrased a song’s melody, inserted blues notes into key parts of a phrase; and, like Holiday, she was a master of melismatic phrasing techniques. Unlike Billie Holiday, Ella projected an upbeat feeling into her music. Her career path was filled with rewarding experiences that came through in her singing style. Furthermore, she had an incredible vocal range allowing her to sing extremely high notes as well as rough-sounding lower pitches, resulting in a wider variety of vocalistic textures available for her to draw from. One of the most incredible recordings of scat singing by anyone, anywhere at anytime was a 1960 live performance of Ella Fitzgerald singing How High The Moon. Not only was she improvising like a horn player, she was also improvising lyrics to go with her scatting instead of simply using nonsense syllables–leaving no doubt that she took off where Louis Armstrong left off when it came to scat singing.
Music Flashcards

Music Appreciation part 1

the standard ranges of human voice from highest to lowest soprano alto tenor bass
the term timbre means color of tone
the quality of sound the distinguishes one instrument or voice from another is timbre
the fastest musical tmpo allegro
the rate of speed at which a piece of music is played is tempo
drum-type instruments fall into the category of membranophones
lowest range bass
how do idiophones produce sound shaking scraping or striking the instrument
in what language are tempo markings generally given italian
the gradual swelling of the volume of music is crescendo
accelerando is the tempo for getting faster
instruments that produce sound from a vibrating string are chordophones
dynamic marking that is the softest piannissmo
the marking that is appropriate for a slow tempo adagio
a mechanism that generates musical vibrations and launches them into air is instrument
what distinguishes chamber music from orchestral music number of players
chords whose notes are played in succession, as on the harp appregios
the soprano brass instrument sometimes described as possessing a brilliant timbre is trumpet
is an unhitched percussion instrument bass drum
timpani are members of the percussion
woodwind instruments consist of pipe with holes
the percussion family includes a variety of instruments that are made to sound by striking and shaking
the term band refers to rock jazz marching band
played by a rock musician solid bodied electric guitar
correct order of bowed string instruments from high to low violin viola cello double bass
a double reed instrument oboe
a jazz band is normally made up of woodwind brass and percussion
The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra exemplifies the forms of variations and fugue
in string playing, the rapid movement of the wrist and finger creates a throbbing effect called vibrato
term a cappella without no accompaniment
the classical period followed romantic to twentieth century
preservation of music without the help of written notation is oral transmission
the event that opened the doors between east and west crusades
the concept of style can be identified with individual artwork, creators personal manner and music of an entire culture
which institutions supported music in renaissance society church, city, state and aristocratic courts
the proper chronological order of musical style periods medieval, renaissance, baroque, classical,romantic and twentieth
is NOT a type of secular music music for church
the style of historical period is defined by total language of all its artists
the Frankish emperor who encouraged education and the concept of a centralized government charlemagne
the two centers of power during the early middle ages were the church and government
during the middle ages, the status of women concept of chivalry held by knights and music
is NOT a role for secular music assisting religious services
the late middle ages witnessed great churches, universities and cities with arts
constituted a source of wealth outside of feudal society music making
the core of music making today is largely based on the traditions from europe
a setting of Gregorian chant with two or four notes per syllable is a neumatic
which compositional device does Sumer is icumen in exemplify round
on which liturgical occasion was Hildegard’s Alleluia O virga mediatrix sung days of virgin mary
which of the following religions music extensively in its worship islam
which women was a religious leader and prominent figure in literature music hidegard of bingen
the syllables of “fa la la” appeared in the refrains of secular music from england
late renaissance madrigal came to full flower in the music of Claudio Monteverdi
a setting of Gregorian chant with one note per syllable is syllabic
the culture that polyphonic part singing developed in western
was the most important secular genre of the sixteenth century madrigal
produce sound by using air aerophones
types of aerophones flutes, whistles, accordions, bagpipes, and horns
produce sound from vibrating string stretched between two points chordophones
types of chordophones violin, harp and guitar
produce sound from the substance of the instrument idiophones
types of idiophones bells, rattles, and cymbals
produce sound from tightly stretched membranes membranophones
the tune in music melody
span of pitches range
Music Flashcards

music 125 ch 44

Art-song arrangements of African American spirituals were an important part of which cultural movement? Harlem Renaissance
At the turn of the 1800s, camp meetings in the United States were not segregated by cultural background. True
Burleigh’s arrangement of Swing Low, Sweet Chariot calls upon jazz and blues traditions. true
Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, was established as a college for freed slaves. True
Harry T. Burleigh was an editor for a music publisher. True
Spirituals fell out of circulation after the Civil War in the United States. false
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot became a favorite tune of which college-level performing group? Fisk Jubilee Singers
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot reflects which of the following traditions? native american, european american, african americans
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot was originally composed in the first decade of the twentieth century. false
Tchaikovsky believed that African American musical traditions were the true root of American music. False
The 1910 recording of Swing Low, Sweet Chariot by the Fisk Jubilee Singers is stored on what type of recording technology? wax cylinder
The Fisk arrangement of Swing Low, Sweet Chariot is strophic. true
The singing of spirituals offered the slave community a sense of solidarity. true
The style and structure of African American spirituals were in strict imitation of European models. False
The text of Swing Low, Sweet Chariot is based on a story from what source? the holy bible
The texture of African American spirituals is best described as monophonic with some elaboration
What scale is utilized in Swing Low, Sweet Chariot? pentatonic
When was the Harlem Renaissance? during the early part of the 20th century
Which European composer was an early supporter of African American musical styles like the spiritual? Dvořák
Who of the following arranged spirituals for solo voice and piano? Harry T. Burleigh
The texture of African American spirituals is best described as
Music Flashcards

Music Lit 2

1750-1820 The classical period in western art music encompassed the years of ______.
Carl Philip Emanual Bach and Johann Christian Bach Two of the most important pre-clasical composers are ______ & _______.
Haydn The great early classical composer is _____.
Mozart The great middle classical composer is _____.
Beethoven The great late classical composer is _____.
serving a wealthy aristocratic family Joseph Haydn was content to spend most of his life _____________.
Esterhazy Haydn was fortunate in having a long and fruitful, as well as financially stable relationship with th enoble Hungarian family of _______.
skilled servant Haydn contract of employment shows that he was a considered _________.
104 symphonies Haydn composed _____.
40 syphonies Mozart compsed _____.
read music perfectly at sight, play the harpsichord and violin, improvise fugues and write minuets. By the age of six, mozart could _________.
The Magic Flute Mozarts finest German opera was ______.
finished by one of his pupils Mozarts requiem was _________.
was a brilliant pianist, was self-educated and had read widely, began to feel the first symptoms of deafness in his twenty-ninth year Beethoven ________.
9 symphonies Beethoven composed _______.
Classical and Romantic The musical heir of Haydn and Mozart, Beethoven bridged the ______ and ______ periods.
string quartets Beethoven’s sixteen _______ ar egenerally considered among the greatest music ever composed.
piano Mozart and Beethoven wrote a number of concertos for their favorite instrument, the _____.
cadenza A brilliant solo section in a concerto designed to display the performer’s “virtuosity” is called a ______.
for the intimate setting of a small room Classical chamber music is designed __________.
chamber music Haydn is credited with having created ______.
string quartet The most popular form of chamber music is a ________.
Piano sonata A ________ is a musical composition in two or more movements for a piano.
multi movement work for orchestra A symphony is a _________.
ABA The first movement of a classical symphony is almost always fast and in ____ form.
recapitulation Sonata form consists of three main sections: exposition, development, and ______.
coda The three main sections of a sonata- form movement are often followed by a conclusion known as the ____.
second The slow movement of a symphony if the ______.
retains some elements of the theme Each successive varitaion in a theme with variations _________.
third The minuet is generally the _____ movement of a classical symphony.
scherzo In many of Beethoven’s works, there is a _______ movement instead of the minuet.
joke Scherzo is italilan for ______.
moves more quickly, has a different meter, was embraced by romantics The scherzo differs from the minuet in that is ______.
the finale Because of its liveliness, the Rondo often serves as _____.
theme In a Rondo, the _____ must come between all new material.
an instrumetnal solonist and orchestra A concerto is a large-scale work in several movements for _________.
motives Short musical ideas or fragments of themes that are developed within a compostion are called _________________.
Kochel catalogued mozart’s music and gave those works “K” numbers. Why do Mozarts works not have Opus numbers?
Haydn composed symphony No. 94 in G.
Beethoven composed Fidelio.
Mozart compsed symphony No. 40 in G Minor.
Beethoven composed Moonlight Sonata.
Mozart composed Don Giovanni.
Mozart composed The Magic Flute.
Haydn composed The Surprise Symphony.
Beethoven composed Symphony No. 3 in E Flat.
Haydn composed The Marriage of Figaro.
Haydn composed The Goodbye Symphony.
middle class What new social class emerged during the Classical Era?
first Sonata form is used frequently as the form for the ______ movement of a multi-movement work.
Music Flashcards

Ch. 16 Music Quiz

During the later Middle Ages, polyphonic developments in sacred music carried over to the secular realm. true
Music, mathematics, geometry, and astronomy were the four topics considered essential to medieval education
How does Machaut convey the medieval fascination for puzzles in Ma fin est mon commencement? palindromic structure
In the Western tradition, music historically has not been linked to mathematics and geometry. false
In which poetic form is Machaut’s chanson Ma fin est mon commencement set? rondeau
European contacts with _______ inspired new concepts of art. easter cultures
Which secular medieval musicians entertained audiences at the higher social levels? troubadors
Machaut was the first composer self-consciously to attempt a compositional legacy. true
Machaut’s own poetry often centers on the idea of medieval chivalry
The Ars nova began in Italy around the early 1400s. false
The Ars nova ushered in developments in ______ that transformed the art of music. harmony rhythmmeter
The poems of the troubadour and trouvère repertory include laments. political and moral ditties. love songs centered on the idea of “unrequited love.”
The poet-musicians who flourished in the south of France were known as troubadors
There was an interest in both the regularity and complexity of musical patterns during the Ars nova. true
Trouvères, medieval poet-musicians from the northern region of France, were members of the upper classes and the aristocracy
What is the genre of Machaut’s Ma fin est mon commencement? polyphonic secular chanson
What was the period that immediately preceded the Ars nova called? ars antiqa
Where did Machaut work as a priest? reims cathedral
Which is a true statement regarding Machaut’s songs? Machaut set his chansons to French courtly love poems.
Which musical style appeared in the early 1300s in France and soon thereafter in Italy? ars nova
Which of the following is/are poetic forms used in medieval chansons? rondeau virelai ballade
Which of the following topics might be found in medieval lyrics? politics songs of the Crusades unrequited love
Which statement about Machaut is NOT true? He was an influential composer of the Ars antiqua style.
Who of the following was NOT a medieval writer/poet? pythagorus
________ mean(s) “finders” or “inventors.” Troubadours and trouvères both
Music Flashcards

Music Final 4

Felix Mendelssohn is known as the man who rekindled an interest in the music of _____________________. Bach
Mendelssohn wrote in all musical forms except __________________________. Operas
T/F Romanticism is characterized by a fascination with fantasy and the supernatural; an interest in chilvary and romance from the Middle Ages; and nature as a reflection of the human heart. T
T/F The orchestra in the romantic period was smaller with strict sets of tone colors than the classical orchestra. F
T/F Romantic composers rejected the bsic forms of the classical period and preferred to develop new musical forms of their own. F
T/F Romantic composers utlized a greater range of tone colors, dynamics, and pitches than in the Classical Period. T
T/F Romantic love was the focus of many songs and operas during the Romantic Period. T
T/F In addition to symphonies operas, string quartets, and other chamber works, Haydn composed over six hundred art songs. F
T/F Robert Schumanns’s works are usually linked with descriptitve titles, texts or programs. T
T/F Clara Wieck was the daughter of Robert Scuhmann’s piano teacher and a virutoso pianist, who became Schumann’s wife. T
T/F Clara Schumann frequently performed the works of her husband and her close friend Johannes Brahms. T
T/F The compositions of Franz Liszt were considered extremely controversial, even “bombastic.” T
In the Romantic Period program music usually was written for ____________________. Piano or orchestra
Program music modeled on opera overture is called _______________. Concert overture
Program music that is one movement, orchestral, and flexible is called ______________________. Symphonic poem
Program music that is for use before or during a play is called _______________________. Incidental music
Program music that has multi-movement/orchestral is called _________________________. Program symphony
This composer wrote imaginative, innovative, orchestrations that required a huge orchestera for power and new tone colors and timbre: Berlioz
This composer was the founder of Czech national music and his works are steeped in the folk music and legends of his native Bohemia. He died of syphilis in an asylum. Smetana
This composer became director of the National Conservatory of Music in new York in 1892. He urged American composers to write nationalist music and wass very interested in Native american melodies. Dvorak
Music Flashcards

music appreciation

instrument Mechanism that generates musical vibrations and transmits them into the air.
register Specific area in the range of an instrument or voice.
soprano Highest-ranged voice, normally possessed by women or boys.
mezzo-soprano female voice of the middle range
alto/ contralto lowest of the female voices
tenor Male voice of high range. Also a part, often structural, in polyphony.
baritone Male voice of the moderately low range.
bass lowest of the male voices
vibrato Small fluctuation of pitch used as an expressive device to intensify a sound
aerophone instruments such as a flute, whistle, or horn that produce sound by using air as the primary vibrating means.
chordophone instrument that produces sound from a vibrating string stretched between two points; the string may be set in motion by bowing, striking, or plucking.
idiophone instrument that produces sound from the substance of the instrument itself by being struck, blown, shaken, scraped, or rubbed. Examples inlude bells, rattles, xylophones, and cymbals
membranophones Any instrument that produces sound tightly stretched membranes that can be struck, plucked, rubbed, or sung into (setting the skin in vibration).
bow A slightly curved stick with hair or fibers attached at both ends, drawn over the strings of an instrument to set them in motion.
pluck To sound the strings of an instrument using fingers or a plectrum or pick
violin Soprano, or highest-ranged, member of the bowed-string instrument family.
viola Bowed-string instrument of middle range; the second-highest member of the violin family.
double To perform the same notes with more than one voice or instrument, either at the same pitch level or an octave higher or lower.
cello Bowed-string instrument with a middle-to-low range and dark, rich sonority; lower than a viola. Also cello.
double bass Largest and lowest-pitched member of the bowed string family. Also called contrabass or bass viol.
legato Smooth and connected; opposite of staccato.
staccato Short, detached notes, marked with a dot above then.
pizzicato Performance direction to pluck a string of a bowed instrument with the finger.
glissando Rapid slide through pitches of a scale.
double stop Playing two notes simultaneously on a string instrument.
triple stop Playing three notes simultaneously on a string instrument.
quadruple stop Playing four notes simultaneously on a string instrument.
mute Mechanical device used to muffle the sound of an instrument.
harmonics Individual pure sounds that are part of any musical tone; in string instruments, crystalline tones in the very high register, produced by lightly touching a vibrating string at a certain point.
harp Plucked-string instrument, triangular in shape with strings perpendicular to the soundboard.
arpeggio Broken chord in which the individual tones are sounded one after another instead of simultaneously.
fortissimo very loud
Music Flashcards

music appreciation test 2

In musical compositions, a theme is: musical idea that is used as a building block
A composer can fragment a theme by dividing it into smaller units called motives
Which of the following is NOT a type of thematic development? literally repeating a melody at the same pitch level
The repetition of a motive at a higher or lower pitch level is called a: sequence
Which of the following descriptions is most characteristic of a jazz performance? improvisations on preestablished harmonic patterns
Which of the following best describes absolute music? music without a story or text
In absolute music, the lack of a prescribed story or text to hold the music together makes the element of ________ especially important. form
Which of the following genres does NOT usually follow the general structure of a multimovement cycle? overture
Which movement is the most highly organized and most characteristic of the multimovement cycle? first
Which of the following is a common characteristic of the second movement of a multimovement cycle? lyrical, songful melodies
In the Classical multimovement cycle, the third movement is usually in ________ form. minuet and trio
A rondo is most typically found in the ________ movement of a Classical multimovement cycle. last
Which of the following compositional techniques does theme and variation form often utilize? a. melodic variation b. harmonic variation c. rhythmic variation d. all of the above**
A string quartet consists of: two violins, viola, and cello.
Which of the following was NOT a major composer of string quartets? a. Bach
Haydn’s String Quartet, Op. 76, No. 3 was nicknamed the Emperor because: The slow movement is based on a hymn written for Emperor Franz II.
The form of the slow movement of Haydn’s String Quartet, Op. 76, No. 3 is: theme and variations
The melody of the slow movement of Haydn’s String Quartet, Op. 76, No. 3 became the national anthem of: Austria
Haydn served as a choirboy in: Vienna.
Who was Haydn’s principal patron? Prince Esterházy
Haydn enjoyed phenomenal musical success with two trips to ________. London
The Classical symphony had its roots in the: opera overture.
How many movements are typical of pre-Classical symphonies? three
Quick crescendos and the four-movement cycle for symphonies were developed in: Germany.
The early Classical symphony is characterized by quickly ascending themes with a strong rhythmic drive. These are known as ________ themes. rocket
Which group of instruments was the nucleus of the Classical orchestra? strings
The typical Classical orchestra consisted of ________ players. thirty to forty
How many symphonies did Haydn compose? over 100
How many movements make up a typical Haydn symphony? four
The nickname “father of the symphony” was earned by: Haydn.
Haydn composed ________ symphonies for his visits to London. twelve
Haydn composed the Military Symphony for his second visit to ________. London
How did Haydn’s Military Symphony earn its nickname? It includes percussion instruments associated with Turkish military music.
Janissary bands were associated with: Turkey.
What is the form of the second movement of Haydn’s Military Symphony? A-B-A’
Mozart’s Eine kleine Nachtmusik is an example of a: serenade.**
Eine kleine Nachtmusik is: German for A Little Night Music.
We can best regard sonata-allegro form as a drama between: two key areas.
The three main sections of sonata-allegro form are the exposition, the development, and the: recapitulation.
In sonata-allegro form, a modulatory section that leads from one theme to the next is called the: bridge.
What is the function of the bridge in sonata-allegro form? to modulate to a new key
In sonata-allegro form, the contrasting key is established by the statement of the: second theme.
In sonata-allegro form, the section that features the most tension and drama through modulation and motivic interplay is the: development.
The psychological climax of sonata-allegro form appears when the tonic returns at the: recapitulation.
The final section of a sonata-allegro movement, which rounds it off with a vigorous closing cadence, is the: coda.
Mozart is remembered today as: the most gifted child prodigy in the history of music
Which composer rebelled against the patronage system and struggled to achieve financial independence? Mozart
Mozart died while writing his: Requiem.
Mozart’s Eine kleine Nachtmusik was originally written for what orchestration? string quartet plus double bass
. Which of the following best describes the form of the first movement of Mozart’s Eine kleine Nachtmusik? sonata-allegro
Which of the following best describes the opening of the first movement of Mozart’s Eine kleine Nachtmusik? It has a marchlike character.
What is the standard meter of the minuet? triple
The overall form of a minuet and trio is best outlined as: A-B-A.
The second dance, or the middle section, of a minuet, is called the: trio.
The Italian words da capo are commonly found in ________ form. ternary
What is a raga in North Indian classical music? a series of pitches project a mood
The long-necked, plucked string instrument common in North Indian classical music is called the: sitar.
How many movements are in a Classical concerto? three
A typical feature of a concerto is a free solo passage without orchestral accompaniment called the: cadenza.
The first movement of a Classical concerto is in sonata-allegro form with a: double exposition.
The typical first movement of a Classical concerto begins with: the orchestra.
The cadenza in the Classical concerto appears: near the end of the first movement
Which of the following does NOT describe Mozart’s piano concertos? He rarely performed his own works, preferring to spotlight his students.
Mozart wrote the Piano Concerto in G Major, K. 453, for a performance by: Babette von Ployer
What is the form of the first movement of Mozart’s Piano Concerto in G Major, K. 453? first-movement concerto form
How does the orchestral exposition of the first movement of Mozart’s Piano Concerto in G Major, K. 453 differ from the exposition in a symphony sonata-allegro? It remains in one key area.
What is the form of the second movement of Mozart’s Piano Concerto in G Major, K. 453? theme and variations
Which of the following was NOT a favored sonata instrumentation during the late eighteenth century? piano and trumpet
How many piano sonatas did Beethoven compose? thirty-two
Beethoven supported himself through: a. teaching music lessons. c. giving public concerts. b. publishing his music. d. all of the above**
Beethoven suffered from perhaps the most traumatic of all maladies for a musician. What was it? deafness
Beethoven’s career is often divided into ________ compositional periods. three
In his third compositional period, Beethoven: used more chromatic harmonies.
How many symphonies did Beethoven write? 9
Beethoven’s Piano Sonata in C-sharp minor, Op. 27, No. 2 was subtitled Moonlight by: the poet Rellstab, shortly after the composer’s death
Beethoven gave his Piano Sonata in C-sharp minor, Op. 27, No. 2 the designation: quasi una fantasia.
Beethoven’s famous Moonlight Sonata has ________ movements. three
The dreamy first movement of the Moonlight Sonata features: a. a singing melody c. a modified strophic form. b. an accompaniment with arpeggios. d. all of the above**
The first movement of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata in C-sharp minor, Op. 27, No. 2: is in a modified song form
The second movement of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata in C-sharp minor, Op. 27, No. 2 is: a gentle scherzo and trio.
The third movement of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata in C-sharp minor, Op. 27, No. 2 is: filled with restless emotion
Which composer both maintained and disrupted the balance of the Classical style? Beethoven
With which symphony did Beethoven begin to expand the possibilities of the genre? No. 3
Which work by Beethoven is called the Choral Symphony? the Ninth Symphony
The “Ode to Joy” is the finale of Beethoven’s: Symphony No. 9.
The text of the “Ode to Joy” was written by: Schiller.
How many movements does Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 have? four
Which of the following best describes the opening idea of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5? a four-note motive
What is the form of the second movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5? theme and variations
Which of the following does NOT describe the final movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5? The movement ends in despair, just like the first movement.
Which Beethoven symphony was selected to celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall? Symphony No. 9
During the Classical era, the prevalent form of opera, which contained many recitatives and arias designed to display virtuosity, was called: . opera seria.
Which of the following is NOT a characteristic of opera seria? designed to appeal to the middle class
The rigid conventions of opera seria were shaped largely by: Metastasio.
How did comic opera differ from opera seria? a. It was sung in the vernacular. b. It presented down-to-earth plots. c. It featured ensemble as well as solo singing. d. all of the above**
Which of the following was NOT a new type of opera intended to reflect simplicity and real human emotions? opera seria.
Mozart’s librettist for Don Giovanni was: Lorenzo da Ponte.
Which of the following descriptions characterizes the story of Don Giovanni? It mixes elements of opera seria and opera buffa
Don Giovanni attempts to console Donna Elvira, who has been betrayed by: c. Don Giovanni himself. Don Giovanni himself.
The tone of the Catalogue Aria from Mozart’s Don Giovanni is: comic.
The Catalogue Aria from Mozart’s Don Giovanni lists Don Giovanni’s: conquests
Which of the following choral genres was NOT developed during the Baroque? part song
A musical setting of the Mass for the Dead is called: a Requiem.
Oratorios primarily drew their stories from: . the Bible.
Mozart’s Requiem was: his last work, incomplete at his death.
Who completed Mozart’s Requiem? Süssmayr
The Dies irae text from the Requiem Mass describes: d. Judgment Day.7. Which of the following correctly describes the musical forces for Mozart’s Requiem? d. winds, brass, strings, timpani, choir, and four soloists8. The ________ accompanies the baritone voice in the Tuba mirum section of Mozart’s Requiem. a. trombone9. Which of the following best describes the mood of the Dies irae from Mozart’s Requiem? c. fearful and then wondering 10. The text of Mozart’s Requiem is sung in:b. Latin. Who completed Mozart’s Requiem? d. Süssmayr6. The Dies irae text from the Requiem Mass describes: d. Judgment Day.7. Which of the following correctly describes the musical forces for Mozart’s Requiem? d. winds, brass, strings, timpani, choir, and four soloists8. The ________ accompanies the baritone voice in the Tuba mirum section of Mozart’s Requiem. a. trombone9. Which of the following best describes the mood of the Dies irae from Mozart’s Requiem? c. fearful and then wondering 10. The text of Mozart’s Requiem is sung in:b. Latin.
Who completed Mozart’s Requiem? d. Süssmayr6. The Dies irae text from the Requiem Mass describes: d. Judgment Day.7. Which of the following correctly describes the musical forces for Mozart’s Requiem? d. winds, brass, strings, timpani, choir, and four soloists8. The ________ accompanies the baritone voice in the Tuba mirum section of Mozart’s Requiem. a. trombone9. Which of the following best describes the mood of the Dies irae from Mozart’s Requiem? c. fearful and then wondering 10. The text of Mozart’s Requiem is sung in:b. Latin. Who completed Mozart’s Requiem? d. Süssmayr6. The Dies irae text from the Requiem Mass describes: d. Judgment Day.7. Which of the following correctly describes the musical forces for Mozart’s Requiem? d. winds, brass, strings, timpani, choir, and four soloists8. The ________ accompanies the baritone voice in the Tuba mirum section of Mozart’s Requiem. a. trombone9. Which of the following best describes the mood of the Dies irae from Mozart’s Requiem? c. fearful and then wondering 10. The text of Mozart’s Requiem is sung in:b. Latin.
Who completed Mozart’s Requiem? d. Süssmayr6. The Dies irae text from the Requiem Mass describes: d. Judgment Day.7. Which of the following correctly describes the musical forces for Mozart’s Requiem? d. winds, brass, strings, timpani, choir, and four soloists8. The ________ accompanies the baritone voice in the Tuba mirum section of Mozart’s Requiem. a. trombone9. Which of the following best describes the mood of the Dies irae from Mozart’s Requiem? c. fearful and then wondering 10. The text of Mozart’s Requiem is sung in:b. Latin. Who completed Mozart’s Requiem? d. Süssmayr6. The Dies irae text from the Requiem Mass describes: d. Judgment Day.7. Which of the following correctly describes the musical forces for Mozart’s Requiem? d. winds, brass, strings, timpani, choir, and four soloists8. The ________ accompanies the baritone voice in the Tuba mirum section of Mozart’s Requiem. a. trombone9. Which of the following best describes the mood of the Dies irae from Mozart’s Requiem? c. fearful and then wondering 10. The text of Mozart’s Requiem is sung in:b. Latin.0000000000000000000000000000000000000000
Who completed Mozart’s Requiem? d. Süssmayr6. The Dies irae text from the Requiem Mass describes: d. Judgment Day.7. Which of the following correctly describes the musical forces for Mozart’s Requiem? d. winds, brass, strings, timpani, choir, and four soloists8. The ________ accompanies the baritone voice in the Tuba mirum section of Mozart’s Requiem. a. trombone9. Which of the following best describes the mood of the Dies irae from Mozart’s Requiem? c. fearful and then wondering 10. The text of Mozart’s Requiem is sung in:b. Latin. Who completed Mozart’s Requiem? d. Süssmayr6. The Dies irae text from the Requiem Mass describes: d. Judgment Day.7. Which of the following correctly describes the musical forces for Mozart’s Requiem? d. winds, brass, strings, timpani, choir, and four soloists8. The ________ accompanies the baritone voice in the Tuba mirum section of Mozart’s Requiem. a. trombone9. Which of the following best describes the mood of the Dies irae from Mozart’s Requiem? c. fearful and then wondering 10. The text of Mozart’s Requiem is sung in:b. Latin.
Music Flashcards

Music Appreciation quiz 5

Romanticism, as a stylistic period in Western music, encompassed the years ______. 1820-1900
Of all the inspirations for romantic art, none was more important than ______. Nature
Which of the following composers is not associated with the romantic period? Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Drawing creative inspiration from cultures of lands foreign to the composer is known as ______. Exoticism
The orchestra in the romantic period ________. was larger and more varied in tone color than the classical orchestra.
A slight holding back or pressing forward of tempo in music is known as ______. Rubato
The composer whose career was a model for many romantic composers was ______. Ludwig van beethoven
A romantic composer who earned his living as a touring virtuoso was ______. Franz Liszt
What did the rise of the urban middle class lead to? The piano becoming a fixture in every middle-class homeThe formation of many orchestras and opera groupsThe development of regular subscription concerts
One of the few composers fortunate enough to be supported by private patrons was ______. Peter llyich Tchaikovsky
An art song is a musical composition for ______. solo voice and piano
What was Schubert’s primary source of income? Musical Composition
Schubert was eighteen years old when he composed the song Erlkönig, set to a poem by ______. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The piano’s relentless rhythm in Erlkönig (The Erlking) unifies the episodes of the song and suggests the ______. galloping horse
Clara Wieck was the daughter of Schumann’s piano teacher, a virtuoso pianist, and Schumann’s wife
During the first ten years of his creative life, Schumann published only ______. Piano pieces
Johannes Brahms ______. Was a close friend of Clara and Robert Schumann
Clara Schumann was a ______.8 virtuoso pianistcomposertouring performerAll answers are correct.
A slow, lyrical, intimate composition for piano, associated with evening and nighttime, is the ______. Nocturne
A study piece, designed to help a performer master specific technical difficulties, is known as ______. An etude
As a youth, Franz Liszt was influenced by the performances of Niccolò Paganini.
During his teens and twenties, Franz Liszt lived in ______. Paris
Until the age of thirty-six, Franz Liszt toured Europe as a virtuoso ______. Pianist
Liszt created the ______________, a one-movement orchestral composition based to some extent on a literary or pictorial idea. symphonic poem
By the age of thirteen, Mendelssohn had written ____________ of astounding quality. vocal workssonatassymphonies and concertosAll answers are correct.
The high point of Mendelssohn’s career was the triumphant premiere of his oratorio _____________ in England. Elijah
Instrumental music associated with a story, poem, idea, or scene, popular during the romantic period, is called ______. Program music
Music intended to be performed before and during a play to set the mood for scenes or highlight dramatic action is known as ______. Incidental music
Today’s movie scores may be regarded as examples of ______. Incidental music
The Fantastic Symphony reflects Berlioz’s ______. Love for actress Harriet smithson
Parisians were startled by Berlioz’s Fantastic Symphony because of its ______. sensationally autobiographical programamazingly novel orchestrationvivid description of the weird and diabolicalAll answers are correct.
The citizen’s sense of national identity and patriotic feelings were intensified by ______. romanticism, which glorified love for one’s national heritage
The founder of Czech national music was ______. Bedřich Smetana
Smetana grew up when Bohemia was under ____________ domination. Austrian
Even though Smetana was deaf at the time, he composed a musical work depicting Bohemia’s main river as it flows through the countryside. The name of the river, and the musical composition, is the ______. Moldau
Dvořák “found a secure basis for a new national [American] musical school” in ______. African American spirtuals
In 1892, Dvořák went to ___________, where he spent almost three years as director of the National Conservatory of Music. New York
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky began to study music theory at the age of twenty-one.
Nadezhda von Meck was a wealthy benefactress who provided Tchaikovsky with an annuity.
Brahms wrote masterpieces in many musical forms, but never any ______. Operas
Critics were often scandalized by the subject matter of Verdi’s operas because they ______. Seemed to condone rape, suicide, and free love
Some of Puccini’s operas feature exoticism, as in his use of melodic and rhythmic elements derived from Japanese and Chinese music in his operas ______. Madame butterfly and turandot
______ was a fanatical supporter of Wagner and helped rescue his career in the 1860s. King Ludwig of Bavaria
Wagner was a virtuoso on the ______. pianoviolinclarinetNone of these are correct.
Richard Wagner’s last opera was ______. Parsifal
A short musical idea associated with a person, object, or thought, used by Richard Wagner in his operas, is called ______. Leitmotif
Wagner’s preeminence was such that an opera house of his own design was built in _________________, solely for performances of his music dramas.
Music Flashcards

Music Appreciation (Module 2 and Module 3)

Which of the following are Renaissance artists? Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vicni(the 2 that aren’t were Picasso and Hildegard of Bingen)
Which of the following was the main European port for cultural exchange of Eastern luxuries? Venice
Which of the following goals are attributed to Charlemagne? centralized governmentencouragement of educationgovernment control of law and order
T or F: Trade flourished in the later Middle Ages when a merchant class arose outside of feudal society. true
The beginning of the Middle Ages is marked by what event? the fall of the Roman empire
In the middle ages, the status of women was raised by the universal cult of who? Mary, mother of Christ
T or F: The Roman Catholic church had very little power in Europe during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. False
Which of the following was a result of the printing press? music became available, affordable, and music literacy spread
Which of the following was a potential job for a musician in the Middle Ages and Renaissance? choirmasters, singers, organists, instrumentalists, copyists, composers, teachers, instrument builders, and music printers
Which of the following provided financial support for medieval and Renaissance musicians? church, city, state, and royal and aristocratic courts
T or F: Our understanding of the musical culture of ancient civilizations is limited by the few fragments of music that have survived. true
During the Renaissance, which lands did the Europeans explore that were new to them? the Americas
T or F: The Middle Ages spans nearly one thousand years. true
T or F: Hildegard’s chant Alleluia, O virga mediatrix was intended for performance on a feast day for the Virgin. true
Chant melodies are described as ___________________________ based on how many notes are set to each ___________ of the text. syllabic, neumatic, or melismaticsyllable
Which of the following was Hildegard not known for? she WAS known for her:- scientific writings- her poetry and music – her visions
Culture in the Middle Ages was largely defined by the rise of religious communities housed in: monasteries
Which of the following describes life in a medieval monastery? Members withdrew from secular society.Members were devoted to prayer.Religious life was quite disciplined.They began their day around 2-3am.
T or F: The chants of the church only used the major and minor scale patterns found in later music. false”modes”
Which of the following describe plainchant of the Middle Ages and which do not? do – monophonic- Latin text- organized according to liturgydon’t – polyphonic – favored wide leaps
T or F: Gregorian chant features regularly phrased melodic lines supported by instrumental accompaniment. False
In chant from the Middle Ages, the style that features many notes per syllable is called: melismatic
Which of the following is not true about Gregorian chant (plainchant) melodies? This is what they ARE known for: – composers are unknown- they are in Latin- they are descended from Middle Eastern sacred music traditions
What is the term for music that is performed with exchanges between a soloist and chorus? responsorial singing
T or F: The text setting in Alleluia, O virga mediatrix is mostly syllabic False
Which traits does early Christian chant have in common with the Islamic Adhan and which does it not? they do have in common- parts can be melismatic- monophonicwhat they don’t have in common- sung in Latin- 4 part harmony
T or F: In the medieval era, some religious communities utilized polyphonic music to enhance worship on the highest feast days in the church year, like Easter. True
The earliest polyphonic music is called: organum
Notre Dame cathedral is located in which city? Paris
Which statement about the Notre Dame School is NOT true? This is was IS TRUE:- the first book containing compositions by composers of this school is called the magnus liber organi- composers wrote some of the most earliest examples of polyphony, called organum – Perotin and Leonin were the leaders of the school
In order to properly transmit the new polyphony, which other aspect of music became more sophisticated in the Middle Ages? music notation
T or F: Polyphony was universally accepted in medieval religious communities. False
In early organum, which voice sang the fixed melody from the preexisting Gregorian chant? lowest
T or F: The first type of polyphony was Gregorian chant. False
T or F: The lower voice in organum sings the fixed melody in extremely long notes. True
Which composers are associated with polyphonic composition at Notre Dame in the Middle Ages? Perotin and Leonin
The rhythmic pattern of long-short repeated throughout the piece defines the: RHYTHMIC MODE
T or F: Composers in the Ars nova wrote both sacred and secular songs. True
T or F: The musical style known as Ars nova first appeared in the early 1300s. true
T or F: Religious wars and medieval explorations enhanced cultural exchange. true
Which of the following was a popular French secular song genre in the Ars nova? chanson
T or F: Musical ideas from the Middle Eastern cultures were not a part of medieval cultural exchange. false
T or F: Pythagoras was renowned for his musical experiments. true
Which instruments stem from Turkish models? bells cymbals bass drums
Which of the following French Ars nova poetic forms are considered “fixed”? rondeauballadevirelai
Which of the following describes musical aspects of Machaut’s chanson Ma fin est mon commencement? polyphonicduple meter
Machaut’s chanson Ma fin est mon commencement contains which of the following? religious referencesenigmatic textpalindrome
During the Middle Ages, which Arabic import allowed for pattern-related disciplines to flourish in the West? numerals
Which of the following was a position Machaut held in his career? clericcourtiercanon
What was the period that immediately preceded the Ars nova called? ars antiqua
Which secular medieval musicians entertained at the higher social levels? troubadors
The musical style known as Ars nova appeared first in which country? France
Match the style characteristic with the correct phase in madrigal development. early madrigal (c. 1525-50) – chiefly composed for amateursmiddle madrigal (1550-1580) – texture extended to 5 or 6 voices final phase madrigal (1580-1620) – written to harmonic and virtuosic extremes
To which Italian city did Arcadelt move from present-day Belgium? Florence
T or F: The English madrigal preceded the development of the Italian madrigal by some twenty years. false
Which of the following characterize the Renaissance madrigal? use of Italian poetryword-paintingexpressive text-setting
Farmer “paints” the first line of the text, “Fair Phyllis I saw sitting all alone,” through the musical use of: monophony
The setting of Farmer’s madrigal Fair Phyllis is: pastoral
T or F: Farmer’s madrigal is written for a four-voice SATB ensemble. true
T ot F: Arcadelt uses word-painting to portray the images in the poetry of this madrigal. TRUE
Claudio ___________________ famously stated that his music was designed to serve the expressive power of his___________ MonteverdiTEXTS
T or F: Arcadelt emphasizes the last line of the poem in the madrigal by repeating it. TRUE
In the Renaissance two important __________genres grew out of the union of poetry and music: the French _________________ and the _______________ madgrigal secularChanson Italian
The first person to master the problems of printing polyphonic music is: Petrucci
Madrigalisms enhanced the _____________ content of the music. emotional
Which of the following were church reformers in the sixteenth century? Martin Luther and John Calvin
The Catholic Church’s effort in the early sixteenth century to recapture the loyalty of its followers through a return to true Christian piety is known as the Counter Reformation
T or F: During the Renaissance, the Mass was recited and sung in the vernacular (the language of the people). false
Which of the following belong to the Mass Ordinary? GloriaAgnus DeiSanctus
Put the parts of the Mass Ordinary into the correct order. KyrieGloriaCredoSanctusAgnus Dei
T or F: The Pope Marcellus Mass was written for six voice parts. true
The Mass is a daily service with two categories of prayers: the ________________ which are the same for each service, and the _________________ that varies according to the day. Ordinary Proper
Which of the following were critiques from the cardinals at the Council of Trent? (pg 92) embellishment of Gregorian melodiesuse of popular music in the Massinappropriate attitude of church musicians
Which of the following describes Palestrina’s Gloria from the Pope Marcellus Mass? duple meterconsonant harmonya cappella ensemble
T or F: Palestrina’s Pope Marcellus Mass is a setting of the Mass Ordinary. true
Which part of the Mass Ordinary is not in Latin? Kyrie
Which of the following accurately describe the harmony of Palestrina’s Gloria from the Pope Marcellus Mass? consonant, full
Instrumental music first flourished in conjunction with? dance
T or F: Because instruments were not yet specified in the musical scores for Renaissance dance music, there was much flexibility in performance. true
T or F: Prior to the medieval era, instrumental music was largely an oral tradition. true
Which instrument heard in Susato’s Three Dances is a cross between a woodwind instrument with finger holes and a brass instrument with a mouthpiece? cornetto
Which of the following instruments were categorized as haut (loud, outdoor) in the Renaissance? shawmsackbutcornetto
Tielman Susato was a musical jack-of-all-trades. He composed and arranged different styles of secular and sacred works, and he played virtually all the brass and woodwind instruments of his day. *********
The Susato dances are examples of which kind of instrumental dance? ronde
Musical instruments in medieval and Renaissance Europe were categorized as soft (bas) or loud (haut) according to their purpose. ******