Across the world there are thousands of languages that we as people use to communicate with one another. Many of these languages have been developed out of others, therefore sharing similar dialects, accents, and in some cases even some words are very similar. Yet of all the languages that are spoken across the world, there is only one that is fluently spoken and understood on every continent, and that is the language of Music.
Yet because this language is spoken in so many different parts of the world, in many cases the way it is spoken has a direct relation to when, ND where It Is spoken as well. This country has yielded many different types of music that have In turn, yielded different types of music. For example; from Bluegrass came modern country music, from Soul came R&B and Neo-Soul, from Rock and Roll came alternative and punk rock. All of these different types of music are products of their surroundings at conception, but no other than Jazz could yield as dynamic and brilliant of a sound as Big Band Jazz.
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Following the rise of Dixieland Jazz in the sass was a new style performed by a large ensemble usually consisting of 10 or more players. These bands, called big bands, relied increasingly on saxophones instead of clarinets, and emphasized sectional playing. The overall Instrumentation was broken down Into three groups of instruments: brass which included trumpets and trombones, reed which included saxophones with players sometimes doubling on clarinet, and rhythm section which included the piano, bass, drums, guitar, and in later years, the vibes .
Generally big band arrangements followed a standard form; the melody was played by the entire band In unison or harmony then the soloists would Improvise based on the songs elodea, style, and chord progression, and then the melody would be restated, sometimes in a varied or more elaborate way. The music performed by big bands was called swing, a type of music that people could dance to easily. It was performed in a triplet swing rhythm style. This energetic dance music was very popular for almost two decades, with the swing era extending through the mid sass. During this time, thousands of big bands played across the united States.
They performed written arrangements of popular and Jazz songs, sometimes with a vocalist. Radio broadcasts spread Interest In big band music by bringing it into peoples homes. Ballrooms such as the Savoy and the Roseland in New York were extremely popular venues for hearing the latest big band sounds. Although often times they aren’t given credit, clarinetist Benny Goodman, trombonist Tommy Dorset, clarinetist and saxophonist Jimmy Dorset, trombonist and arranger Glenn Miller, clarinetist and saxophonist Woody Herman, pianist and composer Duke Elongating, were some of the pioneers of the Big Band sound.
Although the emphasis in this style of music is mainly on instrumentalist, vocalist such as Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, and Being Crosby often sung with many of these bands. Of these pioneers, none are as revered for contributing to the genre as William 1 OFF where he learned and became proficient at playing the piano. He began playing with professionals and ended up on a tour that had to go through Kansas City. It was there that Basis, and the rest of the musicians were stranded, and disbanded.
After becoming acclimated to the Kansas City style, and play for with, and at different places and people, he started his own group. Count Basis’s group became very popular for their rhythm section which was so tight that the soloist became known for their riffs. A riff is a short melody usually at a break, rest, or pause in the music. They are used to elaborate and “fancy’ up the given melody of the piece. Inflections in the music such as his riffs shaped Basses sounds, and style. Another one of Big Bands pioneers who contributed greatly to the music, and especially to his times was “Duke” Elongating.
Born Edward Kennedy Elongating and then later nicknamed “Duke” by one of his piano teachers, he like many other musicians darted learning and perfecting their craft at a young age. At the young age of seventeen he had dropped out of High School to completely dedicate himself to his music. After playing with and for people and musicians at different venues, he would eventually put together what seemed to him like the perfect group of players, and they called themselves the Washington’s (after Dukes birthplace; Washington D. C. Contrary to his recent failures at sustaining a sound the people liked with a group, the Washington’s were a hit, and became very popular. They had developed a Tyler all their own that had been labeled by the press as “Jungle sound” . From there he went on to form his orchestra which would end up playing regularly at the famous Cotton Club in New York City. Throughout his musical career he would compose, arrange, and rearrange literally thousands of works; some for solo instruments, some for bands and orchestras, and some for himself on the piano.
He would be known for his style of writing for soloists inside of his groups, knowing their capabilities and strong points. He is also known for being able to adapt to the changing times unlike any of his contemporaries. Some of his most popular works include “Don’t get around much anymore”, and the song that defined the era “It don’t mean a thing if it anti got that swing. ” Duke Elongating was the perfect example of how musicians then were Just as popular to the media and society as artists are today.
He was kind, polite, and polished, and that added to his incredible musicianship made Duke Elongating one of the greatest and most favored musicians of his and all time. Although the Big Band/Swing era was dominated largely by instrumental Jazz, vocal Jazz would usher in new concepts as well. As early as 1926 the famous Louis Armstrong would drop the lyrics to one of his songs, and try out a new way of singing . This new way was a mixture of creating sounds and syllables and improvisational singing.
This style would be called scat. Though Louis Armstrong invented this style, it is usually more closely associated, and didn’t become popular until Ella Fitzgerald would begin to use it. Ella seemed to add dazzle to scatting and clearly defined it as a vocal improvisation using phonetic sounds similar to the instrumental sounds of Jazz . Other singers added to the early ideas of scat such as Sara Vaughn who was also key in bringing Jazz, and scat into the American home, with a number of radio and TV programs .
Scatting would, like many other forms of jazz, become a favorite amongst musician’s audiences, and helped shape Jazz into Through people like Count Basis and his riffs, Duke Elongating and his Jungle music, and Ella Fitzgerald and her scatting was Jazz defined during an era of turbulence in the country on many fronts. The Big Band Swing style was the dialect of language that Americans used to communicate with one another when we couldn’t seem to use he English language efficiently.