Popular Big Bands

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Musical Characterisitcs

-Simialirties to early big bands is sectional writing, dance oriented, bigger halls

-Differences from E.B.B- Less spont. and more pop oriented

-Most nostalgic to WW2 era

Popular Big Band

Social Considerations



-Benny Goodman orchesrta was first to implement white and black musicians, and the first jazz group to play in carnagy hall


Popular Big Band

Key Artists


Benny Goodman (Clarinet)

-King of swing; used hernderson arrangments; first to integrate B and W musicians; Tested on Song- Sing, Sing, Sing by Benny Goodman

Glenn Miller (Trambone)

Trambone; composer; G.M orchestra; No improv; Song: “Moonlight Serenade”, “In the Mood”

Tommy Dorsey (Trambone)

Vitruoso; played with Frank and Buddy rich; Song: “Im getting sentimental over you”

Artie Shaw (Clarinet)

Virtuoso clarinet; exotic sound; use of strings; hated the business; Song: “Frenesi” (1940)

Jazz Singer

Musical Considerations

-Improvisation through one or more of the followng

1. changing melody

2. scat singing

3. rhythmic phrasing

-most performed standards, some blues, had expressive interpretations

Jazz Singers

Social Considerations

-African-american artists came from desperate childhoods poverty

-All greatly impacted both contemporarie and future singers

Jazz Singers

Key Artists

Louie Armstrong (singer/trumpet)

-consistent style singing or playing trumpet; an entertainer; starred in films; song:“Hotter Than That” call and response break and there was scatting in this song;

Bessie Smith

-Influeced by Ma Rainey

-City blues

-emotional impact on audience

-bending notes/growling and gutteral sounds

-highest paid black entertainer of her day

“St. Louis Blue” with Armstrong


Ella Fitzgerald

-Greatest woman scat singer of all time

-hired by chick webb ( Band leader and drummer)

-she was brillinat in song interpretations, rhythmic conception, scatting/reworking melody

-First hit was a million seller and its called “A tisket, A tisket”

Billie Holiday

-AKA. Lady Day

-sang in harlem in speakeasies in her teens

-influence was Louie Armstorng and Bessie Smith

-emotional interepretations of standards
-performed with Count Basie and Artie Shaw

“Strange Fruit” and “God Bless this Child” (Composed).

-strange fruit is a Luis Allen poem

Frank Sinatra

-Hes the best

-Hes the shit