Early Big Band

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Musical Charac.

-Sax. replaces clarinet as main woodwind instrument

-mulitples of each wind instrument-Trumpet, Trambone, clarinet, saxaphone (Collectively called sections)

-Arrangers in arrangments needed to reproduce spotaneity and excitment and built in imiprovisation

-“Stock” charts

-Introudcing the saxaphone ( created by adolf sax in belgium)

Early Big Band

Social Considerations

-1920s the jazz age

-early jazz dixieland grew up, big band began

-popularity of jazz and ragtime popular in chicago, new york, washington dc and kansas city.

-Dancing= Bigger halls=bigger bands


Early Big Band

Key Artists


Fletcher Henderson (Arranger/Leader)

-Band Leader, FH Orchesrta implies seriousness

-composer/arranger; invented arrangment devices; call and response; sectional writing; associated with benny goodman; Composed song on test “King Porter Stomp”

Duke Ellington (Piano/Arr/Leader)

-Born Edward Ellington; Piantist; D.E orchestra over 1000 compositions; studied W.E music; sought to go beyond Jazz; Cotton Club in club in Harlem; White cliental; club and floor show; jungle savage theme; jungle period; “jungle nights in harlem” Song heard in class; Cotton club stomp; Ko-Ko

Count Basie (Piano/ Band Leader)

Born William Basie; K.C born and raised; rhythm and blues; benny mottens kansas city orchesrta; count basie orchesrta 1937; arrangments built on interlocking riffs; shout chorus; Song in class “Lester Leaps In”

Early Big Bands


-2 trumpets

-2 trambones

-3 woodwinds






Cotton Club restrictions

-Tailored to white audeince only

-Black service and entertainment and talent only