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Jazz & Blues General Music Presentation
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Jazz & Blues General Music Presentation


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Presentation given in a general music methods course at the University of Miami on April 27, 2010. Topic is teaching jazz and blues in secondary general music courses.

Presentation given in a general music methods course at the University of Miami on April 27, 2010. Topic is teaching jazz and blues in secondary general music courses.

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  • Picasso: 3 Musicians
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  • Transcript

    • 1. Teaching Music in the Historical Setting
      Blues and Jazz
    • 2. What IS Jazz?
      “Man, if you have to ask what it is, you’ll never know.”
      –Louis Armstrong
    • 3. Improvisation was the main source of melody
      Blues Scale was widely used
      “Blue Note” – Lowered 5th Scale Degree
      Musical Characteristics-Melody
      “Blue” Note
    • 4. Swing Style-Asymmetrical 8th Notes
      Accent on upbeats
      Other Styles:
      Latin (Salsa, Bossa Nova, Afro-Cuban)
      Musical Characteristics-Rhythm/Style
    • 5. Blues Form
      12-Bar form separated into three sections
      I III | IV IV I I | V7V7 I I
      IV in measure 9
      ii-V7in last measure (“turnaround”)
      Turn mm. 9-12 into one big turnaround:
      Musical Characterstics-Form
    • 6. Extreme dynamics on both ends
      Miles Davis
      Dizzy Gillespie
      Pushing the envelope of extremes
      Experimenting with new sounds
      Emotional vocal timbres
      Musical Characteristics-Dynamics/Timbre
    • 7. Extreme tempi on both ends
      “Jumpin’ at the Woodside” – Count Basie
      “Naima” – John Coltrane
      Pushing the envelope-“As Fast as Possible”
      Musical Characteristics-Tempo
    • 8. Small Ensembles (Combos)
      Horn Players (Trumpet, Sax, Trombone, etc.)
      Rhythm Section (Piano, Bass, Guitar, Drums)
      Sometimes included vocalist
      Sizes Varied (duet/trios up to eight or more)
      Large Ensembles (Big Band)
      Horns (5 Saxophones, 4 Trombones, 4 Trumpets)
      Rhythm Section (Piano, Bass, Guitar, Drums)
      Sometimes included vocalist or “featured” instrumentalist
      Musical Characteristics-Texture/Instrumentation
    • 9. How Did We Get Here?
      Historical/Socio-Cultural Contexts
    • 10. Map -
      New Orleans
      New York
      Los Angeles
      Beginnings of Jazz
    • 11. The Blues
      Call-and-Response “work songs” on plantations
      “Lament” style lyrics
      Primarily string instruments (drums not allowed)
      New Orleans
      The “birthplace” of the blues
      Louis Armstrong becomes popular
      Socio-Cultural Contexts
    • 12. Inter-Related Arts: Painting
    • 13. Inter-Related Arts: Sculpture
    • 14. Inter-Related Arts: Architecture
    • 15. Additional Information
      Performance Practice
      Vocal/Instrumental Trends
    • 16. Swing Performance Practice
      Heavy accent on beats two and four (backbeat)
      Accented upbeats
      Exploring new instrumental techniques
      Trumpet-Growls, Shakes, ½ Valve
      Saxophone-Altissimo Register
      Trombone-Growls, Shakes, Glissandi
      Came from a need to express emotion in a different way
      Performance Practice
    • 17. Vocal/Instrumental Trends
      Remember: Jazz roots were vocal!
      Instrumental jazz became predominant
      Louis Armstrong brings improv to voice
      Billie Holliday continues the tradition
    • 18. Duke Ellington (1899-1974)
      Prolific bandleader/composer of jazz music
      “Take the ‘A’ Train”
      “Do Nothing ‘Till You Hear From Me”
      “It Don’t Mean a Thing…”
      Count Basie (1904-1984)
      Bandleader and composer
      Laid-back style
      Thad Jones (1923-1986)
      Continued jazz composition into middle of century
      Wrote for his band, along with Mel Lewis
    • 19. Supportive Materials
      Listening/Composition Lessons
    • 20. Compare/Contrast Jazz Styles
      Solo Piano-
      Discuss diversity of Jazz
      Listening Lesson #1
    • 21. Links:
      Student Handout/File:
      Lesson Plan:
      Composition Assignment
    • 22. Rhythmic Differences-Dave Brubeck
      “The Duke”
      “Take Five”
      “Blue Rondo a la Turk”
      Discussion on use of rhythm in dances
      Is “Blue Rondo” easy or difficult to dance to?
      Listening Lesson #2
    • 23. “Goodbye! (Yesterday)”
      Buddy Rich Big Band