Listening • Take The A Train CD2 Tracks 40-41 • Duke Ellington, composer / performer • AABA form in the opening “head” • AABA form in each of the solos • AABA form in the closing “head”
Listening to jazz • Know the tune (head) • The Head is heard in the beginning (sing along!) • Solos follow the form of the tune (can you still sing the head?) • The Head is heard again at the end. • The tune is over
Jazz • Purely American art music • Musical features: Syncopation and Improvisation
Syncopation - an accent (emphasis) placed on a beat that is normally not accented. • In Jazz, this is further subdivided to an accent placed in between the beats, and this is called "swing". How hard something swings depends on where the accent is placed in between the beat. • Swing - syncopation between the beats.
Improvisation - a spontaneous reaction to the musical environment. Occurs most often in jazz solos. Is NOT simply "making it up as you go along".
Jazz • Background: Ragtime and Blues • Ragtime - piano style. Left hand steady beat and straight rhythm, right hand syncopation. Composed. NO IMPROVISATION (Scott Joplin) • Blues - usually guitar and voice. Improvised over fairly loose framework.
Jazz Terms • Head - the main part of the song form that includes the melody. Heard at the beginning and end of a jazz tune. • Solo - an improvised melody that goes along with the song form structure (in the middle of the jazz tune). • Chorus - one time through the song form structure.
Form - the framework of a song or work. Many jazz tunes are AABA form. • AABA - 32 bar (measure) form where section A is 8 measures and repeated, followed by a contrasting B section for 8 measures, then the A section (8 measures) returns for one time.
Standard - a song that has made its way into the standard repertoire. Often songs from the "Great American Songbook". Everyone performs standards, and usually none are remarkable...
Cover - A remake of a particular song by a particular artist. Often the remake is done in a strategic way to outsell the original (or at least that's the plan!).
MIDI • Musical Instrument Digital Interface • A language that was designed so that musical instruments could be compatible with each other.
MIDI • Musical Instrument Digital Interface • In addition to it being a language, it is also the type of computer file that is created with MIDI instruments.
MIDI • Musical Instrument Digital Interface • This type of file is used for cell phone ring tones!