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Jazz In America


Jazz In America Lesson 4: The Swing Era Transition from Dixieland Written Arrangements By the end of the 1920s, jazz was developing in two complimentary directions ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Jazz In America

Jazz In America
  • Lesson 4 The Swing Era

Transition from DixielandWritten Arrangements
  • By the end of the 1920s, jazz was developing in
    two complimentary directions
  • Emphasis on soloist
  • Emphasis on ensemble
  • Collective improv kept the structure simple
  • To accommodate more sophisticated music and more
    musicians, written arrangements became more common

Transition from DixielandWritten Arrangements
  • Written arrangements became the product of one
    persons mind the arranger
  • Written arrangements all but eliminated
    collective improv, but allowed for individual
    soloists to improvise

Transition from DixielandEnsemble Size
  • Several well-known small ensembles, but the Swing
    Era was characterized by the big band
  • Typical Dixieland group of 5 7 members grew to
    15 18 during 1930s 1940s
  • Allowed for new dimensions to be added to the

Transition from DixielandEnsemble Size
  • Dixieland Band
  • 1 Trumpet
  • 1 Clarinet
  • 1 Trombone
  • 1 Bass/Tuba
  • 1 Piano/Banjo
  • 1 Drum Set / 2 Drummers
  • Big Band
  • 4 Trumpets
  • 5 Saxophones
  • 4 Trombones
  • 1 Bass
  • 1 Piano
  • 1 Guitar
  • 1 Drum Set
  • Anything else the arranger wanted

Transition from DixielandNew Breed of Jazz
  • Many were formally educated
  • Many came from brass military bands
  • Represented a cross of readers and non-readers

Transitions from DixielandMovement of Music
  • Jazz started in New Orleans, but moved to Chicago
    and then New York
  • Chicago already had its own style of Dixieland
  • NY was the center of the music world
  • Recording companies
  • Publishing houses
  • All fields, all styles
  • Music business activities

Transition from Dixieland and all that Jazz
  • Dates
  • 1920-1935 beginning of the big bands
  • 1935-1945 the Swing Era
  • New song forms
  • e.g., AABA, songs were capable of evolution
  • Radio
  • Spread of radio and recording made it popular
    throughout the U.S.
  • Harmony
  • Tunes were capable of greater harmonic
  • Moved from polyphony to homophony

Performance PracticesThe Instruments
  • The Saxophone Section
  • Generally 5 saxophones
  • Two Altos
  • Two Tenors
  • One Baritone
  • Usually also played the clarinet

Performance PracticesThe Instruments
  • The Trumpet Section
  • Generally 4 trumpets
  • The Trombone Section
  • Generally 4 trombones

Performance PracticesThe Instruments
  • The Rhythm Section
  • Generally 4 pieces piano, bass, drums, and guitar

Performance PracticesTypical Arrangements
  • Example 1
  • Melody played by entire band in unison or in
    harmony rhythm section provides accompaniment
  • Example 2
  • Melody and accompaniment parts would often be
    played in turn by various sections in the band
  • Example 3
  • Call and response

Performance PracticesTypical Arrangements
  • Example 4
  • After melody is played, jazz improv follows
  • Ex. Wrappin It Up, Fletcher Henderson
  • Example 5
  • Simple musical phrases played over and over
    called riffs
  • Ex. One Oclock Jump, Count Basie

Performance PracticesRhythm Section
  • Drums
  • Played simply, making the beat obvious for
  • Swung, emphasizing the second and fourth beet of
    each measure
  • Bass
  • Kept time
  • Played in either two-beat style or walking bass
  • Outlined the chord progressions

Performance PracticesRhythm Section
  • Piano
  • Played chords either stride style, on every beat,
    or on every other beat
  • Comping was NOT common
  • Occasionally played melodies and melodic
  • Guitar
  • Played chords, percussively on each beat

Performance PracticesDifferences from Dixieland
  • More use of written arrangements
  • Wider range of compositional styles fewer
    ragtime-like tunes
  • More solo improvisation, less collective
  • More use of string bass, less use of tuba
  • More use of guitar, no banjo
  • SAXOPHONE is predominant instrument

Cultural Implicationsof the Swing Era
  • Jazzs most popular period
  • Hundreds of professional big bands flourished in
    the 1930s early 1940s
  • After the stock market crash of 1929, swing
    helped the country through the Great Depression,
    creating escape via swing dancing
  • Served as a major morale booster in WWII

Cultural Implicationsof the Swing Era
  • Jazz reached new levels of sophistication in the
    Swing Era
  • Weak economy lead many recording companies into
  • Jazz proliferated through the radio

Cultural Implicationsof the Swing Era
  • There were hundreds of performance venues
  • Ballrooms
  • Movies
  • Hotels
  • Record Companies

Cultural Implicationsof the Swing Era
  • Race Relations
  • For the first time, it didnt matter what color
    you were, just how well you played
  • First interracial groups The Benny Goodman Trio,
    Quartet, Sextet, and Big Band (1935)
  • Jazz increased the appreciation of the
    achievements of African Americans
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