Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Review For Final

1. What's a term used to describe "The Great American Songbook" but was also a real place in Manhattan which was the heart of the music industry?

2. What were the pianists who played songs on the piano all day (in the location answered by the previous question) called?

3. What is a contrafact?

4. Name the trumpeter who pioneered five subgenera of jazz.

5. What is the term jazz musicians use to describe how a pianist "accompanies" a soloist?

6. What legendary musician from Washington D.C. was known more for his compositions and band leading than his piano playing(although he was an accomplished pianist)?

7. What was the form of touring theater where whites would wear blackface and lampoon blacks, but later, blacks would wear blackface and also lampoon black culture as it was perceived by whites?

8. What electronic apparatus is used by acoustic bassists to get more volume and sustain from their instrument?

9. What is the term used to describe the percentage the artist receives from the sale of each copy of an album?

10. Name 5 important jazz musicians.

11. Which pre jazz genre came out of work songs and is typically 12 bars?

12. Which pre jazz genre stems from Negro spirituals stem from the attempt to make the African slaves Christians, and  melodies use the pentatonic scale combined with European harmony?

13. Which Tin Pan Alley composer wrote "What Is This Thing Called Love?"

14. Name three musicians associated with the Swing Era.

15. Name 2 pianists who were associated with Stride Piano

16. What were the sessions called when stride pianists would try to "outplay" each other?

17. Which jazz sub genre of jazz became a cult music in the 40's and used fast, complex phrases and jagged accents, and was primarily a small group based music?

18. What was the name of the Miles Davis album which we associated with modal jazz?

19. What is a song from a famous musical which John Coltrane made into a modal arrangement?

20. Which form of jazz was associated with slower tempos, fewer chords, more "thoughtful" solos, and less frenetic than bebop?

21. Which form of jazz was associated with funky grooves, soulful melodies and a return to the blues and roots of the music?

22. Which form of jazz that "rejected" preconceived notions of chord changes and form was pioneered by alto saxophonist Ornette Coleman?

23. Miles Davis' "Bitches Brew" is considered a pivotal album in what genre?

24. Who is considered the most important "Gypsy Jazz" guitarist?

25. What was the French name for "Gypsy Jazz"?

26.  What is the genre of Spanish music, song and dance from Andalusia, in southern Spain, that includes cante (singing), toque (guitar playing), baile (dance) and palmas (handclaps)?

27. Name two rhythms in Brazilian Jazz.

28. What is the central rhythm of Afro-Cuban Jazz? What are two different types of this rhythm?

29. Name three percussion instruments typically found in a latin jazz band.

30. What is the lively rhythmic part which the pianist typically plays on a salsa(Latin Jazz) tune as an accompaniment?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Genres we have discussed thus far

Genres we have discussed thus far.....

 1. Blues-This music was the music of African slaves, which came out of work songs. Later, guitar was added. Blues began as a musical song form which expressed great suffering, and has a raw quality, due to it's melismatic, expressive vocals and bent notes. Initially a folk music, Blues has influenced almost all of American folk and popular music. The form of the Blues is typically a 12 bar, AA'B form, although it is often modified. Much of today's jazz has been influenced by blues, although it might be hard to hear for novice jazz listeners, since the "blues" elements are more obscure and intellectualized than the blues elements found in rock or soul music.

2. Sprituals: We haven't yet had a chance to talk about spirituals, but these were an important link in the chain of European and African cultural mixing which influenced American music. Negro spirituals stem from the attempt to make the African slaves Christians. Most Spiritual melodies use the pentatonic scale combined with European harmony. Here's a great lesson on Spirituals:

3. Ragtime-Not technically jazz, but a pre-jazz form which combined banjo syncopation, marching band forms and oom pah bass and melodic sensibilities and minstrel music to create a unique, lively solo piano music. Later, ragtime was played by brass bands and became more improvised: the forms remained for a while, but the rhythm became looser and more "swung". This is how early jazz developed into a style of it's own. But we use Scott Joplin as the go to composer of ragtime music, which was very popular from the late 1800's up until the 1910's.

4. Early jazz/New Orleans Jazz/Dixieland jazz- Brass bands were part of the rich musical landscape in turn of the century New Orleans. Their version of improvised ragtime and blues became jazz. We listened to Louis Armstrong and his Hot Fives and also the Hot Sevens. The typical dixieland front line is cornet( or trumpet), clarinet, and trombone; typically, the first melodic statement is all three instruments improvising at once. 

5. Tin Pan Alley  to the music of the Great American Songbook. But it was an actually place; "Tin Pan Alley" was the nickname given to the street where many music publishers worked during the period of 1880 to 1953. In the late 19th century, New York had become the epicenter of songwriting and music publishing, and publishers converged on the block of West 28th Street between Broadway and Sixth Avenue in Manhattan. There are several stories about how the block got its name. One that is often repeated tells of a reporter for the New York Herald who was hired to write about the new business of sheet music publishing in the city. As he walked down 28th Street toward the publishing offices, he heard the dissonant chords and strings of competing pianos through the open windows. The sound, he remarked, sounded like a bunch of tin pans clanging.

6. Swing grew out of dixieland. The rhythm and harmony was very similar, but the ensembles grew larger- into what we now think of as big bands. Instead of three instruments improvising together, there was a tighter, more "riff" oriented sound. We listened to some Duke Ellington, some Fletcher Henderson(who arguably created the formula for big band swing) and Benny Goodman, who made jazz popular with young, white audiences. Some say this was the last time that jazz was "popular" music. 

7. Stride Piano was the virtuoso, swinging, fast, virtuoso version of ragtime. It was perfected by musicians like James. P Johnson, Fats Waller, and Willie "The Lion" Smith. Stride piano is associated with the Harlem Renaissance of the 20's and 30's; Harlemites would hold "rent parties" and feature stride pianists in "cutting contests", where they would try to out do each other by playing faster and more exciting arrangements.

8. Bebop was a reaction to swing. Players like saxophonist Charlie Parker, trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, and pianists Theolonious Monk and Bud Powell created a fast, complicated sounding extension of jazz. The rhythm was swing, but oftentimes using ultra-fast(not always) tempos and difficult, challenging chord changes. Many of the melodies were "contrafacts", which means a new melody over existing chord changes. The music was crazy sounding to many, and was assuredly NOT for dancing. 

9. Cool Jazz was a reaction to bebop; musicians wanted a relief from the frenetic chord sequences and fast tempos. Many white musicians are associated with cool jazz. Miles Davis' "Birth Of The Cool" is considered a landmark cool jazz album. Modal jazz is associated with cool jazz, since players could stretch out on one or a handful of chords(or "modes"). Some people associate cool jazz with West Coast Jazz. We listened to some Lennie Tristano and Lee Konitz, who were just as virtuosic as Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, only more cerbebral and less blues influenced.

10. Hard Bop is sometimes hard to distinguish from bebop; however, when we think about the soulful, hard driving music of musicians like pianist Horace Silver and drummer Art Blakey, we can see that this was a movement which brought back the "soulful" elements to jazz- blues, gospel, and groove. 

11. Free Jazz was another reaction to Bebop. Free jazz is an approach to jazz music that was first developed in the 1950s and 1960s. Though the music produced by free jazz composers varied widely, the common feature was a dissatisfaction with the limitations of bebop, hard bop, and modal jazz, which had developed in the 1940s and 1950s. Each in their own way, free jazz musicians attempted to alter, extend, or break down the conventions of jazz, often by discarding hitherto invariable features of jazz, such as fixed chord changes or tempo. While usually considered experimental and avant-garde, free jazz has also oppositely been conceived as an attempt to return jazz to its "primitive", often religious roots, and emphasis on collective improvisation.

12. Jazz fusion, fusion, or jazz-rock is a musical fusion genre that developed from mixing funk and R&B rhythms and the amplification and electronic effects of rock music, complex time signatures derived from non-Western music and extended, typically instrumental compositions with a jazz approach to lengthy group improvisations, often using wind and brass and displaying a high level of instrumental technique. The term "jazz rock" is often used as a synonym for "jazz fusion" as well as for music performed by late 1960s and 1970s-era rock bands that added jazz elements to their music. Some progressive rock is also labelled"fusion".

13. Gypsy jazz (also known as gypsy swing or hot club jazz) is a style of jazz music often said to have been started by guitarist Jean "Django" Reinhardt in the 1930s. Because its origins are largely in France it is often called by the French name, "jazz manouche", or alternatively, "manouche jazz", even in English language sources. Django was foremost among a group of Gypsy guitarists working in and around Paris in the 1930s through the 1950s, a group which also included the brothers Baro, Sarane, and Matelo Ferret and Reinhardt's brother Joseph "Nin-Nin" Reinhardt.
14. Flamenco is a genre of Spanish music, song and dance from Andalusia, in southern Spain, that includes cante (singing), toque (guitar playing), baile (dance) and palmas (handclaps). First mentioned in literature in 1774, the genre grew out of Andalusian and Romani music and dance styles. Flamenco Jazz combines the passion, exotic scales and improvisation with the harmony and sophistication of modern jazz. Chano Dominguez is the most famous Flamenco Jazz musician at the moment.
15Brazilian Jazz has become something that most of today’s jazz musicians are expected to know something about. Bossa and Samba beats, and even a baiĆ£o has become a natural part of the repertoire of rhythms. Well known Brazilian jazz artists include Trio Da Paz, Elaine Elias, and Hermeto Pascoal. The first bossa nova was presented by  singer Joao Gilberto, singer/ composer Antonio Carlos Jobim, and saxophonist Stan Getz.
16•Latin jazz is jazz with Latin American rhythms. Although musicians continually expand its parameters, the term Latin jazz is generally understood to have a more specific meaning than simply jazz from Latin America. A more precise term might be Afro-Latin jazz, as the jazz sub-genre typically employs rhythms that either have a direct analog in Africa, or exhibit an African influence. The two main categories of Latin jazz are:
Afro-Cuban jazz—jazz rhythmically based on clave, often with a rhythm section employing ostinato patterns from Cuban popular dance music.
Afro-Brazilian jazz—includes bossa nova and jazz samba.
In 1993 trombonist, composer, and arranger William Cepeda created a sub-genre he calls Afro-Rican jazz, which blends jazz with the African elements of Puerto Rican music.
When people are talking about Salsa music,  most often they mean Afro Cuban or Afro Carribean music.




Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Week 2

Powerpoint 2
Powerpoint 3

10 Extremely Well Known Jazz Musicians
Louis Armstrong
Duke Ellington
Miles Davis
Charlie Parker
Theolonious Monk
John Coltrane
Bill Evans
Herbie Hancock
Keith Jarrett
Wynton Marsalis

Review Questions

1. What genre of music was developed from work songs, blues, spirituals, minstrel music, and ragtime?

2. What are two essential elements of jazz?

3. What element of music is defined by  "the pattern of regular or irregular pulses caused in music by the occurrence of strong and weak melodic and harmonic beats"?

4. What element of music is defined by "succession of musical tones which is perceived as a single entity"? 

5. What musical element have we described as "one note at a time", or "the chords"?

6. What do we call the "structure" of a song? For example, AABA?

7. How do you describe rhythm which is "jagged" or focuses on off-beats instead of on-beats? 

8. What do we call how the melody and harmony are spread by the composer throughout the instruments?

9. What are some common jazz instruments? 

10. What are some less common instruments used in jazz occasionally?

11. What is jazz "shorthand" for "the chord changes to Gershwin's "I Got Rhythm"?

12. What form of music came from work songs of African slaves, and has influenced most of American music? Can you describe the typical "structure" of this kind of music?

13. What instrument is thought of when thinking of the country music of whites, but is actually an African instrument?

14. What instrument did Louis Armstrong initially play, and is known as the "violin of the brass family" because of it's mellow tone?

15. What three instruments are typically in the "Front Line" of New Orleans Jazz?

16. What is another name for New Orleans Jazz, or early jazz?

17. What is the common instrumentation of a "big band"?

18. What instruments are typically in the "rhythm section"?

19. What is the Italian term for "plucking" the strings of a stringed instrument?

20. What style of "jazz piano" uses the "oom-pah" accompaniment of polkas and marching band music?

21. What is an Italian word for someone who has a high level of skill on their musical instrument?

22. Before recordings, how was music marketed and sold?

23. On what instrument was "ragtime" originally performed?

24. Name three major jazz artists that we have listened to in class.

25. What is another name for "fusion jazz"?

26.  What is counterpoint? Who is the Baroque composer known for being a master of counterpoint?

27. What are the two kinds of basses which Esperanza Spalding plays?

28. What is the Farsi name for the Persian "hammer dulcimer"?

29. What are the first three elements of music that we listen to?

30. What is the type of jazz singing, "invented" by Louis Armstrong, which imitates jazz instruments improvising?

31. Which trumpet player was known in the early 1980's for winning Grammys in classical and jazz categories?

32. What is the word used to describe is the singing of a single syllable while moving between several different notes in succession?

33. What instrument was the typical accompaniment of early blues?

34. Which white clarinetist is credited as making Swing music "popular"?

35. Name two "sub genres" of jazz.


Monday, July 23, 2012

Class 1

Welcome to Jazz and American Culture! This site will provide you with everything you need to know. The links to powerpoint files will be here. Any special information regarding class schedules, or reviews for tests, or anything else, will be right here. See you in class!
Link to pp1

Monday, June 18, 2012


Welcome to Jazz and American Culture, a new summer course being taught during the second summer session at Portland State University. I'm your host and professor, George Colligan. This will be the go to site for links to power points, youtube playlists, and pertinent info relating to the class.Stay tuned for more!