Answer some questions about Jazz music

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History of Jazz
MU 239

Take Home Mid Term

Pick One – (40 points) 2 pg min.

1. DukeEllington’ssong“JumpforJoy”(intheCanvasmusicmenu
under the swing heading) is a strong example of his exploration of
social justice themes through composition. The lyrics (not written by
Duke) use metaphor, literary, historic, and religious references, as a
‘coded language’ to introduce and explore the specific social
theme inspiring this song. Using research (online, articles, podcast
etc), identify the theme and give a line-by-line analysis of the lyrics.
How does the music compliment, and support the theme?

2. Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald were two of the most distinct voices
not only of the swing era, but in all of jazz history. Each had a unique
style and both in their own ways contributed to the development of
vocal jazz. Listen to “My Last Affair” and “ I Can’t Get Started” (Canvas
music menu under Ella and Bille heading). There are two versions of
each song, one done by Billie the other by Ella. Compare and contrast
their singing styles (like we did in class with Lester Young and Coleman
Hawkins). Identify which singer is a vertical style singer and which is a
horizontal style singer. Explain and defend your choices, citing specific
examples in EACH song for each singer. Listen to “How High the Moon”
and “Gloomy Sunday”. Both Billie and Ella were ‘daughters’ of Louis
Armstrong’s approach to jazz singing (remember there are two
components to his innovation of jazz singing), and each took a specific
component of Armstrong’s innovation and elevated it to new heights.
Explain and defend your choices with specific examples from each


Pick One – (20 points) 1pg min.

  1. TheGreatDepressionhadapowerfuleffectonallfacetsof
    American life in the 30’s, including culture. By the mid to late 30’s
    Jazz or “swing music” was accepted as America’s popular music
    and the big band became the standard jazz ensemble. Explain
    how the Depression influenced the rise of the big bands thus
    creating an overwhelming cultural acceptance of Jazz. Be sure to
    discuss economic factors, social factors and technological factors
    that all played a part in this shift. Provide detailed data and other
    specifics to support your ideas.
  2. TheSwingErausheredindramaticsocialchangeswithinthemusic
    industry. Old structures and rules about who could play jazz, what
    they were allowed to play, or with whom, were challenged by the
    new Swing Generation of players. The “All Girl Swing Bands” of the
    1930’s and 40’s mark a significant shift in the role of women in the
    music industry and in jazz specifically. Read the collection of articles
    and editorials called “Jazz and Gender During the War Years” (in
    the articles module). Identify the challenges women in jazz had to
    face during the swing era (stereotypes, tropes, controversies,
    objectification, etc). Be specific and quote from various sources
    within the reading. Do your own research (online articles etc) on
    contemporary female artists, and comment on the modern state of
    gender in the music industry. What changes have occurred? What
    issues of inequality persist? Give specific examples of contemporary
    artists (both vocal and instrumental) to support your opinions and

Pick Two – (10 points each) 1⁄2 pg min. each

5. LouisArmstrong’sHot5&7Recordingsofthemidtolate20’s
changed jazz forever and ushered in the “modern” sound of the
master soloist. Discuss the 5 major innovations developed by
Armstrong on these recordings. Support your answers by citing
specific examples from Armstrong songs (on Canvas). Discuss at
least one song for each innovation.

  1. BennyGoodmanisconsideredapivotalandimportantpersonin
    the swing music era. Give a brief, detailed account of the 3 major
    events that make Goodman such a historically important figure.
  2. TheBasiebandisconsideredthepinnacleoftheKansasCitysound.
    Describe the various elements/concepts showcased in that band
    that exemplify the KC sound. Give specific song examples.

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