04/29/15 Blues Lyrics & Classical Jazz

Examples of blues lyrics: AAB structure

Bessie Smith: “Lost Your Head Blues”

I was with you, baby, when you didn’t have a dime
I was with you, baby, when you didn’t have a dime
Now since you got a lot of money, you have thrown a good gal down

When you were lonesome, I treated you kind
When you were lonesome, I treated you kind
But since you’ve got money, it has changed your mind

Days are lonesome, nights are so long
Days are lonesome, nights are so long
I’m a good gal, but I just been treated wrong

B.B. King: “Three O Clock Blues”

Now, here it is three o’clock in the morning, and I can’t even close my eyes.
It’s three o’clock in the morning baby, and I can’t even close my eyes.
Can’t find my baby, people, I can’t be satisfied.

Looked all around me, people, and my baby, she can’t be found.
Looked all around me, and my baby, she can’t be found.
You know I can’t find my baby, I’m going down to the golden ground.

Goodbye everybody, I believe this is the end.
Oh, goodbye everybody, I believe this is the end.
I want you to tell my baby, tell her please, please forgive me, forgive me for my sins.

Examples of rock songs that use 12-bar blues progression:

Led Zeppelin: I Can’t Quit You Baby

The Beatles: Money (That’s What I Want)

“There are two kinds of music. Good music, and the other kind.”
– Duke Ellington

– Jazz and Classical musicians have influenced and interacted with each other ever since jazz became widely known in the early 20th century
– Many classical composers have incorporated elements of jazz into their compositions
– Many jazz musicians have composed and/or performed classical pieces
– Composer and conductor Gunther Schuller coined the term “Third Stream” to describe a musical genre that is a synthesis of classical music and jazz, but the term didn’t catch on.

220px-GrantstillWilliam Grant Still, 1895-1978
– African-American classical composer who wrote more than 150 compositions. Often referred to as “the Dean” of African-American composers.
– First African-American to:
– Conduct a major American symphony orchestra
– Have a symphony performed by a leading orchestra
– Have an opera performed by a major opera company
– Have an opera performed on national television
– Worked as an arranger of jazz, gospel and other popular music for radio and television shows

Still’s Symphony No. 1: 1st movement uses 12-bar blues progression:

Spiritual: “Sometimes I feel like a motherless child”
Marian Anderson, vocals
(By the way, Anderson was the first black singer to perform at New York’s Metropolitan Opera, in 1955)

2nd movement evokes the sound of a spiritual

220px-George_Gershwin_1937George Gershwin, 1898-1937
– Composer and pianist who wrote many popular songs, often collaborating with his brother Ira Gershwin, who wrote the lyrics
– George and Ira wrote songs for many Broadway musicals. The musicals didn’t last long, but many of their songs became “standards” for jazz musicians

Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong – Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off

– Asked for lessons from classical composition teachers, but they declined to teach him because they didn’t want to dilute his style. Arnold Schoenberg said, “I would only make you a bad Schoenberg, and you’re such a good Gershwin already.” (But Gershwin and Schoenberg did play tennis together.)

– Wrote Rhapsody in Blue in 1924 for piano and jazz band, later arranged for orchestra
– Established Gershwin’s reputation as a serious composer and has since become one of the most popular of all American concert works

(Famous moments at 4:27 & 8:25)