05/01/15 When Classical Met Jazz, Plus Reviewing for Final

On Monday, we will have a practice listening test!
Listen to examples here to prepare: Spring 2015 Listening Review for Final

Things to know for Final:
– Exam is open note, open book: make a study guide for yourself, write or print it out, and bring it with you
– General Characteristics of the musical eras studied, including approximate dates
– Important people
– Musical terms
– Study the listening examples

Medieval (500-1450)
– Gregorian Chant
– Sacred music
– A capella singing (no instruments)
– Text in Latin
– Monophonic texture (single vocal line)

Renaissance (1450-1600)
– Polyphony: multiple vocal lines
– Text­-painting
– Sacred music in­ Latin
– Secular ­in vernacular (local language)

Baroque (1600-1750)

J.S. Bach: composer, organist, church music director
– Wrote cantatas, organ music, chamber music
– Popular as a performer during his lifetime, but not as a composer. 80 years after he died, Felix Mendelssohn revived Bach’s music, and now he is often considered the greatest classical composer in history.

Antonio Vivaldi: wrote more than 500 concertos, including the set of violin concertos called Four Seasons ­

Classical (1750-1820)

Chamber music, including string quartet
Sonata Allegro form:
­ Exposition
­ Development
­ Recapitulation

Symphony – multi­movement form for orchestra
Patronage system


Romantic Era (1820-1900)

Expressing Emotion in Music: more individual thoughts/feelings
Program Music
Less patronage, more freelancing: composers following their own artistic vision

Hector Berlioz – Symphonie Fantastique
Franz Liszt (rock star)
Frederic Chopin (emo)
Wagner: opera

Modern Era (1900-present)

Individualism – even more extreme than Romantic Era
Questioning what music can be
Technology becomes very important

Igor Stravinsky
Arnold Schoenberg
John Cage
Edgard Varese

Ragtime, Blues, & Jazz (1900-present)
Syncopation: important to the rhythmic characteristics of all three types

– Mostly solo piano music
– Scott Joplin: pianist and composer of Ragtime music
– Player piano: early form of music technology

– 12-bar blues: a pattern used in blues songs, and also jazz and rock
– Lyrics: AAB form
– Bessie Smith
– B.B. King

– Combines elements of African and European music
– Louis Armstrong
– Billie Holiday
– Ella Fitzgerald

Composers who combined elements of jazz and classical music:
– William Grant Still
– George Gershwin

“There are two kinds of music. Good music, and the other kind.”
– Duke Ellington, jazz composer, pianist, & bandleader

– 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

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 change 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)

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