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MUSC 2140 (22)

Louis Armstrong

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MUSC 2140
Howard Spring

Unit 3: Chapter 6 Key Term- Dissonance: the quality of an unstable harmony that resolves to another chord **more information, refer to Courselink page Louis Armstrong (1901-1971) Primary Innnovations Blues: -Armstrong established the blues scale and blues feeling as a harmonic foundation when significant jazz figures (Eastern Seaboard) thought it a mere fashion/fad 1924 - New York: countered the Broadway shows and dance bands with his emotional power Improvisation: -ensured jazz as a genre that prizes individual expression -he became too spirited for traditional New Orleans ensemble -proved improvisation to be just as stable and wholesome as written music Singing: -began scat-singing as a young boy, mastered it quickly -influenced work from Bing Crosby and Billie Holiday Repertory: 1930’s – many tried to argue that jazz should not change from its original sound. Yet, jazz was taken from so many other genres heard in the south, so Armstrong resolved it by creating music based off of Tin Pan Alley songs. Rhythm: -taught is to swing -his approach to rhythm showed the contagiously joyous, bawdy, accessible, human nature of his music. Early Years -part of a brass band at New Orlean’s Coloured Waif’s Home -First worked/played in Fate Marable’s Orchestra (first time out of Louisianna) on a boat owned by Streckfus Steamboat Line. Members: Henry Kimball – bass Boyd Atkins – violin Fate Marable – piano Johnny St. Cyr – banjo David Jones – saxophone Norman Mason – saxophone Louis Armstrong – cornet George Brashear – trombone Baby Dodds – drums Riverboat: to be able to play on the Mississippi riverboat, he applied for a draft card, backdating his birth to July 4, 1900, a patriotic date which was now associated with him from that point on. -Armstrong was still working under Fate Marable when he quit the band because Marable wouldn’t let him sing. -joined Oliver’s Creole Band at Lincoln Gardens, August of 1922 -found his second wife, the pianist 1924 – Fletcher Henderson offered him a spot in his New York band – he accepted New York – Spent 14 months with it. -quickle drew record producers during the Blues Divas time. Mamie Smith sang “Crazy Blues” with Armstrong as the accompanist (piano) -Recorded with: Bessie Smith Ma Rainey Sippie Wallace Bertha Hill Sidney Bechet -while with Henderson, recorded more than 3 dozen with the band -every band leader wanted a soloist like Armstrong (Paul Whiteman, Dave Ellington) -left Henderson because he also wouldn’t let him sing as much as he’d like to. Nobody thought that listeners would like his gravelly timbre. -returned to Chicago in 1925 The Hot Five -> 1925 – Okeh Records invited him to record as a leader -Johnny Dodds – clarinet Kid Ory – trombone Johnny St. Cyr – banjo And his wife were the only ones he performed with, therefore creating the Hot Five. The Hot Five only recorded, never live performances. -Jazz evolved from a group concept dominated by polyphony to a showcase for soloists and individual expression with the 65 titles Armstrong’s group recorded “Hotter Than That” 1927 Hot Five recording Guest guitarist, Lonnie Johnson -Armstrong plays first chorus, entirely improvised **Refer to listening guide, Pg. 146 Earl Hines (1903-1983) -from Pittsburgh -orig
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