MUSC 2140 Chapter Notes - Chapter 3: Red Mckenzie, Orval Faubus, Hot Chocolates
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Chapter 6 in website
dissonance is central to Western musical practice including jazz.
For historical and psychoacoustical reasons, certain notes go together in ways that are
unstable, that is, they sound as if some other groups of notes should follow, this second
group being relatively stable (consonance). When this happens, it is said that the
dissonant interval, or chord, or note, resolves to a consonant interval, or chord, or note.
Intervals can be dissonant or consonant, chords can be dissonant of consonant because of
the kinds of intervals contained in them, and notes can be dissonant or consonant in
relation to other notes of the chord.
Go to the virtual keyboard (or a piano) and play two notes directly adjacent to each other.
This interval (the distance between two notes) is usually considered to be dissonant.
Now play two white keys that have one white key between them. This interval is
usually considered consonant.
First, what is considered to be dissonant and what is considered to be consonant has
changed over history. Second, this is not morality. Consonance is not "good", and
dissonance "bad". Rather it is the interplay between consonance and dissonance that
makes music interesting and gives it motion.
This chapter considers the landmark career of jazz revolutionary and pop icon Louis
Armstrong and his effect on creating jazz as a solo art. We begin with the arc of
Armstrong's career from New Orleans to Chicago and New York, detailing his
interactions with the music of his hometown (King Oliver), the new big-band dance
music (Fletcher Henderson), and the classic blues (Bessie Smith). We then move back to
Chicago and Armstrong's landmark Hot Five and Hot Seven recordings (1926-28), which
bridged older, New Orleans-style collective improvisation with the new emphasis on
soloing, often aided by pianist Earl Hines.
Armstrong influenced two important soloists: Bix Beiderbecke, who represents the
pinnacle of young white interest in jazz, and Coleman Hawkins, whose canny
understanding of Armstrong's achievements launched a lengthy career
Louis Armstrong (1901-1971)
He is the most important figure in the history of jazz.
He transformed a social music into art and a place where a musician, regardless of race or
geography, could find a voice.
He was a central influence as an instrumentalist and as a vocalist.
He was also very popular at a time when jazz was considered primitive and degenerate.
He soothed fears and neutralized dissent
Proved that improvised music could have the weight and durability of written music
Blues: established it as jazz's harmonic foundation when most saw it as a mere fashion.
He countered the trends of the broadway shows and commercial
dance bands. He established the blues scale and blues feeling as
jazz’s harmonic foundation
Improvisation: established jazz as music that prizes individual expression, above and
Singing: introduced a jazz vocal style using scat, loose phrasing with lyrics, which
influenced later vocal stars such as Bing Crosby and Billie
-- he was dependant on mastery of pitch and time as well as fast
reflexes and imagination.
Repertory: created masterworks based on Tin Pan Alley songs, not just original New
Orleans themes, showing that jazz could expand musically and
commercially. Came from pop tunes, hymns, blues and classical
works from the south.
Rhythm: introduced swing
These five contributions were introduced in ways defying conventional ideas about art
and put American music on a par with European and Russian
Although he came from bleak beginnings, he had a long and fruitful career in music and
later in movies. He did not simply peak during the 1920s. He helped
spearhead swing and persevered through bop and fusion even though he
Born to an unwed teenager in 1902 in a devastated New Orleans area. When his mother
showed him her hometown in the country, Armstrong saw a different kind
At age seven, he was working two jobs. He received his first cornet from the immigrant
Jewish family that owned one of the businesses that Louis worked for. In
1913 he was arrested for shooting blanks and sent to the New Orleans
Colored Waif's Home for 18 months, where he received rudimentary
musical instruction; he was made leader of the band before he left. After
discharge, Louis took lessons from Joe Oliver.
In 1918 he started playing in saloons and parades, often with his own trio (with bass and
drums), playing mostly blues. When Oliver left for Chicago, he suggested
that Armstrong take his place in the band with co-leader Kid Ory.
Later that year he started working on Mississippi riverboat excursions. He spent three
years with the Streckfus Steamboat Line under the musical leadership of
Fate Marable, who played the calliope. During this time Armstrong:
Became a better music reader; learned to adapt New Orleans music to written
Learned songs beyond the New Orleans repertory
Experienced a new kind of audience (white)
Acclimatized to the life of a traveling musician lifelong pattern
With Oliver in Chicago
Marable did not let Armstrong sing, so he quit in 1921 to return to Ory's band. He
became well known in the area. Ethel Waters, while traveling with her
pianist Fletcher Henderson, attempted to lure him to New York, but he
stayed in New Orleans. In 1922, he was invited to join Oliver's band in
Chicago at the Lincoln Gardens.
He usually played second trumpet (there were a few exceptions, such as "Dippermouth
Blues"). He astonished musicians with his harmonizing trumpet breaks
with Oliver and the brilliance of his timbre. By 1924 he left Oliver with
the encouragement of his second wife, Lil Hardin (the pianist in Oliver's
band), and went to New York at the invitation of Fletcher Henderson.
With Henderson in New York
This was a crucial time for jazz and Armstrong. Henderson hired the best black musicians
of the day. Armstrong was considered an old-fashioned country rube by the slick
Dissonance dissonance is central to western musical practice including jazz. For historical and psychoacoustical reasons, certain notes go together in ways that are unstable, that is, they sound as if some other groups of notes should follow, this second group being relatively stable (consonance). When this happens, it is said that the dissonant interval, or chord, or note, resolves to a consonant interval, or chord, or note. Intervals can be dissonant or consonant, chords can be dissonant of consonant because of the kinds of intervals contained in them, and notes can be dissonant or consonant in relation to other notes of the chord. Go to the virtual keyboard (or a piano) and play two notes directly adjacent to each other. This interval (the distance between two notes) is usually considered to be dissonant. Now play two white keys that have one white key between them.