Music musician and one of the song he

Music appreciation is understanding what to listen for and how to tell the difference between the types of music people hear. It’s being able to teach yourself to try and develop an aesthetics underline and guiding judgment on an artist or musical social movement, beauty, and artistic taste. Music appreciation classes teach mostly Western art style of music beginning with middle age/medieval, renaissance, baroque, classical, romantic, twentieth century, and twenty-first-century music. Combined with a history lesson of each gives individuals a chance to understand the importance and impact music was during those times. In class, we covered the basics of five elements such as rhythm, melody, harmony, form, and texture listening to different diverse build of music from other cultures and countries. In this paper, I will analyze the musical piece called West End Blues by Louis Armstrong and using four of the elements covered in class, which are rhythm, melody, harmony, and form.
Information about Louis Armstrong as an innovator and an amazing musician and one of the song he performed called West End Blues. West End Blues was performed by Louis Armstrong and his band “Hot Five” and King Oliver was the composer. Louis Armstrong was born in 1901 and died in 1971 he settled in Chicago 1922, where he joined the New Orleans style King Oliver Creole Jazz Band. He was one of the most well-known and an important founder of the development of early jazz styles (Blues and Early Jazz, 2018). In his music, he would improvise using a variation of mutes to stretch the capacities of his cornet in range and tone color. To demonstrate his remarkable unique melodic-rhythmic style concert, people who loved his performance coined the term “swing,” a standard description of jazz (Blues and Early Jazz, 2018). He made records of his scat singing, which was syllables without literal meaning, this is called vocables a set of improvising vocal lines. One of the most influential people in Armstrong’s musical career was Lillian Hardin who composed famous tunes played by him. She taught him how to read music and helped him start his own band the Hot Five. However, their marriage struggled and in 1938 Hardin and Armstrong got a divorce (Blues and Early Jazz, 2018). She continued to be successful in her career as well as Armstrong and his band.
The first element I will discuss is rhythm, rhythm is an element of music with the arrangement of sounds and silences in relation to time. The sounds you hear in a song or from an instrument is called notes and any silences you hear is called rest. Armstrong performed a song called “West End Blues” in which the there is a firm and steady underline pulse with the piano keeping that pulse (Elwin, 2012). There are four beats in a bar allowing for different beats on top and easy to keep the pulse/rhythm. The trombone gives a swung rhythm relaxing feeling (Elwin, 2012). There is a foreground timing of the meter and pulse. The syncopation is rhythmic emphasis where it’s not expected and can be found common in this genre of music. The cultural approach to this song is that it has a backbeat, beats 2 and 4 of a 4/4 measure after the free intro and a duple meter where the background pulse into a pattern of alternating strong and weak beats. Meaning that in the song West End Blues every other note is emphasized making it duple.
The second element is the melody, a collection of pitches that are played in sequence. When listening to West End Blues the melody is the focal point that the listener experience during the music. If you want to tell the other person about a piece of music/song that you hear, you would probably hum or sing a tune or melody to them. At first, Louis Armstrong plays the melody in the opening segment of the song to show off his skills. There doesn’t seem to be any significant jumps in the melody in pitch, however, he did work his way up and down the notes (Elwin, 2012). The rest of the band instrument in the song played the same melody line with the trombone performing slides underneath (Elwin, 2012). It is very common in both blues and jazz genres that the blues scale is used in many songs. These scales can be played over any chord in a “blues chord progression” (C, Eb, F, G, B, C) minor pentatonic and (C, Eb, F, Ft, G, Bb, C) minor blues. I assume Louis is the soloist and when he comes in the rest of the band members are free to make their own melody if it follows the chord assembly (Elwin, 2012). Throughout the music, both Louis and his band did some improvisation (free jazz) to make the performance their own.
The third element is harmony, a is the collection of pitches played at the same time. Western harmony is known as tonality a concept that recognizes the tonic notes of the diatonic scale as the important home or central pitch from which the music begins and ends. Listening to West End Blues there is no harmony in the beginning section because the trumpet solos appear to be free-form and atonal (Elwin, 2012). The tonic chord is built by playing the first, third, and fifth note of the scale simultaneously. The music goes into an augment of C7, F, F7, Bb, then Bb7; staying with these chords and not going far from them (Elwin, 2012). There are twelve-bar blues progression, tonic chord (I) the first four bars are the harmonic foundation, two bars of sub-dominant (IV) chord, back to tonic (I) for two more bars, then moves to dominant (V), and end with the last set of two tonic (I) bars. Each bar measure four beats with emphasis on 2 and 4 backbeats, blues and jazz musicians often utilize the 12 bar-blues progression.


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