Term Paper: Music Appreciation My Personal Attraction

Pages: 6 (2252 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Music  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] I believe music can touch a chord in a person's core, and this is why many of these musicians are so important. They have the ability to feel what people are feeling, and transfer those feelings to their music. Music is woven into the very cloth of our lives. We walk down the aisle to particular music, are buried with unique music, and remember the music of our past by the recollections it brings to mind. Music, and the people who create it, are an essential part of humanity at a deep level, and at every stage in a person's life. Jazz music is emotional and evocative, and that is why I believe it endures. Jazz brings out emotions in the listener, and in the musicians, too. It changed popular music in America forever, and it still influences music today. When we look back at our musical history, it seems jazz will be right up there with the most important forms of music. Not only did it spawn other forms of music, it even helped spawn instruments, such as the electric guitar, which was first created as a "jazz guitar" for early jazz and swing bands. The earliest model, called "The Frying Pan," caught on with early jazz and swing bands because it was louder than the traditional acoustics, and could be heard over the other musicians in the band. The Frying Pan included an amplifier that was twice as big as the guitar. These initial electrics were used in several Swing and Big Bands of the era, and some of the celebrated names performing on them included Charlie Christian and Aaron "T-Bone" Walker, who were some of the first to develop guitar solos in front of their bands (Friedlander 211).

Annotated Listening List

Rhapsody in Blue." George Gershwin.

Perhaps one of the most famous and identifiable compositions of Gershwin's, this lush tribute to American music encompasses jazz, classical, and modern music all wrapped up in one lush orchestration of strings, jazz piano, and brass.

Don't Get Around Much Anymore." Duke Ellington Orchestra with Al Hibbler.

This may be one of the Duke's most memorable songs, and there is good reason for it.

Hibbler's masterful vocal tone only enhances the jazz trumpet solos that open and continue the piece. The opening muted trumpet could be used as an example of some of the best jazz music in the world, in my opinion. It epitomizes the beat, the rhythm, the syncopation, and the very essence of jazz. Hibbler's interpretation, with tone, pitch, and a stylized delivery was just what this jazzy song needed, and what has made it such an enduring tribute to Ellington's mastery of the jazz style.

Mood Indigo." Duke Ellington and his Orchestra.

Mood Indigo" is a contemplative piece that uses violins, muted trumpets, and a mellow clarinet to create a soothing yet always moving image of softness and strength. Ellington knew how to balance the woodwinds with the brass in his orchestra to create continual rhythms that made someone want to think and dance at the same time. It is a unique talent that put this song together, and I don't get tired of listening to it.

Pennies from Heaven." Louis Armstrong and his Orchestra.

This sentimental tune has the prerequisite constant rhythm hidden underneath the melody. The trumpet and piano enhance Armstrong's unique and choppy delivery of the melody. Part of Armstrong's appeal is his raspy voice that seems to spit out the lyrics and yet caress them in his own unique way. The trumpet solo in this piece is classic Armstrong, but perhaps the most important thing about this piece is how many times it has been recorded by other artists, a sure tribute to a winning tune.

Ain't Misbehavin'." Louis Armstrong and his Orchestra.

Classic trumpet playing from Armstrong on this piece, which simply reeks of jazz flavor, from New Orleans to be-bop. Even Armstrong's offbeat delivery of the song matches the tempo and essence his band injected into this romping piece. If you don't want to get up and dance after hearing this rendition, there's something wrong with you or your CD player.


Friedlander, P. Rock and Roll A Social History. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1996.

Gioia, Ted. The History of Jazz. New York: Oxford University Press U.S., 1997.

Hansen, Peter S. An Introduction to Twentieth Century Music. Boston:… [END OF PREVIEW]

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