A Level Music: 'Black and Tan Fantasy' by Duke Ellington

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  • Black and Tan Fantasy by Duke Ellington and Bubber Miley
    • Background
      • 'Jungle Style'
      • Ellington wrote to players' strengths
      • Recorded 1927.
      • Black and Tan refers to Cotton Club where black and white people came together but in a segregated way.
      • Fantasy that one day racial integration may be possible
    • Resources
      • Piano, trumpets, trombone, saxophones, banjo, bass and drums.
      • 3 main sections of orchestra:
        • 2) Brass
        • 3) Rhythm Section
        • 1) Reeds
      • Jungle Style
        • Heavy drums
        • Dark saxophone textures
        • Growling of plunger-muted trumpet
    • Tonality
      • Begins and ends in Bb MINOR, yet...
      • ...Bb MAJOR: bars 13-87
    • Metre
      • Quadruple time
      • Medium/slow tempo
    • Rhythm
      • Opening: serious. Constant crotchet accented chords.
      • Saxophone solo: triplets and syncopated, swung quavers
      • Trumpet solo: bar 29: complex rhythms. Triplet crotchets, 'long' upbeat dotted crotchets: bars 36, 40 and 42.
      • Cross-Phrasing: bars 17-18, 25-26.
      • Piano solo: crotchet movement in bass, quaver/ semiquaver movement in treble, swung rhythms and syncopation: bars 63-64.
      • Swung, except in CODA
    • Harmony
      • 12 bar blues
      • Diatonic and functional enhanced by 'blues' in melody and pitch bends
      • Piece progresses: advanced chromatic harmony
      • 7th chords, secondary dominant chords and substitution chords
      • Cycle of 5ths - Bb to Gb: bars 19, 20
      • Parallel harmonic movement: bars 27-28
      • CODA: repeated plagal cadences - unusual for jazz
    • Texture
      • Intro & CODA: parallel 6ths (trumpet and trombone)and low sustained chordal accompaniment
      • Chorus 1,2,5,6: melody dominated homophony
      • Chrous 4: piano texture: 'stride' bass and wide leaps
    • Structure
      • Head arrangement: chord progression that provides pattern of chords (changes)  that players keep in heads and improvise with
      • 12 bar blues played 6 times
        • 1st and 2nd seperated by indepedent 16 bar section
      • Intro/Chorus 1, Interlude, Chorus 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, CODA
        • Chorus 1: trumpet and trombone in parallel 6ths, Interlude - saxophones, Choruses 2 and 3 - trumpet solo, Chorus 4 - piano solo, Chorus 5 - trombone solo, Chorus 6, another trumpet solo
      • CODA: quotes Chopin's Funeral March - pessimistic final comment
      • Intro: adaptation of popular ballad, 'The Holy City' by Stephen Adams.
        • Rhythm augmented and tonality changed to minor.
        • Major 3rd of B maj becomes bluesy minor 3rd.
      • Improvised: bars 29-84
    • Melody
      • Saxophone interlude melody: whole tone scale: bars 13, 14
        • Then moves to conjunct and broken chordal movement
      • Trumpet solo: bluesy notes that clash with diatonic Bb maj harmony
        • E.g. minor 3rds & 7ths: bars 33 and 48
        • Dissonance: bar 41
        • Covers 2 octaves
        • Second solo: restricted range, trills and repeated notes
      • Piano solo: begins on long anacrusis. Unaccompanied solo = greater freedom.
        • Melody mostly diatonic with some chromatic passing notes (not on beat - less effect).
        • Both hands = wide range
      • Trombone solo: high in pitch, smaller range of 10th
        • Blue 3rds: bar 74
        • Horse Whinny: bars 72 and 73
      • Unusual CODA for jazz - rallentando over repeated plagal cadences

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