Edexcel GCSE Music- All blues

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  • Created on: 19-06-11 17:02
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1959 Davis
`All Blues' from Kind of Blue
Style and period Jazz ­ Modal jazz(uses modal scales rather than
pre-determined chords)
Used for listening to rather than dancing and
often has no words.
The album was recorded in 1959 in New York
in a 3 hour recording session. The newly
developed LP(long playing) records meant
songs of up to 20 minutes could be recorded.
Added notes (7ths, 9ths, 13ths...)
Call and response
Blue notes
Repeated phrases
Pentatonic scales
Other popular jazz musicians:
Bessie smith
Bud Powell
Clifford Brown
Charlie Parker
In the 1940s, Davis didn't like the constantly
changing chords that bebop solo
improvisations were based on so he started
writing music with fewer chord changes.
Melody Melodies are more developed as the chords
don't change as rapidly.
Davis plays very lyrically- as though he is
Melody uses blues scale.
Some melodies are very virtuosic showing the
players' skill.
B's are sometimes natural(sounding major) and
sometimes flattened(sounding minor)
F's are sharpened(not like the normal G major
B and F are the blue notes
Melody is based on a simple motif- leap of
Major 6th with a long slightly ornamented
(mordent) high note, the rest is made up from
stepwise movement.

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Dynamics Piece is generally quite restrained and mostly
mf apart from some louder trumpet parts.
The rhythm section constantly plays more
quietly than the solo instrument.
The instruments fade out in the Coda.
Tempo 156 crochets per minute
However, the piece feels like it is split into two
dotted crotchets and so a tempo of 52 dotted
Rhythm The drum has lots of syncopations
Syncopations in the melodies
Triplets are often used.…read more

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Coltrane(T.Sax)-48 bars- Less vibrato
Evans(Piano)- 24 bars
Head 3- muted trumpet
Head 4- muted trumpet
Outro (Coda) - Muted trumpet, Gradual fade
towards the end...
Tonality In G major but with all the F Naturals it is Modal
Uses the blues scale
Harmony The piano provides a constant chordal backing
to the instruments known as `comping'.
There are altered chords- were notes of the
chord have been sharpened or flattened to
make it chromatic.…read more

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Julian Adderley: alto sax- focuses on the The rhythm section plays the chords.
higher register and plays fast scalic passages
and arpeggios. Davis uses mute and ghost notes to make his
solo more interesting.
John Coltrane: tenor sax- uses wider range
when playing with arpeggios and fast scales Pizzicato(plucked) ­ Bass plays pizzicato
also used. throughout
Bill Evans: piano ­ Plays a constant riff but Snare drum is played with wire brushes at the
changes the voicings (spacing of chords) to start
keep it interesting.…read more


Samuel Richardson

Excellent detailed notes on 'All Blues' by Miles Davis in a nice table here. Try printing off and covering up sections of the table to make sure you can remember the points you need to make. 

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