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Kind of blue by Miles Davis
The song uses a different chord sequence to the original 12 bar blues. It uses
G-G-G-G-C-C-G-G-D#9-Eb#9/D#9-G-G. This chord sequence is
repeated 19 times in the piece overall, however, it is different in the coda.
Between each solo section there is a four bar riff to help break them up. The
overall structure of the song is intro, riff, head one, riff, solos divided by riffs,
head two and a coda.
In `all blues' the melodies are more developed as the chords don't change as
rapidly. Davis plays the trumpet very lyrically, as if he were singing, and some
of the melodies are virtuosic, so the players can show off their skills. The
melody is based on a simple motif of a leap of a 6th with a long ornamented
high note and the rest is made up of stepwise movements.
The piece is generally restrained and mostly `mf' except for some louder
trumpet parts. The rhythm section constantly plays more quickly than the solo
instruments. In the coda the instruments fade out.
Throughout the piece the drum has lots of syncopations, and there are some in
the melody. Triplets are used as well as quavers often being swung, to create
Metre and Tempo:
The piece is in 6/4 time-the Jazz waltz in triple time. It has 136 crotchets per
minute; however the piece feels like its split into two dotted crotchets so a
tempo of 53 dotted crotchets.
The piece is in G major but as it uses f naturals, the piece is modal.
The piece starts with just the drum kit, played with brushes, the bass and
piano. Then the texture builds up as more instruments are added. The
saxophones enter with the chordal riff followed by the trumpet with the head.
The piece is mainly solos with the rhythm accompaniment.
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The piece uses chromatic harmony to colour the chords adding to the blues
effect. The piece is modal jazz and so rather than relying on complicated chord
patterns the harmony focuses on a mode so the improvised solos are freer.
Bars 9 and 10 of the chord sequence are altered chords, a large feature of jazz
music. The pianists often change the chord voicing to keep the repetitive chord
sequence interesting, known as comping. The solos use the pentatonic scale
over the blues sequence.…read more