Alligator Crawl

Brief contextual overview and main points of each section

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: ellie g
  • Created on: 19-05-12 17:14


Recorded in 1927

was one of the first pieces of music to be recorded electronically

electronic recording began in 1925

his hot fives and sevens reffered to his band and that fact they played "hot Jazz"

it was recorded in Chicago

Based on the Alligator Crawl by Fats Waller

1 of 10

Instruments and their Instrumentalists

Trumpet - Louis Armstrong

Clarinet - Johnny Dodds

Trombone - John Thomas

Piano Lil-Hardin 

Tuba - Pete Briggs

Drums - Warren Baby Dodds

Guitar/Banjo - Johnny St Cyr

2 of 10


Introduction - F major

Chorus 1 - C major

Chorus 2 - C major


Trumpet Solo 

A - C major with hints of G - major

B - Em to G major

A - C major

A - C -maj

Chorus 3 - C major

Chorus 4 - C major

3 of 10


F - Major

Begins and ends on C

Johnny Dodds plays a solo on clarinet

4 of 10

Chorus 1

Trumpet plays smears, scoops, glissandi and ghost notes

Clarinet plays with Terminal Vibrato

Banjo and Piano comp

Trombone plays long held notes 

Tuba plays 2 beat descending rhythms with occasional rhythmic fills

5 of 10

Chorus 2

New Orleans Polyphony

Trumpet plays counter melodies with clarinet

Trumpet plays in a higher register to stand above the other solos

Trumpet plays a similar melody to chorus 1 just inverted (ascending)

Trombone plays two beat rhythms with terminal vibrato

6 of 10


Purpose is to modulate to C major and to move onto the trumpet solo

G pedal in the trombone

Trumpet plays smears, scoops and fall - offs

7 of 10

Trumpet Solo

A section 

  • Mid range
  • terminal vibrato
  • first chromatic motif introduced and repeated with displacement

B section

  • Begins with an Em triad
  • range increases, reaching a top A
  • shorter phrases

A section

  • larger range than first a-section
  • modulates back to C major

A section

  • Armstrong shows off virtuosity with an interval of an 11th
  • ends on a bar of C to highlight modulation
8 of 10

Chorus 3 - Guitar and Banjo Solo

Banjo used to thicken up texture and give an interesting timbre

unusual to have a guitar solo

plays over 12 bar blues with added F# diminished chords and Bb chords for interest

Tempo increases over the solo

9 of 10

Chorus 4

New Orleans Polyphony

Tempo has increased due to increase in the chorus before

clarinet plays a fancy countermelody to the trumpet

trombone becomes more prominant

piano and banjo comp

at the end there is a hit of the cymbol that is hand stopped.

10 of 10


No comments have yet been made

Similar Music resources:

See all Music resources »