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Musical Links Investigation

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by

Jeff Valisno

on 4 April 2014

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Transcript of Musical Links Investigation


By Jeff Valisno

In the Mood
By: Joe Garland
"The Big Band Era"
~(1935 - 1946)
Medium
Background Information

The so-called "Big Band Era" in the early twentieth century, commonly known as the era of swing, is holistically part of a larger musical movement, called Jazz. Comprised of eight different eras, Jazz includes the following eras in succession: Dixieland (1920s), Big Band Era (1930-1945), Bop (1945-1950), Cool (1950-1955), Hard Bop (1955-1960), Free Jazz (1960s), Jazz Rock (1970s), and Eclecticism (1980s-1990s). It's most popular movement, the Big Band Era, is one of the focus of this musical links investigation.
In broad view, this era developed showmanship in ways in which it incorporated uniforms, singers, choreography, etc. Additionally, its instrumentation came to develop into different sections: saxophones, trombones, trumpets, and the rhythm section. Separately offering its own different abilities, inclusively, the big band incorporated a new and different style, swing. Among the musicians in this era are Duke Ellington and Lester Young. The band in the recording above is the Glenn Miller Orchestra playing "In the Mood," one of the most popular piece from this era.
"In the Mood" is played with the following:
Saxophones:
Alto Saxophone
Tenor Saxophone
Baritone Saxophone
Trombones
Trumpets


Rhythm Section:
String Bass
Guitar
Bass Guitar
Piano
Drums
*This instrumentation does not necessarily apply to all Big Bands. Some bands may include the flute, clarinet, violin, a soprano saxophone addition to its saxophone section, singers, etc.
Meter
"In the Mood" is in simple duple; however, the piece is in cut time - single quadruple is acceptable. Described to be in a "Medium Bounce Tempo," the piece is played in a relatively fast tempo.

Prominent Rhythm Element:
Swinged eighth notes (in cut time) on the drum alternating between the hi-hat and a snare hit.
In addition, the bass continuously plays minor seventh quarter note progressions throughout the song.
Harmony
Melody
Form
Style
Context
Specifically, in the theme which is displayed above, the piece is filled with minor seventh and dominant chords. In the above example, the first version of the theme in the first two measures of the sax feature is a minor sixth chord only varying through the phrase with changes in inversion. The same happens in the third and fourth measure and the fifth and sixth measure; however it is in the minor second chord in the third and fourth measure and the fifth and sixth measure contain a dominant fifth chord.
Aforementioned, the above excerpt from "In the Mood," is the recurring theme, the melody of the song. It is mainly played by the saxophone section. The melody is an eight measure phrase with a repeat where the seventh and eighth measures are brass features in a chord progression of minor sixth then minor seventh then followed by a b fully diminished seventh then varying in the following beats; basically, it is a sixteen measure melody comprised of small stepwise movement in thirds that repeats. In a nutshell, the melody contains only one chord in three different inversions repeating over and over having an accent on the third chord, otherwise, they are repeated arpeggios in displaced beats.
6 measures followed by a 2 measure brass feature leading to the B section
6 measures followed by a 2 measure brass feature leading to the B section
"In the Mood" follows a strict form that is common in jazz music. The piece follows is in the form of : A, B, C (Solo Section), A1, A2.
A1 and A2 are merely variations of the A section, the theme, where A2 is used to end the piece with the first repeat having a softer sound with the presence of a cowbell part then followed by the second repeat that is in the fortissimo range incorporated with loud trumpet chords ending the piece.
Mentioned before, the piece is part of the Jazz era, specifically, its Big Band Era. The piece is swing. Commonly, it is identified to be part of the "Big Band" genre.
The piece is set in the United States composed by Joe Garland during the Big Band Era derived from a pre-existing melody. As one of the most prominent pieces from the Big Band Era, the piece reflects the era holistically.
Canon in D
By: Johann Pachelbel
Medium
Background Information

Generally, "Canon in D" by Johann Pachelbel is baroque music; however, the general term of baroque is merely a collective term for the developing style of music in Europe through the 1600s to mid-1700s. One of the biggest influences in this type of music was geography and the composer's motivation for composing the music. Additionally, the baroque period can be divided into phases: early, middle, and late. The piece composed by Pachelbel was part of the middle era of the period.
As a German composer, Pachelbel's works were distinguished to what is called "German Baroque." Other famous composers from this period include Francois Couperin, Antonio Vivaldi, George Philip Telemann, Johann Sebastian Bach, etc.
"Canon in D" is played with the following:
3 Violins
Cello
Cembalo

*There are many arrangements of this piece today that incorporate a full orchestra; however, the version of "Canon in D" in this investigation is the original version, thus having its original instrumentation with very minimal instrumentation.


Meter
"Canon in D" is in simple quadruple with the a sostenuto tempo of quarter note = 56bpm.

Prominent Rhythm Element:
In a progressive continuous 8-chord pattern, the cello and the cembalo infinitely play quarter notes in the piece. The chord progression are in triads -
I, V, vi, iii, IV, I, IV, V.
Harmony
Melody
Form
Style
Context
Above the continuous chord progression in the piece, the piece, melody, and theme are in a round passed around the three violin parts. The round is in a two measure pattern mainly responsible for the creation of the pieces chord progression supported by the tonics provided by the cello. Along with the two measure pattern, the piece is also comprised of two measure phrases throughout.
Aforementioned, the piece is part of the genre, baroque. Stylistically and geographically distinguished, "Canon in D" is specifically German Baroque from the middle period of the Baroque movement.
The piece is set in Germany composed by Joe Johann Pachelbel during the German Baroque period in the middle baroque period of the 1600s. Due to Pachelbel's training in the organ and his numerous compositions in the instrument, the piece is very influenced with his organ-playing.
"German Baroque"
~(1600 - 1750)
With analysis, it is discovered that the whole piece is built upon an 8-chord triad progression built in with the cello and cembalo parts. The recurring triad progression is as follows: I, V, vi, iii, IV, I, IV, V. A recurring progression in the piece, this is a two measure repeated progression in quarter notes.
The above excerpt from Pachelbel's "Canon in D"is the piece's theme that mainly occurs in the violin parts where it is continually passed around the violin section - harmonizing each other. It's melody is scalarly descending from F# to A in the strong beats of the excerpt; however, in the third beat of the second measure they ascend scalarly to from A to C. Overall, the melody is within stepwise motion and scalar throughout. In addition, the theme is a two measure phrase passed around the violin section where they continually harmonize each other.
A CLASH OF TWO MUSICAL PERIODS
Similarities
Differences
Though mainly recent arrangements began accommodating wind instruments into Pachelbel's "Canon in D", originally it was mainly composed of acoustic instruments as opposed to Garland's "In the Mood" being a work for mostly wind instruments with exception to the rhythm section.
Mainly considered to be in single duple, some musicians find it acceptable to claim "In the Mood" to be in single quadruple like "Canon in D"
"In the Mood" is composed of a swing rhythmic feel and flow while "Canon in D" is classically in straight time.
Both pieces incorporate recurring themes (melodies) - theme was restated at least once.
Pachelbel's composition exhibits a steady and stable chord structure (progression) whereas Garland tended to vary as it changed through phrases.
The melody of "In the Mood" is played in a harmony in unison while as "Canon in D" does exhibit numerous chords within the harmony, the chords are built through a round.
Garland's composition was composed of jumps in arpeggios - Pachelbel tended to be scalar.
Recognized by many ears, both compositions remain to one of the most popular pieces ever composed as they topped in their own musical periods.
Presented to you by:
Jeff Valisno
Winter Park, FL
IB Number: 000351-0192
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