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West End Blues analysis

This powerpoint will analyse West End Blues by Louis Armstrong under the catagories; Form, harmony, instrumentation and timbre, melody, rhythm and metre, texture, tonality, performer/composer audience and occasion

Scott Elwin

on 1 October 2012

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Transcript of West End Blues analysis

An analysis of the jazz piece, West End Blues by Louis Armstrong West End Blues Analysis 12 bar blues form
starts with a free flowing trumpet solo with no time signature
The other instruments then join and the main body of the song begins.
The slow tempo, and the rhythms introduced become the "theme" for the rest of the song - many triplets
Rising hextuplets on the trumpet lead to the solo's on the trombone, clarinet and piano respectively.
When the trombone solo comes in, it gives a lazy, trotting feel as the percussion comes in here.
After the trombone has it's 12 bars the clarinet comes in with scatting over the top in a call and response type style.
after this the piano solo comes in and does it's 12 bars, this time it ventures further away from the similar rhythms established previously.
Now all the instruments come back together and hold the same note for 15 beats except the trombone
The trumpet then goes off on one whilst the others keep the sanity of the song
then the piano sets it up nicely for the rest of the instruments to finish it up nicely. Form there is no harmony in the beginning section as the trumpet solo's as it appears to be free form and atonal.
It then goes into an augmented C7, then F then F7 then Bb9 then Bb7.
The song mainly revolves around these chords and doesn't go far from them.
This was in the middle of the Jazz period so it was in the middle of simple triadic chord like in Tiger Rag but not as colourful as Mood indigo is with it's chord changes.
The song has very little accidentals except for the solo's and is in the key of F major
includes many g#'s/Ab's Harmony The instruments included in this song are: Trumpet, Clarinet, Trombone, Piano, Percussion (skulls), banjo.
Trumpet mainly takes the lead and the other instruments take a backing roll
The trombone also plays a prominent role in this song, taking advantage of the slider
Solo's allow the other instruments to play a part in it.
First time the vocal has been heard mimicking an instrument - or scatting. instrumentation and timbre At first Louis Armstrong plays the melody and it seems like in the opening section, it is just primarily to show off his skills.
There doesn't seem to be any major jumps in this melody in pitch but he works his way up or down to a note.
The instruments all then play the same melody line with the trombone doing slides underneath.
The first time this is played is just to get the chords and melody across before the solo's come in.
The trumpet then separates from the rest of the instruments and plays quicker notes while the other instruments keep setting the chords.
When the solo's come in the instruments are free to make their own melody as long as it fits the chord structure.
They put their own stamp on the song.
Then all the instruments play the same note for 15 beats
The trumpet then tails off again doing it's own thing
Then the piano sets it up for the trumpet to end the song with a descending sequence. Melody 4 beats in a bar
firm and steady underlying pulse
piano keeping the pulse
allows for the different rhythms on top and easy to keep the rhythm
swung rhythms give relaxed feel, (also gave by the trombone)
lots of triplets
anticipation at end Rhythm and Metre monophonic texture at the beginning at the trumpet opens the song
rest of the song is strongly homophonic
at first all play together then trumpet goes off as the other instruments play behind keeping the rhythm and the chords, keeping it homophonic
During the trombone solo the piano is behind keeping the chord
same for the Clarinet solo
During the piano solo it is only the piano playing but as it solo's with the right hand he keeps the chords with his left.
All instruments come back in and play the chords together as the trumpet takes the lead then the piano takes over again.
When for trumpet takes over for a short time it is monophonic again before ending homophonic.
includes different amounts of instruments coming together depending on the solo or part of the song. sometimes they are all playing sometimes just 2 instruments. Texture F major
lots of accidentals in opening - no real key here, atonal
lots of G#'s and Ab's
Major key because it can be affected by blue notes, a main feature in Jazz
This makes a less certain mood Tonality Performers: Louis Armstrong and his hot 5
Composer: King Oliver
Audience: The listener performer,composer, audience and occasion
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