Elements of Jazz: From Cakewalks to Fusion

Elements of Jazz: From Cakewalks to Fusion

Bill Messenger / Sep 21, 2020
Elements of Jazz From Cakewalks to Fusion The uniquely American music and art form jazz is one of America s great contributions to world culture Now you can learn the basics of jazz and its history in a course as free flowing and original a
  • Title: Elements of Jazz: From Cakewalks to Fusion
  • Author: Bill Messenger
  • ISBN: 9781598031485
  • Page: 265
  • Format: Audio CD
  • The uniquely American music and art form, jazz, is one of America s great contributions to world culture Now you can learn the basics of jazz and its history in a course as free flowing and original as jazz itself Taught by Professor Bill Messenger of the Peabody Institute, the lectures in this course are a must for music lovers They will have you reaching deep into youThe uniquely American music and art form, jazz, is one of America s great contributions to world culture Now you can learn the basics of jazz and its history in a course as free flowing and original as jazz itself Taught by Professor Bill Messenger of the Peabody Institute, the lectures in this course are a must for music lovers They will have you reaching deep into your own music collection and going straight out to a music store to add to it Professor Messenger has spent his life in music as student, teacher, and professional musician He has studied and lectured at the famed Peabody Institute and written an acclaimed book on music activities aimed at older adults And as a pianist, he has Played in ragtime ensembles, swing bands, Dixieland bands, and modern jazz groups Been a successful studio musician in the early days of rock n roll Accompanied performers as renowned as Lou Rawls and Mama Cass Elliot Opened for Bill Haley and the Comets So it is no wonder that the course he has created is so thorough and enjoyable Lectures, Piano, and Guest Performers It s a rich mix of jazz, its elements, era, and practitioners Professor Messenger frequently turns to his piano to illustrate his musical points, often with the help of guest performance artists and lots of original music The lectures follow the story of jazz in its many shapes, including Ragtime The blues The swing music of the big band era Boogie woogie Big band blues The rise of modern jazz forms bebop, cool, modal, free, and fusion Cakewalks, Vaudeville, and Swing Beginning with the music and dance of the antebellum plantation, Professor Messenger reveals how the cakewalks of slave culture gave birth to a dance craze at the 19th century s end that was ignorant of its own humble roots He considers how minstrel shows, deriving from Southern beliefs that held black culture to be decidedly inferior, eventually created a musical industry that African American musicians would dominate for decades to come You will learn how and why jazz, a difficult genre to define, was central to the music they created Roots in Ragtime Professor Messenger explains how jazz was born or conceived in the ragtime piano tunes of turn of the century America Together with the Dixieland funeral music of New Orleans, this new, syncopated music popularized a sound that took America s vaudeville establishments by storm Professor Messenger notes that ragtime s most popular composer, Scott Joplin, at first resisted the new craze But after becoming intrigued by that ragged sound at the Chicago World s Fair of 1893, he became the writer of the most memorable rags ever, including Maple Leaf Rag and The Entertainer Drawing on the blues, an emotional but harmonically simple music, jazz was ensconced as a popular genre in the American psyche by the 1920s The Surprising Origin of the St Louis Blues One interesting story about the blues covered in the course concerns W C Handy, a man often referred to as the father of the blues As Professor Messenger reveals that, in truth, Handy didn t like the blues very much and wasn t convinced the public would buy it It was only after he saw a band of blues players literally showered with money after a performance that he began writing the music in earnest Handy was at the same World s Fair Joplin attended, and he heard a song he later arranged into what became the famous St Louis Blues Professor Messenger points out, nothing about the song was original it was a melting pot of many influences The blues is, in his words, the emotional germ of jazz It is the place jazz always returns to when it veers too far into the abstract or academic An Innovation that Changed Jazz Forever One of the most important events in the history of jazz, and all performance, was the invention of the microphone in 1924 Before the microphone, singers needed big voices to project their voices across large music halls, and the booming styles of performers such as Bessie Smith and Al Jolson met those requirements admirably After the microphone, though, things were very different The new invention did than simply allow for the use of quieter instruments like the guitar and string bass It also brought smaller voiced singers Bing Crosby, Mel Torme, Frank Sinatra, for instance into the limelight Into the 1930s and 40s, popular music became heavily arranged for bigger and bigger bands By the time the swing era of America s big bands took hold around World War II, jazz had reached new popular heights You will learn why swing became so popular the syncopation and improvisation of early jazz, in the context of careful arrangements, combined planning and spontaneity in a unique way Though not to be confused with the sound of competing society bands, swing music gave talents like Benny Goodman a chance to improvise within the framework of Top 40 hits.More than Swing The development of jazz into swing electrified popular music You learn How boogie woogie, a precursor of rock n roll that was primed with a heavy handed, highly rhythmic style, found widespread success in the 1940s until its ubiquity forced it out of fashion How big band blues, where the simplicity of the blues standard was overlaid on the pop song, fused the worlds of folk art and high art How bebop an austere, anxious music whose success was blazed by the genius of Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker worked against the commercial spread of swing How modern jazz spans everything from the cool jazz of the 1950s to the fusion jazz of the 1990s, with several stops in between Music for Today In recent decades many forms of modern jazz including cool, modal, free, and fusion have had their devoted following All serve to prove that jazz is a generic music that comprises many varieties True to its name, jazz has defied definition, category, and stagnation And this course in toe tapping, finger snapping ways will feed your intellectual curiosity and appreciation.
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      Bill Messenger

    About "Bill Messenger"

      • Bill Messenger

        Bill Messenger Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Elements of Jazz: From Cakewalks to Fusion book, this is one of the most wanted Bill Messenger author readers around the world.


    1. The lectures consist of 8 45 minute discussions along with a 39 page guidebook , and are a mix of music examples, interviews with performers and lectures.There are many fine reviews of this course please visit The Great Courses website , so I won t repeat all the praises here.For those considering buying these lectures, know that it only scratches the surface of both the history of this uniquely American music genre, as well the the infinite varieties of jazz cakewalk to boogie woogie to dixiela [...]

    2. Life is a lot like jazz it s best when you improvise George Gershwin1 Plantation Beginnings2 The Rise and Fall of Ragtime3 The Jazz Age4 Blues5 The Swing Era6 Boogie, Big Band Blues and Bop7 Modern Jazz8 The ABC s of Jazz ImprovisationI really enjoyed this class as I have always liked Ragtime and Dixieland Bands and as I grew I, loved going to a place in Portland, Oregon called Jazz de Opus where they would have a trio playing or just some classic records that the owner had Alas, it is no longer [...]

    3. I have been impressed with all of The Great Courses I have viewed or listened to over the years This 8 lecture series on jazz is no exception I only wish Bill Messenger made another comprehensive series on jazz.

    4. Audiobook This survey provides a short history, introduces the different types of jazz swing, bebop and fusion, for example and explains the musical elements typical of the form, such as syncopation, improvisation, and polyrhythm The numerous musical examples as well as the lecturer s enthusiasm make for an excellent introduction to this musical form.

    5. I took two courses on the History of Jazz while I was in college 30 years ago I am teaching a history of American Music in night school and thought I d brush up This is a wonderful, brief overview which is perfect for brushing up or being introduced As promised, Messenger goes from the roots of Ragtime in Cakewalks and follows the development of Jazz all the way to Fusion in the 1990s I ve read entire volumes on individual artists as well as surveys of the History of Jazz Based on my formal and [...]

    6. This is a great Teaching Company course that introduces the listener to the world of jazz music I give it 5 stars because I particularly enjoyed the early chapters on the evolution of musical styles that led to jazz I still prefer classical music by far, but I enjoyed learning about this other musical world I also very much enjoyed the lectures on ragtime music think Scott Joplin and big band music The lecturer, Bill Messenger, also shared great stories and played the piano in various styles to [...]

    7. Great intro to jazz I appreciated the structure of these lessons, taking one type of jazz at a time and discussing it and how they built on each other What was explained in this audible has always eluded me in the past Not being knowledgeable about music I love it but don t know the terminology, etc , this was mostly still understandablebut I can t swear I ve got it permanently It d be a good one to listen to again in the future after music listening.

    8. This is such a great short history of jazz rags blues swing and even ancient modes Messenger tells great stories as teaching tools and has wonderful music samples that bring it home For instance, he carries one tune across all the genres to compare the different styles among many others He also plays a brilliant piano in all these styles So enjoyable on so many levels.

    9. I ve listened to a number of the Teaching Company courses This one was ok but not awesome Messenger is a pianist, and the best parts of the course are when he plays a little bit to explain something However, the course is loosely structured, and portions of it when he has guest performers, particularly kind of wander.

    10. This series of lectures was very enjoyable Bill Messenger is warm and relaxed and clearly knows this stuff He used his piano to illustrate what he was talking about and occasionally broad in other musicians.

    11. Entertaining, informative, 8 session class on American Jazz, profusely illustrated with audio clips, interviews, and lively lectures.

    12. This short, easy course clarifies the role of jazz in the history of music I loved the stories about the cakewalk Elvis.

    13. Highly recommended for the music history buff, or if you just want to know where the phrase It ll be a cake walk comes from.

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