Louis Armstrong

In: Film and Music

Submitted By yanaya123
Words 325
Pages 2
Louis Armstrong

In the early twentieth century, a new style of music was being created in New Orleans. This style of music, known as Jazz, was performed with the audience in mind. It was heavily influenced by ragtime and washboard bands. Jazz is also highly competitive since the musicians wanted to stand out from the rest of the crowd. Their differences were accomplished through the use of timbres, improvisation, and many other characteristic of Jazz. Louis Armstrong’s version of “(What Did I Do to Be So) Black and Blue” illustrates the characteristics of Jazz, is completely unique to his style of preference, and advocates against racial discrimination.

Improvisation was the most unique and challenging style utilized in the Jazz era. Musicians used this skill set to differentiate themselves from other artists within their original musical scores along with remakes of other artist’s songs, as no two performances of a song were the same. This is because the musicians literally made up or created the notes they played for their solos during the performance. The top skilled performers of Jazz were defined by their unique ability to create interesting solos with both their vocals and instruments. Louis Armstrong had the ability to use phrasing as a singer to capture syncopations that were prominent in early jazz.

Jazz in the 1920’s was a combination of blues, ragtime, swing notes, and other European influences. Armstrong was able to capture the blue note, which is distinctive by being played or sung a pitch that is slightly lower than the major scale. Louie incorporated a blues scale with flattened 3rds, 5ths and 7ths and along with that; he frequently used 9ths and 13ths. This is evident in his vocals and trumpet playing in his recording of “(What Did I Do To Be So) Black and Blue”. He also utilized the ragtime genre in his interpretation of…...

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