Ancient music had very distinct styles, musical instruments and elements were easily distinguishable as the songs progressed. The following is an analysis of five songs in terms of the style, tempo, musical elements and form.
- Analysis of the song “Crazy Blues” by Mamie Smith and her Jazz group (Recorded August 10 1920) (cfa.arizona.edu)
Several musical instruments as were use in the song. The sound of a trombone comes first then that of a clarinet and violin follow in unison. The sounds produced by these instruments produce a very distinct tune. When the Mamie Smith sings, several elements of music can be noted these are timbre, harmony, pitch and rhythm.
The song is in classical jazz style and I could tell this from the combination of musical instruments used. The instruments’ beats as well as the singing by Mamie Smith sounds slow with an adagio tempo. In regard to the form of the song, it is organised into distinct verses and therefore qualifies as a song in strophic form (Leeuw, Ton de, and Rokus, 36)
This song feels so much alive to listen to. The voice of Mamie Smith is lovable and evokes emotions that help listeners to relate to the message that she delivers in her song.
- Analysis of the song “There’ll be some Changes Made” by The Boswell Sisters (Recorded March 21 1932) (cfa.arizona.edu)
The sound of a clarinet is very distinct in the song. It is followed by that of a saxophone. As the song unfolds, it gains rhythm, harmony and tempo. While at the beginning the song has a very fast-paced allegro tempo the beats slow down dramatically to a grave tempo. The combination of sounds from both blown and struck instruments qualifies this song to be in typical jazz style.
Going by the repetitions in the song, its form is variation form. The lyrics are rife with sections where the musician repeats certain lyrics to stress the message in the song. The beats are also repetitive (LaRue, 62). The instant change in tempo from a lively, fast paced one to a dull, soft paced tempo dampens the moods of the listeners and hence my dislike for the whole song.
- Analysis of the song “Shag” by The New Orleans Feet warmers (Recorded September 15 1932) (cfa.arizona.edu)
This song is purely in acoustics style. The musical elements notable from this piece of music are tempo, pitch and harmony in the manner the sounds from different instruments blend with each other. This is so because the entire song makes use of sounds from different instruments none of which uses electrical modification to enhance the quality of the sound produces (Leeuw, Ton de, and Rokus, 37). The occasional human voice is basically a modification and further qualifies the song to be an acoustics song. The beautiful combination of sounds from different instruments produces distinct musical elements such as melody, harmony, rhythm and tempo.
The sound of the trumpet comes first then that of a saxophone comes in second. The high tempo used in the song qualifies it to be an allegro while the frequency of the beats sounds like this is a nice music that one can dance to. I would categorise it under the dance form. The fact that this was a nice song with a very high but manageable tempo makes it very nice to dace to and this was one thing that I liked about the song.
- Analysis of the song “Caravan” by Barney Bigard and His Jazzopators (Recorded December 19, 1936) (cfa.arizona.edu)
I noted that this song also fell under the acoustics style of music. This is so because the instruments used produce sounds that is devoid of electrical modification. Several elements of music such as pitch, harmony and melody can be noted from the song as it progresses. The rhythm or the time aspect where beats are delayed and come after specific intervals can be noted.
The first instrument to play is the sounding of a trumpet which is closely followed by that of a saxophone. As other instruments such as the trombone are played, the song’s tempo can neither be said to be too fast or too slow and I can therefore categorise the song under the moderato tempo. With the song bearing a moderato tempo it has several dance steps that one can make and therefore, I consider it to be in a dance form (laRue, 62).
Besides having beats that are well harmonised and a distinctive and catchy tune, one can dance to this song and I really liked the song.
- Analysis of the song “Honeysuckle Rose” by Quintette du Hot Club de France (Recorded January 31 1938) (cfa.arizona.edu)
This is another classic song qualifying under the acoustics style of music. There are the typical Western-European musical instruments being played. The beats are played with a certain specific time delay and hence giving the song the musical element of rhythm. Other notable elements are pitch and tempo.
In the song, the sound of a guitar being plucked is heard first than that of violin. I found the song to be in the allegro tempo where the pace can be said to be fast. I would categorise this song under the binary form because it is played in a uniform tune with two distinct beats and variations in tune and pitch being noticeable. While the song is well controlled I terms of harmony and tempo, it lacks appeal and sounds boring. I liked most of the music of the ancient days because songs had distinct styles, forms and elements.
LaRue, Jan. "Style Analysis: An Approach That Works At Any Level, With Any Element, In Any Music." Music Educators Journal 59.5 (1973): 62. Print.
Leeuw, Ton de, and Rokus de. Groot.Music of the twentieth century a study of its elements and structure. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2005. Print.