Essay #1


In this essay, we would like you to use music analysis to concentrate on a pair of pieces; at the same time, we would like you to use analysis in the broader context of an argument. We ask you to compare Louis Armstrong's "Potato Head Blues" with Jelly Roll Morton's "Grandpa's Spells." Relying primarily on your analysis of musical sound, construct an argument that simultaneously links the two pieces to their common style (New Orleans jazz), while explaining in detail how each of the examples is unique. Your argument must relate directly to the sound of the music. Please remember that while you may cite concepts from class (biography, style), your argument will be judged on its relationship to musical sound.

Please be sure that your music analysis describes short segments of each performance in detail. Cite specific examples with CD timings. Be specific in your writing by using the musical vocabulary introduced in class to articulate your points. (For a list of terms, see "Definitions" on the web site.)

A few disclaimers: