MUSI 212-Essay #1
Thursday, 25 March 2005

By this point in the semester, we have explored several distinct kinds of jazz style, from New Orleans jazz to swing. Each style has made its own use of musical materials-improvisation, composition, rhythmic groove, texture, specialized jazz techniques ("blue notes," timbre variation, collective improvisation, riffs), and the distinctive use of form and structure. Furthermore, individual musicians have brought their own skills to bear on the music they create.

In this first paper, we would like you to concentrate on music analysis. Compare and contrast at least two, but not more than three, of the following musical examples. Describe the pieces in detail, using CD timings to cite particular passages, and use this description as claims or evidence to support a larger argument. You may wish to compare and contrast two styles, such as New Orleans jazz and swing; or you may use the examples to offer more nuanced comparisons (e.g., Duke Ellington vs. Kansas City swing). You may choose styles that differ sharply, or choose pieces that share a stylistic goal. Be specific in your writing by using musical vocabulary introduced in class to articulate your points. (For a list of terms, see "Definitions" on the web site.)

Please choose your examples from the following list-all on the web site. You may choose either two or three examples, but please bear in mind that the overall length of the paper should be the same no matter what you choose. (Pieces with a * are also on Ken Burns Jazz.)

A few disclaimers:


3 to 5 pages, double-spaced.


to be given to your TA in discussion section, either 31 March or 1 April.