The melody

The melody

The melody intimately related to the harmony, has covered a singular evolution along the succession of the different stages of the history of the jazz. In the primitive jazz scarcely there existed something that we could call a melody, which in any case, was not differing much of the melodies from the music of circus, of the military marches, or of the music of piano and of lounge of the XIXth century. The same way as the phrasing of the soloists was evolving, he was exercising a notable influence in the melody, shaping little by little a type of typical melody, the “melody jazzistica”, characterized by its fluency, its unexpected nature, its express resignation of the use of black women and eighth notes and by its taste for the tones and the individuality of interpretacion.

In the ambience of the free jazz two tendencies put up with regard to the melody have been observed: on the one hand that of those musicians who wanted to preserve all the expressive force of the phrasing of the musicians of previous generations as Lester Young and Charlie Parker, and for other that of those that preferred to displace the emphasis towards the sound, as, for example, Bubber Miley did with its “sounds of the forest”.

The concrete melody of the topic on which it is improvised has become progressively less important with passing of the time, and some of the most modern musicians improvise so much that the melody loses for them almost its sense; often, in fact, the topic is unrecognizable for the listener, since the musician does not improvise on the melody of the topic, but on its chords, often rearmonizandolos or altering them somehow moving away completely from the original topic. The art of inventing new melodies on well-known harmonic progressions has been developing along the history of the jazz; the first improvisators were covering “vertically” the notes corresponding to every chord, while in the modern jazz they look for “horizontal” melodic lines that there come out the limitations of the harmony that were imposing the chords in the first ones tiempos.

The first musicians bop were jumping by the way the structural divisions to make difficult the orientation of the companions who were trying to copy its ideas. This way, for the listeners of the bop it was turning out to be difficult to determine where it began and where it was finishing only one, a tendency that found its maximum expression between the musicians of the movement free, a music in which it was improvising collectively up to the proper form of the topic, with tension moments that were going followed by other moments of calmness. The contrast between tension and relaxation has its origin in the musicians of Kansas City of the decade of, although it was Charlie Christian who adopted the skill in its improvisation style, alternating the riffs execution with melodic improvisations that were solving the tension created by primeros.

Instruments and instrumentalists

From the beginning of the XXth century, and until approximately, the basic instrumentation used by the musicians of jazz was essentially the same one: two metals (trumpet and trombonist), two instruments of tongue (saxophone and clarinet) and the rhythmic section (battery, double bass, piano and metals). The history of the jazz can be written for every instrument, since in each of them there have been appearing figures and revolutions that have been molding with the time not only its skill, but the way of conceptualizing its function inside the band. From a similar perspective, the history of the jazz is characterized by the predominant place that every instrument has been acquiring across its different ones etapas:

The piano dominated the period of the ragtime.
The “Kings of the Jazz” (King Oliver, Louis Armstrong) were always trumpeters during the epoch of New Orleans and Chicago.
The age of the swing was the Golden Age of the clarinet.
Lester Young and Charlie Parker imposed the saxophone as the main instrument, at first the tenor, then the high place and later again the tenor.
From beginning of the decade of the electronic instrumentation (pianos, guitars and electrical shallows, synthesizers) a major leading role was receiving every time in the sound of jazz
There have been three big transformations as for the instrumentation in the world of the jazz: the first one, when Lester Young introduced the idea of that with any instrument could touch himself jazz; the jazzistico was not depending so much on the stamp of the instrument as of the fact of which with him it was possible to execute the phrasing adapted with enough flexibility and clarity; note The second one took place in the middle of the decade of, after the electrical and electronic instruments popped in strongly, re-defining “the sound of the jazz” and introducing new instruments that were making novel forms of artistic expression possible; and the third one, on having opened the jazz to him for the world of the world music, with new sounds instrumentales.

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