Instructions How to Write

Jazz Songs Analysis

1. What is jazz?

This is an example of how you should answer each question.

2. Bessie Smith – “Backwater Blues”
- Is this song strophic or through-composed?
- What is she singing about?
3. Louis Armstrong – “West End Blues”
- How does this piece sound similar to Bessie Smith's “Backwater Blues”?
- How does it sound different?
- Describe Louis Armstrong's singing. What does he sound like?
4. Duke Ellington – “Cotton Tail”:
a. How does swing jazz sound different than early jazz?
b. Describe two musical elements.
5. How is bebop jazz different from cool jazz? Use two musical elements to explain.
6. Where did rock 'n’ roll music come from?
7. How does rockabilly sound different from mainstream rock?
8. The Supremes – “Baby Love”: What do you think made the Motown music accessible to both black and white audiences?
9. Which type of rock from the '70s do you find the most interesting? Why?
10. What is a musical?
11. Show Boat – “Old Man River”: How might the river relate to society at that time?
12. West Side Story - “Tonight Quintet”: How does the music that the gang members sing sound different from the music that Tony and Maria sing?
13. Sweeney Todd – “Try a Little Priest”: What do you think the main theme or concept of this show might be?
14. Les Miserables – “I Dreamed a Dream”: What makes this music sound like it has pop influence?
15. Hamilton – “My Shot”: What makes this show popular with a diverse audience?
16. What do we mean by "world" music?
17. Why do you think different cultures developed different styles of music?
18. Peking Opera: How is this music similar to and different from western music?
19. India/Pakistan: How does the soloist interact with the other instruments?
20. What are some differences that you hear between the different kinds of African music?

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