- Chose one of the three topics below
- 1,500 word minimum
a bibliography of at least four sources, not including the textbook. At
least two sources must be from books or journal articles (including
jazz magazines like DownBeat or JazzTimes). Web sources must be from
official artist sites, reputable news sites, or record labels. Wikipedia
and About.com are not acceptable sources. Cite sources in MLA or
Chicago style format.
Listening Essay Topics:
a well known jazz composition to research and compare three recordings
by three different jazz artists. Compare the melodic interpretations,
rhythmic grooves, styles, arrangements, moods, forms, and/or styles of
improvisation of the three recordings. Also briefly discuss the origin
of the composition.
and discuss the musical styles and philosophies of Louis Armstrong and
Bix Beiderbecke. Discuss their musical backgrounds and influences, as
well as the political and/or social conditions shaped their musical
lives. Focus on the “hot jazz” approach of Armstrong in contrast to the
“cool, reflective” side of Beiderbecke. Investigate the reasons for
Armstrong’s world-wide popularity as opposed to Beiderbecke’s relative
Compare and contrast the
music and musicians of Miles Davis’s 1940s bebop recordings, 1950s
quintet, 1960s quintet, and fusion ensembles from the 1970s and 80s.
Discuss the musical characteristics, repertoire, band members, and
important recordings of each ensemble. Also discuss the evolution of
Miles Davis’s trumpet playing.