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By Barry Ulanov

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The spiritual really came alive in the decade from 1870 to 1880. In 1871 the Fisk Jubilee Singers, out of Nashville's Fisk University, one of the first and still one of the best institutions of higher learning THE NEGRO SYNTHESIS for Negroes, around America like the 25 made their first concert tour. Thereafter in their jaunts and in the concert tours of other Negro institutions Hampton Institute, "Deep River/' "Go Down, on Your Harp," "Swing Low, Feel like a Motherless Child" were such songs as "Little David, Play Moses," "Heaven," Sweet Chariot," and "Sometimes I standard parts of a growing repertory.

Phrases with two-bar fill-ins, as in Duke From the two- and four-bar phrases of the blues came the riff, which was the outstanding instrumental device of the so-called swing The riff is a two- or four-bar phrase repeated with very little melodic variation and almost no harmonic change over the course of era. any number of blues choruses. Blues melodies are often exquisitely simple. In Ellington's "C Jam G Blues" the four-bar main phrase consists of only two notes, and C. The first two bars (or riff) are all on G; in the third bar the C is introduced in a slurred pair of eighth-notes.

The trick in the stride bass is to play a single note for the first and A HISTORY OF JAZZ IN AMERICA third beats of the bar, and a three- or four-note chord on the second 30 and fourth beats. The effect when the stride bass is poorly played is plodding and corny; but when this kind of piano is played by a Fats Waller or an Art Tatum the result is exhilarating. The blues is usually played in unaccented four/four time or with stride accents, but it does, in one of its most prominent variaa departure from this structure.

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A History of Jazz in America by Barry Ulanov


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