Thursday, April 14, 2005

Mack The Knife

Ella Fitzgerald

Begins with piano establishing tonality and meter of one. Rhythms is and two, and one, on solfege of mi-fa-fa-do, with do down beat of first measure. The piano begins a do-sol, sol-sol, re-sol on quarters, jumping registers so to keep the lite, funny mood of the song. After four measures of this, the pick rhthym is played, establishing a shape to the piece. This is also where the bass enters, and the symbol. The bass reinforces this theme of the accompanient, and the symbol plays quarters long, short. The accompanient is loose but maintains the tempo. and highlights the song well. On the third repetition of this theme, instead of the jumps to sol, the bass has a soli of re-mi-fa-fi-, and then instead of sol back to do, like the accompanient is building up. The original theme is repeated, then it starts again, but the piano moves to a do-sol, half, half, quarter quarter half, swing rhythm, in a very high register. The piano also has been accent several syncopated notes coinciding with the shape of the bass line. When Ella begins, the bass starts a pattern of sol-fa-mi-re-do. The piano drops dynamic, and becomes more of just a background. The solfege in the soprano is do-mi-sol, sol, (O the shark has, pearly whites, dear,). The phrase in the soprano is shaped by a change in rhythm, words like "dear" are accented on a syncopated rhythm, and it is expected in the third line, but instead there are quarters on re-ti-do, creating the first verse, and Pac. The second verse has a looser sound to it, because the suyncopated note is not accented as short. I'm not exactly sure how to analyze it, I just know I like the song. The actual song is written by Kurt Weill-Bertolt Brecht, and was adapted into English by Marc Blitzstein, and to jazz by Louis Armstrong. The character in the song actually comes from a character in the opera Threepenny Opera, premiered in 1928, and played Berlin during the final years of the Weimar Republic. The character is named Macheath and he is a notorious murderer. The next song on the cd, How High the Moon? was amazing. I don't know much about jazz, but whatever she was singing was amazing.

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