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Presentation on theme: "GLENN MILLER AND THE HISTORY OF SWING Nathan Schafer Music 1010."— Presentation transcript:


2 ALTON GLENN MILLER  Glenn was born March 1 st, 1904 in Clarinda, Iowa.  Got an early start in music when his father bought him a mandolin.  He started playing trombone for the Fort Morgan High School band at 14.  Glenn joined the Boyd Senter band after high school.

3 ALTON GLENN MILLER  Glenn decided to start college in 1923 at the University of Colorado.  Glenn’s college career was short lived because it interfered with his ability to audition.  Glenn moved to Los Angeles to join the Ben Pollack band.

4 ALTON GLENN MILLER  After a few years Glenn moved to New York and became a trombonist and musical arranger.  Many accomplishments while in New York. Married college sweetheart Helen Burger. Worked with Dorsey brothers orchestra. Organized an orchestra for Ray Noble. Studied music theory and composition with Joseph Schillinger.

5 ALTON GLENN MILLER  In 1937 Glenn formed his own band, this band did not see much success.  In 1939 Glenn formed The Glenn Miller Orchestra.  The orchestra had a unique sound. He used Clarinets and tenor saxes to highlight the melody. He used the saxophone to play the harmonic line. Glenn was very meticulous in preparation, using almost no improvisation.

6 ALTON GLENN MILLER  The Glenn Miller Orchestra saw great success! Recorded 17 top ten hits in 1939. Doubled that with 31 top tens hits in 1940. They had 11 top ten hits in 1941 and 1942. Glenn was making around $20,000.00 a week. Glenn was a part of a weekly music program called “Moonlight Serenade”.

7 ALTON GLENN MILLER  In 1942 Glenn felt the need to join the Army and serve his country during WWII.  His was given the rank of Captain and put in charge of the Army Air Force band.

8 ALTON GLENN MILLER  The Army Air Force band was very busy and played many live performances. They played over 800 shows. 300 were live performances. 500 were radio broadcasts.

9 ALTON GLENN MILLER  In 1944 Glenn had arranged a tour in Europe for the troops.  On December 15 th of that year he boarded a flight to go to Paris and set up for a show. The plane never made it to Paris and the wreckage was never found. There are a couple ideas of what happened. The flight went down in bad weather. The plane was hit by bombs that were being dumped by planes that had aborted missions.

10 ALTON GLENN MILLER  What ever story you believe, the country lost a great musician and American!

11 THE HISTORY OF SWING  Swing music is an American style of music that came from Jazz.  It became very popular in the 1930’s and 1940’s.  Jazz was largely based on improvisation while Swing was more structured and organized.  In Jazz musicians would “converse” with each other musically.  You still hear this in Swing music but it is written into the song and not improvised.

12 THE HISTORY OF SWING  Another major part of Jazz and Swing is called “syncopation”.  Syncopation is when the musician places emphasis on the off beats or the 2 nd and 4 th count of a measure.  This sounds very normal to us today, but in that time was very different.  Swing music can be traced back to the mixture of African ritual music being blended with European style harmony.

13 LISTENING GUIDES  In the mood, The Glenn Miller Orchestra  0:00-Clarinets open with the “head” or main theme.  0:14-Main theme repeats with brass highlights.  0:49-Theme B is introduced.  1:11-Saxophones begin to “Converse”. This is that improvisation feel that comes from the Jazz roots, however Glenn Miller more than likely wrote this part in because of his seriously structured music arrangement.  1:36-Transition into the trumpet solo, again with the structured improvisation.  2:06-Main theme or “Head” is back giving us a Rondo form.  2:53-Cowbell sneaks in for two measures (I found this very interesting, I would like to know if this was supposed to be there)  3:05-Surprise like we learned about in an earlier chapter and coda begins.  3:31-Song ends with single note played by the trombones (Coincidence?)

14 LISTENING GUIDES  Moonlight Serenade, The Glenn Miller Orchestra  0:00-Song starts with the woodwinds playing the theme and you can notice the bass in the background being played very gently.  0:36-Piano comes in very lightly for one measure and theme is repeated.  1:13-Piano again for one measure.  1:24-Transition and clarinet enters almost like a solo.  1:39-Piano again and the trumpets enter.  2:17-Clarinet solo.  2:40-Piano again for one measure.  3:15-Coda begins with a buildup to end the song.

15 LISTENING GUIDES  String of Pearls, The Glenn Miller Orchestra  0:00-Song starts with a quick note from the trumpets and all of the other brass mimics the trumpets.  0:08-Woodwinds introduce the theme.  0:21-Trombones play a quick transition.  0:50-Piano plays a transition into the saxophone solo.  1:23-Two saxophones “conversing”.  1:59-Trombones begin comping.  2:05-Piano plays one measure leading into a trumpet solo.  2:29-Piano solo  2:36-Woodwinds repeat main theme.  2:49-Piano enters and coda begins.

16 LISTENING GUIDES  Little Brown Jug, The Glenn Miller Orchestra  0:00-Song begins with a 4 measure bass solo.  0:10-Saxophone enters.  0:31-The trumpets enter with the main theme.  1:02-Saxaphone solo with trombones and trumpets mimicking in the background.  1:23-Theme B enters.  1:36-Trumpet solo begins and notice how it is very similar to the main theme.  2:16-The head is repeated and coda begins.

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