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Duke Ellington - Research Paper Example

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Professor Name Day Month Year The Legacy of Duke Ellington There have been numerous influential musicians over the years. Think of classical music and Beethoven or Mozart come to mind. Consider Rock and Roll for even a moment and the Beatles or Elvis Presley are certain to be become part of the conversation…
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Duke Ellington
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"Duke Ellington"

Download file to see previous pages This brief paper will examine the life and legacy of Duke Ellington. Let us begin with some well known facts about Mr. Ellington. He was born in Washington D.C. on April 29, 1899. Unlike many black composers of his time, Duke Ellington did not grow up in poverty. Rather, he was raised in a middle-class area of Washington D.C. by two involved and seemingly loving parents. In fact, his parents were talented musicians as well, which lends credence to the saying ‘like father like son’. Naturally, Duke’s father encouraged him to learn to play various instruments from an early age. It is noted that, by the age of 7, he was already learning and getting quite good at the piano (Unger 75). As the story goes, the name ‘Duke’ was bestowed upon him because he was such a gentleman in all that he did, even from an early age. His parents encouraged him to work when he was a teenager, which he did, but his first passion was always music. It is well known that his first published song was wrote while he was working at a soda fountain in the D.C. era. The song ‘Soda Fountain Rag’ was written at the age of 15 and was noticed by many people in the area as the song that got Duke noticed. He was so musically inclined that he was offered a scholarship at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. As appealing as that was to him, and with his parent’s blessings, he passed it up to begin playing professional as a jazz musician when he was only 17 years of age (Unger 75). As the reader can already ascertain, Duke Ellington began to shape his legacy at an early age. He was raised properly by parents who nurtured him and helped him to foster his own love and passion for music. People in the D.C. area quickly figured out that they might have a child protege on his hands. He began to form ‘big bands’, which was something new in American culture. These bands uplifted and encouraged others. As his career stretched into the early 30’s, Americans needed some joy in their lives, and Mr. Duke Ellington and his band often provided this. He eventually formed a 10-piece ensemble, which is still a model for jazz bands today. Ellington, however, did not want to create normal, everyday music. Rather, he sought out to redefine jazz music. This was represented in the band members that he chose. He did not, for example, just set out to recruit any gifted saxophonist. Instead, he sought out a saxophonist who had a unique sound that the world had not yet encountered. As he formed his band, he ended up with a group of the most talented musicians, all performing together, and they quickly got noticed on a global scale. In fact, in the 1930’s, his band toured the continent of Europe on two separate occasions. This was something that was extremely rare during those days. This has furthered his legacy as, to this day, Duke Ellington and his band are not just remembered in American social circles, but he remains popular throughout Europe as well. Duke Ellington is known as a great pianist, band leader, and composer. His mark on the music world is assured. Beyond that, however, he as adored by millions as a genuinely good person. If he had a girlfriend before he met his wife, we are not privy to it. He ended up marrying his high school sweetheart when ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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