What is a “Big band”?
A: A big band or jazz orchestra is a type of musical ensemble of jazz music that usually consists of ten or more musicians with four sections: saxophones, trumpets, trombones, and a rhythm section.
Big bands originated during what period?
A: The early 1910s and dominated jazz in the early 1940s when swing was most popular.
The term "big band" is also used to describe what?
A: A genre of music, although this was not the only style of music played by big bands.
Big bands started as accompaniment for what?
In contrast to the typical jazz emphasis on
improvisation, big bands relied on what?
A: Written compositions and arrangements.
They gave a greater role to bandleaders, arrangers, and
sections of instruments rather what?
A: Rather than soloists.
Big bands generally have what four sections?
A: Trumpets, trombones, saxophones, and a rhythm section of guitar, piano, double bass, and drums.
The division in early big bands, from the 1920s to
1930s, was typically two or three trumpets, one or two trombones, three or
four saxophones, and what?
A: A rhythm section of four instruments.
Duke Ellington at one time used how many trumpets?
Boyd Raeburn drew from symphony orchestras by adding
what to his band?
A: Flute, French horn, strings, and timpani.
Jazz ensembles numbering eight (octet), nine (nonet) or
ten (tentet) voices are sometimes called what?
A: "Little big bands".
Twenty-first century big bands can be considerably
larger than their predecessors, exceeding how many players?
A: 20, with some European bands using 29 instruments and some reaching 50.
The composer writes original music that will be
performed by individuals or groups of various sizes, while the arranger does
A: Adapts the work of composers in a creative way for a performance or recording.
Arrangers frequently notate all or most of the score of
a given number, usually referred to as a what?
A: A "chart".
Billy Strayhorn was a prolific composer and arranger,
frequently collaborating with whom?
A: Duke Ellington.
Some big ensembles, like King Oliver's, played music
that was what?
A: Half-arranged, half-improvised, often relying on head arrangements.
What is a head arrangement?
A: A piece of music that is formed by band members during rehearsal.
When did Count Basie's band often use head
A: During the 1930s.
Why were head arrangements more common during the
period of the 1930s?
A: Because there was less turnover in personnel, giving the band members more time to rehearse.
Before 1910, social
dance in America was dominated by
steps such as what?
A: The waltz and polka.
As jazz migrated from its New Orleans origin to Chicago
and New York City what traveled with it?
A: Energetic, suggestive dances.
During the next decades, ballrooms filled with people
A: The jitterbug and Lindy Hop.
The dance duo Vernon and Irene Castle popularized what
while accompanied by the Europe Society Orchestra led by James Reese Europe?
A: The foxtrot.
One of the first bands to accompany the new rhythms was
led by whom?
A: A drummer, Art Hickman, in San Francisco in 1916.