Louis Armstrong Ragtime

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Louis Armstrong (1901–1971), nicknamed Satchmo or Pops, was an American trumpeter, composer, singer and occasional actor who was one of the most influential figures in jazz and in all of American popular music. His career spanned five decades, from the 1920s to the 1960s, and different eras in jazz. Coming to prominence in the 1920s as an 'inventive' trumpet and cornet player, Armstrong was. Who is the best-known composer of ragtime music? Louis Armstrong b. James Reese Europe c. Scott Joplin's most famous composition is a. 'The Maple Leaf Rag.' 'The Charleston.' 'The Buzzard Lope.' He was 13 when he celebrated the New Year by running out on the street and firing a pistol that belonged to the current man in his mother's life. At the Colored Waifs Home for Boys, he learned to play the bugle and the clarinet and joined the home's brass band.

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Ragtime

Come on and hear, come on and hear
Alexander's ragtime band
Come on and hear, come on and hear
It's the best band in the land
They can play a bugle call like you never heard before
So natural that you wanna go to war
That's just the bestest band what am, oh honey lamb

Come on along, come on along
Let me take you by the hand
Up to the man, I said the man
Who's the leader of the band
If you care to hear that Swanee River played in ragtime
Come on and hear come on and hear
Alexander's ragtime band

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Come on and hear, come on and hear
Alexander's ragtime band
Come on and hear, come on and hear
It's the best band in the land
And if you want to hear that Swanee River played in ragtime
Come on and hear, come on and hear
Alexander's ragtime band

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In 1865 the 13th amendment of the constitution was ratified, abolishing slavery in the United States forever. As a result an entire population of citizens was now free to pursue their education and their artistic dreams. The next generation saw the development of new musical styles; the American art-forms of blues, ragtime and jazz.

“The Blues” came from the American south in the late 1800’s. It blends together the work songs, spirituals, chants and ballads of the African-American community. Besides the obvious expression of sadness and melancholy, the blues also introduced stylized scales, chords and unique forms. “Blue notes” are often seen as flattened thirds or sometimes even pitches between notes, blurring the rules of traditional harmony. The form of the 12-bar blues has become ubiquitous in popular music around the world.

Louis Armstrong Ragtime

“Ragtime” was born in the African-American communities of St. Louis in the 1890’s. This style takes traditional march form, much like the music of John Philip Sousa, and adds the syncopated, or “ragged”, rhythms of African music. The style fell out of favor in the early 20th century with the rise of jazz but many compare the American rag to European minuets, mazurkas and waltzes. The rhythm of ragtime had an influence on later composers, such as Satie, Debussy and Stravinsky.

The word “Jazz” means pep or energy. This style was born in the taverns of New Orleans at much the same time and with the same influences as blues and ragtime. But jazz had an added element of Cuban/Spanish culture. Habanera rhythms, blues forms and ragtime drive blended together to form something new. Eventually the rigid rhythms of the beat relaxed to allow a feeling we call “swing”. Swing is hard to define and difficult to notate. As Louis Armstrong stated, “If you don’t feel it, you’ll never know it.” The prohibition of the 1920’s saw the rise of “The Jazz Age” in the U.S. cementing this style and sound into American culture.

American orchestras and conservatories were slow to recognize these styles, but their European counterparts embraced them openly. Maurice Ravel saw in American jazz a fresh expression of harmony and rhythm that he borrowed in a great deal of his later works.

Louis Armstrong Ragtime Songs

Timeline is an exploration into the development of Western music. Take a journey into the events, characters and concepts that shaped our Western musical tradition.