Benny Goodman's Style of Music Term Paper

Download this Term Paper in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Term Paper:

This section was made up mainly of alto and tenor saxophones, but sometimes also included baritones as well.

1935 saw the creation of the Benny Goodman Trio, yet another development in the evolution of Goodman's style. The trio was made up of legendary jazz musicians; Teddy Wilson, Gene Krupa who he had played with in his radio days, with Goodman leading and composing. In this era, Goodman followed a much more mature style, as seen in After You're Gone, (Groove Music, 2008). In these recordings, he explored a complete range of the clarinet and was prone to play in "blue thirds," (Groove Music, 2008). In 1936, the trio became a quartet with the addition of Lionel Hampton on the vibraphone.

One night in 1938, Goodman got the chance of a lifetime, and has been thereafter accredited with bringing swing music into national recognition. He and his band performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City, bringing swing to the world. A look at this night from the first hand perspective of Ralph De Toledano in his "The Night Swing was Born," reveals the breathtaking ability of Goodman, both as a clarinetist and a composer. This was the performance which brought swing world renowned fame, "an earthquake of violent intensity rocked a small corner of Manhattan last night as swing took Carnegie Hall in its stride," reported New York Sun journalist Irving Kolodin (De Tolenado, 1999). This first hand description of Goodman's disciplined and perfected style is an amazing testament of his own influence on the genre of swing. Since this night, Goodman has been attributed as being the king of swing, (De Tolenado, 1999). Goodman was also mastering his skills and styles of composition. Unlike all other white band leaders and composers at the time, Goodman was the first to incorporate black musicians into his groups and compositions. His compositions embodied the big band style. However, possibly as a result of his earlier roots, his compositions incorporated more saxophones than other big band composers. Along with other swing big names, Goodman also incorporated more high-hats in pieces, (McGridley, 2005).

His is a smoother rhythm than seen in earlier jazz composers. Goodman is also known for using more extensive written arraignments in his compositions, which most melodies played in part by every section. There was also much more of an emphasis o solo improvisations of various artists, which typically followed him throughout his entire composing career.

There was yet another change of the guard in 1940, when Goodman created a new version of his famous trio. This new trio incorporated a heavy influence from the style of Lester Young combined with Goodman's reminiscent classical roots. This small combo highlighted the musical talent of Goodman's band. "Seven Come Eleven," composed by Goodman and Charlie Christianson in 1939, is a perfect example of his smaller combo style. It included Goodman on clarinet, Christianson on jazz guitar, Lionel Hampton on vibraphone, Fletcher Henderson on piano, Arte Bernstein on bass, and Nick Fatool on drums, (Gridley, 2005). In this performance, he gave the other artists a great showcase to prove their own artistry. It incorporates a simple them with classical swing rhythms, (McGridley, 2005). His solo actually comes at the end of the three solos. The piece also later influenced many bop musicians.

Despite an unsure attitude in previous years, Goodman finally dived into bop starting in 1947. He began recording with Capitol records under a heavy bop influence. His style mimicked that of Fats Navarro and Wardell Gray. His bop period is relatively unknown and far less lucrative when compared to his career in big band and swing. His previous pieces also were a heavy influence on several bop artists throughout the years.

Benny Goodman is one of the most influential and revolutionary jazz composers. Not only did he evolve his style as a testament to his own abilities, he also helped showcase many other artists who would later go on to their own revolutionary and lucrative careers. This evolution in style shows his mastery of his art.


De Toledano, Ralph. "The Night Swing was Born." Insight on the News. Vol. 13. Feb.,

Gridley, Mark. Jazz Styles: History and Analysis. 9th ed. Prentice Hall. 2005.

Groove Music. "Benny…[continue]

Cite This Term Paper:

"Benny Goodman's Style Of Music" (2008, March 31) Retrieved October 27, 2016, from

"Benny Goodman's Style Of Music" 31 March 2008. Web.27 October. 2016. <>

"Benny Goodman's Style Of Music", 31 March 2008, Accessed.27 October. 2016,

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Music Appreciation Describe the Characteristics

    In other words each music performance is different and the impulsiveness of each performance confirms the concept of indeterminate music. 6) Describe an Indonesian Gamelan. (Textbook p. 282-283) It said that Debussy, when he heard the Indonesian ensemble called gamelan was surprisingly delighted at its diverse and delicate timbers, and decided to use the elements in the impressionistic sound which he was working at developing. The gamelan, a distinctive Indonesian orchestra consisting

  • Music Producers

    Music Producers Biographical Introduction: Teo Macero Producers work behind the scenes and are the unsung heroes of music. While some producers receive public notoriety like Brian Eno and George Martin; others like Teo Macero remain known mainly to music scholars and serious audiophiles. In 2008, when Macero died, The New York Times ran an obituary with the tagline: "Teo Macero, 82, Record Producer," as if readers would need that crucial bit of

  • Music History Appreciation

    Music appreciation [...] my personal attraction to jazz music and some of its composers and performers. Jazz music has been called a particularly American invention, and the many forms of jazz epitomize a successful and exciting country on the move. Jazz encompasses many facets of music, from be-bop to swing, and one testament to jazz's endurance is its continued popularity today. Jazz breathes life into the listener, and embodies

  • Music of the Twentieth Century Specifically it

    music of the Twentieth Century. Specifically, it will compare music of the Twentieth Century to the music of a previous period, and include information about the significance of composers in society, the role of music in the societal landscape, and the evolution of musical forms through the centuries. Twentieth Century music embodies so many different forms and types that it is difficult to lump it together under one heading. In

  • History of Music

    Cool Jazz A Brief History of Cool Jazz December 6, 2012, would have marked the ninety-second birthday of pianist Dave Brubeck. The nonagenarian was looking forward to performing at the Palace Theater near his home in Waterbury, Connecticut. Sadly, Brubeck died of heart failure just one day shy of the celebratory concert. The concert went on as scheduled, but it was a memorial rather than a birthday party. It is what Brubeck

  • Charlie Parker

    Charlie Parker Music: The music of United States changed significantly during the twentieth century, and each generation went on to develop its own music. These were all immensely popular, had strong rhythmic touch and were very different from the earlier forms which existed. These were used for dancing or just for the purpose of listening. When the twentieth century started it was the time for a variety called Ragtime. After the end

  • Jazz and Popular Culture Within

    It is likely that because of Jazz innovators, the fusion of musical styles has grown to the level it has. It is also likely that the desire of Jazz to encourage the rethinking of harmony and melody away from a simple chord progression to a haunting, rather primal emotional experience will have an influence on musicians for decades to come. Certainly, this has been seen in recent years with the

Read Full Term Paper
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved