Find your class notes and assignments below.
 
7th and 8th Grade Music: 
 
Tuesday May 16, 2017: 8th Grade
Wednesday May 17, 2017: 7th Grade
 

The basis of American country music, folk, pop and rock, and rap music is story telling. Laborers in the 18th and 19th centuries sang songs about working on a railroad, on a ship, on a farm or plantation, or maybe in the mines.

School, family, neighborhood, work, dating, are all subjects for storytelling and, thereby, subjects for lyric-writing.

In the 1950s/'60s/'70s, American country music singer-songwriter George Jones wrote and sang songs about his bad day, his job, his wife, etc, in a way that was real and true, so that anyone could relate to what he was saying:

"One is a lonely number

Why do you always make me wait

One and one makes two

That's why I need you

One is a lonely, lonely number."

Your homework assignment (you may start it in class) is to present a song -- any style (pop, rock, country, rap, ..... opera .....) -- that tells a story. In other words, it doesn't just describe feelings but describes a time, a place, and event. And it is written to music that, whether it it's the sounds or the vocals, or a combination of both, emphasizes the storytelling.

Specifications for homework assignment:

  • Have an adult help you research online.
  • Must be the *clean* version if there are other versions that include profanity.
  • Cannot involve "adult" references.
  • Must be about an event, a situation, an occurrence, or something entirely unremarkable, average, and "every day".
  • Your name, grade, and date at the top of the page.
  • The title, name of the songwriter, name of the performer.
  • Lyrics (clean)
  • A 50 word essay explaining why you like the song so much, and describing the song's rhythm, melody, and harmony (terms we learned at the beginning of the school year, so get out your notebooks).
  • Due Monday May 22. Please leave it in my mailbox.
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Tuesday May 9, 2017: 8th Grade class canceled for Career Day. *Take-home assignment handed out to 8th Grade: due Friday May 12, 2017.
Wednesday May 10, 2017: Half Day --- 7th Grade class canceled.
 
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Tuesday May 2, 2017: 8th Grade class canceled for State tests.
Wednesday May 3, 2017: 7th Grade
 

Last week we looked at the career of jazz vocalist Billie Holiday. Many of her recordings were on Chicago's Verve record label. Today we look at other musicians signed to Verve:

Ella Fitzgerald 

(b. April 25, 1917 - d. June 15, 1996)

Genres: Vocalist: Swing, bebop, pop, jazz, blues

American jazz singer, knicknamed "Lady Ella." Admired especially for her purity of tone, perfect diction, phrasing. Her style and delivery elevated "scatting" to a higher level.

Listen to these singles as good examples of her work: Cry Me A River, Dream A Little Dream Of Me, It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing).

Getz/Gilberto

Stan Getz (b. 1927 - d. 1991) saxophone *American

João Gilberto (b. 1931 -            ) guitar *Brazilian

Antônio Carlos Jobim (b. 1927 -    ) piano *Brazilian 

Astrud Gilberto (b. 1940 -    ) vocals *Brazilian

"Getz/Gilberto)" is a jazz/bossa nova album recoded in 1964. It won the Grammy Award for Best Album and Best Jazz Instrumental Album. Two singles from it, "The Girl From Ipanema" and "Corcovado," feature Astrid Gilberto on vocals. I bet you will recognize them.

Vocabulary:

bebop (noun): a fast and complex type of jazz music developed in the mid-1940s.

diction (noun): the style of enunciation in speaking or singing.

Scat (noun): a type of jazz singing characterized by improvised vocal sounds instead of words (verb scats, scatting, scatted).

Bossa nova ("new trend"): is a genre of Brazilian music -- a lyrical fusion of samba and jazz -- developed and popularized in the 1950s and 1960s.

 
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Tuesday April 25, 2017: 8th Grade
Wednesday April 26, 2017: 7th Grade
 

Billie Holiday

Birth name: Eleanora Fagan (Nickname: Lady Day)

Born April 7, 1915, Philly. ----- Died July 17, 1959 (aged 44) NYC

Genres: vocal jazz, jazz blues, torch songs, swing, blues, R&B

Years active: 1933–1959

Label: Columbia, Verve (among others)

An American jazz musician and singer-songwriter with a career spanning nearly 30 years, and who greatly influenced jazz and pop music. Though her vocal range was limited, she was skilled with her vocal delivery and improvisation.

Holiday had a very troubled childhood, and began singing in nightclubs in Harlem. She signed a recording contract in 1935 and recorded "What a Little Moonlight Can Do", which became a jazz standard. Holiday had mainstream success all the way through to the late 1940s, then began having legal troubles and personal problems including drug abuse. She served a short prison sentence, and she sang a sold-out concert at Carnegie Hall. But her career was in trouble, with an increasingly troubled professional reputation and substance abuse.

Holiday continued to have success throughout the 1950s, with two other sold-out shows at Carnegie Hall. But bad health, abusive relationships, and ongoing substance abuse, caused her voice to decline. "Lady in Satin" was released in 1958. 

Holiday died on July 17, 1959. She is a legendary performer and continues to influence American music. She received four posthumous Grammy awards. Holiday herself was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1973. "Lady Sings the Blues", a film about her life, starring Diana Ross (The Supremes!!!), was released in 1972.

Vocabulary:

vocal delivery: the qualities of a voice, including volume and pronunciation 

improvisation:  (noun) created without preparation

jazz standard: (noun) musical composition widely know, performed, and recorded, by jazz musicians

posthumous: (adjective) appearing or occurring after the death of the originator 

 

8th Grade Tuesday April 4, 2017:

Class canceled -- substituted for 6th Grade.

 

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(Tuesday March 28, 2017: 8th Grade class canceled because of State tests.)
Wednesday March 29, 2017: 7th Grade
Major Record Labels: How were they important?
Before the internet, before Spotify, before modern technology let virtually anyone record / mix / edit their own music, record companies were so powerful and important. To a hopeful recording artist signing a recording contract, the record company provided access to recording equipment and worked to get the artist on radio and television.

The record company would own the rights to the music. That is how they made their money. That meant the artist did not own the rights to their own music. Some people say this was not fair. Others say it was, since the record label lost money on other contracts and therefore had to make their profit. This is still how business is done today, though the internet has had a big impact. These are only a few of the big record companies ("labels") whose influence was so important in deciding on and shaping what audiences heard and purchased.

~ Chess Records: Chicago IL/ 1950s-1960s/ rhythm & blues, early rock & roll (Chuck Berry, Bo Dudley)


~ Verve Records: 1950s-1960s / jazz (Ella Fitzgerald, Charlie Parker, Stan Getz)


~ Blue Note: 1939-1960s/ hard bop, jazz (Thelonius Monk, Art Blakey)


~ Sun Records: Memphis TN/ 1952-1969(?)/ country, rhythm & blues, early rock & roll (Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash)


~ Motown Records: Detroit MI/ late-1950s - 1980s/ R&B (Smokey Robinson, The Temptations, Diana Ross & The Supremes, The Jackson 5


We will spend the next few classes looking at the recording artists, and the styles of music they created, by way of the record companies they were with.
 
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Tuesday March 21, 2017: 8th Grade
Wednesday March 22, 2017: 7th Grade
 

Chuck Berry

Charles Edward Anderson Berry / b.October 18, 1926 / d: March 18, 2017 (aged 90)

Instruments: Guitar, vocals

~ American guitarist, singer and songwriter and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music.

  • "Maybellene" (1955)
  • "Roll Over Beethoven" (1956)
  • "Rock and Roll Music" (1957) 
  • "Johnny B. Goode" (1958)

~ Berry developed R&B music and a sense of showmanship into major elements that led to a Rock & Roll. 

~ Born into a middle-class African-American family in St. Louis, Missouri. While still a high school student he was convicted of armed robbery and was sent to a reformatory, where he was held from 1944 to 1947. After his release, Berry settled into married life and worked at an automobile assembly plant. 

~ A major influence on Berry was T-Bone Walker.

~ 1953: began performing with the Johnnie Johnson Trio.

~ 1955: met Muddy Waters, who suggested he contact Leonard Chess, of Chess Records. With Chess, he recorded "Maybellene"—Berry's adaptation of the country song "Ida Red"—which sold over a million copies, reaching number one on Billboard magazine's rhythm and blues chart.

~ By the end of the 1950s, Berry was an established star, with several hit records and film appearances and a lucrative touring career. After 1963, Berry had several more hits, including "No Particular Place to Go", "You Never Can Tell", and "Nadine".

~ Among the first musicians to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on its opening in 1986 --- he "laid the groundwork for not only a rock and roll sound but a rock and roll stance."

~ Ranked 5th on Rolling Stone Magazine's list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

~ Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll includes three of Berry's: "Johnny B. Goode", "Maybellene", and "Rock and Roll Music".

 
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5th & 6th Grade Music:
 

Tuesday May 16, 2017: 6th Grade

Wednesday May 17, 2017: 5th Grade

 

The basis of American country music, folk, pop and rock, and rap music is story telling. Laborers in the 18th and 19th centuries sang songs about working on a railroad, on a ship, on a farm or plantation, or maybe in the mines.

School, family, neighborhood, work, dating, are all subjects for storytelling and, thereby, subjects for lyric-writing.

In the 1950s/'60s/'70s, American country music singer-songwriter George Jones wrote and sang songs about his bad day, his job, his wife, etc, in a way that was real and true, so that anyone could relate to what he was saying:

"One is a lonely number

Why do you always make me wait

One and one makes two

That's why I need you

One is a lonely, lonely number."

Your homework assignment (you may start it in class) is to present a song -- any style (pop, rock, country, rap, ..... opera .....) -- that tells a story. In other words, it doesn't just describe feelings but describes a time, a place, and event. And it is written to music that, whether it it's the sounds or the vocals, or a combination of both, emphasizes the storytelling.

Specifications for homework assignment:

  • Have an adult help you research online.
  • Must be the *clean* version if there are other versions that include profanity.
  • Cannot involve "adult" references.
  • Must be about an event, a situation, an occurrence, or something entirely unremarkable, average, and "every day".
  • Your name, grade, and date at the top of the page.
  • The title, name of the songwriter, name of the performer.
  • Lyrics (clean)
  • A 50 word essay explaining why you like the song so much, and describing the song's rhythm, melody, and harmony (terms we learned at the beginning of the school year, so get out your notebooks).
  • Due Monday May 22.  Leave it in my mailbox.
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Tuesday May 9, 2017: 6th Grade (see last week's notes on Bruno Mars). *Take-home assignment handed out to 6th Grade: due Friday May 12, 2017.
Wednesday May 10, 2017: 5th Grade (Half Day --- Class canceled).
 
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Tuesday May 2, 2017: 6th Grade (Class canceled for State Tests).

Wednesday May 3, 2017: 5th Grade Class

(Last week we looked at the career of The Supremes. They were signed to Motown Records. Today we look at another musician *briefly* signed to Motown.)

Bruno Mars

Real name: Peter Gene Hernandez (b. October 8, 1985)

Singer-songwriter, instrumentalist (guitar, keyboards, drums/percussion, harmonica), record producer, choreographer.

Styles: R&B, funk, pop, soul

Born and raised in Hawaii. Family members are musicians. Mars began writing and performing music early, performing in many different musical venues in Honolulu as a child. Moved to LA after high school. After being dropped by Motown Records, Mars signed a recording contract with Atlantic Records in 2009.

One of six children. His parent's music careers exposed him to reggae, rock, hip hop, and R&B. Mars performed songs by Michael Jackson, The Isley Brothers, and The Temptations. At age four, Mars began performing five days a week with his family's band and impersonating Elvis Presley. The time Mars spent impersonating Elvis Presley had a major impact on his musical evolution and performing techniques. He later began playing guitar after being inspired by Jimi Hendrix. There is a lesson in that for the students who are fans of his today.

 
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Tuesday April 25, 2017: 6th Grade
Wednesday April 26, 2017: 5th Grade

 

The Supremes: 

Origin: Detroit, Michigan, U.S.

Genres: R&B doo-wop soul pop disco

Years active: 1959–1977

Label: Motown

An American female singing and the premier act of Motown Records during the 1960s. Formed in Detroit in 1959 they were first named The Primettes. As "The Supremes" they were the most commercially successful of Motown's acts and are, to date, America's most successful vocal group. The Supremes have 12 #1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100. They were at their peak in the mid-1960s and their success helped future African American R&B and soul musicians find mainstream success.

Several early lineups occurred, and always included Diana Ross and Mary Wilson. During the mid-1960s, the Supremes achieved mainstream success with Ross as lead singer. In 1967, Motown renamed the group "Diana Ross & the Supremes". 

Ross left to pursue a solo career in 1970, at which point the group's name reverted to the Supremes, with frequently changing lineups. (However, at some point it is no longer the same group.) 

The Supremes disbanded in 1977 after 18 years.

 
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Tuesday April 18, 2017: EASTER VACATION
Wednesday April 19, 2017: EASTER VACATION
 
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Tuesday April 11, 2017: 6th Grade: Review notes on Major Music Labels (see last week's notes).
Wednesday April 12, 2017: short class because of upcoming Easter Vacation.
 
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Tuesday April 4, 2017: 6th Grade (Class canceled -- substituted for 6th Grade Homeroom).
Wednesday April 5, 2017: Half Day (Class canceled).
 
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Tuesday March 28, 2017: 6th Grade (Class canceled for State Tests).
Wednesday March 29, 2017: 5th Grade
 

Major Record Labels Helped Artists Create Their Hits

Before the internet, before Spotify, before modern technology let virtually anyone record / mix / edit their own music, record companies were so powerful and important. To a hopeful recording artist, record companies provided recording equipment,>>. and worked to get the artist on the radio and television.

The record company would own the rights to the music. That is how they made their money. That meant the artist did not own the rights to their own music. Some people say this is not fair. Others say it is, since the record label loses money on some deals and therefore has to make their money back on the others.

These are only a few of the big record companies ("labels") whose influence was so important in deciding on and shaping what audiences heard and purchased.

 Chess Records: Chicago IL/ 1950s-1960s/ rhythm & blues, early rock & roll (Chuck Berry, Bo Dudley)



Verve Records: 1950s-1960s / jazz (Ella Fitzgerald, Charlie Parker, Stan Getz)



~ Blue Note: 1939-1960s/ hard bop, jazz (Thelonius Monk, Art Blakey)



~ Sun Records: Memphis TN/ 1952-1969(?)/ country, rhythm & blues, early rock & roll (Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash)



Motown Records: Detroit MI/ late-1950s - 1980s/ R&B (Smokey Robinson, The Temptations, Diana Ross & The Supremes, The Jackson 5



We will spend the next few classes looking at the recording artists, and the styles of music they created, by way of the record companies they were with.

 
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Tuesday March 21, 2017: 6th Grade

Wednesday March 22, 2017: 5th Grade

Chuck Berry

Charles Edward Anderson Berry / b.October 18, 1926 / d: March 18, 2017 (aged 90)

Instruments: Guitar, vocals

~ American guitarist, singer and songwriter and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music.

  • "Maybellene" (1955)
  • "Roll Over Beethoven" (1956)
  • "Rock and Roll Music" (1957) 
  • "Johnny B. Goode" (1958)

~ Berry developed R&B music and a sense of showmanship into major elements that led to a Rock & Roll. 

~ Born into a middle-class African-American family in St. Louis, Missouri. While still a high school student he was convicted of armed robbery and was sent to a reformatory, where he was held from 1944 to 1947. After his release, Berry settled into married life and worked at an automobile assembly plant. 

~ A major influence on Berry was T-Bone Walker.

~ 1953: began performing with the Johnnie Johnson Trio.

~ 1955: met Muddy Waters, who suggested he contact Leonard Chess, of Chess Records. With Chess, he recorded "Maybellene"—Berry's

adaptation of the country song "Ida Red" -- which sold over a million copies, reaching number one on Billboard magazine's rhythm and blues chart.

~ By the end of the 1950s, Berry was an established star, with several hit records and film appearances and a lucrative touring career. After 1963, Berry had several more hits, including "No Particular Place to Go", "You Never Can Tell", and "Nadine".

~ Among the first musicians to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on its opening in 1986 --- he "laid the groundwork for not only a rock and roll sound but a rock and roll stance."

~ Ranked 5th on Rolling Stone Magazine's list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

~ Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll includes three of Berry's: "Johnny B. Goode", "Maybellene", and "Rock and Roll Music". 

 

(Doumentary video on Chuck Berry's early career.)

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3rd & 4th Grade Music:
 
Wednesday May 17, 2017:

The basis of American country music, folk, pop and rock, and rap music is story telling. Laborers in the 18th and 19th centuries sang songs about working on a railroad, on a ship, on a farm or plantation, or maybe in the mines.

School, family, neighborhood, work, dating, are all subjects for storytelling and, thereby, subjects for lyric-writing.

In the 1950s/'60s/'70s, American country music singer-songwriter George Jones wrote and sang songs about his bad day, his job, his wife, etc, in a way that was real and true, so that anyone could relate to what he was saying:

Your homework assignment (you may start it in class) is to present a song -- any style (pop, rock, country, rap, ..... opera .....) -- that tells a story. In other words, it doesn't just describe feelings but describes a time, a place, and event. And it is written to music that, whether it it's the sounds or the vocals, or a combination of both, emphasizes the storytelling.

Specifications for homework assignment:

  • Have an adult help you research online.
  • Must be the *clean* version if there are other versions that include profanity.
  • Cannot involve "adult" references.
  • Must be about an event, a situation, an occurrence, or something entirely unremarkable, average, and "every day".
  • Your name, grade, and date at the top of the page.
  • The title, name of the songwriter, name of the performer.
  • Lyrics (clean)
  • A 25 word essay explaining why you like the song, and describing the song's rhythm, melody, and harmony (terms we learned at the beginning of the school year, so get out your notebooks).
  • Due Monday May 22. Please leave it in my mailbox.
 
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Wednesday May 10, 2017: Half Day, class canceled.
 
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Wednesday May 3, 2017:

Last week we looked at the career of The Supremes. They were signed to Motown Records. Today we look at another "Girl Group" -- a pop music icon of the 1960s that continued into the 2000s.

The Ronettes

Genres: R&B, Pop, Rock & Roll

Years active: 1959–67

The Ronettes were an American girl group from Spanish Harlem, Manhattan. One of the most popular groups from the 1960s, they placed nine songs on the Billboard Hot 100, five of which became Top 40 hits. The original members were Veronica Bennett (aka Ronnie Spector), her sister Estelle, and cousin Nedra. Their biggest hits were "Be My Baby", "Baby, I Love You", and "Walking In the Rain". The Ronettes were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.

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Wednesday April 26, 2017:

Before Easter vacation we discussed the importance of record labels in creating a recognizable sound with their recordings. Today we will discuss the "Motown Sound" and the success of groups from Detroit MI, specifically the success of Girl Groups

Women were very, very important in shaping Motown's sound.

~ Motown Records: Detroit MI/ late-1950s - 1980s/ R&B (very famous, very successful groups including Smokey Robinson, The Temptations, Diana Ross & The Supremes, The Jackson 5)

Here are four groups who were famous, successful, and had many top hits.(video clips)

~ The Marvelettes: "Please Mr Postman"

~ The Supremes: "Stop In the Name of Love"

~ Martha and the Vandellas: "Dancing In the Streets"

~ The Velvelettes: "That's the Reason Why"

 

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Wednesday April 19, 2017: EASTER VACATION.

 

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Wednesday April 12, 2017: (substituted Art class instead since Art is canceled tomorrow).

 

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Wednesday April 5, 2017: Half Day (Classes canceled for 3rd Grade and 4th Grade).

 

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Wednesday March 29, 2017:
Major Record Labels: How were they important?
Before the internet, before Spotify, before modern technology let virtually anyone record / mix / edit their own music, record companies were so powerful and important. To a hopeful recording artist signing a recording contract, the record company provided access to recording equipment and worked to get the artist on radio and television.

The record company would own the rights to the music. That is how they made their money. That meant the artist did not own the rights to their own music. Some people say this was not fair. Others say it was, since the record label lost money on other contracts and therefore had to make their profit. This is still how business is done today, though the internet has had a big impact. These are only a few of the big record companies ("labels") whose influence was so important in deciding on and shaping what audiences heard and purchased.

~ Chess Records: Chicago IL/ 1950s-1960s/ rhythm & blues, early rock & roll (Chuck Berry, Bo Dudley)


~ Verve Records: 1950s-1960s / jazz (Ella Fitzgerald, Charlie Parker, Stan Getz)


~ Blue Note: 1939-1960s/ hard bop, jazz (Thelonius Monk, Art Blakey)


~ Sun Records: Memphis TN/ 1952-1969(?)/ country, rhythm & blues, early rock & roll (Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash)


~ Motown Records: Detroit MI/ late-1950s - 1980s/ R&B (Smokey Robinson, The Temptations, Diana Ross & The Supremes, The Jackson 5


We will spend the next few classes looking at the recording artists, and the styles of music they created, by way of the record companies they were with.
 
Wednesday March 22, 2017:
(Class canceled because of scheduling with Bishop Laughlin HS.)
 
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