The first voice or lead melody is usually the cornet or trumpet, though some early jazz bands used the violin. The second voice, or obbligato, is usually the clarinet, but can also be the violin or saxophone. The third voice is most often the trombone.
The interaction of the three instruments creates a melodic polyphony, which is in contrast to the solo melody statements of modern jazz styles, which came after New Orleans jazz in the mids. The overall affect is a musical conversation, in which the first and second voices respond to one another, and the deeper third voice provides a bass-level counterpoint. Buddy Bolden helped to define the cornet as the dominant melody or solo voice in early New Orleans jazz.
Musical thre in early jazz
Following his mental breakdown inother local cornetists maintained the prominence of the instrument. Freddie Keppard was considered the dominant cornetist from tillwith Joe Oliver coming after him, from to Whereas Bolden, Keppard, and Oliver were known for their rough and affected sounds through mutes or wah-wahsArmstrong developed a more pure cornet and trumpet tone, without affects or vocalization.
His sound helped define the more modern jazz of the late s, and was one of the most imitated jazz styles for decades.
Armand J. Piron, leader of his New Orleans Orchestra, was one of the few to use a violin as a lead voice in an orchestra setting. The role can be traced to Western formal music, in which the second voice was seen as an essential melodic counter-point to the first voice.
Brilliant clarinet soloists like Sidney Bechet used the obbligato role to create an endless stream of melodic variations. The trombone sounds in a lower register than a cornet, trumpet, or clarinet, providing a vocal balance to those higher voices.
Often, its role was to provide a variation of the bass melody that fit into the spaces between the first two voices. The steady, driving rhythm of early New Orleans jazz—usually provided by drums, guitar or banjo, and piano—contrasted with the polyphony and improvisation of the front line melodies.
Pianos were often solo instruments played by great improvisers like Jelly Roll Morton, Tony Jackson, or Manuel Manetta, but in a band setting they often took on a supportive role, with occasional solos. Likewise, the guitar or banjo usually provided a steady rhythm for dancing, but in some songs they were given individual solos. Drummers rarely took solos in early New Orleans jazz, as they were counted on to keep time.
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Content by. Bass Voice: Trombone The trombone sounds in a lower register than a cornet, trumpet, or clarinet, providing a vocal balance to those higher voices. Rhythm Section: Drums, Piano, and Banjo or Guitar The steady, driving rhythm of early New Orleans jazz—usually provided by drums, guitar or banjo, and piano—contrasted with the polyphony and improvisation of the front line melodies.
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