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GCSE Music Analysis - Miles Davis - All Blues

Updated on April 23, 2012

All Blues General Points

- Comes from the album 'Kind of Blue'
- The band is a 'sextet' consisting of a front line and a rhythm section.
- The album was recording with next to no rehearsal and the musicians have no score, they were told only the following things: Structure, basic chord sequence, main melodic idea and which mode or scale to improvise on.

Instrumentation

The band consists of 2 different sections, the front line and the rhythm section.
In the front line there is:

- Miles Davis on trumpet.
- Julian Adderly on the alto sax.
- John Coltrane on the tenor sax.
In the rhythm section there is:
- Bill Evans on on piano.
- Paul Chambers on bass.
- Jimmy Cobb on the drums.

Structure

- 'All Blues' is based on a 12 bar blues progression.
- The main melody is called the head and is played by the trumpet and is heard at the start and end of the piece.

Miles Davis
Miles Davis

Melody

- The head melody is quite simple and is characterized by a rising 6th (from D to B). The head is then followed by 4 solos.
- Trumpet: Lasts for four choruses and is made up of short syncopated motifs.
- Alto Sax: Lasts for four choruses and uses quicker notes and a wider range than the trumpet.
- Tenor Sax: Lasts for four choruses and uses fast scales and quick runs. It's very virtuosic.
- Piano: Lasts for 2 choruses. This is a much calmer improvisation that the others with a simple melody and a string of parallel chords.

Harmony and Tonality

- The piece is in G Major but has a flattened 7th (a blue note). To play this scale you would go from G - G on the piano, using all the white notes.
- This is the same as being in the mixolydian mode and so this is why we can describe this piece as being an example of modal jazz.

Rhythm, Metre and Tempo

- The score is notated in 6/4.
- The tempo is described as 'Jazz Waltz' as the 6/4 can be divided into two sets of 3/4 per bar.
- The piece is performed with swinging quavers.
- There is frequent use of syncopation.

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    • profile image

      eden 

      14 months ago

      Just wondering if we need to know texture. Also I love your articles so much I went from a C last year to an A* so thank you sooooo much :)

    • profile image

      Adam 

      20 months ago

      Cheers you saved me ive got my homework done now thank you :)

    • profile image

      rose]]]\\ 

      2 years ago

      this really helped me with my gcse xx thanks alot

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      Nic 

      2 years ago

      Can you be our teacher?!?!?!?

    • profile image

      Ash 

      2 years ago

      Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart! You really helped me to get through my GCSE.

    • profile image

      Jack the Human 

      2 years ago

      Whoever made this is an ultimate lad of the sound variety.

    • profile image

      lolzareus 

      3 years ago

      So help full. thanks so much

    • profile image

      blackmanTWSS 

      3 years ago

      thanks for the information but i think adding the structure of the whole song will help further.

      Nice Name (:-))

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      Ballerina 

      3 years ago

      This was great

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      bra 

      3 years ago

      this helped a lot

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      Person 

      3 years ago

      Thank you so much! I know understand more! x

    • Anthropophobia profile imageAUTHOR

      Anthropophobia 

      4 years ago

      @heyoo I am a girl but thank you for stopping by and commenting :) Good luck in your exams everyone - these notes got me an A* and I hope they do the same for you.

    • profile image

      Heyyo 

      4 years ago

      Music GCSE students - this guy has written out your essays for you. Copy that out in an exam, and you'll get all ten marks :)

    • profile image

      Future Beyonce 

      4 years ago

      Thank You! This website is so useful. i'm doing music GCSE and it's easier when the analysis of the song is broken down into sections as it makes it easier to read and understand. i also like the use of headings (i.e instrumentation, melody, harmony and tonality etc..) as it makes it easier to know and understand what your're writing about. thank you hubpages!

    • profile image

      Suck a Dick ChickEn 

      4 years ago

      thanq

    • profile image

      Safeara 

      4 years ago

      thx lifesaver

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      Rhys Rodrigues 

      5 years ago

      I am from tooting and the notation for the score is my daily bedtime story :)

    • profile image

      yo 

      5 years ago

      klkl

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      rosei 

      5 years ago

      thanksss

    • profile image

      Higgins 

      5 years ago

      Julian Cannonball Adderley

    • Anthropophobia profile imageAUTHOR

      Anthropophobia 

      5 years ago

      No problem! Glad I could help. :)

    • profile image

      WIlliam Mason 

      5 years ago

      Really Helpful thanks man!

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      Katie 

      6 years ago

      Brilliant!!!!! Xxxx thank you

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