(wind ensemble) 8'00"
Nineteen-twenties jazz meets country hoedown in this lively, sophisticated piece for winds. (Level/Grade 5)
Listen (mp3, 7 MB; Edina High School Concert Band, Edina, MN; Paul Kile conducting)
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Jitterstomp contrasts and combines two distinct American styles of music. The first is early jazz as it evolved and flourished in the 1920s, an “urban” sound, unprecedented in its lively pulse and syncopated rhythms. The first few bars of the introduction display these characteristics but are soon interrupted by the contrasting style, usually associated with rural settings and known as country, bluegrass or hoedown music. The same uptempo pulse underlies this style, but with less syncopation and more of a "footstompin'" feel that one might experience at a barn dance in the backwoods of Appalachia. The alternation between these two styles continues throughout the work in various ways, starting with the two contrasting opening themes. These themes are later shortened and at first juxtaposed and then heard simultaneously. Another contrasting style, this time drawn from the classical tradition, is interjected into the middle section of the work as the themes are reformatted in a modified fugue, a form not usually associated with either the jazz or country traditions. Jitterstomp also includes two slower sections in which the melody takes on more of a blues feel. The blues are often associated with jazz but actually have their roots in the rural South.