Unsquare Dance Dave Brubeck Quartet Introduction Dave Brubeck

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“Unsquare Dance” Dave Brubeck Quartet

“Unsquare Dance” Dave Brubeck Quartet

Introduction • Dave Brubeck was born on December 6, 1920 in the San Francisco

Introduction • Dave Brubeck was born on December 6, 1920 in the San Francisco Bay area. • While Brubeck was most definitely a jazz musician, his jazz compositions were largely based on classical structure. He studied with classical composers. • In 1951, he founded the Dave Brubeck Quartet, and they released the album Time Out in 1959 and Time Further Out in 1961, which features the song “Unsquare Dance” • “Unsquare Dance” is written mostly in 7/4 time, very unusual and innovative for popular styles of music

Form • The piece starts out with just the bass player playing a simple

Form • The piece starts out with just the bass player playing a simple line with offbeat clapping for 6 measures • The piano comes in over the first pattern with short interjections, then developing into the full melody in the right hand • The bass and clapping pattern repeats with the drummer playing on the rim • The bass and drums drop out and the piano continues with the bass and clapping, playing the earlier melody with new harmony in the left hand. • The piece ends with a funky quotation of “Turkey in the Straw” Bass/clapping Piano melody Bass/clapping/snare rim Final Piano melody

Rhythm • As mentioned earlier, the piece is in 7/4 time • The rhythm

Rhythm • As mentioned earlier, the piece is in 7/4 time • The rhythm is subdivided into 2 + 3 • ♩ (clap) ♩ (clap, clap) • This rhythm goes throughout the entire piece, making it an Ostinato

Harmony • The piece is in A minor with a relatively simple harmony, in

Harmony • The piece is in A minor with a relatively simple harmony, in a 6 measure phrase structure • A minor D minor A minor E minor A • The bass line is also easy A - G - A - - D - C - D - - A - G - A - - E - D - E - - A - G - A - -

Texture • Musical Texture is the combination of different voices, timbres, and harmonies to

Texture • Musical Texture is the combination of different voices, timbres, and harmonies to create a musical effect • “Unsquare Dance” is a simple four-voice composition. The voices are piano, bass, clapping, and drums • The different lines are written in a way to create the effect of a barn dance (hence the name “Unsquare Dance”) • The piano line at the very beginning is written in Perfect 4 ths, evoking the image of a fiddle player. • The use of a simple, repetitive bass line reflects the simple techniques of a band at a barn dance

Unusual Time Signatures • There are many other pieces of music and popular songs

Unusual Time Signatures • There are many other pieces of music and popular songs that use unusual time signatures like “Unsquare Dance” • In “Tom Sawyer” by Rush, there is are brief moments in 7/8 time • “Seven Days” by Sting is in 5/4 time • The Dave Brubeck Quartet performed songs that were mostly in unusual time signatures: • “Take Five” is in 5/4 time • “Blue Rondo a la Turk” is in 9/8, following a rhythm of 2/8 + 3/8

References • “Unsquare Dance” written by Dave Brubeck and performed by the Dave Brubeck

References • “Unsquare Dance” written by Dave Brubeck and performed by the Dave Brubeck Quartet, from the album Time Further Out • Image of the Dave Brubeck Quartet is from http: //en. wikipedia. org/wiki/File: Davebrubeckquartet 1967 a. jpg • Image of Time Further Out cover from http: //en. wikipedia. org/wiki/File: Dave_Brubeck_-_Time_Further_Out. jpg • Introductory information from http: //en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Dave_Brubeck • Image of Dave Brubeck on Slide 2 is from http: //pursuitist. com/jazz-legend-davebrubeck-dies-at-91/