Welcome to 5th Grade Music at Independence!

Robert Johnson - "Crossroads"

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retrieved from: http://i675.photobucket.com/albums/vv118/BRAINSTORM_ARTISTS_GROUP/CROSSROADS.gif


R Johnson - Crossroads.doc

Robert Johnson - "Cross Road Blues" - recorded in 1936

Wikipedia article about the song, "Cross Road Blues"

To read about the sad fact of lynching in American history (mentioned in the article), scroll down lower on this page.

Cream (feat. Eric Clapton - "Crossroads" - recorded in 1968

Wikipedia article about slide guitar

You don't have to read the whole thing (it's too long!), just read the introduction (the part before the "Contents"). Scroll way down lower in the article to hear sound examples.

For fun, make up your own blues song here at The Blues Maker

from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynching_in_the_United_States

Lynching, the practice of killing people by extrajudicial (outside of the justice system) mob action, occurred in the United States chiefly from the late 18th century through the 1960s.

It is often associated with white supremacy in the South after the American Civil War. The granting of civil rights to freedmen in the Reconstruction era (1865–77) aroused anxieties among white citizens, who came to blame African Americans for their own wartime hardship, economic loss, and forfeiture of social privilege. African Americans, and whites active in the pursuit of equal rights, were frequently lynched in the South during Reconstruction, but lynchings reached a peak in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when Southern states enacted a series of segregation and Jim Crow laws to reestablish white supremacy. Notable lynchings of civil rights workers during the 1960s in Mississippi contributed to galvanizing public support for the Civil Rights Movement and civil rights legislation.


Miles Davis' "All Blues"

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The above image is linked from http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2249/2193453631_4c66c4755d.jpg , & was found on Wikipedia, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Genericlicense.

During the last part of the 09-10 school year, Mr. McDade's 5th Gr. classes studied the many innovations in Jazz music created by Miles Davis, & learned to play his composition "All Blues", from his classic album "Kind of Blue". We played the bigger recorders - Alto & Tenor, & various sizes of xylophones. We concentrated mostly on learning the two-part accompaniment figure that's played on the original recording by the tenor & alto saxophones (John Coltrane & "Cannonball" Adderley, respectively). While we didn't have time to pull together a complete performance with all the musical parts, below are some recordings we made of the various parts. The rhythm section parts were either played live by Mr. McDade on the keyboard, or came from the Midi file that Mr. McDade created, using sounds from the keyboard (Ensoniq ZR-76).

In addition to learning how, on "Kind of Blue", Miles created his own unique variations on the 12 bar blues (a musical form which we had already studied), our 5th graders were also the recording engineers for these recordings. These recordings were made using the free audio software Audacity (Audacity from Sound Forge) & our "Snowball" USB microphone (from Blue Microphones).

Make sure your QuickTime plug-in is updated!

Soprano Xylophone Part

Alto Recorder & Xylophone Parts

Tenor Recorder Part

Tenor Recorder playing melody (Mr. McDade also playing melody on Soprano Recorder)

Alto & Tenor Recorder Parts (w/ melody played by Mr. McDade on Soprano Recorder)

Mrs. Kelly's class was able to play all the Recorder & Xylophone accompaniment parts together:

Mrs. Johnson's class sang the melody, using the "ooo" vowel:

Some of our 5th graders made up raps about Miles Davis:

Ben, Jekori, Nick & Stephen's Miles Davis Rap:

Drew, Owen & Riley's Miles Davis Rap:

For our first online listening discussion activity, we have several different mp3 files of an excerpt of the Gloria Estefan song "Get On Your Feet", which we have sung in class. Make sure your computer speakers are turned on (or your headphones are plugged in)!

Go through the listening exercise below, & follow the directions after each listening example to go the Discussion tab (above) and join in the discussion!

smoking_comp.jpgTech Help: the listening examples below play with an embedded QuickTime player. If they will not play, or you do not see the QT player, you may need to update your computer's QuickTime player.

external image Gloria%20Estefan-NVB-000374.jpg
Picture of Gloria Estefan linked from http://www.starpulse.com/Music/Estefan,_Gloria/gallery/NVB-000374/

1. Here's an excerpt of "Get On Your Feet" in which you can hear all the instrument sounds.You will not hear any singing, but you will hear the melody that we have sung in class being played by an instrument sound.

As you listen, think about what instrument sounds you hear, & about the Form of the music.

After you listen to the excerpt above, go to the Discussion and contribute your thoughts to Topic #1.

2. Now, listen to this version that features the drums. As you listen, think about how important you think the drums are to the overall sound and style of the song.

After you listen to the excerpt above, go to the Discussion and contribute your thoughts to Topic #2.

3. Now, listen to this version that features the electric bass. Think about what parts of the song the bass part is supplying - rhythm? melody? harmony?

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