Duke Ellington

A Music Composer Of The Roaring Twenties

Duke Ellington - It don't mean a thing (1943)

The above video is of Duke Ellington performing It Don't Mean A Thing

One of Duke Ellington's widely famous songs, It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing), was released to the public on February 2nd, 1932. This was a form of jazz which originated in the Roaring Twenties has a but of a twist on it from traditional jazz; this piece introduced the beginning of the Swing Era which did not occur for about three years later.

Signifigance in American culture

Duke Ellington was a pioneer in jazz and swing music in the 1920's and also composed music with the genres of minstrel song, ragtime, and blues. His most famous songs were normal around three minutes which is relatively short for music, and were in the genres of jazz, blues, and ragtime.

Biography on Duke Ellington's life

Duke Ellington started to play his main instrument: the piano at the age of seven and was soon inspired by stride piano masters like Fats Waller, James P. Johnson, and Willie "The Lion" Smith. In 1923 he started a band of his own in New York and called it The Washingtonians, he later started another band called The Duke Ellington Orchestra in 1930 which was his first band to broadcast on the radio. In 1943, Duke Ellington and his band went on tour in Europe which made him compose music based on the places he has seen in his travels. By the end of his life he composed over 2,000 pieces of music.

Duke Ellington v.s. Capital Cities

Duke Ellington experimented with his music to add different genres into it. For example, he put a little swing into his primarily jazz song; It Don"t Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing). Capital Cities in the song Safe and Sound tried to insert a trumpet into the melody to create a jazz effect on the music. Click the audio below to hear it.

Capital Cities

Safe and Sound by Capital Cities