Billy Stryhorn Research Paper

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Introduction “For there 's Basie, Miller, Satchmo and the king of all Sir Duke.” Stevie Wonder. There is no bigger name in the history of American music, especially in Jazz, than Duke Ellington. But many don’t know the man behind many of Sir Duke’s timeless classics, that man is Billy Strayhorn. It is said these two had a symbiotic relationship where neither would have been as good without the other. Strayhorn, the genius composer and arranger, to Ellington the charismatic performer and band leader the world knew and loved. Duke Ellington said, "....Billy Strayhorn was my right arm, my left arm, all the eyes in the back of my head, my brainwaves in his head, and his in mine." The importance of their relationship is symbolized…show more content…
In the life a music of Billy Strayhorn I will show how Billy Strayhorn’s; Origin, his upbringing, His world, the life and times of Harlem in the 1930’s, and His work all conspired to make Strayhorn one of the composers, writing the soundtrack of a people and a nation at a pivotal time in American history. Billy’s…show more content…
I have discussed his origin, his context in the Harlem renaissance, and the timelessness of his works especially his signature song, “Take the A Train.” I would like to conclude with how I have been personally affected. Writing this paper has been bitter sweet for me. I trace my musical heritage to both of my Grandfather’s both of whom were passionate about music and both were Jazz musicians and both have passed away. My Father’s father was a Drummer, and my Mother’s Father was a Mouth Organ player. My Paternal Grandfather would sit me down as a kid in his sitting room with his reel to reel tapes and make me listen to classics from the Duke, and Benny Goodman, we weren’t allowed to talk while the music was playing. But were asked to discuss it once it was finished. My Maternal Grandfather would play a different game called, Name that song,” where he would jump on his organ and play standards that we needed to be able to guess, not always successfully. Sitting here writing this paper listening to the music of Billy Strayhorn

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