Caravan Analysis

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The song “Caravan” by Duke Ellington performed by Ella Fitzgerald in this rendition has the lyrics written by Irving Mills. This classic song was released in 1937 but Fitzgerald didn’t complete her rendition until nearly 20 years later in 1957 accompanied by Ellington’s Orchestra in her Duke Ellington songbook album. This is a jazz piece of music with whimsical lyrics and a feeling that invokes an exotic atmosphere. On Ella’s rendition, she adds a big element of a swing sound into the piece and even though she does not need the big orchestra she still knows how to use it.

Duke Ellington was born in Washington, D.C on April 29, 1899 to his two musically inclined parents. Ellington was influenced by James P. Johnson and began playing the piano …show more content…

Ellington music was filled with Jazz and included a range of other genres of works. “Caravan” is categorized in the genre of Jazz with styles of swing, big band, and early jazz. This song has a mood of elegance and refined, with a theme of reminiscence. The lyrics are written by Irving Mills and in most versions, are not sung because the words do not appear as strong at the melody. In Ella Fitzgerald’s rendition of the song she does sing the lyrics and they are sought to be very dreamy. The instrumentation of this song is what “Caravan” is known for and is enough to launch the listeners into imagination. Ella’s version including Instrumentation of a big band include vocals, piano, drums, bass, saxophone, clarinet, trombone, and trumpet. These instruments out together to create jazz rhythms and a swing …show more content…

The melody of this song described as restlessly chromatic and undulating, a swaying Arabic-sounding tune. The melodic line is filled with emotion and oddly unbalanced consisting of seven alternating sections of held tones and movement. The harmony is added behind the melody is dissonant but simultaneously lush. The rhythm was played with in Ella’s version making the classic song her own giving the clarinet a smooth solo. The simple rhythm of the song has an AABA pattern it sticks too. The dynamics for “Caravan” is mostly mezzo forte, and there does include sections of the song where the trumpet builds up and is full forte. The Tempo of this song is 118 BPM metronomes and in the key of C Major. A soundscape of unprecedented exoticism is the texture of this piece that invokes feral

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