Duke Ellington's Music Analysis

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In the 1920s and 1930s, a large movement of art and literature took place in the city of Harlem. Many African American authors express their thoughts and ideas through anyway possible. Whether it be music, art, or literature, its impact gave the African Americans a new place in society. One composer of music was very influential to all people. His name is Duke Ellington. The impact from Duke’s musical arts is very large, and that impact still stands. He is able to construct over three thousand songs, many of which pertain to freedom, identities, reunion, and last but not least, racism. Duke’s impact on bringing people together is enormous, and ends racism in all of society. One of the themes for Duke’s music is freedom. His songs contain themes as such. For instance, In his song, Jump for Joy, Ellington speaks about the days of slavery. “Fare thee well land of cotton” (Johnson 1). How he says goodbye to the “land of cotton” speaks about African Americans …show more content…

Not racism in a bad way, but in a way as if it does not exist. Duke says, “When you speak of problems between blacks and whites in the U.S.A. you are referring to categories” (Martin 13). Duke wants nothing to do with racism. Anytime it is brought up he talks about how everyone should be seen as equal, not as different. A song of his, Take The A Train, speaks a lot about Harlem. “You’ll find you’ve missed the quickest way to Harlem” (Wikipedia). The idea given off from this lyric is that the people need to get on their way up North. Harlem is a home for many African Americans, and it was a place for blacks to get away from segregation. He tells them to get there and find their freedom. Lastly, “Negro music was already sending savvy white New Yorkers up to Harlem” (Martin 14). Duke’s music is lovely to everyone. He is able to bring everyone together. Whites are traveling north to Harlem to watch and listen to his band’s performances. He is a gift to

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