Understanding musical scores
Understanding musical scores

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Understanding musical scores

3.3.1 Big band timbres and textures

In the previous section, you listened to part of Fletcher Henderson’s arrangement for Benny Goodman of Irving Berlin’s Blue Skies, where the saxophones, trumpets and trombones were playing in block chords over the rhythm section.

In the next part of the piece, Henderson separates the brass (trumpets and trombones), who continue with the melody in block chords, from the saxophones, who have something different to play, also in block chords. Henderson demonstrated this in a radio broadcast from 1938.

Figure 7

Finally, on this same broadcast, the band demonstrated the introduction to the number, which Henderson says represents a storm. For this part of the arrangement, the saxophone section swap to clarinets to create a different timbre.

Figure 8

Listen to the broadcast now and follow Henderson’s demonstration.

Download this audio clip.Audio player: fletcherhenderson.mp3
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371