Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Jazz History Final Part II: Electric Boogaloo

This is my classroom when it's empty
This is my second year as a professor at Portland State University. This term was my second pass at teaching a huge lecture class in Jazz History. Last year, I had 191 students. This year was slightly less; however, more than 10 is a challenge, and any class over 30 students is a nightmare. Fortunately, this year I got a better lecture room. Last year, I was in a huge space used for biology classes; I was up on a huge podium towering over the students (I felt like the Wizard of Oz or something). This year's classroom was more conducive to discussions, questions, and general interaction. It was also better for the in-class performances. Although it's nearly impossible to teach jazz history effectively in 10 weeks, I got the impression that the students, mostly non music majors, really learned a great deal. Hopefully they will continue to learn about jazz on their own.

Keeping in mind that most of the students were not musicians at all, I thought that it would be best to make the tests on the easy side. However, some observers thought that perhaps my tests were a little TOO easy. You'd be surprised at how many people even miss the giveaway questions because they don't read the question carefully, or maybe didn't come to class, or maybe even overslept the final! Well, now that the final is over, I'm posting the test for you to take it yourself and test your jazz knowledge. (Keep in mind that this actually a JOKE version of the Final; the type of questions are very similar, but just for you, I'm taking some comic liberties.....actually, a LOT of comic liberties....)Let me know how you do!

(Warning: taking this test on your own does not entitle you to college credit.)

1. Which famous Jazz Composer was born in Washington D.C. , and titled his first composition "Soda Fountain Rag?"
A. Kenny G
B. Duke Ellington
C. Yanni
D. Vangelis

2. Which of the following were NOT written by Billy Strayhorn?
A. Take The A Train
B. Lush Life
C. Achy Breaky Heart
D. Blood Count

3. Which of the following was NOT a popular white swing band?
A. Tommy Dorsey
B. Boyz To Men
C. Benny Goodman
D. Glen Miller

4. Which musician was part of Bebop, Cool Jazz, Modal Jazz, and Fusion?
A. Slim Whitman
B. Liberace
C. Miles Davis
D. Lady Gaga

5. What is the term used to describe the symbol where the top number tells you how many beats are in a measure and the bottom note tells you which type of note gets 1 beat, as in 4/4?

A. stethoscope
B. paleontologist
C. Time Signature
D. Allegro Molto Non Troppo

6. Which of the following is NOT true about bebop?
A.  It's constantly played on the radio and kids today love it even more than death metal
B. Music was not for dancing
C. Many bebop musicians used heroin
D. Some black musicians wanted music that "the white cats couldn't play"

7. What music includes fast tempos, virtuosic improvisation, and difficult harmonic structures?
A. Japanese Speed Metal
B. Japanese Death Metal
C. bebop
D. Japanese Power Metal

8. What event is considered by most jazz historians to be the beginning of the Swing Era?
A. George Colligan's Birthday, December 29, 1969
B. 1066 AD: The Norman Conquest
C. Benny Goodman's performance at the Palomar Ballroom on August 21, 1935
D. George Colligan's graduation from Centennial High School, June 15, 1987

9. What is the term for a new melody composed over an existing chord progression
A. Didaskaleinophobia
B.  hemidemisemiquaver
C. floccinaucinihilipilification
D. contrafact

10. What 1939 Coleman Hawkins recording is considered an antecedent of bebop?
A. " Flesh for Fantasy"
B. "Body and Soul"
C. " Wango Tango"
D. "F#*$ Da Police"

11. Which of the following is NOT a tune written by Thelonious Monk?
A. "Well You Needn't"
B. "Round Midnight"
C. "Blue Monk"
D.  "Gin and Juice"

12. Which of the following is TRUE about Miles Davis?
A. Was partner in a law firm for most of his music career
B. Went to study at Juilliard, but was more interested in learning from Charlie Parker
C. Invented a time machine in order to go back in time and kill Hitler, although he accidentally killed someone who looked remarkably like Hitler. (The Hitler mustache wasn't Hitler's invention, I'm just sayin.....)
D. Was known for his ability to break dance while he played the trumpet

13. Which of the following would NOT be considered a jazz version of a tune?
A. Ice Cube singing "Lush Life"
B. Bob Dylan singing Happy Birthday
C. Karen Carpenter singing " The Rainbow Connection"
D. Bob Dylan singing any song
E. All Of The Above

14. What is another name for "Fusion" music?
A. Sushi
B. Jazz-Rock
C. Donnie and Marie Osmond
D. Norwegian Grindcore

15. What was the name of Herbie Hancock's band before he came out with the Headhunter's Band?
A. The Mamas and The Papas
B. Peter Paul and Mary
C. Mwandishi
D. Captain and Tenille

16. Which of the following would be true about "Free Jazz?"
A. It just sucks, dude
B. I would just rather listen to Christian Grindcore than have to hear that Free Jazz BS! Jeez!
C. Oftentimes used be bop rhythms and instrumentation without adherence to chord changes
D. Free Jazz? What about Free Mumia? What about Free Shipping?

17. Which of the following are NOT considered important bebop musicians?
A.  Neil Diamond
B.  Charlie Parker
C. Thelonious Monk
D. Nelson Rockefeller
E. A and D

18. What is the name for jazz which avoids fast chord changes and uses "scales" to create more introspective moods?
A. Scale Jazz
B. Modal Jazz
C. Avoids-Fast-Chord-Changes-Type-Of-Jazz
D. Introspective-Mood-Jazz

19. Who is considered the first great tenor saxophone soloist?
A. Coleman Hawkins
B. Nicole Glover
C. Tip O'Neil
D. Al Gore

20. Which famous event is credited for revitalizing Duke Ellington's career in 1956?
A. Portland Farmers Market
B. Lollapalooza
C. Portland Gay Pride Parade
D. Newport Jazz Festival

Extra Credit 1. Name three jazz musicians. For example: Lester Young, Chick Webb, Ron Carter. (You can use those three.)

Extra Credit 2. If a jazz musician leaves Chicago at 10:35 am , scheduled to arrive in Dallas at 2:37, but his flight is delayed because it's on Delta and Delta sucks ass as an airline, but then the flight gets re routed to Pittsburgh, how angry in the jazz musician going to be on a scale of one to ten?

Extra Credit 3. Correct the following phrase: "It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing."

Extra Credit 4. Give Me Five Dollars.


Extra Credit 6. Listen to the following musical example. Concentrate on your breathing. As you listen, fall into a DEEP DEEP SLEEP. You believe you are a chicken......

Extra Credit 7. After hearing yours truly play the keyboard in class, what superlatives can you think of to describe my musical abilities? Think carefully, because this question could determine your entire grade for the term....

Extra Credit 8. Explain in your own words what happened to actor Steve Guttenbergs career. Because I have no idea. I thought he was ok.

Extra Credit 9. Sing an E locrian scale up 7 octaves using the scat syllable "GACK,", and then sing back down the E locrian double enharmonic majorminor scale on the scat syllable "MFRATZ."

Extra Credit 10. Find out where Ken Burns lives. Knock on his door. When he answers the door, break a chair over his head, and say, "George Colligan says HELLO!"

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