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Blue Rhythm FantasyBig Band Jazz Arranging in the Swing Era$
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John Wriggle

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040405

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040405.001.0001

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Episode and Interlude

Episode and Interlude

Broadway Modernism

(p.88) 5 Episode and Interlude
Blue Rhythm Fantasy

John Wriggle

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the influence of theatrical orchestration on Swing Era dance bands. One of the most lucrative employment opportunities for Swing Era arrangers arose when big bands were hired to work in Broadway-styled nightclub or theater revues. New York stage producers turned to freelance arrangers like Chappie Willet to provide a stylistic continuity that could help unify their continually evolving program lineups. The chapter shows how these Swing Era dance bands embraced episodic form and symphonic-styled orchestrations as they performed material created for stage and film productions, and as arrangers searched for ways to expand their own musical vocabulary toward the establishment of a marketable style. Within this broad strategy, however, different approaches were explored; incorporation of devices like episodic form could range from subtle to obvious, as this chapter shows.

Keywords:   theatrical orchestration, Swing Era, dance bands, stage productions, film productions, Broadway modernism

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