Essay about Bix Beiderbecke

986 Words Mar 3rd, 2012 4 Pages
BIX BEIDERBECKE The virtuoso Leon Bix Beiderbecke was born in 1903 and died young in 1931. Though his life was short, Bix’s legacy was long-live. He was raised in Davenport, Iowa, by his mother Agatha and father Bismark. He was the youngest of the German middle class family, his father owned a lumber & coal company in east davenport while his mother was a pianist. As a boy, Bix Beiderbecke had a few piano lessons, but he was self-taught on cornet and developed an unorthodox technique by playing. He was blessed with the gift of a musical ear which helped him greatly throughout his career because he was not able to read music very well. Growing up Bix found his passion, which was to become a musician, it seemed that he would not let …show more content…
Armstrong played was usually “hot” and played loudly with high notes, whereas Bix played in a more subdued manner with low and melodic notes. Biederbecke was known for putting solos and creating a fluid sound. He had a unsual way of stringing together note choices. Bix was way ahead of his time and influence many people for the next couple of decades. He played and gave the audiences another option to listen to. Beiderbecke developed a beautiful and original style. His cornet playing, noted for its brilliant phrasing and its clarity of tone. Beiderbecke also played and composed at the piano throughout his working life, his famous pieces include In a Mist, Flashes, Candlelights, and In the Dark. Their use of pandiatonicism, whole-tone scales, and parallel 7th and 9th chords reflect his interest in impressionist harmonic language. Bix Beiderbecke played cornet on four number one hit records in 1928 recorded with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra: "Together", number one for two weeks, "Ramona", number one for three weeks, "My Angel", number one for six weeks, and "Ol' Man River", with Bing Crosby on vocals, was number one for one week. By contrast, Louis Armstrong did not have any number one records in the 1920s. "Ol' Man River" would be the first of 41 number one hits for Bing Crosby during his career.
Beiderbecke's originality made him one of the first white jazz musicians to be admired by black performers. Louis Armstrong
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