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    Brief Paper #2

    Comparing and Contrasting Recordings

    Worth: 10%

    Compare and contrast two different records by the same ensemble, one recorded acoustically, and the other recorded electrically.

    Your choices for this comparison are limited to

    1. Sugar, recorded acoustically by the BennieMoten Band, 1927, and The Moten Swing, recorded electrically by the same players, in 1932, but this time called the Count Basie Orchestra; or,
    2. East St. Louis Toodle-Oo, recorded acoustically by Duke Ellington’s Cotton Club Orchestra in 1927, for a floor show at the Cotton Club, and a later version , recorded electrically in 1937, aimed at being a slow dance, calledNew East St. Louis Toodle-Oo, by the Duke Ellington Orchestra, same players.

    Be sure to answer the following questions:

    How did electric recording change the ‘feel’ of the music, especially in the rhythm?
    How did it change your location to the band? You can determine this by comparing the two while listening with your eyes closed, preferably on speakers and not headphones or ear buds. How did electric recording change the tone colors in the band? How did it change the way you would dance to both examples?

    Between both examples, what instruments have actually been replaced in the latter versions? Which instruments are easier to hear? What other subjective differences did you experience?
    Acoustic vs. Electric recordings 


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