Think of classical music and Beethoven or Mozart come to mind. Consider Rock and Roll for even a moment and the Beatles or Elvis Presley are certain to be become part of the conversation. Likewise, there have been…
musicians over the past century, continuing even to this day, Duke Ellington is certainly worthy of inclusion when asking about the top jazz artists of all time. This brief paper will examine the life and legacy of Duke Ellington.
Let us begin with some well known facts about Mr. Ellington. He was born in Washington D.C. on April 29, 1899. Unlike many black composers of his time, Duke Ellington did not grow up in poverty. Rather, he was raised in a middle-class area of Washington D.C. by two involved and seemingly loving parents. In fact, his parents were talented musicians as well, which lends credence to the saying ‘like father like son’. Naturally, Duke’s father encouraged him to learn to play various instruments from an early age. It is noted that, by the age of 7, he was already learning and getting quite good at the piano (Unger 75).
As the story goes, the name ‘Duke’ was bestowed upon him because he was such a gentleman in all that he did, even from an early age. His parents encouraged him to work when he was a teenager, which he did, but his first passion was always music. It is well known that his first published song was wrote while he was working at a soda fountain in the D.C. era. The song ‘Soda Fountain Rag’ was written at the age of 15 and was noticed by many people in the area as the song that got Duke noticed. He was so musically inclined that he was offered a scholarship at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. As appealing as that was to him, and with his parent’s blessings, he passed it up to begin playing professional as a jazz musician when he was only 17 years of age (Unger 75).
As the reader can already ascertain, Duke Ellington began to shape his legacy at an early age. He was raised properly by parents who nurtured him and helped him to foster his own love and passion for music. People in the D.C. area quickly figured out that they might have a child protege on his hands. He began to form ‘big bands’, which ...
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“Duke Ellington Research Paper Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1500 Words - 1”, n.d. https://studentshare.net/music/577273-duke-ellington.
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