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How does Jacques Loussier’s interpretation of Toccata and Fugue in D Minor differ from its original arrangement for organ?

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Introduction

Contents How does Jacques Loussier's interpretation of Toccata and Fugue in D Minor differ from its original arrangement for organ? Attached Music Sample Reference (CD)................................. Research Question................................................................. Introduction........................................................................... Background........................................................................... Analysis: > 1. Form and Structure................................................. > 2. Instrumentation and Dynamics................................ > 3. Tempo and Rhythm................................................ > 4. Melody and Accompaniment................................. > 5. Texture and overall Musical Effect........................... Conclusion........................................................................... Bibliography......................................................................... Acknowledgements.............................................................. Appendix: Score for Toccata and Fugue in D Minor................. 1 2 2 3 6 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Attached Music Sample Reference (CD): Sample / Track Number Bar Numbers Arrangement Page Reference 1 1-2 Jacques Loussier 9 2 73-85 Jacques Loussier 9 3 95-102 Jacques Loussier 9 4 22-27 Jacques Loussier 9 5 30-40 Jacques Loussier 9,12 6 45-51 Jacques Loussier 9 7 103-109 Jacques Loussier 9 8 NA Jacques Loussier 9,12 9 74-80 Organ arr. 10,13 10 16-17 Jacques Loussier 12 11 2-3 Organ arr. 13 12 FULL Organ arr. Whole Appendix 1 13 FULL Jacques Loussier Whole Appendix 1 Extended Essay in Music: A comparative essay between two different arrangements of Toccata and Fugue in D Minor by JS Bach Research Question: How does Jacques Loussier's interpretation of Toccata and Fugue in D Minor differ from its original arrangement for organ? Introduction This aim of this Extended Essay is to see how a piece of Baroque music can be adapted into a modern jazz style. Whilst some composers and jazz combos such as Stravinsky or the Modern Jazz Quartet have ventured into third stream jazz (combining classical and jazz components in a piece), few artists have completely reinterpreted classical music as written. Furthermore, those that do so tend to focus on Baroque pieces by Bach. So why is Bach's music so open to interpretation in so many different styles? In order to narrow down the scope of such a research topic, I will focus on a comparison between two arrangements of the piece Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BMV 565 by J.S. ...read more.

Middle

Also the fact that most of the time he uses a walking bass line. Some pieces really look like jazz. He was the jazzman of the period..."7 The walking bass line is well adapted to playing the motor rhythms (a steady driving rhythm constant throughout a section or a piece), which is again a common feature in Baroque music. Although Loussier retains the original structure of the piece; some parts are new or entirely different, described below: Sections which follow the notes of the original: * Bars 1-2 (Sample 1). Because a piano cannot sustain notes, the same notes in the opening melody do not sound as powerful as when played on an organ. Hence the melody created is entirely different and far less dramatic effect * Bars 0-85 (Sample 2). Loussier plays the notes as notated while Charbonnier plays a supporting bass riff. Drums are added for effect but the melody remains the same. * Bars 95-102 (Sample 3). The piano plays the notes as notated and the bass substitutes the pedal board. It is embellished with a few drum ornaments, yet the notes played remain the same as those written down. Sections which are a development of an original element * Bars 22-27 (Sample 4). Whilst the piano part is played as written, Charbonnier churns out a rhythmic ostinato on the bass. This is interesting because the bass becomes the focal point in the music whilst the piano becomes the accompaniment. * Bars 30-40 (Sample 5).The piano starts off playing the subject and follows by adding a swing rhythm to it. It improvises around the notated melodies in bar 34 before returning to the main subject. Loussier does this by embellishing the melodies by adding ornaments in between the notes based around jazz scales. This affixes a jazzy touch to the melodies of the piece. * Bars 45-51 (Sample 6). The notated melody in bars 49-52 are played by the bass whilst the piano improvises over it, similar to the method described above in Bars 30-40. ...read more.

Conclusion

In my opinion, the original arrangement for the pipe organ is much more dramatic and sinister compared to Jacques Loussier's version in terms of overall music effect. This is most evidently displayed by the dominant 9th chord in the second bar of music (Sample 11) which adds to the haunting atmosphere. On the other hand, Loussier's piano flourishes and improvisations stand out over the other voices more than individual voices on the organ, notably in the developmental episodes and the break. The trio retains the tense atmosphere in the preposition (i.e. the opening theme) of the piece, and then the rest becomes much more relaxed and subtle. Conclusion Jacques Loussier and his trio have managed to synthesize the core structure of the original version with their own improvisations. The resulting work is a Toccata and Fugue which encapsulates the central elements of the original piece whilst subtly adding their own jazz harmonies. Nearly all the initial characteristics which make Toccata and Fugue typically Baroque, from the motor rhythms and its polyphonic texture to the use of imitation and articulation - are incorporated into Loussier's arrangement. In fact many of these elements lend themselves to jazz interpretation so well that they were not changed. This may be the reason why artists tend to "jazz-up" Baroque music instead of music from another period. However, this essay is only a comparison of one piece of music; therefore we cannot simply assume all pieces from the 18th century are so accessible to jazz interpretation. Jacques Loussier manages to skillfully improvise around the melody as well as subtly incorporating jazz harmonies into the music. The break towards the end of the piece is a fine example of a completely new episode based around the theme. In my opinion, the tone of the piece is altered from being tense and dramatic in the original to mellow and melodious in Loussier's piece. The jazzy elements from the 21st century build upon those from the 18th Century to form an entirely refreshing and innovative approach to a piece of Baroque music. ...read more.

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