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Nothing expresses the originality of American music like jazz, and no one expresses jazz quite like David Warren Brubeck. Dave Brubeck is regarded as one of the most prominent jazz musicians of the 20th century, due to his innovation compositions and time signatures. Founder of the Experimental Jazz Workshop Ensemble, Brubeck’s work introduced daring time signatures such as 5/4, 5/8, 9/8, 7/4 and 11/4. While jazz traditionally finds its roots in indigenous African music, Brubeck incorporated classical European elements into his music, giving his music a distinctively Western feel. He is most recognized for his piano compositions, which couple jazz beats with classical melodies. According to the Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz, by Leonard Feather and Ira Gitler, Brubeck’s smooth style is "heavy in touch and thick with complex harmonies [that] evolved in later years into a richer more melodic, but no less provocative, form of expression".
Brubeck’s tendency towards experimentation is epitomized in his composition Blue Ronda A La Turk. Taken from the album “Time Out,” which showcases several of Brubeck’s unique time signatures, the pieces is played in 9/8 rhythms. As the name of the song implies, Blue Rondo A La Turk is written in “rondo form,” which consists of a repeated melody interlaced with different tunes and variations (Hoffer 334). In keeping with this form, the tune opens with nine beats per measure, arranged in a rapid “2+2+2+3” pattern, which changes to a “3+3+3” pattern every fourth measure. Near the middle of the song, the beat shifts to a more traditional 4/4 metre, which is interrupted occasionally by the thematic tune. Throughout the piece, Brubeck’s piano is accompanied by the sound of the saxophone, bass, and drums, including a lengthy saxophone solo near the end of the composition.
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