Duke ellington

Essay by Swartz, DanHigh School, 10th gradeA+, December 1996

download word file, 7 pages 4.0

An American Legacy

Where would music be had it not been for the men that stepped before him. The Motzarts and Beethovens, who wrote the music that today is known as the classics. These men were naturals in their own right, but these people wrote their music in the 17th and 18th century. Many people don't realize all of the changes that music had to go through between that period of music and the present day. One such musician stands alone at the top as one of the movers and innovators of the 20th century. He is Duke Ellington. Along with his band, he alone influenced millions of people both around the world and at home. He gave American music its own sound for the first time. Winton Marsalis said it best when he said 'His music sounds like America.' (Hajdu,72). These days you can find his name on over 1500 CS's(Illistated Encyclopedia of Jazz,254).

Duke's legacy will live on for generations to come.

Duke Ellington was born Edward Kennedy Ellington, April 29, 1899 in Washington D.C(The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz,330). His father at the time was employed as a butler yet always wanted the best for Duke. At the young age of seven Ellington took up the piano, because his father had always wanted him to become an artist(330). But how was Duke to become an artist in a time when blacks weren't given the same rights as everyone else. They went to separate schools. They were forced to the back of the bus and to use separate bathrooms. If Duke were to become some one he had much to come over.

One thing that we do know is that Duke was always looking for attention and dignity. There are even stories of how he would announce...