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GCSE Music Analysis - Miles Davis - All Blues

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All Blues General Points

- Comes from the album 'Kind of Blue'
- The band is a 'sextet' consisting of a front line and a rhythm section.
- The album was recording with next to no rehearsal and the musicians have no score, they were told only the following things: Structure, basic chord sequence, main melodic idea and which mode or scale to improvise on.


The band consists of 2 different sections, the front line and the rhythm section.
In the front line there is:

- Miles Davis on trumpet.
- Julian Adderly on the alto sax.
- John Coltrane on the tenor sax.
In the rhythm section there is:
- Bill Evans on on piano.
- Paul Chambers on bass.
- Jimmy Cobb on the drums.


- 'All Blues' is based on a 12 bar blues progression.
- The main melody is called the head and is played by the trumpet and is heard at the start and end of the piece.

Miles Davis

Miles Davis


- The head melody is quite simple and is characterized by a rising 6th (from D to B). The head is then followed by 4 solos.
- Trumpet: Lasts for four choruses and is made up of short syncopated motifs.
- Alto Sax: Lasts for four choruses and uses quicker notes and a wider range than the trumpet.
- Tenor Sax: Lasts for four choruses and uses fast scales and quick runs. It's very virtuosic.
- Piano: Lasts for 2 choruses. This is a much calmer improvisation that the others with a simple melody and a string of parallel chords.

Harmony and Tonality

- The piece is in G Major but has a flattened 7th (a blue note). To play this scale you would go from G - G on the piano, using all the white notes.
- This is the same as being in the mixolydian mode and so this is why we can describe this piece as being an example of modal jazz.

Rhythm, Metre and Tempo

- The score is notated in 6/4.
- The tempo is described as 'Jazz Waltz' as the 6/4 can be divided into two sets of 3/4 per bar.
- The piece is performed with swinging quavers.
- There is frequent use of syncopation.


eden on April 27, 2017:

Just wondering if we need to know texture. Also I love your articles so much I went from a C last year to an A* so thank you sooooo much :)

Adam on November 16, 2016:

Cheers you saved me ive got my homework done now thank you :)

rose]]]\\ on April 22, 2016:

this really helped me with my gcse xx thanks alot

Nic on October 07, 2015:

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Ash on September 22, 2015:

Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart! You really helped me to get through my GCSE.

Jack the Human on September 15, 2015:

Whoever made this is an ultimate lad of the sound variety.

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lolzareus on June 10, 2015:

So help full. thanks so much

blackmanTWSS on November 06, 2014:

thanks for the information but i think adding the structure of the whole song will help further.

Nice Name (:-))

Ballerina on November 02, 2014:

This was great

bra on November 02, 2014:

this helped a lot

Person on September 21, 2014:

Thank you so much! I know understand more! x

Emily (author) on May 30, 2014:

@heyoo I am a girl but thank you for stopping by and commenting :) Good luck in your exams everyone - these notes got me an A* and I hope they do the same for you.

Heyyo on May 30, 2014:

Music GCSE students - this guy has written out your essays for you. Copy that out in an exam, and you'll get all ten marks :)

Future Beyonce on February 21, 2014:

Thank You! This website is so useful. i'm doing music GCSE and it's easier when the analysis of the song is broken down into sections as it makes it easier to read and understand. i also like the use of headings (i.e instrumentation, melody, harmony and tonality etc..) as it makes it easier to know and understand what your're writing about. thank you hubpages!

Suck a Dick ChickEn on December 18, 2013:


Safeara on November 04, 2013:

thx lifesaver

Rhys Rodrigues on May 03, 2013:

I am from tooting and the notation for the score is my daily bedtime story :)

yo on May 03, 2013:


rosei on December 05, 2012:


Higgins on October 30, 2012:

Julian Cannonball Adderley

Emily (author) on October 03, 2012:

No problem! Glad I could help. :)

WIlliam Mason on October 02, 2012:

Really Helpful thanks man!

Katie on May 13, 2012:

Brilliant!!!!! Xxxx thank you

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