"The River Suite"

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Duke Ellington--United States

  This week’s piece is program music—the composer has a definite picture in mind he or she wants to portray to the listener through music. In this case, Duke Ellington, African American jazz performer and composer, wants you to imagine a “Giggling Rapids” starting out small with solo piano and gradually adding more instruments.  Based on a three chord pattern, the first performance of this music in 1970 was choreographed by Alvin Ailey. 

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