The early jazz history is inseparably connected with the music culture of Afro-American inhabitants of the Northern America. Undergoing slavery Afro-Americans managed to preserve their original tradition endowing it with the culture European immigrants. Thus the quadrille, waltz, polka, mazurka, were interpreted by African immigrants and absolutely new dances appeared, distinct for special plasticity and rhythmic fluctuations.
Cakewalk was the oldest one. The meaning of the word is quite clear. It was really the tradition of the South, when landlady’s cake was given to the best performer — singer or dancer — among her slaves. Was cakewalk some possible caricature, imitating European quadrille? It’s rather hard to define exactly. However, its structural elements resemble quadrille.
The end of the 19th century was marked by the great popularity of this dance. The great number of cakewalks were edited in 1899. The same gave birth to one more dance — ragtime, the rhythmical and melodic aspects of which are most close to cakewalk. Therefore the composers precised genres in subtitles, whether it could be cakewalk, ragtime and even two-step and polka.
The way cakewalks were used depended on performers and dancers. Sliding intonations, replaced accents, syncopated rhythms together with steady marching base — all these features reveal Afro-American origin in them. Early jazz is inseparably connected with this dancing music exactly.
The collection you are offered embraces cakewalks — from early traditional patterns up to the ones, composed by the authors of the 20th century’s beginning.
L. Shkolina. Preface
ECHOES OF THE CAKEWALK. Based on authentic traditional themes (Music text example)
CAKEWALKIN’ SHOES. Based on authentic traditional themes
CAKEWALKING JAMBOREE. Based on authentic traditional themes
THE BOSTON CAKEWALK. Based on Fred Stone’s music
Kerry Mills. KERRY CAKEWALK
Kerry Mills. WHISTLING RUFUS. Characteristic cakewalk (Music text example)
Jens Bodewalt Lampe. MY CREOLE BELLE
Scott Joplin, Arthur Marshall. SWIPESY. Cakewalk
Abe Holzmann. SMOKY MOKES. Cakewalk and two-step
Samuel Lapin. THE DARKEY’S DELIGHT. Two-step and cakewalk
Chaz B. Brown. MOBILE PRANCE. Characteristic march, cakewalk and polka (Music text example)