An Analysis on Confirmation by Charlie Parker

Length: 4 Pages 944 Words

The only child of Charles and Addie Parker, Charlie Parker was one of the most important and influential saxophonists and jazz players of the 1940’s. Charlie Parker, also named “Bird”, was born on August 29, 1920 in Kansas City, Kansas. He was one of the major forces in the creation of modern jazz known as Be-bop. Bop, known as Be-bop or Re-bop, is a form of jazz that was created as a revolt against the restrictions on creative freedom that were typical of the big bands of the swing era. Charlie’s tone and approach on the alto saxophone, as well as his musical ideas have been followed, understood, adopted, and imitated by performers of all jazz instruments. During this time, two other individuals, Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk, began following a similar approach to the new form of music as Parker did. Basically, they were following the form of A-A-B-A, or the 12-bar blues pattern in their music. The piece of music that I chose to analyze is the Confirmation by Charlie Parker, composed in 1953. In addition to Charlie’s alto saxophone there are three other instruments which are being played in this piece of music, that of piano, bass, and drums. All these accompaniments play important roles in this piece, since they Continue...


The fact that musical quotations became a popular characteristic of bop style jazz music is another testimony to Charlie Parker's stylistical influence on jazz music. In general, the signature of the piece keeps changing which makes it hard for the audience to predict how the music will go. However, there are some passing tones, escape tones and appoggiatura around these notes. As a result of this the audience is made to focus their attention all the way to the end. For example, if one focuses on counting the measures in this piece of music, one will notice that the measures are distributed equally on each section. As one can observe, the piece is made of thirty two measures, with eight measures in each part. It is conspicuous throughout the solo that each measure is comprised of the basis of the chord: the root, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th. Sometimes the dynamics gets louder when Parker plays higher notes, as this is his attempt to emphasize those specific notes. Finally, at the end of the piece, it returns to G major again. provide a harmonic foundation which allow the alto saxophone a much more rich, distinguished and tangible sound. This piece of music is following the pattern of A-A'-B-A from a harmonic analysis. This piece begins in a G major with a 5 second introduction by the piano, while right after the first measure, it leaves the G major and goes to relative minors such as E minor, D minor and C minor. By looking at the very first eight bars of this piece of music, hearing the harmonic progression within the linear line of the solo would not be a hard task to follow, even if there was no piano player. The rhythm is rock-solid, though the drummer manages to be splashy and interesting at the same time.