Listening Activity #13 - It Don't Mean A Thing!

Duke Ellington is regarded as one of the most influential African-American composers of the 20th century. This song entitled 'It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)' was composed by Ellington in 1931 and the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2008.

  • What style of music is this?

  • What instrument is Duke Ellington playing?

  • The violin plays the intro and takes a solo. Is that normal for a band like this?

  • What is the trombone player at 1:02 using to make that sound?

  • What is the time signature of this piece?

  • Why do you think there are no white, Native American or Asian players in the band?