Hip Hop's Ancestor

Sarah Vaughn

I am huge fan of the television series A Different World. I have seen every episode. As I grow older and watch reruns in syndication I learn something new each time. One episode that resonated with me is "A Rock, A River, A Lena." In this episode the late great Lena Horne also known as the "Horne" made an appearance. In one scene she was teaching the children about the genre known as "Scat Music." This post is dedicated to the genre known as "Scat Music."

Louis Armstrong

I've got the Heebies, I mean the Jeebies
Talk 'bout a dance craze
I've got the Heebies I mean the Jeebies,
You'll see  girls and boys, face lit with the boys
If you don't know it
Don't feel so blue, some one will teach you
Come on now let's do that prance
Called the Heebies Jeebies dance

"The Heebies Jeebies Dance"
 Louis Armstrong
Recorded February 26, 1926

Ella Fitzgerald

What is Scat Music? Scat music is vocal improvisation with random vocals and nonsense syllables or without words at all. Scat singing gives the singer an opportunity to sing improvised melodies and rhythms. The use of improvisation and rhythm is similar to an instrumental solo performance instead they are using their voice.

Artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Slim Gillard and Louis Armstrong have performed "Scat Music" on many occasions. Although music critics and fans probe that Ella Fitzgerald was the Queen of Scat Music.

The Dozens: Scat Singing
Thomas Cunniffe


Louis Armstrong and the Syntax of Scat
Brent Hayes Edwards
Critical Inquiry Vol. 28, No. 3 Spring 2002, pp. 618-649
Published by: The University of Chicago Press

Below here is a link to performance of Ella Fitzgerald singing "Scat"


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