First Song of The Year

(And it is already February)

Here is a new song called Walkabout.

Now wasn’t that fun?

Here is one you are sure to remember:

That was Chorale Number 81 by Bach, “Now That the Day Hath Reached Its Close.”

Finally, here are the first 8 bars of a work in progress called “Monotony.”

Kitty-Cat Blues

I woke up early this morning
With a cat sitting on my chest
He arrived without a warning
And he interrupted my rest

I asked him to be quiet
And to let me get some sleep
Please, won’t you try it?
I don’t want to hear a peep!

Then the room became dark as night
As if we had blown a fuse
Then I knew that I was right
I was a victim of the kitty-cat blues

Play the Blues…….

Photo by J. Catman

Sing The Blues

From the songbook “Urban Blues for Guitar” this is my version of Bright Lights, Big City, written by Jimmy Reed. Can’t you just see Times Square?

And here are two updated versions of Doxy, by Sonny Rollins. It sounds much better now with all of the notes in the right places.

(not to be confused with the singer Jerry Reed.)

Thank You, Sonny

Walter Theodore “Sonny” Rollins (born September 7, 1930) is an American jazz tenor saxophonist who is widely recognized as one of the most important and influential jazz musicians. In a seven-decade career, he has recorded over sixty albums as a leader. A number of his compositions, including “St. Thomas”, “Oleo”, “Doxy”, “Pent-Up House”, and “Airegin”, have become jazz standards. Rollins has been called “the greatest living improviser” and the “Saxophone Colossus.”

From the songook titled Maiden Voyage – Fourteen Easy-to-Play Jazz Tunes, here is my version of Doxy by Sonny Rollins (without the 20 minute improv). (This was updated on Tuesday, 12-20. There was a wrong note on the mp3, if you can believe it.)

Fast Version:

Slow Version:

Artwork by Paul Klee.

Sometimes Life is Funny

Right? Am I right?

This song was written way back in 1903 by Hans Engelman. It is titled “Melody of Love.” We don’t hear much about Hans these days, but during his time he was quite popular. And he had great piano hands.

So sit down with that someone special, and listen closely……..

(Artwork by Paul Klee.)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Klee

It is Finished

The eighth and final song from the book “Original Piano Duets by American Composers” is finished. It is titled “En Route March” and was written by Hans Engelmann.

Hans Engelmann (June 16, 1872 – May 5, 1914) was a composer of popular music in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Although little is remembered of him today, his work was greatly appreciated in his time. Largely writing for teaching material, by the end of his short life he had created nearly three thousand works. His most popular work, Melody of Love has been recorded by many popular musicians in the mid 20th century.

This concludes our study of early 20th Century American Composers.

Breathe Deep…..

This morning there was a story online that talked about millions of dollars missing from a crypto fund. Perhaps someone accidently clicked on the “Clear Cash” button. If so, they are going to need some quality meditation time. With that in mind, here is today’s song which is titled Meditation, written by Louis Victor Saar. His birthday is this Saturday. And once again, I did not know that fact until after I transcribed his music just this morning. Listen to them with headphones on for best results.
It may cause skin rash and headaches…….


And here is song number seven from the songbook “Original Piano Duets by American Composers.” It was written by Igor Stravinsky, and is titled simply Polka.

One of the very first songs posted here was written by Claude DeBussy, and is titled “The Girl with the Flaxen Hair .”

It Has Nothing to Do with Spiders

How about this rain? Yay!

Continuing on our study of Twentieth Century American Composers, here is “Tarantella.” It was written by a composer named Frank Lynes. It is another song from the songbook Original Piano Duets by American Composers. It is amazing what one can find when one opens a book.

According to dictionary.com, the word Tarantella means 1) a rapid whirling dance originating in southern Italy or 2) a piece of music written in fast 6/8 time in the style of this dance.

The most-downloaded song in the month of November on johnsthewritestuff.com was one that I made using only the bass line of Bach’s Chorale Number 91, and some drum loops:

Campfire Stories

I have always heard that campfire stories should always be accompanied by music. To that end, here is a song from the songbook “Original Piano Duets for American Composers.” It is titled Around the Campfire. You may have heard another version if you were here yesterday.

And here is another song from the same book, titled Village Festival. I took creative license and named it Festival of Lights. I am not sure why.

The Finished Product is Here

See if you can name that tune. I will give you a hint: The composer was named Ethelbert Nevin. His birthday was on Friday, the same day I posted the first versions of this song. But I didn’t know it at the time. Spooky!

I just love learning about music and composers from the late 1800’s. That was an interesting time in music, don’t you agree? I see you are nodding your head. Any time in musical history is interesting if you look close enough.

(For extra fun, play it at 1.25 speed. Just click the three little dots.)

Here is a song called “Around the Campfire.” It is from the songbook “Original Piano Duets for American Composers.” It is more of a learning tool, like the rest of the songs in the book. Hence the repetition.

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