It’s a Good Day

Here is a song called “It’s a Good Day” written by Lowell Fulson.
It is from the songbook titled “Urban Blues for Guitar.”
I hope it helps you to have a good day. Really. I am not just whistling Dixie.

The last few notes sound just like the last few notes on this song:

Another Original Song

However, it is not MY original song. I transcribed the sheet music and chose which instruments to use. I also chose the drum loops, of which there are no less than five. So outside of writing the actual music this is all me, baby.

It is is called “Computer Blue” from Prince’s Purple Rain album. Just try to sit still when listening to it. The first version has been updated because there was just way too much sound. Sometimes less is more.

Some of the guys in the band think I play the guitar too loud. I think it is just right!

Here is a video of Prince’s 1983 concert where people first heard this song. And the rest is history. This song starts at the 11:40 mark.

How Original

Many readers have asked “In music, what is a chromatic scale?”
I answered them by sharing my recent compositions. Just listen to the first four notes and you get the idea.

Those four notes are accompanied by chords so that they become either the third or the seventh of each chord. You understand perfectly, I can tell.

Back to Basics

Here is the Bass Line from Bach’s Chorale Number 92 “Sink Not Yet My Soul to Slumber.” As you can hear, you don’t actually need a bass instrument to play a bass line.

Here is something you don’t hear every day.

This ditty starts with a chromatic line of music. It is more of an exercise in chromaticism than anything else.

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 samples of an original work in progress. It is another example of “contrary movement.” That happens when one note goes up and another note goes down, and vice versa. I call it “The Original.” (Because it is.)

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.)

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.

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