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 for 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:
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.
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.
Here it is, folks. The final chorale in the book “101 Chorales Harmonized by Johann Sebastian Bach.” Most of the melodies were written by other composers, but Bach put all of the notes underneath the melody to make these songs.
Here is chorale number 97 – Be Not Dismayed Thou Little Flock.
Here is a song in progress titled “Village Festival.”
From the songbook titled “Original Piano Duets by American Composers,” here is a section of a piece written by Frederick A. Williams titled Jubilee March. However, I didn’t use pianos. I think the strings work rather well. But that’s just me.
The cover of the book (which was published in 1970) says “One Piano, Four Hands, Two Dollars.” Back in 1970 you could still buy things for two dollars.
There are hundreds of drum loops available at soundtrap.com. Does that mean I need to use them all? Yes, it does!
The sheet music said it was to be played Maestoso. Maestoso is an Italian musical term and is used to direct performers to play a certain passage of music in a stately, dignified and majestic fashion or, it is used to describe music as such. I think I followed that direction perfectly.
And finally, here is the bass line from Bach’s Chorale #91. I can’t get enough of this one.
Here is another one of those Bach Chorales everyone has been talking about.
I am currently taking an online songwriting class. The latest assignment was to write a song in AABA format, using all of the chords in any one key, without modulating to another key.
As you can see (or hear), when a song just stays in the same key it gets monotonous very quickly.
One song that is interesting, despite not modulating, is Ravelle’s Bolero. It stays in the key of C for almost the entire song. Do you remember the Dudley Moore/Bo Derrick film that made this song famous?
Here are two more Bach Chorales for you. These are numbers 91 and 92 from the songbook 101 Chorales by Johann Sebastian Bach. I hope they bring you some peace. We could use a whole lot of that right about now.
Number 91 – The Old Year Now Hath Passed Away:
Number 92 – Sink Not Yet My Soul to Slumber:
And here is the bass line from chorale number 91. Play that Funky Music. (You know the rest).