Interrupted by Nokia Ringtone? Make it part of the performance!

Hi Everyone

Slovakian viola player Lukas Kmit reacted cooly when a mobile phone interrupted his recital at the Orthodox Synagogue in Presov, in Slovakia.

Rather than losing his temper, Kmit adapted the notorious Nokia phone theme that had interrupted his performance, much to the delight of his audience.

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Star Wars Cello Battle

Hi Everyone

Just wanted to share a cool little music video with you.

The people from Pianoguys put this version of The Imperial March from Star Wars together, by multitracking several electric cellos – great fun to watch:

The video also features some other Star Wars themes, such as The Main Theme

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Christmas Down Under

Hi everyone

Are you one of those people who are hopelessly romantic about Christmas, can’t wait to get out the tinsel, decorate the tree and have loved ones over for the Christmas roast?

But then as we get closer to Dec 25th, the oldest of your offspring stills need that costume for the nativity play, his little brother has caught a nasty bug and needs taking to the GP, where you can’t get an appointment for love or money, the nursery is looking for parents to volunteer for their Christmas party and and your brother in law didn’t like his carefully selected present you choose last your, and you haven’t got the faintest idea what to get him this year.

You rush down to Oxford Street to buy those last minute in-law presents, only to find that you can’t move for the sheer mass of human bodies, and Yuletide Spirits seem to have given way to Angry Goblins, and you wonder how it always ends up this way.

If you sympathise with any of the above, then the song below, may well cheer you up :-).

Words and Music are by David Sharp and Luke Flynn
Vocals were sung by Daniel Bowles
The Movie was put together by Mrs Joanna Sharp

Merry Christmas!

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Axis Of Awesome – 4 Chord Song

Hi

I thought I’d share this great little video by the musical comedy band Axis OF Awesome. In a very funny way they explain how most pop tunes really share the same chord sequence.

Generally people always assume that rock/pop composers sit hunched over their manuscript paper trying to find great and original chord sequences – this could not be further from the truth. There basically are only a limited number of chord sequences out there, which is why you cannot copyright them – so you are perfectly entitled to take the chord sequence from Let It Be, and write your own melody over it. The net result is that many, many, many songs share the exact same chord sequence.

In the video below they are singing in the key of E major, and the chord sequence is E, B, C sharp minor, A.

So if you look at the sequence neutral of the key, the sequence is I V VI IV – so the chords on the 1st [I], 5th [V], 6th [VI] and 4th [IV] degree/not of any major scale)

Therefore in the key of C major this would be the chords of C, G, A minor, F.
In the key of F major it would be the chords: F, C, D minor, Bb
etc…

The songs they sing are:

Don’t stop Believin’ – Journey
You’re Beautiful – James Blunt
Forever Young – Alphaville
I’m Yours – Jason Mraz
Happy Ending – Mika
Amazing – Alex Lloyd
Wherever You Will Go – The Calling
Can You Feel The Love Tonight – Elton John
She Will Be Loved – Maroon 5
Pictures Of You – The Last Goodnight
With Or Without You – U2
Fall At Your Feet – Crowded House
Not Pretty Enough – Kasey Chambers
Let It Be – The Beatles
Under The Bridge – Red Hot Chilli Peppers
The Horses – Daryl Braithtwaite
No Woman No Cry – Bob Marley
Sex And Candy – Marcy Playground
Down Under – Men At Work
Waltzing Matilda – Banjo Patterson
Take On Me – A Ha
When I Come Around – Green Day
Save Tonight – Eagle Eye Cherry
Africa – Toto
If I Were A Boy – Beyonce
Self Esteem – The Offspring
You’re Gonna Go Far Kid – The Offspring
U & Ur Hand – Pink
Poker Face – Lady Gaga
Barbie Girl – Aqua
You Found Me – The Fray
Don’t Trust Me – 30h!3
Kids – MGMT
Canvas Bags – Tim Minchin
Torn – Natalie Imbruglia
Superman – Five For Fighting
Birdplane – Axis OF Awesome
Scar – Missy Higgins

Easy – so all you have to do now is write a catchy melody, some lyrics and you’ll be rich ;-)!

Thanks to my Godson, Jean-Pierre, for introducing me to this video.

Lincoln Jaeger

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Great Jazz Tracks – No. 1: Take Five

Hello Everyone

Along with our series about Classical Tunes You Didn’t Realise You Knew, we are going to start a series looking at Great Jazz Tracks (and albums).

Today we are taking a look a Take Five, which is often wrongly attributed to have been written by Dave Brubeck. In fact it was Brubeck’s alto saxophonist, Paul Desmond, who wrote the track. The story goes that Desmond and the drummer in the band, Joe Morello, used to go through a warm-up routine before gigs, which entailed Morello playing a beat in 5/4 time to which Desmond started developing two themes.

After some time of doing this, Desmond approached Brubeck because he wanted to turn the two seemingly disparate themes into one song. Brubeck suggested using one theme as the main melody and the other as the bridge. If you listen to Take Five you can clearly here how it is made up two separate sections. And thus Take Five was born.

But the story of course does not end there. The piece was used on the album Time Out, which was release in 1959, and featured the then standard line-up of the Dave Brubeck Quartet with Desmond on alto sax, Brubeck on piano, Eugene Wright on double bass and Joe Morello on drums. The idea behind Time Out was to write pieces that did not use the traditional time signature of 4/4, i.e. four steady beats (or “four to the floor”, if you like your drum’n’bass and techno). The result is an album that, especially at the time, was highly experimental: no-one had ever really tried this sort of thing. The record company, Columbia, in fact thought it too advanced and refused to release the album, fearing terrible sales. Brubeck had to intervene to convince the label bosses to finally release Time Out, and amazingly, the album became a hit (in those day jazz still played a part in the consciousness of the general public).

Take Five obviously takes its title from its time-siganture, which is in 5/4. Why is 5/4 so odd? Well it is the musical equivalent of walking with a limp. The number 5 is not nice and symmetrical, unlike 4, so it can feel as though you have an extra beat in the bar. Check out our Take Five sheet music so you can see and hear exactly what is going on. To write pieces in 5/4 that actually work well and flow (rather than sounding contrived and limping) is therefore actually really tricky. In the Pop/Rock world Sting is someone who has suceeded at this. His tune Seven Days is also in 5/4.

Most pieces in 5/4 actually subdivide the bar into a set of 3 beats followed by 2 beats (3+2), or 2 beats followed by 3 beats (2+3). In take Five’s case its 3+2, so if you are counting along with the intro you would count:

1 2 3 1 2

Try it – this really works.

The funny thing is to initiated ears you can hear how Joe Morello actually struggles a bit during his solo in 5/4 – you can feel how to the whole group playing in 5/4 is still such a new thing.

Take Five went on to almost become a signature tune for jazz, with the Album Time Out always featuring at the very top of the all time top jazz album sales charts. I also doubt there is a single concert that Brubeck has played since Take Five was first released without being able to play it. Every time I have seen him play he’s certainly played it, and almost always towards the end of the gig.

After Desmond’s very sad and early death of lung cancer in 1977 he left all the future proceeds of Take Five to the Red Cross.

Below is a recording of Take Five taken from a concert in Germany in 1966:

And here is a video of Sting’s Seven Days.

Cheers

Lincoln Jaeger

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Elbow – The Seldom Seen Kid Sheet Music

Hi everyone

Thanks to our friends at Faber Music we will have even more exciting sheet music releases over the coming months. Our catalogue has now grown to over 48,000 arrangements, and to think that we launched with barely over 1,000 arrangement over 7 years ago. Crazy.

Anyway, today’s posting is about Elbow’s The Seldom Seen Kid, which won the 2008 Mercury Music Prize.

Thanks to our latest publishing deal (and we are constantly looking for even more) we can bring you the sheet music to all but one tune from that album.

My personal favourite is Grounds for Divorce (see the video below). The album tracks are:

Starlings
The Bones of You
Mirrorball
Grounds for Divorce
An Audience with the Pope
Weather to Fly
The Loneliness of a Tower Crane Driver
The Fix
Some Riot
One Day Like This
Friend of Ours
We’re Away

And here are Elbow performing Grounds For Divorce:

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Ben Folds – Theme From Dr Pyser Sheet Music

Hi There

We have some exciting (and exclusive) new sheet music on our website.

It’s the rip-roaring Theme from Dr Pyser by Ben Folds Five. This tune is featured on a special extended version of Whatever and Ever Amen, only, which also has a brilliant version of Video Killed The Radio Star.

The version is for solo piano – we will do a separate video with me playing this and going through the various bits at some point in the future. I have included different solos that Ben plays, as the studio version solo is different form the live version he plays – so both are included in the transcription, as well as a version that works best for solo piano.

Anyway, check out the sheet music here.

And here are Ben Folds Five playing it.

PS. We miss you Darren and Robert! Bring back BFF!

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Tunes you didn't realise you knew – No3: New World Symphony/The Hovis Theme

Hi There

Welcome to the third instalment of Tunes you didn’t realise you knew. Today we will be looking at the music from the Hovis advertisement. For those of you who live outside of the UK, Hovis is a big British bread company. Yes, jolly foreigner, in the UK many people love sliced and packed bread made on an industrial scale (mind you, it ain’t my cup of tea!)

Anyway, I digress, back to the music. The music used in the ad is actually the 2nd movement (Largo) of Symphony No. 9 in E Minor “From the New World”, Op. 95, B. 178 by the Czech composer Antonín Dvo?ák. It is usually referred to as The New World Symphony.

We have the sheet music for it here.

Dvorak (Dvo?ák) was staying in the United States from 1892 to 1895, and the US was then (more than now) referred to as The New World (i.e. the world that Columbus discovered, hence “New” World). It is said that in the 2nd movement Dvorak was trying to portray the feeling of home-sickness, something which the music did so successfully that the main theme was later set to lyrics and turned into the song Going Home.

So, what important tid-bits should we know about Dvorak (pronounced D-vor-jak or D-vor-zhahk)?

Q: Was he a one-hit classical wonder?
A: No, but The New World Symphony is by far his best known.

Q: Ok, so what other stuff did he write that I may know (or should know)?
A: The Slavonic Dances and the Humoresque.

Q: What was he doing in the US for those 3 years?
A: Dvorak was the director of the National Conservatory of Music and was paid $15,000 a year – which in those days was an absolute fortune.

Q: Wow, so a classical composer who wasn’t broke?
A: Yep, there are a few, but not too many.

Q: Ok, let’s see the ad then.
A: Here it is, arranged for brass band (the setting of the ad is in Northern England, where brass bands were very popular due to large number of coal mining brass bands).

And here is the actual piece played by an orchestra:

Cheers

Lincoln Jaeger

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Swedish Jerry Lee Lewis Boogie

Hi There

A while back we did a posting about a customer of ours from Sweden who videoed a performance of one of our jazzy Christmas arrangements of Silent Night (you can see the post here)

Well, he has been practicing diligently, and has now performed the very tricky Jerry Lee Lewis Boogie (which is also one of our best-selling pieces of sheet music). Fantastic. Well done Christopher:

He also has his own band, Black Pearl, you should check them out:

Black Pearl gets our vote for the next Grammy nominations :-).

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Tunes you didn't realise you knew – No2: Morning Mood

Hi There

Welcome to the 2nd instalment of our look at famous classical pieces that are (almost) better known for their use in Tv or Films.

It is “Morning Mood” by Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg (1843 – 1907).

Q: What do I need to know about this piece?
A: Morning Mood is taken from Edvard Grieg’s “Peer Gynt Suite I, Opus 46”. Peer Gynt is a play by Norwegian author Henrik Ibsen, with music composed by Edvard Grieg. The music contained in the play was so powerful, it soon took on a life of its own and Grieg selected eight pieces of the incidental score to form two separate Suites: Peer Gynt Suite No. 1 (Opus 46), and Peer Gynt Suite No. 2 (Opus 55).

Q: Are other pieces from the Peer Gynt Suite well known?
A: Yes, in fact almost all of them are known individually, the 2nd most well-known piece is probably In The Hall Of The Mountain King, which has also been used in many movies and commercials.

Q: Ok, is there anything else that Grieg wrote that I may know (or should know)?
A: Mainly his Piano Concerto in A minor.

Q: Ok, so which ads has this been used in?
A: Too many to mention. The music depicts the rising of the sun so well, it is used pretty much everywhere. Here is the orchestral version of the piece:

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