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How to play like Musical Analysis

How to play (2) like Oscar Peterson

How to play (2) like Oscar Peterson

Oscar Peterson was the first pianist I ever heard. His
combination of musical ideas and confidence inspired me with
its deft marriage of drive, swing, and precise execution.
Peterson’s blend of bebop and blues has always carried an
uplifting message for me as a listener, even long before I ever
analyzed his playing theoretically. The harmonic colors he
developed range from lyrical to big band-like block chord
passages, so I’ve tried to profile a wide range of them here.

Let’s take some exercises, young Jazz pianists!


Ex. 1. Block Chords


Peterson’s frequent use of block chords always reminded me of the sound of a big band sax section. He often uses seventh, ninth, and especially sixth chords in his right hand, with the top voice doubled in the left hand.

Practice tip: Try playing block chords in every possible inversion to complement the melodic idea at hand.


Ex. 2. Blues


This is a 12-bar blues form in the key of Eb containing left hand bass notes Peterson often used in solo piano performances, and right-hand lines which can be used in a variety of harmonic situations in different keys. Also note the flatted fifth, a key point of tension and release in Peterson’s playing.


Ex. 3. The II-V-I Progression


Peterson always has a way of presenting potent ideas over ii-V-I chord progressions. Many of his phrasings remind me of how a comedian can deliver a powerful punch line at just the right time. Here, we illustrate
a few such ii-V-I devices.


Ex. 4. Octave Unisons


This demonstrates Peterson’s trademark unison octave style over a series of dominant chords. These phrasings can be used as single-line runs over chord changes stated in any appropriate situation. Pay special attention to Peterson’s impeccable sense of time, creating musical resolution at the right moment.

Ex. 5. Stride Piano


Here’s another fervent force in Peterson’s music. He uses stride devices often, playing the root on the first beat and the chord on the second beat, or alternating roots and fifths as bass tones and chords on the second and fourth beat, respectively. He also uses the broken tenth in his left hand (breaking up the normally combined stride interval of a tenth) with his right hand soloing over it.

oscar peterson sheet music pdf
Get That Swing! And download Oscar Peterson’s sheet music from our Library!

“One of the most important aspects of Oscar’s playing is his use of accents to imbue his music with swing,” explains Grammy-nominated pianist.

The Best of Oscar Peterson

Track List

00:00:00​ Summertime 00:03:49​ Autumn Leaves 00:08:51​ Sweet Lorraine 00:11:50​ These Foolish Things 00:15:15​ Bess, You Is My Woman Now 00:18:46​ I Want to Stay Here 00:25:07​ Blue Moon 00:27:47​ Here Come the Honey Man 00:28:59​ How High the Moon 00:31:58​ Nuages 00:35:42​ I Can’t Get Started 00:38:42​ Saturday Night

00:41:39​ Oh Dey’s so Fresh and Fine 00:42:32​ I Got Plenty o’ Nuttin’ 00:48:53​ Medley: The Man I Love / Tenderly / Imagination / I’ll Never Be the Same / Stardust 01:01:54​ I’ll Remember April 01:05:59​ It Happened in Monterey 01:08:55​ Love for Sale

01:13:06​ The Tender Trap 01:15:49​ You to Go My Head 01:19:47​ Body and Soul 01:27:15​ Moonglow 01:29:55​ Birth of the Blues 01:33:51​ I Get a Kick Out of You 01:36:52​ My Old Flame 01:40:09​ Oh Lawd, I’m on My Way

01:42:46​ There’s a Boat Dat’s Leaving Soon for New York 01:49:57​ It Ain’t Necessarly So 01:53:55​ Bess, Oh Where’s My Bess 01:58:48​ You Turned the Tables on Me

Categories
Best Classical Music

Chopin: 24 Preludes, Op.28 (Blechacz)

Chopin: 24 Preludes, Op.28 (Blechacz)

chopin free downloadsheet music & scores pdf

Track List

No.1 – 00:00​ (Note the subtle textural shift at 00:23​) No.2 – 00:37​ No.3 – 02:42​ (Note how carefully the detached nature of the melody is observed, as well as the emphasis on tiny harmonic changes, such as the C-natural at 2:54​) No.4 – 03:37​* (A marvellous rendition. Note how the surprising dynamic range matches the important harmonic shifts, the LH sotto voce, and the rubato used to lengthen the last beat of the bar when there’s a dotted quaver – semiquaver subdivision of the beat. This is an important structural element of the prelude which divides it up into its constituent sections.)

No.5 – 05:32​ (Note the clarity of the voicing and the way Blechacz begins the piece.) No.6 – 06:06​ (Note the crescendo – decrescendo arc of the LH) No.7 – 08:07​ No.8 – 09:01​* (A fantastic rendition. Perfect dynamic control (10:07​ and 10:25​ are representative), and some incredible textural shading (the second or so at 09:26​, the LH countermelody at 10:12​).) No.9 – 10:54​ (Note the doubled bass at 11:54​, and the sudden dynamic shift and emphasis on the LH countermelody that highlights the harmonic change at 11:23​) No.10 – 12:25​ No.11* – 12:58​ (Another gem. Note the anti-crescendo at 13:08​ leading to the beautifully tender sequence at 13:10​, and the bass shading at 13:18​ leading to the emphasis on the LH immediately after).

No.12 – 13:36​ (Note the textural changes at 13.57) No.13 – 14:59​ No.14 – 18:06​ (Note the countermelodies, and how they are shaped to emphasised harmonic shifts) No.15* (Raindrop) – 18:41​ (The whole thing is a study in legato and sotto voce, really.) No.16 – 23:23​ No.17* – 24:30​ (Superb voicing throughout. One example is the sudden emergence of a lower voice at 26:17​) No.18* – 27:19​ No.19 – 28:21​ (Note the textural clarity.) No.20* – 29:40​ (Note the brilliant decision to emphasise the inner voice at 30:43​, which demonstrates an important structural feature of the prelude, viz. the close relationship between the prelude’s two apparently disparate sections: the opening theme, and the chromatic theme.)

No.21 – 31:26​ (Note the legato swell of the LH, and the hushed brightness of 32:05​, with the LH nearly silent) No.22 – 33:08​ No.23* – 33:46​ (Note the legatos and the subtle pedalling to ensure no trills are smudged.) No.24* — 34:42​ (Note yet again the melodic clarity and the entrance of the un poco espressivo at 35:55​).

Categories
Best Classical Music

Rachmaninoff 10 Preludes Op. 23 with sheet music

Rachmaninoff 10 Preludes Op 23 with sheet music available in our online Library.

Track List

1. Largo, F-sharp minor — 0:00

2. Maestoso, B-flat major — 3:26​.

3. Tempo di minuetto, D minor — 6:53​.

4. Andante cantabile, D major — 10:2

5. *Alla marcia, G minor — 15:04​.

6. *Andante, E-flat major — 18:52​.

7. *Allegro, C minor — 22:04​.

8. Allegro vivace, A-flat major — 24:28

9. Presto, E-flat minor — 27:41

10: Largo, G-flat major — 29:27

rachmaninoff free sheet music & pdf scores download
Categories
Music Concerts Jazz Music

‘Round Midnight – Thelonious Monk with sheet music

‘Round Midnight – Thelonious Monk with sheet music

thelonious monk free sheet music & scores pdf

“‘Round Midnight” is a 1944 composition by pianist Thelonious Monk that quickly became a jazz standard and has been recorded by a wide variety of artists. A version recorded by Monk’s quintet was added to the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1993. It is the most recorded jazz standard composed by a jazz musician.

Composition and Monk’s first recording

It is thought that Monk composed the song sometime in 1940 or 1941. However, Harry Colomby claims that Monk may have written an early version around 1936 (at the age of 19). The song was copyrighted September 24, 1943 in C minor under the title “I Need You So”, and included lyrics by Monk himself. The first recording was made by Cootie Williams on August 22, 1944, after the pianist Bud Powell persuaded Williams to record the tune. Monk first recorded the song on November 21, 1947, and later appeared on the Blue Note album Genius of Modern Music: Volume 1, and recorded it several times after that. His first version was transcribed by Lionel Grigson in A Thelonious Monk Study Album (Novello, 1993).

thelonious monk free sheet music & scores pdf

Jazz trumpeters Cootie Williams and Dizzy Gillespie further embellished the song, with songwriter Bernie Hanighen adding his own lyrics. The lyrics were copyrighted November 27, 1944 under the title “Grand Finale”. Both Williams and Hanighen received co-credits for their contributions. The commonly played intro to “‘Round Midnight” was originally composed by Dizzy Gillespie for the end of his arrangement for “I Can’t Get Started“, but later adopted it to the intro for “‘Round Midnight”. Gillespie later reused the arrangement for “I Can’t Get Started”, and recorded it for Birks’ Works and Something Old, Something New.

Watch Thelonious Monk’s performance LIVE:

Download Thelonious Monk’s sheet music from our Library.