Learn To Play Love Said Goodbye

 Do you remember the Theme from the Paramount Picture "The Godfather Part II" Love Said Goodbye? Here's the song on video performed by an artist with a softer side that I really like.

The song was written in 1974 with words by Larry Kusik and music by Nino Rota. It's written in the Key of E minor with 4/4 time signature, played rather slowly. You can download the music for free at, http://www.wikifonia.org/node/10509

The song goes something like this:



          How cold, the
*Em    wind that whispers
Am6  you are
Em     gone; How sad, the rain that cries your
AM6  name at
B       dawn. Where is the
A       laugh
Am7  ter that
D7sus we
D7      once
G        knew?
C        Had I but
F        reached, would I
B7     still have (CODA)
Em    you? Seeker of dreams was
E7     I. then I
Am    lost my way; keeper of
Bm7(b5) hope that promised
E7     love for another
Am    day How did it
F#7    all slip
B7(sus)  way? B7*



Here I am... playing the exact same chords on my old acoustic piano that my mother gave me when I was a child, that I am sharing with you here in this post. You can hear the sad E minor sound with your ear. Are there other similar songs you have played that remind you of a heavy heart?

You may be interested in the music resource that Hear and Play offers, called Backpocketband Software

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The Godfather, 1972
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Kind regards,

"Jazz washes away the dust of every day life." -- Art Blakey
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Martin Luther King Day

 I just finished watching the Presidential Inauguration and I was reminded of this children's song, Martin Luther King. With all the horns and stuff, listen to the midi at http://www.newtunings.com/kidmid/music/wantedpeace.mid It sounds better on an acoustic piano in the Key of D (F# and C#).


By Theresa Fullbright He wanted peace and love all over this land
He wanted peace and love all over this land
Martin Luther King was a peace-loving man
He wanted peace and love all over this land
He walked for you and me all over this land
He walked for you and me all over this land
Martin Luther King was a great, great man
He walked for you and me all over this land
He died for freedom's cause to save this land
He died for freedom's cause to save this land
Martin Luther King was a brave, brave man
He died for freedom's cause to save this land
Martin Luther King was a brave, brave man
He died for freedom's cause to save this land

Here's the chords that I play to the song.

GB/D  He
F#A/D  want-
EG/D    ed
DA/DF#  peace
BbG/E    and
BF#/D    love all
G/BE     o-
G/BD    ver
A/AC#E  this
DF#A/F#D land
DF#/A  He
C#E/A   want-
BD/A     ed
F#C#/AC#  peace and
F#/C#A love all
EG#/DB over this
AEA/C#A  land.
A/A  Mar-
G/A  tin
BF#/DD  Lu-ther
F#/C#A King was a
G3/BDF#  peace-
A/GE  lov-
A#/G#E ing
B/F#D man,
GB/D  He
F#A/D want-
EG/D  ed
DA/DF# peace
BbG/  and
BF#/D  love all
G/BE over
A/AC#E this
DA/F#D  land.

Martin Luther King on the Importance of Jazz

Jazz means many things to many people. As is its essential nature, it connects uniquely and directly to each person. But it also holds some universalities. In his opening address at the 1964 Berlin Jazz Festival, the brilliant Martin Luther King touched upon those aspects of the music, most perceptively that modern jazz is “singing the songs of a more complicated urban existence.”

Read the rest of the article here

Otis Spann, “Blues For Martin Luther King” (1968)

I am thankful in celebrating and rejoicing in the birth of our 5th grandchildren!
Blessings to you and yours,

"Jazz washes away the dust of every day life." -- Art Blakey
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Where's The Beat (Part Two)

Note asymmetrical flutes of highly modified pa...
Note asymmetrical flutes of highly modified parachute so kiting occurs. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Asymmetrical Meters

"Many composers of today are using meters that are asymmetrical. This occurs in music when you have an odd number of subdivisions, which means that the measure cannot be divided into equal pulses or beats. There have been a number of different methods used for notating asymmetrical meters; the more traditional method of notating these time signatures is commonly preferred like (5/8 and 7/8).

Making asymmetrical meters easy to recognize is the top number of the time signature. In many cases it is an odd number, for example (5/8 and 7/8). Asymmetrical meters can be counted in the same manner as compound meters. In order to determine the best possible group pattern, young musicians must pay careful attention tot he beams provided above or below the notes. Where possible, each beat is divided into three-note groupings. One beat or pulse will have one less eighth-note, thus making the meter asymmetrical.

Many musicians overlook the effect that meter changes will have on the conductor. Conductors use different conducting patterns to successfully conduct many different meters. The conductor's pattern should emphasize a strong downbeat. This may aid many young musicians in keeping their place in the music. Watching the conductor is extremely important when dealing with asymmetrical meters.

Another compositional method used in many of today's concert band music is the alternation between simple, duple, triple, quadruple and asymmetrical meters. Many young musicians of various experience levels frequently play these rhythms incorrectly because they don't realize that they're only rearranging the eighth-notes to create a different pulse or beat. In return the asymmetrical meters are often rushed, especially the beat or pulse with the fewest notes. For example, if the grouping of an asymmetrical measure (3+2), the last count with only two notes would usually be rushed, as well as any following simple, duple, triple or quadruple metered measure.

Young musicians will see that the second beat or pulse has one less note than the first beat or pulse and will automatically assume that there must be a need to compensate for the missing note by speeding up the note value of the first pulse or beat. Remember, the eighth-note must stay constant.

The table below illustrates the most-used asymmetrical meters.

Asymmetrical Meters
Meter                                               Beats/Pulses             Time Signature
 5/8 is considered Asymmetrical Duple, because it contains one compound pulse.
(1&a), and one simple pulse (1&), or vice-versa; (3+2) or (2+3)
Asymmetrical Duple (3+2)            (1&a)(2&)                     5/8
Asymmetrical Duple (2+3)            (1&)(2&a)                     5/8
7/8 is considered asymmetrical Triple, because it contains two simple pulses (1&) and one compound pulse (1&a), such as (2+2+3+), (2+3+2), or (3+2+2).
Asymmetrical Triple (2+2+3)          (1&)(2&)(3&a)             7/8
or (2+3+2)                                          (1&)(2&a)(3&)             7/8
or (3+2+2)                                          (1&a)(2&)(3&)             7/8
11/8 is considered Asymmetrical Quadruple, because it contains one simple pulses (1&) and three compound pulses (1&a), such as (2+3+3+3), (3+2+3+3), (3+3+2+3) or (3+3+3+2)
Asymmetrical Quadruple (2+3+3+3)   (1&)(2&a)(3&a)(4&a) 11/8
or (3+2+3+3)                                      (1&a)(2&)(3&a)(4&a)    11/8
or (3+3+2+3)                                      (1&a)(2&a)(3&a)(4&a)   11/8
or (3+3+3+2)                                      (1&a)(2&a)(3&a)(4&a)   11/8
*** In the examples above, the numbers in (1&)(1&a) can be replaced with any number that will best demonstrate the correct counting of the measure in question.

Points to Remember

1. Thoroughly explain all meters:
simple, duple, triple, quadruple, and asymmetrical.
2. If possible, have the children listen to the composition and clap only the strong beats: 1-2, or 1-2-3, or 1-2-3-4.
3. ask them to identify the meter of the song, based on their clapping or counting.
4. Duple and quadruple meters may cause some confusion within the group. Don't be alarmed. Sometimes young musicians will have trouble distinguishing between the two meters. Locating the strongest beats in each measure may resolve the problem.
5. If you have the ability, use new compositions when dealing with compound and asymmetrical meters.
6. Once they have found the beat, have them to count along with the music; (1&)(2&) or (1&a)(2&a).
7. To check for understanding, ask the following questions:
     1. Can they quickly decide which meter is used in the music?
      2. Is the meter simple, compound or asymmetrical?
8. When dealing with asymmetrical meters, remember, the eighth-note must stay constant. Young musicians will have a tendency to rush. Select a slow tempo to start this exercise and gradually work your way up to the performance tempo. This method of teaching will ensure that all notes are being played evenly."

Simple Songs in various meters
  • "The farmer in the Dell" (duple simple)
  • "Five Little Ducks" (duple simple)
  • "Joy To The World" (duple simple)
  • "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" (duple compound)
  • "When Johnny Comes Marching Home: (duple compound)
  • "Green Sleeves" (duple compound)
  • "Three Blind Mice" (duple compound)
  • "Found a Peanut" (triple compound)
  • "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" (triple simple)
  • "Amazing Grace" (triple simple)
  • "Home On The Range" (triple simple)
  • "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean" (triple simple)
  • "Jesus Loves Me" (quadruple simple)
  • "The Cat Came Back" (quadruple simple)
  • "Do Your Ears Hang Low (quadruple simple)
  • "Dry Bones" (quadruple simple)
  • "Silent Night" (compound duplex)
  • "Humpty Dumpty" (compound duple)
  • "The Muffin Man" (quadruple simple)
  • "The Alphabet Song (quadruple simple)
  • "The Animal Fair" (compound duple)
  • "The Ants Go Marching" (compound duple)
  • "The Bear Went Over The Mountain" (compound duple)
  • "The Eensy Weensy Spider" (compound duple)
  • "Pop! Goes the Weasel" (compound duple)
  • "Hickory Dickory Dock" (compound quadruple)
Dr.  Girtmon is currently director of Bands/Music Education-chair/associate professor of Music at Belhaven College, Jackson, Miss. He oversees all aspects of the Marching, Jazz, Symphonic Winds, and Pep Band programs, as well as the large and small ensembles in the spring terms.

Dr. Girtmon has an active conducting schedule and is a frequent honor band clinician and adjudicator for concert band and large and small ensembles events.

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"Poolside Piano Practice," June 11, 1960
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I hope you enjoyed this basic training article on mastering the mysteries of multi-metered music by Paxton Girtmon.

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"Jazz washes away the dust of every day life." -- Art Blakey
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Where's the Beat? (Part One)

music rhythm sign
                                                                                            Source: Uploaded by user via Patty on Pinterest

I was reading an article in one of my 2010 Jazz magazines called, "Where's the beat?" written by Paxton Girtmon. There's so much to learn in this dynamite, knock-out lesson but I thought I would share some valuable snippets with you, so we can learn together.

"The term 'meter' can be defined as a repetitive pattern of strong and weak beats in an arranged rhythm. This does not imply that the rhythms themselves are necessarily repetitive, but a repeated pattern of pulses or beats is clearly evident. Duple meter in the music will feel like "strong/weak/strong/weak." Triple meter in the music will feel like "strong/weak/weak," and quadruple will feel like "strong/weak/weak/weak."

Paxton Girtmon teaches middle school musicians to recognize different meters, remembering to emphasize that the beats and subdivisions are all equal and even. He found that students tend to rush the upper beat or the "&" of the count. He goes on to say... "Remember to emphasize to the student that the numbers (1, 2, 3, and 4) always come on a pulse or the strongest part of the beat."

Identifying Various Meters

"Simple and compound are the two main categories of meters. In a simple meter, each beat is basically divided into two parts 1&, and the quarter note should be constant. In compound meters, each beat is divided into three parts, 1&a, and the eighth-note should be constant.

                                                       Constant Note Value
                                                Quarter Note                   Eighth Note

Two beats per measure               Simple duple             Compound duple
Three beats per measure            Simple triple              Compound triple
Four beats per measure              Simple quadruple      Compound quadruple

The table below illustrates the most-used symmetrical meters.

Symmetrical Meters
Meter                           Beats/Pulses       Time Signature
Duple Simple           (1&)(2&)                2/4
Triple Simple          (1&)(2&)(3&)         3/4
Quadruple Simple (1&)(2&)(3&)(4&)  4/4
Duple Compound  (1&a)(2&a)               6/8
Triple Compound (1&a)(2&a)(3&a)      9/8
Quadruple Compound (1&a)(2&a)(3&a)(4&a) 12/8 

I hope you like the information on mulit-metered music. Part two is coming.

One music resource in my library that you may be interested in, Jazz101

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"Jazz washes away the dust of every day life." -- Art Blakey
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