Fall News & CalendarThe Columbia Jazz Band's 2010 European Tour CD is still available. Please contact Maurice Feldman for more information.
School is back in session, which means fall is around the corner! Please visit our website and come out to hear either group, starting with the concert band's Young People's Concert this Sunday!
|by Len Morse (Percussion)||
Halloween Music Playlist Ideas
Halloween is more than just costumes, candy, and goofy-looking pumpkins; it's legends, feelings, and atmosphere. To host any Halloween event, you need the right background music. Is it a party for kids, a party for adults or house music for trick-or-treaters? Since most people are already family-oriented and are most familiar with pop music, this article will focus instead on the background music for those with a trick-or-treating mindset.
It's tough to transform your front yard, porch, or other entryway into an area that is both eerie, yet still inviting. You want people to enjoy the scary aspect of the holiday and have fun, not for their kids to be traumatized and go screaming into the night. To play successfully creepy, yet innocuous background music, you should use a variety of CDs, from movie themes to more serious orchestral works. In that vein, here are some suggestions for setting the mood.
Toccata and Fugue in D Minor (Johann Sebastian Bach, approx. 1705): This is a very recognizable pipe organ piece, even if you don't know the title. The beginning notes have been used in numerous commercials and other media when referring to Halloween, so it should have a place in your "haunted" music collection. It's quite long, so you might consider using either the Toccata or the Fugue (pronounced "Fyoog").
In the Hall of the Mountain King (Edvard Grieg, 1876): This piece starts extremely slowly and quietly, gradually becoming louder and more intense as it repeats the same theme. Simple in construction, it is quite the powerhouse near the end.
Venus, Saturn, or Neptune from The Planets (Gustav Holst, 1916): These three movements are the most benign of the collection. They don't sound scary as much as they provide a mystical or introspective atmosphere.
Theme from Phantom of the Opera (Andrew Lloyd Weber, 1986): Another pipe organ piece, this Broadway musical theme is more "in-your-face," with a rock beat behind it. Yet, it still provides a sinister atmosphere. Crank up the volume for this one.
Grand Canyon (James Newton Howard, 1991): This movie is not at all scary in the classic Halloween sense. Moreover, there are a few tracks on the CD that you may want to use for a smoother, more tranquil sound.
Jumanji (James Horner, 1995): This film adaptation of a children's book boasts a theme that features low drums and a haunting, tortured voice, yearning for freedom. Imagine this emanating from your house as you answer the doorbell.
Music for a Darkened Porch
Composer Danny Elfman has created original scores for a wide variety of movies and television. He makes use of every instrument section in an orchestra, plus extras like voices, unusual percussion, and sound effects. His surreal, slightly odd style is best heard in darker films such as Beetle Juice (1988), Batman (1989), Edward Scissorhands (1990), The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), The Frighteners (1996), Sleepy Hollow (1999), and The Corpse Bride (2005). Many of these are on his anthology CDs, Music for a Darkened Theater Volumes I and II.
You might want to do more than merely assemble the music, but create your own personalized Halloween CD. This means that you should be ready to "cut-and-paste," since most pieces will have some loud sections, and you probably don't want trick-or-treaters thinking that a bombastic 100-piece orchestra will come thundering out your front door at any moment. If you keep the volume under control and vary the musical styles, your visitors should enjoy every scary moment.
|by Pete BarenBregge (Jazz Band Director)||
An Essential Tool for Jazz: A Real Book!
What is a Real Book?
A Real Book is also known as a Fake Book. Either way, it is a collection of song lead sheets. The term "fake book" comes from the original idea that with the fake book, you could "fake" your way through a tune you may not actually know. A "lead sheet" is music notation that includes the melody, harmony and sometimes lyrics. The lead sheet melody is usually written in treble clef with the harmony or chord progression notated above the melody. The chord progression is written with chord symbols. If lyrics are included, they are written below the melody.
What do you do with a Real Book or Fake Book and why do you need one? There are many Real Books commercially available, so select the one that serves your stylistic or genre needs-but make sure it is a legal version that has all the copyrights clearly notated at the bottom of the first page of each song. A jazz fake book is simply a collection of jazz lead sheets with the melody and the chord progressions. Usually it will contain a mix of standards both new and old, bebop, more contemporary jazz tunes, various Latin tunes and styles, and lyrics and a verse on many of the standards. Books are sometimes available transposed for B-flat or E-flat instruments, but usually the C edition is the most common and therefore the default.
The uses are varied, for example:
Other features and tips:
To sum up, a Real Book/Fake Book is a must-have tool for a jazz musician. There are many various real books available for all types of music. For jazz, there are books written at the easy and intermediate/professional level. Some of the easy books even include play-along recordings. Once you have selected a Real Book, you can listen to various interpretations of just about any song on You Tube. Check it out!
Quarterly Word: "Electronic Music" - Music that requires performance via an electronic medium, such as a synthesizer, computer, or electronic instrument.
Quarterly Quote: "Most people rather think of music as an art. But, in reality music partakes of both art and science...every time a printed score is brought to life it has to be re-created through different sound machines called musical instruments." ~ Edgar Varèse (1883-1965) French-American composer
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