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pulelehua
08-26-2011, 11:30 AM
What with the friendly reception the Ukulele Etudes are getting, I thought I'd plug my next effort: The Ukulele Duets.

No. They're not finished. They're hardly started. But I am trying to map them out, and thought I'd ask for your help.

It all started when I began the first one. It basically asks the question, "If Mozart had played the ukulele, what might he have written?" And so I wrote this little duet, and called it "Vienna 1781".

Then I came up with another idea for a piece, a jazz waltz, VERY loosely inspired by "Up Jumped Spring" by Freddie Hubbard. And called it "New York 1966".

See where I'm going here?

So, I've come up with a few others:

Weimar 1722 - A Baroque invention
Rio de Janeiro 1959 - A Bossa Nova tune
Sedalia 1899 - A rag
Seville 1870 - A flamenco tune

That makes 6. I want 10. Possibly released in 2 volumes. We'll see how quickly I get on, and how big it all gets. But I'd like it to involve a pretty wide range of styles. The basic premise is to compose for genres in which the ukulele does not traditionally appear - to write original, idiomatic ukulele music in those styles.

So, and this is where I hope it gets fun for you, I was hoping some of you could help me come up with the last 4. The trick is pretty obvious, methinks. A place and year associated with a particular kind of music.

Thanks in advance!

AnnaUK
08-26-2011, 11:40 AM
Hello John :)

Clarksdale 1936??? - (My logic was that call-and-response blues might be good for a duet?)

Anyway, how are you? I'm glad the Etudes are doing well. Good for you :D

southcoastukes
08-26-2011, 11:45 AM
Saint Louis 1898 - Joplin / Ragtime

New Orleans 1900 - Bolden; Morton / Jazz

mds725
08-26-2011, 12:59 PM
San Francisco 1968 -- it was the Summer of Love (i.e., the Summer of the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and psychedelic rock).

Boston 1976 -- You could go in different directions here. Boston was a "Birthplace of the Revolution," and 1976 was the United States Bicentennial, so you could write something in the style of John Phillip Sousa (see, e.g., Jake and Bruce Shimabukuro playing Stars and Stripes Forever (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ofe-T3lDKw)), but it was also the heyday of Boston area big hair bands like, well, Boston (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_(band)) ("More Than A Feeling (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2o2TkDYeBuw)").

pulelehua
08-26-2011, 01:11 PM
Saint Louis 1898 - Joplin / Ragtime

New Orleans 1900 - Bolden; Morton / Jazz

Sedalia was where Joplin was living in those years, I believe. So, got that one covered. ;) I figured ragtime would be more specific, and maybe a bit more straightforward to right a duet for.

pulelehua
08-26-2011, 01:14 PM
Hello John :)

Clarksdale 1936??? - (My logic was that call-and-response blues might be good for a duet?)

Anyway, how are you? I'm glad the Etudes are doing well. Good for you :D


That's a really good one!

I'm pretty good. Just back from a month in California. Looks like you've been busy collating songbooks. :)

Lori
08-26-2011, 01:52 PM
Duets YES!
How about movie music, mid - late 20th Century USA? That could cover anything from a musical (Rogers and Hammerstein, Frederick Loewe, The Sherman Brothers, Oliver!, Wizard of Oz, etc), to a score (John Barry, John Williams, Bernard Herman, etc).
–Lori

itsme
08-26-2011, 03:23 PM
How about movie music, mid - late 20th Century USA? That could cover anything from a musical (Rogers and Hammerstein, Frederick Loewe, The Sherman Brothers, Oliver!, Wizard of Oz, etc), to a score (John Barry, John Williams, Bernard Herman, etc).
Except now you're moving into copyrighted territory where no matter how original the arrangements, you'd have to negotiate with the copyright holders and pay royalties, something I imagine the OP would rather avoid, both for the sake of simplicity and not having to share any of the profits. :)

"VERY loosely inspired by" is a lot different than using a recognizable copyrighted tune. "Jazz waltz" and "bossa nova" are both styles where the OP can incorporate a wide range of influences without infringing upon any individual copyrights.

pulelehua
08-27-2011, 10:04 AM
Trying to do something Bernard Hermann-esque on 2 ukuleles... now there's a challenge. Need to think about that. For a long time.

Itsme, I assume Lori was suggesting an "in the style of" type thing. Trying to actually arrange film scores would be an epic adventure all its own.

pulelehua
02-11-2012, 02:33 AM
Well, after a few months of banging my head against the proverbial wall, I'm taking a chacge of tack with my duets. The 1st is done. Just needs recording. The 2nd is 90% done, but isn't what I had originally intended.

I kept trying to compose these little homages, but I've found that I just keep getting composer's block. So, what I've done is to just focus on 6 classical (with a small c) pieces. The first is fairly Mozart. The second is a waltz, a bit Straussy. Given all the interest on UU lately about classical ukulele, and duets as well, it seemed the best course to take, and I'm finding the little black dots are flowing more freely. Like the etudes, I'm trying to keep the focus on idiomatic writing.

I'm hoping to release these in the summer, hopefully (fingers crossed, and technology permitting) with "live" split screen videos.

For those of you working through the Etudes, I'm also hoping to do some tutorial-style videos sooner than later. But that depends on borrowing a camera and editing facilities from work. But those I can just post as and when they're finished.

Thanks as per usual to those of you who have provided such support and encouragement. :)

Gwynedd
02-11-2012, 02:47 AM
Mozart MUST have played the Ukulele (despite all the bogus pictures showing him at a keyboard; that is just propaganda from the piano industry.) I know this because the first uke piece you play is Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and that was penned by Mozart. See my comments on this in my review of "Fingerstyle Ukulele (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/asin/0786673427/bge-20)." As to duets, Quantz (royal composer to Frederick the II) wrote quite a few duets for flute--they may be transposable to uke. And there were other composers, the French Devienne for one. As to walzes, what about Chopin?

pulelehua
02-11-2012, 08:21 AM
These aren't arrangements, but originals in a classical vein. My composing started due to my frustration at all the arrangements out there, and the relatively small number of original compositions.

And I'm afraid Mozart didn't write Twinkle Twinkle. It was a well-known French folk tune, on which he wrote a series of variations. Sorry. :(

pulelehua
05-18-2012, 08:53 AM
Ok. Done. Well, the composing is done. The PDF file is done. But I still need to put the videos together. Which is much trickier, as I'm playing both parts, and I want some actual video of me playing, as some people have said they don't like staring at slightly blurry black dots floating around... ;)

6 duets. 76 pages, including parts, etc.

1. Salzburg - A fairly Mozarty sort of tune. Not a genuine Sonatina, but Sonatina-ish.
2. Vienna - A waltz, with a B section which would be tough to dance to. Slowwwww. But it fit, so I kept it. That was my general philosophy. I tried to let the ukulele lead the way. Turns out it's much more imaginative than me. :)
3. Paris - Probably my favourite accompaniment part. The first player doesn't actually play for the first 20 bars or so. It's one of those parts which I find feels good to play.
4. Louisville - My take on bluegrass. Inspired partly by recent discussions here about Bill Monroe. I read somewhere that Bill's brothers took half the strings off his mandolin as a kid. Well, that leaves himn learning music on a small, four-stringed instrument......................
5. Weimar - A little Baroque piece which tackles chorale textures as well as some more imitative, contrapuntal bits. I think it's the shortest. Is it the shortest? I think so. After writing it, I realised I've played very little Baroque music. Notes, notes and more notes.
6. Bloomington - my ode to Hoagy Carmichael. I really wanted to end on a tuneful tune with some nice chords. It's probably the least balanced duet, as one player literally thumps out chords to a steady beat. But I'm quite pleased with it, and the chords fit nicely under the hand. I think it would be good for an advancing beginner with an intermediate friend.

I've ordered some software so that I can do splitscreen video. <gulp> So, need to get hold of a camcorder, which I can do through work.

Watch this space!

JamieFromOntario
05-18-2012, 09:07 AM
hey John, I'm really looking forward to these. I'm excited to have some good uke music to multitrack record.

Do you know when you'll be posting the ebook to your website? Maybe you'll release a few PDF teasers for us faithful Ukulele Etudes players...?

janeray1940
05-18-2012, 09:13 AM
Really looking forward to this, John. Ode to Hoagy Carmichael? I can hardly wait!

pulelehua
05-18-2012, 09:22 AM
hey John, I'm really looking forward to these. I'm excited to have some good uke music to multitrack record.

Do you know when you'll be posting the ebook to your website? Maybe you'll release a few PDF teasers for us faithful Ukulele Etudes players...?

My plan is to get the videos sorted before I put it up on my website. That way, people will know what they're getting.

Teasers? Yeah. That's tempting...

:)

pepamahina
05-18-2012, 07:16 PM
I've been looking forward to this from you for a long time, exciting! It's actually kind of shocking what a complete void it is out there when it comes to duet/trio/quartet music for ukulele. Janeray turned me on to a book in Japanese book that has a lot of arrangements for multiple ukes that I've been playing with some friends from our local uke club, but that's almost all I've been able to find. We've started to try to do our own arrangements since there is really practically nothing out there published. I hope Jim Beloff and others of his ilk are paying attention....we want more music for multiple ukes!

pulelehua
05-18-2012, 11:06 PM
I've been looking forward to this from you for a long time, exciting! It's actually kind of shocking what a complete void it is out there when it comes to duet/trio/quartet music for ukulele. Janeray turned me on to a book in Japanese book that has a lot of arrangements for multiple ukes that I've been playing with some friends from our local uke club, but that's almost all I've been able to find. We've started to try to do our own arrangements since there is really practically nothing out there published. I hope Jim Beloff and others of his ilk are paying attention....we want more music for multiple ukes!

Well, after the duets are all done, I'll be putting out my arrangement of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik for ukulele quartet. I've got the first 2 movements finished. And I will release that when I'm done with a MIDI file. I'm not going to worry about the video first, as I'm figuring anyone who wants it knows how it goes. ;) And the MIDI file will give a reasonable approximation of how it should sound on ukulele.

Lori
05-19-2012, 05:20 AM
Well, after the duets are all done, I'll be putting out my arrangement of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik for ukulele quartet. I've got the first 2 movements finished. And I will release that when I'm done with a MIDI file. I'm not going to worry about the video first, as I'm figuring anyone who wants it knows how it goes. ;) And the MIDI file will give a reasonable approximation of how it should sound on ukulele.
I am really interested in this. Keep up the good work, 'cause I'm ready! MIDI is fine. Videos take too much time.
–Lori

janeray1940
05-19-2012, 05:59 AM
I am really interested in this. Keep up the good work, 'cause I'm ready! MIDI is fine. Videos take too much time.
–Lori

I agree re: MIDI vs. video. I rarely watch videos; instead I download the sound file as .mp3.

pulelehua
05-19-2012, 09:23 AM
I agree re: MIDI vs. video. I rarely watch videos; instead I download the sound file as .mp3.

That's really interesting! Are you two part of the silent majority? Dunno. :confused:

Lori
05-19-2012, 10:35 AM
A video is good, since it will help interest people who can't imagine what the final result will be. But, I have seen many tab sites that just use MIDI audio.

–Lori

janeray1940
05-19-2012, 12:11 PM
That's really interesting! Are you two part of the silent majority? Dunno. :confused:

LOL, I doubt that I'm part of *any* majority :)

I'm not sure why, but I've never been able to learn a darned thing from watching a video... I think it's just too much sensory overload. I usually just find it frustrating - watching someone play just confuses me when I'm trying to learn a song, because it all looks "backwards" to me. I'd rather just listen!

pulelehua
05-27-2012, 10:24 AM
The Official Teaser:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWTTiCdKn_c&feature=youtu.be

ADD
05-27-2012, 11:08 AM
I like the videos, but focus camera to see movement of the fingers.

pulelehua
05-27-2012, 11:27 AM
I like the videos, but focus camera to see movement of the fingers.

I wondered about that. But just fingers is a bit weird to me. So, then I thought I'd go for a duetish sort of angle.

Well, 5 more to go, so 5 variations to follow.

fretie
05-27-2012, 04:33 PM
Looking good! Very beautiful playing...I really like your duet approach.

pulelehua
05-28-2012, 10:26 AM
Looking good! Very beautiful playing...I really like your duet approach.

Thanks, fretie! Hoping to get another video up soonish. Very different sort of tune.

And also hoping to update my website soon, though my web host is about to quadruple my fees, so I might need to find another dance partner... need to talk it over with my tech support division.

Oh yeah. I am my tech support division.

pulelehua
05-30-2012, 01:38 PM
The next Duet, entitled "Bloomington", after Hoagy Carmichael's hometown in Indiana. I tried to get a bit fancier with the camerawork to show the fingers a bit more. Hope you like it!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHV4fXQB7aM&feature=youtu.be

Olarte
05-30-2012, 02:15 PM
I would love to see some Italian folk duets...

pulelehua
05-31-2012, 10:04 AM
I would love to see some Italian folk duets...

Doh! Maybe next time?

Folk tunes would actually be really fun. Great idea, Olarte!

pulelehua
06-05-2012, 12:10 PM
Next duet: Paris. Yes, I'm getting used to the video editing software. Yes, I'm having a bit too much fun. No, it's hardly perfect. ;)

Enjoy.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FJAYQUMxzs&feature=youtu.be

pulelehua
06-06-2012, 12:39 PM
And next. This is the Mozart-ish one which started the whole project off. Hope you enjoy it! :)


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rz3fa9eYSyw&feature=youtu.be

pulelehua
06-07-2012, 02:25 AM
DUETS FOR SALE! DUETS FOR SALE!

I've got 2 videos yet to do, but I've checked through all the tab, and the PDF, and I'm happy with it all.

Same price as the Etudes for almost twice as much music (it's 73 pages)! A quick overview:

Salzburg - in the style of Mozart. Parts roughly equate to left hand, right hand in a Classical sonatina.
Vienna - a waltz. Well, mostly a waltz. The middle section is a bit dark and moody. A waltz in a Bond film?
Paris - a duet where the accompaniment is more or less the lead! The 2nd part is harder, and demands more technical control.
Louisville - inspired by the bluegrass debate from a couple months ago. This is my stab at it. The 2nd part is Aldrine's bluegrass, boomchucka rhythm. The first part is full of pull-offs. The whole thing flies by at 200bpm (fast!).
Weimar - a Baroque medley, wandering from texture to texture.
Bloomington - a bit of lazy jazz to close things off. An ode to Hoagy Carmichael.

www.ukulele101.co.uk

Did I mention? DUETS FOR SALE! :)

pulelehua
06-09-2012, 03:44 AM
Some people have pointed out that 2 of the links on the website don't work. That's all been sorted. Sorry about that, and thanks to those keeping me on the straight and narrow. ;)

John

PS Mickey (pippin) suggested I do some tutorial videos on the etudes ages ago, and now that I have access to a camcorder, that will be happening. So watch this space. Or I suppose, the etude space.

I will also be asking soon: What next? For those who don't know, the duets idea came from you all, and so I will be asking what you'd like next soon. I can't do low-g tuning or music for baritones. Other than that, I'm pretty much open. :) I might do a voting thing, but I've never done that, so will have to investigate.

pulelehua
06-11-2012, 08:45 AM
The website now offers m4as of the Duets.

"m4as?" I hear you cry. Well, I didn't know. It's the new format which is apparently set to replace mp3. Better quality, but still highly compressed. Apparently, there are some issues with Windows Media Player. But it definitely works fine on iTunes, and apparently works on many other players.

You learn something new every day........

pulelehua
06-11-2012, 12:11 PM
Well, now I've done it. People asking to see the playing instead of notes, and now I've abandoned notes and playing and fingers altogether!

When I started the duets, I was trying to create atmospheres. So, this video is really me trying to convey that sense of musical atmosphere. I hope you enjoy it! :)


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0JuKORpb0I&feature=youtu.be

ADD
06-11-2012, 07:37 PM
The next Duet, entitled "Bloomington", after Hoagy Carmichael's hometown in Indiana. I tried to get a bit fancier with the camerawork to show the fingers a bit more. Hope you like it!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHV4fXQB7aM&feature=youtu.be

I like the change in camera angle. Helps me when I can see how you play it. Thanks.

Bonita

pulelehua
06-01-2013, 10:11 AM
Well, it's taken about a year of... to be honest, no work. But the last duet is on Youtube, a mildly bluegrass number called "Louisville". When I was doing this last summer, either I didn't know about the video link page, or it wasn't there. Probably the former, given my usual level of ignorance. So, I guess I'll start a very short thread over there to announce.

:)