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"Learning and Teaching" pieces Arrangements for helping aspiring musicians learn to play from sheet music.

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Old 11-19-2010, 02:15 PM
rrayner rrayner is offline
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 718
Default When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again Duet

Originally Posted by RRR
This piece is written for Soprano Recorder and Alto Recorder. Play along with Notation Composer or print the piece for playing with your friend(s). Please feel free to change the instruments and/or keys to suit your personal needs. RRR
I first heard "When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again" in Grade School, many years ago, and have always loved the melody and harmonies. As my primary musical preference has always been jazz/swing, I'm sure over the years that I've absent-mindedly hummed or whistled the melody with a swing orientation.

My wife Cynthia, who is now 1-1/2 years into her Recorder lessons at home, recently received a book that contains the traditional "Johnny" melody. As a lark one day, as she finished playing the traditional version, she launched into her own "swing" version of the melody, because she thought that it would please me.

Well, I quickly took advantage of this development and crafted this arrangement that features both versions. Cynthia did the data entry part on the traditional version, as her Notation Composer skills are getting quite good. The traditional version in 6/8 time is the exact melody from Cynthia's book. The harmonies have been running around in my head for years. Then, the last note in measure 18 launches the "swing" version. For those new players that aren't too familiar with swing, try the playback feature of Notation to hear what the swing feel is.

The swing section is written in swing notation, in order to get the proper feel and although Notation Composer has the capability of converting the swing notation to standard eighth note notation without changing the underlying swing sound, I've decided to leave "Johnny" notated as is. The form of the melody in the swing version is a collaboration of what Cynthia was hearing in her mind and what I've been hearing in my mind for years. Of course, in true jazz fashion, my melody probably changed minutely every time I whistled or hummed it.

At any rate, we have had a ball crafting and playing this duet and we hope that you will too. As always, the Recorders sound better if you have a good sound card with strong midi capability.

Ralph Rayner
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