~ Jacmuse compositions ~

'original ideas that brings the musical elements to life in songs to share with the local universe ...

~

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In a nutshell. By including musical works where we can consult with the composer about their intentions, we can get a clear intent of a piece and examine its components deciding which elements were used to bring that artistic statement forward. So we can make our music to capture and express emotions. This time honored tradition knows no bounds, and of course we can include every other art form of expression. For rare is it that community events do not include music in some shape or fashion. From the coffee shop to the concert hall, from uptown fern cafes to downtown honkytonk and lots of stops in between these venues, there's music working the magic :)

With the following modern tech magics, just the melody of each song included and is presented three ways. Melody is usually the center of a composition, the hook of the tune, carries the words along so the story of the tune and the melody is also what we can copywrite. So in the two audios included for each selection, there's the guitar version of the melody played by yours truly. There's an 'mp3' version created by the playback feature of my computor notation software.

Then there's the lead sheet notation for each title to follow along with the playback. And if you like the song and want to hear it with a fuller band, teach it to your group or please pass along to a friend's who might be interested. Need to print a lead sheet? If you can find the gear it's just a couple of clicks away. Gotta love this modern learning environment.

"Waltz In To My Arms." This song was inspired by finding and conjuring up love in the magical motion of dancing. The emotional character of the melody just reflects a joyous verve for what's to come in loving ways as our lives unfold through the decades as we continue to dance a step or two thus; totally totally major scale constructed. By the title we might think that the tune is in '3', historically considered 'waltz' time, but no, 'waltz' in the title just means to jazz up a groovy step and 'dance on over' to moi.

From the chart we see the 2/4, with a samba feel, just a very hooky line, that bolts right up into a 32 bar A A B A form. The words are totally corny but who cares really, for the tune is written to get folks up dancing together on a Saturday eve, in the local bistro, with the 'new' band in town, you get the picture :) Arpeggio intro of upper colortones twice then main theme at letter 'A.'

lyrics
 
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Solo changes. Ya like it? Yea works fine usually. Click the pic sound file for a basic backing track for working the melody and creating your improvisations. Use the chord changes in the lead sheet above for additional ideas in spelling out the chords.

"Voices From The River." Part of the 'Superhoot' collection of songs, this song is inspired from just a wee bit of a fragment of melody I heard from an Alaskan lass named Nancy who lives up on the Yukon River in Alaska. She mentioned that she had learned it as a child from her grandmother. Written here as a samba in 2 and deeply steeped in the minor tonality to capture the essence of the water / lifeblood of Mother earth, the melody line, based on the pitches of the minor triad, could work in really any genre with some rhythm mods.

The form has a slight and cool variation in that the return of the melody at measure 30, at 'C' the melody pitches are a bit different from its source; the melody out of the gate at letter 'A.' Slight for sure, just an opportunity to point out this feature of musical form; that the 32 bar common form of A A B A becomes A A B C,where 'C' and 'A' are similar but different, each unique enough to get its own letter :) There's also a 'D' section, for an interlude of sorts for soloing and opening up new arrangement possibilities. There's a different progression of chords and colors and some pitches to enjoy borrowed from a new key center.

With the written chords essentially 'Watchtower' changes, there's some Americana history right there to draw from, many fine recordings of 'Watchtower' to examine for ideas. The optional solo section letter 'D', could also be any combination of changes you come up with. This section could also be for 'spoken word / hip hop' storytelling, providing a different harmonic backing than the other parts of the tune.

no lyrics yet
 
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Solo changes. Ya like it? Cool, yea it'll scoot right along with an interested bass / drums combo motor. Add in any other voices and the river comes alive. Solo changes follow the entire form as written; A A B C D A A B C.

"Oh Maggie." This joyous major scale song was first inspired by my friend Maggie who always has a smile, a shoulder to lean on and if you've time, a funny story to tell with the most lovely and bewitchingly green eyes imaginable :) Some of our emails and phone messages were often more like calls across the 'stream and hollers' to one another, as is captured in the only words written for the melody so far, sung over the first two pitches the title 'Oh Mag ~ gee' :)

In 'G' major so one #, a bright sounding key that often brings real joy. The melody is really just a vanilla major triad featuring the perfect 5th and major 3rd, set to 'rhythm changes' form, (A A B A 32 bar form), so thank goodness for inspiration huh? Modulation to the subdominant Four in the bridge then V7 of ii to set up the return to our tonic 'G' major.

#

Written coda is in a very common form; adding in a couple of measures to squeeze in Three / Six to set up the Two / Five cadential motion to the tonic pitch, which is the held over a series chords, first chromatic then by fourth to cycle back around to the tonic key of 'G.' Final close is classic Basie piano lick from the 30's which has evolved in our language into cliche.

lyrics
 
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Solo changes. Ya like it? Cool, yea at heart "Oh ... " is really just an old fashioned 1940's jump tune Americana for a big band to fill the dancefloor. Solo changes follow the entire form as written; A A B C D A A B C.

"Goodbye Again." "Goodbye Again" is a love song on the sadder side of round about midnight with that bit of shine from Tennyson; 'better to have loved and lost than not at all.' Sadder songs ? Minor tonality. The ray of hope within? Usually done with something major, often just a couple of chords and a cadence. "Goodby" is a greater 50 / 50 ~ Yin / Yang / major ~ minor musical balance, fairly reminiscent of the song "Greensleeves" with its pairing of two memorable eight bar themes into A and B sections. "Goodbye" is also a deep nod to "Round About Midnight", Monk's 1944 masterpiece, in its 32 bar A A B A form and intricate harmonies exploring the minor tonality.

wiki ~ "Round AboutModnight"

wiki ~ Thelonius Monk

So chances are whenever Thelonius Monk's name comes up in musical conversation we're in the jazz end of the spectrum. So all 12 pitches are in play basically all of the time. As 'Goodby' is in minor, we'll nick all of the 12 pitches somewhere, enabling natural, harmonic and melodic as we work our pitches back towards major scale formula. Harmony wise lots of colortones. The chords and melody together are an OK chord melody, nothing special really mostly just single lines and block chords. The lyrics are shapeable for either female or male voice.

 
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Solo changes. Ya like it? Cool, yea at heart "Goodbye Again" is really just an old fashioned jazz ballad. On the darker side for sure, but that's just minor. The suggested solo changes written out to simply the harmonic cadential motions.

"The Truth Is." Need a blues hook? For this next song only has a hook so far. Written in an 'iambic pentameter' style, repeat it three times into a 12 bar blues form and ya got a tune. Write some lyrics and arrange it nice and it'll be ready for the bright lights :)

no lyrics just this hook
 
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Solo changes. Ya like it? Cool, just the hook, not much to it yet. Fill in the rest and call it a tune.

"Heading To Charlies." "Heading To Charlie's" is just a happy-go-lucky sort of 'jump blues' tune reminiscent of the sunny days of youth. Charlie owned the local grocery store in right down the block which had everything needed for the household day to day for a college student. When I met and knew Charlie he was this ancient cat who had had the town's Harley motorbike sales and repair shop in his earlier years and he'd share some hair raising riding stories as the years went by.

 

Charlie was friends with pretty much everyone and knew hometown guitar wizard Jerry Levine from when Jerry was a kid, we at the music school all loved Jerry and his music, so we had that special bond. This tune is written as a 12 bar blues, a form many jazz artists love to play, for its deeply rooted strength of form finds its way into all Americana and as such, encourages unlimited risk taking (taking chances), chord substitution and group improv that helps the style thrive heard live.

 
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Solo changes. Ya like it? Cool, just another blues head. The double up with 18/th notes the second time followed by the three times to close the form is very common from the 50's or so. Chord subs galore when the written changes are so vanilla. 'Spell the chords' from jazz saxophonist Jackie McLean is a basis for the shedding.

"Blue Future." This nfix

ext song only has a hook so far. repeat it three times into a 12 bar blues form and ya got a tune. Write some lyrics and arrange it nice and it'll be ready for the bright lights.

hook
12 bar blues
arrangements
under the lights
no lyrics
 
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Solo changes. Ya like it? Cool, just another blues head but this song in deep minor.

. The double up with 18/th notes the second time followed by the three times to close the form is very common from the 50's or so. Chord subs galore when the written changes are so vanilla. 'Spell the chords' from jazz saxophonist Jackie McLean is a basis for the shedding.

"St. Chick." This n

ext song only has a hook so far. repeat it three times into a 12 bar blues form and ya got a tune. Write some lyrics and arrange it nice and it'll be ready for the bright lights.

hook
12 bar blues
arrangements
under the lights
no lyrics
 
print chart

Solo changes. Ya like it? Cool, just another blues head but this song in deep minor.

. The double up with 18/th notes the second time followed by the three times to close the form is very common from the 50's or so. Chord subs galore when the written changes are so vanilla. 'Spell the chords' from jazz saxophonist Jackie McLean is a basis for the shedding.

"Samba Calvillo." This n

ext song only has a hook so far. repeat it three times into a 12 bar blues form and ya got a tune. Write some lyrics and arrange it nice and it'll be ready for the bright lights.

hook
12 bar blues
arrangements
under the lights

Opening chords. This group of guitar voicings is for the opening 'A' section of the melody. These are special designed to make the barlines go away, that magical trick of illusion in time that helps the dancers go liquid under the lights :)

guitar voicings
bar lines go away
the dancers
no lyrics
 
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Solo changes. Ya like it? Cool, the 'A' section four chord vamp is a hoot once it gets rolling with a full rhythm section and a full dancefloor. Put the moody mdal section out front to build up the energy nice and slow. From eight bars to four begins the ascent, with four tries to summit and take a look around beginning near bar 34. This is all very formulamatic for sure, but it can work like a charm when all the stars alighn so who really cares anyway :) 12 bar blues is a formula. All the forms are really. Sure helps quickly getting everyone on the same page, then having fun and making memorable together music. What's not to love ?

"I Live My Life On A Chain." This song so far just has the hook. It's about a big sinning individual who one day meets their soulmate, a true 'love at first sight', who casually rebuff's the sinner's amourous intentions but sends a whiff of a hint of possible future interest, an ever so subtle, slight, vague wisp of a maybe. Thus not being absolutely denied, life becomes unbearable for the sinner and thus these seven words sum up their heart karma of their day to day world forevermore. Yet, isn't that wee bit of glow on the far off horizons of life, hinting at a long sought redemption through reformation, to finally begin to balance a life anew ... Ah, telling stories and of course, making them up too if we need to :)

If the words sound like a bluesy number, you're right. Minor key? Probably. The only real solid part so besides the hook is the motion to the minor Four chord on the word 'chain.' And even that is negotiable at this point in the composing process. Maybe you know this cat, this story and can make something out of it, good luck.

just the hook, no lyrics yet ...
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next edition
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"Tuxy." Written for one frisky kitten of a cat named Tuxy, who really was quite an adventurous soul, she had a bounce and swing in her silent often pouncing steps that was just pure fluid musical belying her often mischievous ways of her natural, curious soul. In its form, "Tuxy" is pure AABA although the A sections are themselves 12 bar blues forms. So a smaller form, a 12 bar blues within a bigger form, A A B A.

In 'C' major from the top, the sharp #4 / b5 chromaticism in the second bar of the section helps to set us up for the harmonically evolutionary 1/2 step double ii-7 / V7 cadential motion to get us to Four in the 5th bar, so common in the blues and beyond. From there on to its close, the chords of this section just follows along a quite common harmonic motion as Four turns to minor, then begins a chromatic descent to our tonic pitch 'C.' Along the way we get some 'jazzy' passing chords to solo through. Do note through this motion that the melody pitches and chord tones are all diatonic to one another, we're all 'inside' solid even as the 'jazz' of this song's style wiggles up the tonal gravity and aural predictability a bit of the melody.

The B section is standard Two / Five / One fair. Set up by 'missing' the tonic on a diatonic ascending line, we use the #1 to get us to the relative major of our tonic key. The 'jazz' here is that our Six is a major triad, not its diatonic old self. Then we use the same motion to modulate down by whole step to 'G', which then roots our V7 chord getting us back into our original key of 'C' major. So ... no fuss no muss :)

no lyrics
 
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Solo changes. Ya like it? Cool, the 'A' section is a 12 bar blues form. The eight bars bridge just a brief series of Two / Five / One motions before the return of the last 'A' section. Bit of a tag at the close. "Tuxy" is cool in that it combines two essential ways the evolving artist will often get to 'play through the changes.' As one evolves from 'over to through' in their improv, horizons can begin to expand to a limitless vista of opportunities.

"The Hope Within." This n

ext song only has a hook so far. repeat it three times into a 12 bar blues form and ya got a tune. Write some lyrics and arrange it nice and it'll be ready for the bright lights.

hook
12 bar blues
arrangements
under the lights
no lyrics
no chart
 
 
 
no chart

Solo changes. Ya like it? Cool, the 'A' section is a 12 bar blues form. The eight bars bridge just a brief series of Two / Five / One motions before the return of the last 'A' section. Bit of a tag at the close. "Tuxy" is cool in that it combines two essential ways the evolving artist will often get to 'play through the changes.' As one evolves from 'over to through' in their improv, horizons can begin to expand to a limitless vista of opportunities.

"My Skye Is Blue." This n modulates

combine modal and functional

ext song only has a hook so far. repeat it three times into a 12 bar blues form and ya got a tune. Write some lyrics and arrange it nice and it'll be ready for the bright lights.

Modulates from D minor to Eb major via Ab major (IV of Eb major).

modulate
hook
12 bar blues
arrangements
under the lights
 
print chart

Solo changes. Ya like it? Cool, the 'A' section is a 12 bar blues form. The eight bars bridge just a brief series of Two / Five / One motions before the return of the last 'A' section. Bit of a tag at the close. "Tuxy" is cool in that it combines two essential ways the evolving artist will often get to 'play through the changes.' As one evolves from 'over to through' in their improv, horizons can begin to expand to a limitless vista of opportunities.

"Heard You Talking Voodoo." This n

ext song only has a hook so far. repeat it three times into a 12 bar blues form and ya got a tune. Write some lyrics and arrange it nice and it'll be ready for the bright lights.

hook
12 bar blues
arrangements
under the lights
no chart
 
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"Who Dat." This n

ext song only has a hook so far. repeat it three times into a 12 bar blues form and ya got a tune. Write some lyrics and arrange it nice and it'll be ready for the bright lights.

hook
12 bar blues
arrangements
under the lights
no lyrics
no chart
 
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"When You Coming Back." This n

ext song only has a hook so far. repeat it three times into a 12 bar blues form and ya got a tune. Write some lyrics and arrange it nice and it'll be ready for the bright lights.

hook
12 bar blues
arrangements
under the lights
no lyrics
no chart
 
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"Hear My Story." This n

ext song only has a hook so far. repeat it three times into a 12 bar blues form and ya got a tune. Write some lyrics and arrange it nice and it'll be ready for the bright lights.

hook
12 bar blues
arrangements
under the lights
no lyrics
no chart
 
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"The Noodle Dragon Returns." This n

ext song only has a hook so far. repeat it three times into a 12 bar blues form and ya got a tune. Write some lyrics and arrange it nice and it'll be ready for the bright lights.

hook
12 bar blues
arrangements
under the lights
no lyrics
no chart
 
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"Portrait Of Three." This n

ext song only has a hook so far. repeat it three times into a 12 bar blues form and ya got a tune. Write some lyrics and arrange it nice and it'll be ready for the bright lights.

hook
12 bar blues
arrangements
under the lights
no lyrics
no chart
 
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Solo changes. Ya like it? Cool, not much to it yet. Fill in the rest and call it a tune.

"Just Me And My Baby ." This n

ext song only has a hook so far. repeat it three times into a 12 bar blues form and ya got a tune. Write some lyrics and arrange it nice and it'll be ready for the bright lights.

hook
12 bar blues
arrangements
under the lights
no lyrics
no chart
 
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"Voices From The River." In this next idea we count on the minor 6th to set up the melody of the 'B' section of an original melody of mine. Part of the Super ~ Hoot collection of themes, this is just a simple melody that I love to play. Example 2.

B section
Super ~ Hoot
 
"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest."
wiki ~ Benjamin Franklin
lyrics
 
 
 
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