[Dixielandjazz] Changed tempos for symphonic standards

Bill Gunter jazzboard at hotmail.com
Sat Nov 27 17:55:26 PST 2004

Al Singrer writes:

>   one possible response to a mates frustration with  playing tunes at
>non-traditional tempos:   e,g.   How High The Moon  was written as a 
>ballad....so was
>Cherokee.I think. Body and Soul played up sounds OK

Good points and I won't deny them!  There are tunes which can render well in 
the odd tempo from time to time.  They're possibly the "exceptions which 
prove the rule."  We notice it when they do manage to pull it off.

Also, one mustn't ignore the effect of true artistry in the performing of a 
tune in an unusual and different tempo or even a different mode.  For 
example, many tunes written in major keys become fairly soulful when 
rendered in the minor key.

On the other hand, songs written in a minor key which, when played in a 
major key, become positively trite and trivial.  Funny thing, that.

Other silly things . . .

Play "Take 5" in 4/4 time and it become ridiculous but play a waltz in 
double time and it can take on a whole new interesting flavor!

And Meredith Wilson, in "Music Man" took that stirring march, "76 Trombones" 
and rendered the same melody as a ballad in "Goodnight, My Somewone" -- bit 
of genius that!

But I don't think that could be done with "Stars and Stripes Forever"

Nevertheless, I still get powerfully full of angst when I hear my classical 
standards being violated by conductors who want to explore new boundaries in 
tempo management!

Thanks, Al, for the input on what I think is an interesting musical thread.

Respectfully submitted,

Bill "I'm not really as obstinate as I sometimes sound" Gunter
jazzboard at hotmail.com

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