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----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Bob Wasserman" <[log in to unmask]>
> I agree that recordings are the definite source, especially for modern
music. I can only use any Rock n Roll sheet music or tabs as a guide and
always must learn the songs from recordings. This is even true for my own
songs that I had to relearn for a 20 year reunion concert last year, my own
tab(cheat) sheets and notes were just useable as a guide only. We ended up
changing many keys and tempos anyways for the show. I will admit that my ear
is better than my music reading skills. Also, that since every performance
varies, each recording has to be taken as a unique version of a given song.
It's interesting listening to some cover bands and being able to figure out
which recording they learned it from!!!
>
Well, rock'n'roll appeared at the very end of the "sheet music era"...
and by that time the idea of buying a copy of the sheet music for a
popular tune and playing it at home on your piano (or, later, your
chord organ) was essentially a thing of the past!

In the heyday of sheet music, popular tunes had different and identifiable
melodies...that is, one could play the melody line of a pop tune and
listeners would know almost instantly which song it was. When rock'n'roll
became the standard, its songs often used one of a very small set of
chord structures, and had similar melodies as well...one had to hear
the lyrics to be able to identify the song! Further, most songs of
that era were almost completely connected to the hit version by
a single performer (or band).

Probably the only band of the recent era to perform songs with
recognizable melodies were the Beatles (who relied to some extent
on earlier pop for suggestions, as can be heard in their versions).

Steven C. Barr