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Autumn Leaves – as recorded by Bill Evans with sheet music transcription in our Library.

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George Gershwin – Rhapsody in blue (piano solo with sheet music)

George Gershwin – Rhapsody in blue (piano solo with sheet music)

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Rhapsody in Blue is a 1924 musical composition by the American composer George Gershwin for solo piano and jazz band, which combines elements of classical music with jazz-influenced effects.

The composition was commissioned by the bandleader Paul Whiteman. It was orchestrated by Ferde Grofé several times, including the original 1924 scoring, the 1926 “theater orchestra” setting, and the 1942 symphony orchestra scoring, though completed earlier. The piece received its premiere in the concert, An Experiment in Modern Music, which was held on February 12, 1924, in Aeolian Hall, New York City, by Whiteman and his band with Gershwin playing the piano.

The editors of the Cambridge Music Handbooks opined that “The Rhapsody in Blue (1924) established Gershwin’s reputation as a serious composer and has since become one of the most popular of all American concert works.

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Bach meets The Beatles Gershwin's music

Bach meets the Beatles – “Yesterday”

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Bach meets the Beatles – Variations in the style of Bach “Yesterday” – Improvised by John Bayless, piano.

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John Bayless is one of the top classical cross-over recording and concert performing artists, best known for his top-selling albums, “Bach Meets the Beatles,” “The Puccini Album” and “Circle of Life: Songs by Elton John in the Style of Bach.” 

He has appeared at Carnegie Hall in a performance of his own West Side Story Concert Variations for solo piano and orchestra, made his Tanglewood debut playing Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with the Boston Pops, opened the San Francisco Summer Pops season with the same work and appeared in three sold-out concerts at the Hollywood Bowl with John Mauceri and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra.

He performed his West Side Story Concert Variations and his Bach Meets the Beatles repertoire with the Philadelphia Orchestra.  Bayless is Artistic Director for the Waring International Piano Competition. For more information, visit

Show was directed by Stewart Schulman. Singer actress Jean Kauffman has a cameo. Bayless had a stroke in 2008 which left him paralyzed on his right side. Bayless shares his road to recovery, and his return to composing and performing with one hand. This story of resiliency and hope has something for everyone.


“I really reckon ‘Yesterday’ is probably my best song.” This humble statement from Paul McCartney typifies what many believe to be the truth as to his creative output throughout his career. Although when asked at different times through the years what his favorite original composition was, he came up with many answers.

“Your songs are like your babies, it’s difficult to have a favorite,” he said in 2007. “Here, There And Everywhere” has been stated regularly, although “Hey Jude,” “Blackbird” and “Here Today” have been cited. He also once included “Maybe I’m Amazed” as one of his favorites, saying “that’s a nice song, I like that one.”

the beatles yesterday handwritten lyrics

In 1980, Paul explained why “Yesterday” could be described as his best song. “I like it not only because it was a big success, but because it was one of the most instinctive songs I’ve ever written.” Concerning the song being a “success,” it has been described as the most successful song in history. According to Chris Ingham’s book “The Rough Guide To The Beatles,” “It holds the record as the most recorded song in history, with over 2500 versions, and has been broadcast on American radio over seven million times.”

As to the song being “instinctive,” Paul’s explanation of how it was written has passed into the category of legend, as we’ll investigate below.

The song was written at 57 Wimpole Street, London, the family home of Richard and Margaret Asher where Paul was living while dating their daughter Jane Asher. He slept in a small attic room of the house that was rather cramped without too much extra room for anything, although there was one thing that did manage to get squeezed in. “I eventually got a piano of my own up in the top garret,” remembers Paul. “Very artistic. That was the piano that I fell out of bed and got the chords to ‘Yesterday’ on. I dreamed it when I was staying there.”

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Paul vividly remembers that morning: “I woke up with a lovely tune in my head. I thought, ‘That’s great, I wonder what that is?’ There was an upright piano next to me, to the right of the bed by the window. I got out of bed, sat at the piano, found G, found F sharp minor 7th – and that leads you through then to B to E minor, and finally back to E. It all leads forward logically. I liked the melody a lot but because I’d dreamed it I couldn’t believe I’d written it. I thought, ‘No, I’ve never written like this before.’

But I had the tune, which was the most magic thing. And you have to ask yourself, ‘Where did it come from?’ But you don’t ask yourself too much or it might go away…There are certain times when you get the essence, it’s all there. It’s like an egg being laid – not a crack or flaw in it.”

Speaking of eggs, so that his memory of the melody wouldn’t “go away,” he wrote some simple words to go along with the phrasing of the melody line. “It had no words. I used to call it ‘Scrambled Eggs.’ The lyrics used to go, ‘Scrambled eggs, oh, my baby, how I love your legs…

There was generally a laugh at that point – you didn’t need to do any more lyrics.” Jane Asher once replied: “Don’t believe that part about ‘How I loved your legs.’ That’s bunk! My legs are horrid!” (And to set the record straight, Paul did not write a second verse that started “Cottage fries, oh, my baby, how I love your thighs.” 

Since we know where the melody was first conceived, many wonder when exactly this morning occurred. Barry Miles, co-author of Paul McCartney’s book “Many Years From Now,” explains this morning as having occurred in May of 1965. While this seems to be the final word, there is evidence to suggest an earlier date. “The song was around for months and months before we finally completed it,” recalls John Lennon.

He continues: “Paul wrote nearly all of it, but we just couldn’t find the right title. Every time we got together to write songs or for a recording session, this would come up. We called it ‘Scrambled Eggs’ and it became a joke between us. We almost had it finished when we made up our minds that only a one word title would suit and, believe me, we just couldn’t find the right one. Then, one morning, Paul woke up, and the song and the title were both there. Completed! I know it sounds like a fairy tale, but it is the plain truth. I was sorry, in a way, because we had so many laughs about it.”

Since John relates that it was “around for months and months,” just how many months was it? Producer George Martin has a strong recollection that indicates a good amount of months indeed. “I first heard ‘Yesterday’ when it was known as ‘Scrambled Eggs’ – Paul’s working title – at the George V Hotel in Paris in January 1964.”

George Martin accompanied The Beatles during their residency in Paris as the group played a series of shows at the Olympia Theatre in the latter half of January, 1964. A piano was brought up to their hotel room for songwriting purposes and, if his remembrances are correct, Paul premiered an early version of “Yesterday” to him at this time. Since Paul began living at the Asher home in London in November of 1963, this story could be feasible.

A 1968 quote from Paul appears to tell a different story. “It was called ‘Scrambled Egg’ for a couple of months, until I thought of ‘Yesterday.’ And that’s it. True story.” However, the statement “a couple of months” seems to have been an understatement.

Chris Dreja, the rhythm guitarist for The Yardbirds, clearly remembers an event that occurred during the “Beatles Christmas Show” of late December 1964 when Chris’s group were one of the opening acts. As quoted in Andy Babiuk’s book “Beatles Gear,” he recalls how Paul asked to come into the dressing room of The Yardbirds to premier a new song he was writing. “He sat down with the guitar, and at that point hadn’t got the lyrics, just the melody. He said it was called ‘Scrambled Eggs.’ And of course it was ‘Yesterday.’ There we were witnessing the start of one of the most famous songs of all time, and Paul was just playing it for us on an acoustic.”

Keeping in mind that Paul held off on pushing the song on The Beatles, saying “we were a little embarrassed about it – we were a rock’n’roll band,” it appears that he may have indeed held it back for quite a long time –  through two entire British albums in fact.

The next job was to verify that he did indeed write the song. “It came too easy,” Paul relates, “I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t believe that I had written it. I thought that maybe I had heard it somewhere before, it was some other tune. I went around for weeks playing the chords of the song for people, asking them, ‘Is this like something? I think I’ve written it,’ and people would say, ‘No. It’s not like anything else, but it’s good.’”

One person he auditioned the song for was British singer Alma Cogan, at her flat in Kensington. “Alma was a bit of a song buff,” Paul relates, “and she said, ‘I don’t know what it is, but it’s beautiful.’” Director Richard Lester remembers Paul bothering everyone with the song on the set of their movie “Help!” “At some time during that period, we had a piano on one of the stages and he was playing this ‘Scrambled Eggs’ all the time,” Lester remembers. “It got to the point where I said to him, ‘If you play that bloody song any longer I’ll have the piano taken off stage. Either finish it or give it up!’”

At some point, Paul was convinced that the melody did in fact come from him. “Eventually it became like handing something in to the police. I thought that if no-one claimed it after a few weeks then I would have it.”

The only thing left was writing proper lyrics. After filming for “Help!” was complete, Paul and Jane arranged for a vacation in Albufeira, on the southern coast of Portugal, using a villa borrowed from his friend Bruce Welch, guitarist with Cliff Richard and The Shadows.

After flying from London to Lisbon on May 27th, 1965, Paul and Jane needed to drive 180 miles from Lisbon to get to the villa. “It was a long hot, dusty drive,” Paul remembers. “Jane was sleeping but I couldn’t, and when I’m sitting that long in a car I either manage to get to sleep or my brain starts going. I remember mulling over the tune ‘Yesterday,’ and suddenly getting these little one-word openings to the verse.”

Paul continues, “I started to develop the idea: Scram-ble-d eggs, da-da da. I knew the syllables had to match the melody, obviously: da-da da, yes-ter-day, sud-den-ly, fun-il-ly, mer-il-ly, and ‘Yes-ter-day,’ that’s good. ‘All my troubles seemed so far away.’ It’s easy to rhyme those ‘s’s: say, nay, today, away, play, stay, there’s a lot of rhymes and those fall in quite easily, so I gradually pieced it together from that journey. ‘Sud-den-ly,’ and ‘b’ again, another easy rhyme: e, me, tree, flea, we, and I had the basis of it.”

Then, when he arrived at the villa, he met up with Bruce. “I was packing to leave and Paul asked me if I had a guitar,” remembers Welch. “He’d apparently been working on the lyrics as he drove to Albufeira from the airport at Lisbon. He borrowed my guitar and started playing the song we all now know as ‘Yesterday.’”

“I think I finished the lyrics about two weeks later, which was quite a long time for me,” Paul adds. “Generally, John and I would sit down and finish within three hours, but this was more organic. I put in the words over the next couple of weeks.” This would take it right up to the recording date of the song – June 14th, 1965.

Although John had intimated in 1966 that he had played a part in writing the song, saying “We just helped finish off the ribbons ‘round it, you know – tying it up,” this appears to be an isolated case. For instance, in 1980 he remembered it differently. “That’s Paul’s song, and Paul’s baby. Well done. Beautiful – and I never wished I’d written it.” In a 2001 interview in Readers’ Digest, Paul interestingly states: “John always said he had nothing to do with that song.” Even Ringo concurs: “Paul, of course, had written his ‘Yesterday,’ the most recorded song in history – What a guy!”

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Keith Jarrett: The Melody at Night, with You (1999)- transcriptions book

Keith Jarrett: The Melody at Night, with You – sheet music transcriptions book is now availble for download.

The 1999 recording The Melody at Night, with You is one of Keith Jarrett’s most popular records. Originally created as a gift to his wife, his versions of songs from the Great American Songbook plus the traditional “Shenandoah” are permeated by a special atmosphere that makes the recording one of his most personal audio documents.

Keith Jarrett was in the midst of recovering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), and he made these recordings privately with no intention of sharing them with the public. They are fairly simple, pretty settings of well-known melodies, with almost none of the exploration for which he is famed.

Jarrett dispenses with the jazz soloist’s conventional emphasis on dexterity, the “clever” phrase and the virtuosic sleight-of-hand, and instead strips these songs to their melodic essence to gently lay bare their emotional core.

After many years of preparation, the sheet music for The Melody at Night, with You has now been published by with Jarrett’s approval and the support of Jarrett’s label, ECM.

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The Melody at Night, with You is a solo album by American pianist Keith Jarrett recorded at his home studio in 1998 and released by ECM Records in 1999. It was recorded during his bout with chronic fatigue syndrome and was dedicated to Jarrett’s second and then-wife, Rose Anne: “For Rose Anne, who heard the music, then gave it back to me”.

In an interview in Time magazine in November 1999, he explained

“I started taping it in December 1997, as a Christmas present for my wife. I’d just had my Hamburg Steinway overhauled and wanted to try it out, and I have my studio right next to the house, so if I woke up and had a half-decent day, I would turn on the tape recorder and play for a few minutes. I was too fatigued to do more. Then something started to click with the mike placement, the new action of the instrument,… I could play so soft,… and the internal dynamics of the melodies… of the songs… It was one of those little miracles that you have to be ready for, though part of it was that I just didn’t have the energy to be clever.”

The album contains eight jazz standards, two traditional songs, and, uncharacteristically for Jarrett, only one improvisation (“Meditation”, the second half of track six).

Track listing

All tracks are jazz standards or traditional songs (5 & 9), by other composers, except the second half of track 6 (“Meditation”), which is an improvisation by Jarrett:

  1. I Loves You, Porgy” (George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, Dubose Heyward) – 5:50
  2. I Got It Bad (and That Ain’t Good)” (Duke Ellington, Paul Francis Webster) – 7:10
  3. “Don’t Ever Leave Me” (Oscar Hammerstein II, Jerome Kern) – 2:47
  4. Someone to Watch over Me” (Gershwin, Gershwin) – 5:05
  5. “My Wild Irish Rose” (Traditional) – 5:21
  6. Blame It on My Youth/Meditation” (Edward Heyman, Oscar Levant/Jarrett) – 7:19
  7. “Something to Remember You By” (Howard Dietz, Arthur Schwartz) – 7:15
  8. Be My Love” (Nicholas Brodszky, Sammy Cahn) – 5:38
  9. Shenandoah” (Traditional) – 5:52
  10. “I’m Through With Love” (Gus Kahn, Fud Livingston, Matty Malneck) – 2:56


Sheet Music Download here.

I Loves You Porgy

Pianist, composer, and bandleader Keith Jarrett is one of the most prolific, innovative, and iconoclastic musicians to emerge from the late 20th century. As a pianist (though that is by no means the only instrument he plays), he literally changed the conversation in jazz by introducing an entirely new aesthetic regarding solo improvisation in concert.

Though capable of playing in a wide variety of styles, Jarrett is grounded in the jazz tradition. He has recorded over 100 albums as a leader in jazz and classical music. He cut his 1967 debut, Life Between the Exit Signs, leading a trio with Paul Motian and Charlie Haden. He played in Miles Davis’ group for a time, and appears on several live recordings, including Live Evil.

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George Gershwin at the Piano I’ve Got Rhythm

George Gershwin at the Piano I’ve Got Rhythm

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Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong – Summertime

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  • “Summertime” is an aria composed in 1934 by George Gershwin for the 1935 opera Porgy and Bess. The lyrics are by DuBose Heyward, the author of the novel Porgy on which the opera was based, although the song is also co-credited to Ira Gershwin by ASCAP.
  • Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong sing Summertime
  • Porgy and Bess
    • Musicologist K. J. McElrath wrote of the song:
  • Sheet music available from our Library.
    • (*) To learn more about about Blues scales, please read this article: “How To Play the Blues Scale And Use It In Your Music” by Bebinner Guitar HQ.

Summertime” is an aria composed in 1934 by George Gershwin for the 1935 opera Porgy and Bess. The lyrics are by DuBose Heyward, the author of the novel Porgy on which the opera was based, although the song is also co-credited to Ira Gershwin by ASCAP.

Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong sing Summertime


Summertime, and the livin’ is easy
Fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high
Oh, your daddy’s rich and your ma is good-lookin’
So hush little baby, Don’t you cry

One of these mornings you’re gonna rise up singing
And you’ll spread your wings and you’ll take to the sky
But ’til that morning, there ain’t nothin’ can harm you
With Daddy and Mammy standin’ bySummertime, and the livin’ is easy
Fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high
Oh, your daddy’s rich and your ma is good-lookin’
So hush little baby, Don’t you cry

One of these mornings you’re gonna rise up singing
And you’ll spread your wings and you’ll take to the sky
But ’til that morning, there ain’t nothin can harm you
With Daddy and Mammy standin’ by

The song soon became a popular and much-recorded jazz standard, described as “without doubt … one of the finest songs the composer ever wrote … Gershwin’s highly evocative writing brilliantly mixes elements of jazz and the song styles of blacks in the southeast United States from the early twentieth century”. Composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim has characterized Heyward’s lyrics for “Summertime” and “My Man’s Gone Now” as “the best lyrics in the musical theater”.

Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong sing Summertime free sheet music & scores pdf

Porgy and Bess

Gershwin began composing the song in December 1933, attempting to create his own spiritual in the style of the African American folk music of the period. Gershwin had completed setting DuBose Heyward’s poem to music by February 1934, and spent the next 20 months completing and orchestrating the score of the opera.

The song is sung several times throughout Porgy and Bess. Its lyrics are the first words heard in act 1 of the opera, following the communal “wa-do-wa”. It is sung by Clara as a lullaby. The song theme is reprised soon after as counterpoint to the craps game scene, in act 2 in a reprise by Clara, and in act 3 by Bess, singing to Clara’s now-orphaned baby after both its parents died in the storm. It was recorded for the first time by Abbie Mitchell on July 19, 1935, with George Gershwin playing the piano and conducting the orchestra (on: George Gershwin Conducts Excerpts from Porgy & Bess, Mark 56 667).

The 1959 movie version of the musical featured Loulie Jean Norman singing the song. That rendition finished at #52 in AFI’s 100 Years…100 Songs survey of top tunes in American cinema.

Musicologist K. J. McElrath wrote of the song:

Gershwin was remarkably successful in his intent to have this sound like a folk song. This is reinforced by his extensive use of the pentatonic scale (C–D–E–G–A)(*) in the context of the A minor tonality and a slow-moving harmonic progression that suggests a “blues“. Because of these factors, this tune has been a favorite of jazz performers for decades and can be done in a variety of tempos and styles.

The 1959 screen adaptation of Porgy and Bess starred Sidney Poitier, Dorothy Dandridge, Sammy Davis Jr., Pearl Bailey, Brock Peters, and Diahann Carroll, with everybody dubbed except Davis and Bailey. Directed by Otto Preminger and produced by Samuel Goldwyn, the film won the 1959 Golden Globe Award for Best Picture -Musical and the 1959 Academy Award for Best Musical Score (Andre Previn and Ken Darby). Despite, or possibly because of, the lavish production values and the handsome cast, a common critical opinion is that the Broadway musical did not translate well to film.

Sheet music available from our Library.

(*) To learn more about about Blues scales, please read this article: “How To Play the Blues Scale And Use It In Your Music” by Bebinner Guitar HQ.

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White Christmas – Ella Fitzgerald (Music by Irving Berlin)

Ready to Jazz your Christmas up? Now you can do using our large variety of piano & guitar sheet music books in our Library.

Piano Solo version (with sheet music):

Ella Fitzgerald sings White Christmas

Sheet Music Lyrics

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know
Where the tree tops glisten
And children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snowI’m dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write
May your days, may your days, may your days
Be merry and bright
And may all your Christmas’ be whiteI’m dreaming of a white Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know
Where the tree tops glisten
And children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snowI’m dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write
May your days, may your days, may your days
Be merry and bright
May all your Christmas’ be whiteI’m dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write
May your days, be merry and bright
And may all your Christmas’ be white

White Christmas is an Irving Berlin song reminiscing about an old-fashioned Christmas setting, released in 1942. The version sung by Bing Crosby is the world’s best-selling single with estimated sales in excess of 50 million copies worldwide. When the figures for other versions of the song are added to Crosby’s, sales of the song exceed 100 million. The original sheet music can be found in our Library.

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free sheet music & scores pdf

Irving Berlin (born Israel Beilin; May 11, 1888–September 22, 1989) was an American composer and lyricist, widely considered one of the greatest songwriters in American history. His music forms a great part of the Great American Songbook. Born in Imperial Russia, Berlin arrived in the United States at the age of five. He published his first song, “Marie from Sunny Italy”, in 1907, receiving 33 cents for the publishing rights,and had his first major international hit, “Alexander’s Ragtime Band“, in 1911. He also was an owner of the Music Box Theatre on Broadway. It is commonly believed that Berlin could not read sheet music, and was such a limited piano player that he could only play in the key of F-sharp using his custom piano equipped with a transposing lever.

“Alexander’s Ragtime Band” sparked an international dance craze in places as far away as Berlin’s native Russia, which also “flung itself into the ragtime beat with an abandon bordering on mania.” Over the years he was known for writing music and lyrics in the American vernacular: uncomplicated, simple and direct, with his stated aim being to “reach the heart of the average American,” whom he saw as the “real soul of the country.” In doing so, said Walter Cronkite, at Berlin’s 100th birthday tribute, he “helped write the story of this country, capturing the best of who we are and the dreams that shape our lives.”

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He wrote hundreds of songs, many becoming major hits, which made him famous before he turned thirty. During his 60-year career he wrote an estimated 1,500 songs, including the scores for 20 original Broadway shows and 15 original Hollywood films, with his songs nominated eight times for Academy Awards. Many songs became popular themes and anthems, including “Alexander’s Ragtime Band“, “Easter Parade“, “Puttin’ on the Ritz“, “Cheek to Cheek“, “White Christmas“, “Happy Holiday“, “Anything You Can Do (I Can Do Better)“, and “There’s No Business Like Show Business“. His Broadway musical and 1943 film This is the Army, with Ronald Reagan, had Kate Smith singing Berlin’s “God Bless America” which was first performed in 1938.

Berlin’s songs have reached the top of the charts 25 times and have been extensively re-recorded by numerous singers including The Andrews Sisters, Perry Como, Eddie Fisher, Al Jolson, Fred Astaire, Ethel Merman, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Elvis Presley, Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand, Linda Ronstadt, Rosemary Clooney, Cher, Diana Ross, Bing Crosby, Sarah Vaughan, Ruth Etting, Fanny Brice, Marilyn Miller, Rudy Vallée, Nat King Cole, Billie Holiday, Doris Day, Jerry Garcia, Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Ella Fitzgerald, Michael Buble, Lady Gaga, and Christina Aguilera.

Berlin died in 1989 at the age of 101. Composer Douglas Moore sets Berlin apart from all other contemporary songwriters, and includes him instead with Stephen Foster, Walt Whitman, and Carl Sandburg, as a “great American minstrel”—someone who has “caught and immortalized in his songs what we say, what we think about, and what we believe.” Composer George Gershwin called him “the greatest songwriter that has ever lived”,and composer Jerome Kern concluded that “Irving Berlin has no place in American music—he is American music.”

List of Irving Berlin songs:

Ella Jane Fitzgerald (April 25, 1917–June 15, 1996) was an American jazz singer, sometimes referred to as the First Lady of Song, Queen of Jazz, and Lady Ella. She was noted for her purity of tone, impeccable diction, phrasing, timing, intonation, and a “horn-like” improvisational ability.

After a tumultuous adolescence, Fitzgerald found stability in musical success with the Chick Webb Orchestra, performing across the country but most often associated with the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem. Her rendition of the nursery rhyme “A-Tisket, A-Tasket” helped boost both her and Webb to national fame. After taking over the band when Webb died, Fitzgerald left it behind in 1942 to start her solo career.

Her manager was Moe Gale, co-founder of the Savoy,until she turned the rest of her career over to Norman Granz, who founded Verve Records to produce new records by Fitzgerald. With Verve she recorded some of her more widely noted works, particularly her interpretations of the Great American Songbook.

While Fitzgerald appeared in movies and as a guest on popular television shows in the second half of the twentieth century, her musical collaborations with Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and The Ink Spots were some of her most notable acts outside of her solo career. These partnerships produced some of her best-known songs such as “Dream a Little Dream of Me“, “Cheek to Cheek“, “Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall“, and “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)“.

In 1993, after a career of nearly 60 years, she gave her last public performance. Three years later, she died at the age of 79 after years of declining health. Her accolades included fourteen Grammy Awards, the National Medal of Arts, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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Scott Joplin – The Entertainer

Table of Contents

    Scott Joplin The Entertainer with sheet music

    scott joplin sheet music pdf

    Who Was Scott Joplin? 

    Born in the late 1860s somewhere along the border between Texas and Arkansas, Scott Joplin took up the piano as a child and eventually became a travelling musician as a teen. He immersed himself in the emerging musical form known as ragtime and became the genre’s foremost composer with tunes like “The Entertainer,” “Solace” and “The Maple Leaf Rag,” which is the biggest-selling ragtime song in history. Joplin also penned the operas Guest of Honor and Treemonisha. He died in New York City on April 1, 1917.

    Musical Family

    Scott Joplin’s exact date of birth and location is not known, though it is estimated that he was born between the summer of June 1867 and January 1868. Born to Florence Givens and Giles Joplin, Scott grew up in Texarkana, a town situated on the border between Texas and Arkansas.

    The Joplins were a musical family, with Florence being a singer and banjo player and Giles a violinist; Scott learned how to play the guitar at a young age and later took to the piano, displaying a gift for the instrument. Julius Weiss, a German music teacher who lived in Joplin’s hometown, gave the young pianist further instruction. Joplin was also a vocalist and would play the cornet as Joplin left home during his teen years and began work as a travelling musician, playing in bars and dance halls where new musical forms were featured that formed the basis of ragtime, which had distinct, syncopated rhythms and a fusion of musical sensibilities.

    Joplin lived for a time in Sedalia, Missouri in the 1880s and in 1893 he fronted a band in Chicago during the World Fair. He later settled in Sedalia again while continuing to travel, with the waltzes “Please Say You Will” and “A Picture of Her Face” becoming his first two published songs.

    Writing Huge Hit: ‘Maple Leaf Rag’

    Joplin studied music at Sedalia’s George R. Smith College for Negroes during the 1890s and also worked as a teacher and mentor to other ragtime musicians. He published his first piano rag, “Original Rags,” in the late 1890s, but was made to share credit with another arranger. Joplin then worked with a lawyer to ensure that he would receive a one-cent royalty of every sheet-music copy sold of his next composition, “The Maple Leaf Rag.” In 1899, Joplin partnered with publisher John Stark to push the tune. Though sales were initially slight, it went on to become the biggest ragtime song ever, eventually selling more than a million copies.

    Joplin focused on composing more ragtime works, with the genre taking the country by storm and Joplin earning acclaim for his artistry. Some of Joplin’s published compositions over the years included “The Entertainer,” “Peacherine Rag,” “Cleopha,” “The Chrysanthemum,” “The Ragtime Dance,” “Heliotrope Bouquet,” “Solace” and “Euphonic Sounds.

    Opera Ambitions

    Joplin was intensely concerned with making sure the genre received its proper due, taking note of the disparaging comments made by some white critics due to the music’s African American origins and radical form. As such, he published a 1908 series that broke down the complexities of ragtime form for students: The School of Ragtime: Six Exercises for Piano.

    Joplin also aspired to produce long-form works. He published the ballet Rag Time Dance in 1902 and created his first opera, A Guest of Honor, for a Midwestern tour in 1903. The production was shut down due partially to the theft of box-office receipts, with Joplin ultimately dealing with great financial losses.

    By 1907, Joplin had settled in New York to work on securing funding for another opera he had created, Treemonisha, a multi-genre theatrical project which told the story of a rural African-American community near Texarkana. A precursor to George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, Treemonisha was presented in 1915 as a scaled-down production with voice and piano, but would not receive a full-stage treatment for years to come.

    Final Years and Legacy

    Joplin continued to work on various musical forms and formed his own publishing company with his third wife, Lottie, in 1913. By 1916, he had started to succumb to the ravages of syphilis, which he was thought to have contracted years earlier, and was later hospitalized and institutionalized. Joplin died on April 1, 1917.

    Ragtime would enjoy a resurgence during the 1940s, and then in the ’70s became a hugely popular classical genre that also entered the U.S. consciousness via film—”The Entertainer” became the theme song for The Sting, starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford. Joplin’s Treemonisha was also fully staged in 1975 on Broadway. The following year, Joplin received a special posthumous Pulitzer Prize, honoring the man who shaped a genre that influenced decades of music.

    The Entertainer

    is a 1902 classic piano rag written by Scott Joplin. It was sold first as sheet music, and in the 1910s as piano rolls that would play on player pianos.The first recording was by blues and ragtime musicians the Blue Boys in 1928, played on mandolin and guitar.

    As one of the classics of ragtime, it returned to international prominence as part of the ragtime revival in the 1970s, when it was used as the theme music for the 1973 Oscar-winning film The Sting. Composer and pianist Marvin Hamlisch‘s adaptation reached #3 on the Billboard pop chart and spent a week at #1 on the easy listening chart in 1974. The Sting was set in the 1930s, a full generation after the end of ragtime’s mainstream popularity, thus giving the inaccurate impression that ragtime music was popular at that time.

    The Recording Industry Association of America ranked it #10 on its “Songs of the Century” list.

    Beautiful Music Gershwin's music Musical Analysis

    Sheet Music analysis: George Gershwin at the piano – The man I love (1924)

    Table of Contents

      George Gershwin at the piano – The man I love (with sheet music)

      George Gershwin (born Jacob Bruskin Gershowitz, September 26, 1898 – July 11, 1937) was an American composer and pianist whose compositions spanned both popular and classical genres. Among his best-known works are the orchestral compositions Rhapsody in Blue (1924) and An American in Paris (1928), the songs Swanee (1919) and Fascinating Rhythm (1924), the jazz standard I Got Rhythm (1930), and the opera Porgy and Bess (1935) which spawned the hit Summertime.

      sheet music pdf

      Gershwin studied piano under Charles Hambitzer and composition with Rubin Goldmark, Henry Cowell, and Joseph Brody. He began his career as a song plugger but soon started composing Broadway theater works with his brother Ira Gershwin and with Buddy DeSylva. He moved to Paris intending to study with Nadia Boulanger, but she refused him. He subsequently composed An American in Paris, returned to New York City and wrote Porgy and Bess with Ira and DuBose Heyward. Initially a commercial failure, it came to be considered one of the most important American operas of the twentieth century and an American cultural classic.

      Gershwin moved to Hollywood and composed numerous film scores. He died in 1937 of a malignant brain tumor. His compositions have been adapted for use in film and television, with several becoming jazz standards recorded and covered in many variations.

      Musical analysis

      • 1924
      • Taken from Lady, Be Good
      • Lyrics by Ira Gershwin
      • From first really successful show
      • Style shows move forward from Tin Pan Alley
      • Slow song
      • Yearning for love
      • Began as verse to another song, but Ira suggested changing it to a chorus

      • Sequence used in melody
      • Melodic climax reached
      • Use of blue notes in melody
      • Narrow tessitura
      • Conjunct melodic line

      • Rhythm of lyrics reflected in rhythm of melody
      • Tempo change shows change in mood

      • Piano word painting

      • Melody dominated homophony
      • R.H. of piano doubles vocal line

      • Verse 1 is in Eb
      • Verse 2 in Bb then returns to home key
      • Chromaticism

      • Short verse
      • 8 lines
      • Chorus of twice the length
      • AABA

      • Verse is reflective
      • Hope filled chorus
      • Some sense Ira Gershwin is forcing lyrics to fit

      Beautiful Music Gershwin's music

      Bossa Nova (Part 1/3)

      Bossa Nova (Part 1/3)

      In 1959, an unassuming guitarist/vocalist named João Gilberto from the Brazilian state of Bahia started a quiet revolution with his recordings “Chega de Saudade (No More Blues)” and “Desafinado (Off Key)” on the Odeon label. They featured arrangements by a young native of Rio de Janeiro, Antonio Carlos Jobim. Gilberto’s whisper-toned, Afro-Indian-influenced Portuguese vocals complemented his unique guitar style, which ingeniously reduced and resyncopated the samba’s intricate polyrhythms down to the most essential beats.

      Jobim expanded Gilberto’s harmonies with French impressionist chord progressions. He also codified the guitarist’s unique rhythmic approach into a catchy combo rhythm similar to the Cuban clave, which left room for improvisation. In “Desafinado” Gilberto sang a line that’s translated as …”it’s the bossa nova. It’s very natural…” and thus unwittingly gave birth to a new style of music destined to win over the world.

      Bossa nova (literally “new thing”) became the name of this seductively syncopated sound of love that peaked in popularity in the mid-’60s. Today, the music is enjoying a resurgence of interest not only in classic bossa nova recordings being reissued on CD but also in recent bossa nova recordings, including those by a new generation of Brazilian artists who add hip hop, drum ‘n’ bass beats and LP samples to the traditional bossa nova sound.

      bossa nova free sheet music & scores pdf

      Vinicius Cantuaria ‎– Vinicius (2001 – Album)


      [00:00] 01. Clichê Do Clichê [05:02] 02. Ela É Carioca [09:49] 03. Aqua Rasa [13:37] 04. Ordinária [18:33] 05. Quase Choro [23:19] 06. Rio [27:27] 07. Normal [31:53] 08. Nova De Sete [36:38] 09. Irapurú [41:24] 10. Cajú [45:41] 11. Insects Are Black [49:55] 12. Rio

      Vinicius Cantuaria

      Singer, guitarist, composer, drummer, and percussionist, Vinicius Cantuaria is a well-known Brazilian musician in the sphere of Bossa Nova and Jazz.

      Born in Manaus, Amazonas, he grew up in Rio de Janeiro, and after several successful records, he moved to New York in the mid-90s. He has proved himself in a number of fields, directly or indirectly linked to Brazilian music. Leader of the rock band “O Terco”, he released six albums in Brazil in the 80s and with his album “Sol na Cara” (Grammavision), was a pioneer of the neo-Brazilian music in 1996. He then became one of the most important downtown New York figures, multiplying collaborations with artists as eclectic as Brian Eno, Laurie Anderson, Brad Mehldau, Arto Lindsay

      As a composer, Cantuaria has had many successes, with “Lua e Estrela” (recorded by Caetano Veloso in 1981), “Coisa Linda,” “So Você,” and “Na Cançao”; as a sideman, he has performed with Caetano Veloso, Chico Buarque, to only name a few.

      In New York, he has released five internationally recognized studio albums “Sol Na Cara”, “Ê“,”ÊVinicius”, “Horse & fish”, “” and signed an artist contract with Naïve in 2008 which released his album “Cymbals”, recorded with top New York musicians, Brad Mehldau, Michael Leonhardt, Dave Binney, and Erik Frielander… Keeping his New York musicians for «ÊSamba cariocaÊ» (2010), Vinicius Cantuaria successfully returned to his Brazilian roots which once again proved to be numerous.

      Indeed, in addition to his usual New York team (Brad Mehldau, Bill Frisell), Vinicius was this time surrounded by an impressive line-up of Brazilian musicians from all trends and different backgrounds : Arto Lindsay, who produced the album, veterans like Joao Donato or Marcos Valle, and younger musicians, like Dadi or Sidinho.

      Vinicius, who owns his studio in New York and frequently travels to Brazil, works every day and progresses in small steps, hence the impression of a simple, melodic, and obvious music, yet so sophisticated.

      2011 saw the release of the brilliant and multi-rewarded album «ÊLagrimas MexicanasÊ», a duet with Bill Frisell. Skillfully crafted over more than five years by two long-time collaborators, this magnificent album clearly revealed itself as a marvel of elegance, musicality, and purity, recommended to the widest audience, which was quickly captured.

      With «ÊIndio De ApartamentoÊ» (Indian in the Apartment – 2012), his newest album, he confirms this trend and goes even further in brevity and purity, while maintaining an exemplary singularity towards Bossa Nova world. Dedicated to the memory of his mother, who died last year, this solumn and serious album, continues the trend started with “Samba Carioca”, blending New York/cosmopolitain musicians (Bill Frisell, Ryuichi Sakamoto) with Brazilian ones (Dadi, Limihna) while subjecting them to record increasingly varied and different compositions.

      Certainly more compact, dense, tighter and pure, sometimes minimalist like in the wonderful “Purus” where Vinicius performs at the same time vocals, guitar, keyboard and loops, this album is almost open to variety with the presence of Norah Jones on piano, the very beautiful “Pe Na Estrada” a duet with Bill Frisell, but especially in “This Time”, a brilliant duet with Jesse Harris (Once Blue, Norah Jones….), perfect for radios, and which illuminates this album with the sparkle of diamonds.

      According to Vinicius, Indio de Apartamento “came about from the mix of the raw sound from guitars, acoustic piano, percussion and voice with the electronic sound from computers. These two sonoric mixes together with the harmonies, melodies and lyrics created a unique-Brazilian-universal atmosphere”.

      Again, the result is a magnificent album, of incredible subtlety and full of contrasts, of great unity and remarkable diversity, with a pure and completed classicism. Almost a classic, in a modern world.

      Antonio Carlos Jobim

      It has been said that Antonio Carlos Brasileiro de Almeida Jobim was the George Gershwin of Brazil—and there is a solid ring of truth in that, for both contributed large bodies of songs to the jazz repertoire, both expanded their reach into the concert hall, and both tend to symbolize their countries in the eyes of the rest of the world. With their gracefully urbane, sensuously aching melodies and harmonies, Jobim’s songs gave jazz musicians in the 1960s a quiet, strikingly original alternative to their traditional Tin Pan Alley source.

      Jobim’s roots were always planted firmly in jazz; the records of Gerry Mulligan, Chet Baker, Barney Kessel and other West Coast jazz musicians made an enormous impact upon him in the 1950s. But he also claimed that the French impressionist composer Claude Debussy had a decisive influence upon his harmonies, and the Brazilian samba gave his music a uniquely exotic rhythmic underpinning.

      As a pianist, he usually kept things simple and melodically to the point with a touch that reminds some of Claude Thornhill, but some of his records show that he could also stretch out when given room. His guitar was limited mostly to gentle strumming of the syncopated rhythms, and he sang in a modest, slightly hoarse yet often hauntingly emotional manner.

      Born in the Tijuca neighborhood of Rio, Jobim originally was headed for a career as an architect. Yet by the time he turned 20, the lure of music was too powerful, and so he started playing piano in nightclubs and working in recording studios. He made his first record in 1954 backing singer Bill Farr as the leader of “Tom and His Band” (Tom was Jobim’s lifelong nickname), and he first found fame in 1956 when he teamed up with poet Vinicius de Morales to provide part of the score for a play called Orfeo do Carnaval (later made into the famous film Black Orpheus).

      In 1958, the then-unknown Brazilian singer Joao Gilberto recorded some of Jobim’s songs, which had the effect of launching the phenomenon known as bossa nova. Jobim’s breakthrough outside Brazil occurred in 1962 when Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd scored a surprise hit with his tune “Desafinado”—and later that year, he and several other Brazilian musicians were invited to participate in a Carnegie Hall showcase.

      Fueled by Jobim’s songs, the bossa nova became an international fad, and jazz musicians jumped on the bandwagon recording album after album of bossa novas until the trend ran out of commercial steam in the late ’60s.

      Jobim himself preferred the recording studios to touring, making several lovely albums of his music as a pianist, guitarist and singer for Verve, Warner Bros., Discovery, A&M, CTI and MCA in the ’60s and ’70s, and Verve again in the last decade of his life. Early on, he started collaborating with arranger/conductor Claus Ogerman, whose subtle, caressing, occasionally moody charts gave his records a haunting ambiance.

      When Brazilian music was in its American eclipse after the ’60s, a victim of overexposure and the burgeoning rock revolution, Jobim retreated more into the background, concentrating much energy upon film and TV scores in Brazil. But by 1985, as the idea of world music and a second Brazilian wave gathered steam, Jobim started touring again with a group containing his second wife Ana Lontra, his son Paulo, daughter Elizabeth and various musician friends.

      At the time of his final concerts in Brazil in September 1993 and at Carnegie Hall in April 1994 (both available on Verve), Jobim at last was receiving the universal recognition he deserved, and a plethora of tribute albums and concerts followed in the wake of his sudden death in New York City of heart failure. Jobim’s reputation as one of the great songwriters of the century is now secure, nowhere more so than on the jazz scene where every other set seems to contain at least one bossa nova.

      Composer Antonio Carlos Jobim AKA Tom Jobim was born on January 25, 1927 in Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He showed a natural curiosity towards music early on and at age 13 discovered an old piano in his parents’ school and started experimenting with sounds and notes. Although he took some private piano lessons he was for the most part self-taught. At age 20 he gave up on his original plans to become an architect and devoted himself completely to music. He started his career in 1952 playing piano in small cafés around the city.

      His early musical influences included the legendary composer Pixinguinha, Claude Debussy and jazz. In 1954, he cut his first record with his band called “Tom and His Band” backing the singer Bill Farr. The same year he apprenticed to arranger Radames Gnatali from whom he learned the rudiments of arranging and shifted careers and for a while and became an arranger for local singers.

      In 1956, he collaborated with poet and diplomat Vinicius de Moraes on an operetta entitled Orfeo do Carnaval that opened to great acclaim at the Metropolitan Opera House in Rio. The French director Marcel Camus transferred it to the big screen under the title Black Orpheus. The film was honored by the Cannes Film Festival with a Palme D’Or in 1959.

      His first hit was Felicidade from this operetta. The song gained immense popularity when Billy Eckstine added English lyrics to it in the late 1950s. Moraes and Jobim also teamed up on other hits including Girl from Ipanema and Agua de Beber among others. In 1958 Brazilian guitarist and vocalist Joao Gilberto released a record of Jobim songs that marked the beginning of the bossa nova phenomenon.

      1962 marked an important change in Jobim’s career when he broke out into the world scene after Stan Getz popularized his tune “Desafinado”. He and his colleagues were invited to perform at Carnegie Hall, and the popularity of the bossa nova took off. From 1962 till the end of the 60s, various jazz musicians recorded multitude of bossa nova albums. Jobim himself, in addition to becoming one of the most recorded composers, cut several albums for a variety of labels often in collaboration with Claus Ogerman.

      The 1970s and 80s marked a time of low popularity for jazz and for Brazilian music due to the rock explosion. Jobim returned to Brazil and worked on TV and film scores. By 1985 though bossa nova and Brazilian music experienced a renaissance and Jobim started touring again, performing up to few months before his death in New York City of heart failure on December 8, 1994.

      Watch “Wave” by Antonio Carlos Jobim (1967)

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