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Program and performance notes for Margaret Brandman's "Blues and boogie-woogie"

  • notes by the composer

This series of blues and jazz pieces explores the different ideas and style of blues and jazz. This set of pieces can be used in conjunction with the contemporary piano method, and seeks to explore the different rhythms, harmonies, progressions, and style of jazz and blues. These are a great starting point to begin forming the basis for jazz playing.

Brown Bear Boogie
Set in the key of C major, this piece explores the 12 Bar Blues progression of chords. The bass part is composed in the style of the typical swing, to get the 'feel' of swing, from an early start. As well as the 12 bar blues progression, this piece also explores blues notes and the boogie bass pattern commonely found in playing boogie style.

Dexters Dizzy Dance
The blues/boogie style is further explored here in a new key, and progression. The alternate boogie bass patterns allow the students to gain a different feel and style of boogie bass patterns. The use of blues notes and triplets is further explored here.

Boogie Down The Nile
This piece further explores the variety of rhythmic possibilities found in blues and boogie. This piece contains the use of chromatics, Flat Chords, and the extension of chords through the added 7th ( as explored in Contemporary Chord Workbooks ). The addition of Bb/ b9 chord is introduced as well, to allow the beginning/intermediate student to explore extended jazz chords.

Oriental Bear Boogie
This piece re-examines an already explored boogie bass pattern, and new chord rhythms are examined in the right hand. A series of new harmonies are explored and the students are introduced to the diminished chord, and further extended chords. The piece also extends aural training through listening to fourths, as heard in the melody line. The use of fourths is traditional of Asian/oriental music.

Gum Leaf Boogie
This piece explores new rhythmic groupings for bass patterns and melodic ideas, placing 2 notes inside of a triplet feel, to further allow the player to get a feel for the swing beat. The piece begins in a major tonality, and through the exploration of a series of harmonies and jazz chords arrives at a minor tonality.

Bear Boogie Bounce
This boogie piece explores the use 'turn around' blues, in which the player is able to see the harmonic functioning of turn around chords to change colour, and key whilst at the same time explanding the 12 bar blues patterns that have previously been played.

Swingin' Bear Boogie
This piece explores the swing pattern in the left hand with a semitone movement in the bass part. The Chords in the right hand explore further jazz harmonies and chord extensions found in jazz music.

Also: Bear Boogie Express, Boppin' Bear Boogie, Blue Gum Boogie.


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