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davewerden

Video - I Know Why and So Do You - Euphonium and Piano

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I just uploaded a new euphonium/piano video to my YouTube channel. In this one we are playing a song that I heard in the movie "The Glenn Miller Story" called "I Know Why (and So Do You)." The series of videos I've been doing lately are partly intended to give players ideas about songs they can perform to help develop style. I've been choosing songs that don't require advanced technique or range, and as such they would be doable by anyone from high school on up. They would be a good way to help one develop more sides of their musical style.

(Read more below the video player.)



This particular song might be more of a reach for some players stylistically. It relies on a gentle swing style in many places. That may scare some off, because it is all too easy to sound silly when applying swing style awkwardly. But for those who want to play in a wind band or brass band, at some point you are going to need to reach into this realm. Bands are going to play Broadway songs, nostalgia medlies (i.e. big band or other pop), etc. You can't get by with only a "classical" style.

I listened to many performances of this song, and most of them seemed to share one unusual trait - they would shift from straight eighth-note style to lightly swung eighth-note style. The latter requires the player to make the eighths slightly uneven, but perhaps not even as far as a triplet feel (and certainly not as far as a hard-swing feel using dotted rhythms). So you will notice both straight and swing approaches in this piece.

You may also notice a variety of articulations. Most times I'm just using standard slurred or tongued connections, but now and then you'll hear me separate two notes on the same pitch using either a pitch bend (letting the pitch "droop" between notes) or an "air bend." I think I'm coining the phrase "air bend" for this post (at least I can't recall hearing anyone use it before). By that I mean letting the air support drop way down between notes, but without letting the pitch droop. You may also notice some light slow-valve gliss effects between notes in a couple places.

This song is permanently burned into my memory from the movie. The setup is that Glenn Miller has been trying to write a particular sound for his band, but he has not quite found it yet. In rehearsal before a big engagement they are playing this song. His scoring relied on the particular skills of his solo trumpet player, who was playing in the upper register but doing so very sweetly. He would stand for the solo sections. As he was sitting down between solos in the piece, he had his horn on his chops and accidentally struck the music stand, splitting his chops! He had to go to the hospital, and Glenn had to rewrite everything overnight, which is when he landed on using clarinet lead supported by saxes - his signature sound. Anyway, it is hard for a brass player to forget seeing what happened to that trumpet player!

The sheet music I use can be downloaded here:
http://www.musicnotes.com/sheetmusic...?ppn=MN0100368

The movie "The Glenn Miller Story" is available here:

Glenn Miller Story - Amazon Instant Video

Glenn Miller Story - iTunes Movie

Glenn Miller Story - DVD

The performers are:
Dave Werden, euphonium
Sara Brunk, piano

The recording was made with a Canon digital camcorder, an Audio-Technica AT-825 stereo microphone, and a portable digital audio recorder.

Copyright information from the sheet music:
Words by Mack Gordon, music by Harry Warren
Copyright 1041 (Renewed 1969) Leo Feist Incorporated, USA.
EMI United Partnership Limited
All Rights Reserved. International Copyright Secured

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