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PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 2:41 pm 
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I am looking for songs that have very clear AAAB phrases (like Savoy Blip, for example). This is for a group of Lindyhop beginners who would like to listen to songs that make it easy to get a first feeling for the patterns that you can learn to hear in the music.

Do you have advice? Maybe songs that you like to play in classes in which you focus on musicality?

PS: I searched the discussion board for threads on musicality and was surprised that I couldn't find this question. I hope this post is not duplicating earlier discussions and fits in.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:59 pm 
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One thing that comes to mind is "They Can't Take that away from Me". The lyrics make it particularly easy for beginners to tell what's going on:

(A) The way you wear your hat
(A) The way you sip your tea
(A) The memory of all that
(B) No, no they can't take that away from me

(A) The way your smile just beams
(A) The way you sing off key(s)
(A) The way you haunt my dreams
(B) No, no they can't take that away from me

(A) The way you hold your knife
(A) The way we danced until three
(A) The way you changed my life
(B) No, no they can't take that away from me

Each "the way" (and that one pesky "the memory") is an A, and every B is "No, no...". And, yes, these are really AA'AB. Sue me.

The Ella & Louis version is only 99 bpm, but there's a 1957 Billie Holiday version at a "sprightly" 109 bpm, and a 1954 Sarah Vaughan one rampaging along at a blistering 127 bpm.

Everything that works well for the Shim Sham will be AAABish, and the ones that are used a lot are all fairly clear. "'t Ain't What You Do" is AA'AB, for instance, and "Tuxedo Junction", "Jumpin' at the Savoy" (Al Cooper), and "Stompin' at the Savoy" are AAA'B. "Flying Home" (Hampton, 1942), too.

Another one that comes to mind: "Jeep Jockey Jump" (Glenn Miller).


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 2:54 am 
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Thanks so much for your response, lipi! I have gone through all the songs and will post a more detailed response later, but to get back quicker: This has been very helpful!

One thing I found interesting and wanted to share: I'm a not very experienced dancer (not musician, and still lots and lots to learn). When I listen to "They can't take that away from me" (e.g., https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhCXXOhQ4zw), I don't hear/feel the 1 (where I'd start my basic dance steps with a rockstep) at the beginning of each line of the lyrics. That feels very forced when I try to match it like this to the lyrics. It feels much more fitting to the music when I start a bit later into each line. Any ideas where this idea comes from? I'll apparently have to try a bit harder to work through this song :)


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:45 am 
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sonya wrote:
Thanks so much for your response, lipi! I have gone through all the songs and will post a more detailed response later, but to get back quicker: This has been very helpful!

One thing I found interesting and wanted to share: I'm a not very experienced dancer (not musician, and still lots and lots to learn). When I listen to "They can't take that away from me" (e.g., https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhCXXOhQ4zw), I don't hear/feel the 1 (where I'd start my basic dance steps with a rockstep) at the beginning of each line of the lyrics. That feels very forced when I try to match it like this to the lyrics. It feels much more fitting to the music when I start a bit later into each line. Any ideas where this idea comes from? I'll apparently have to try a bit harder to work through this song :)

The 1 is definitely not at the start of each line of lyrics in "They Can't Take That Away From Me". In the first verse, the 1 is roughly at "hat", "tea", "that" and "can't". Could certainly be confusing to a beginner IMHO, but I hope that helps you find your dancing reference points for this song.

My absolutely favorite beginner-friendly AAAB structured song is the instrumental version of "Lindy Hop Heaven" by Lindy Hop Heaven. Clear rhythm, lots of repetition and 130 bpm. I can't seem to find a sample online - and the CD is only available from Peter Davis himself - but let me see if I can find a reference for you.

Jesse


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 1:55 pm 
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Thank you, Jesse - I'm glad to read your comment because that is exactly what I heard in the song! Good to have confirmation.

So maybe "They can't take that away from me" is a bit difficult to start with. I found a youtube version of Lindy Hop Heaven on youtube, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vpay6Bl4btI
This is what I was looking for, great, thanks!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 4:46 pm 
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sonya wrote:
Thank you, Jesse - I'm glad to read your comment because that is exactly what I heard in the song! Good to have confirmation.

So maybe "They can't take that away from me" is a bit difficult to start with. I found a youtube version of Lindy Hop Heaven on youtube, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vpay6Bl4btI
This is what I was looking for, great, thanks!

While a great song, "The Whistling Song" is not the song I am referring to, nor is it an AAAB structure. The group is called Lindy Hop Heaven as is the song. As is the album for that matter! There are both vocal and instrumental versions of the song. I couldn't find the song online, so I have uploaded and created a private link to the song for you to preview on Soudcloud. Listen here. I can put you in touch with bandleader Peter Davis if you want to purchase a copy of the CD.

Jesse


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 11:36 am 
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Oh, I think I was too late to hear the preview. I'm sorry for the late responses - I should get notifications now and will try to be better at reacting...

Since you already listened to the wrong song (sorry for that, I didn't double check), I am curious what it is, if not AAAB. Is there a way to describe it better?
To my unexperienced ear the first and third phrase sound similar, the second a bit different, and the fourth clearly different.

As for buying the CD: It would have to be shipped to Europe. I'm not sure how expensive or complicated that would be?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 3:28 pm 
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sonya wrote:
Oh, I think I was too late to hear the preview. I'm sorry for the late responses - I should get notifications now and will try to be better at reacting...

Since you already listened to the wrong song (sorry for that, I didn't double check), I am curious what it is, if not AAAB. Is there a way to describe it better?
To my unexperienced ear the first and third phrase sound similar, the second a bit different, and the fourth clearly different.

As for buying the CD: It would have to be shipped to Europe. I'm not sure how expensive or complicated that would be?

The link to preview the song is still available. Maybe you missed the link in my prior post. Hyperlinks don't get clearly underlined on this discussion board.

To make it clearer, to hear the sample, click on the following text: "Lindy Hop Heaven" by Lindy Hop Heaven off of the album Lindy Hop Heaven

If interested, I can put you in touch with the bandleader Peter Davis via email to order. Not sure of what the shipping expenses to Europe are.

As for discussing song structure, I think there is a bit of confusion going on here. Usually the letters you are referring to are referring to 8-bar sections of a song's structure. In jazz, the 32-bar structure is one of the more (most?) common. You can read about it here. And 32-bar jazz music most commonly follows an AABA structure. Both Jonathan Stout's "Savoy Blip" and Lindy Hop Heaven's "The Whistling Song" follow this AABA structure. But that is discussing the 32-bar patterns. You are asking about pattern of phrases within one of those A's or B's. I'm honestly not sure if these phrases are also referred to with A's and B's or with numbers or what. Maybe a music structure expert can chime in so we can get all on the same page terminology-wise. From my layman's perspective, I think you are asking for an 8-bar section that is structured like this: 2-bar phrase 1, 2-bar phrase 1, 2-bar phrase 1, 2-bar phrase 2. Yes? If so, "Savoy Blip" seems to have that structure, as does my suggested "Lindy Hop Heaven" track does.

Hope that helps?

Jesse


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 1:11 pm 
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Hi Jesse,

When I follow the soundcloud link, it says (translated into English): "Track wasn't found, perhaps the track was deleted". I don't see any audio tracks on your profile either when I look there. Maybe this is a browser issue, I can try in the weekend on a different browser.

Sorry for the confusion about the letters to indicate phrases, good that you mention this. Yes, I'm aware of the difference between the AABA structure, and the phrases within. I thought I had heard people refer to those also as A and B (so AAAB; which is confusing, I agree! I'd like to know how to call it instead.)
For now, to clarify, I'll call it 1112, so then the AABA structure would consist of phrases like:
1112 1112 3334 1112 (Right? With additional variations to complicate things of course.)
So I'm looking for songs with clear 1112 sections. Although an AABA overall structure on top would be even better...

And you were saying that The Whistling song does not follow a 1112 pattern (but an AABA). I understood that response but wondered how the pattern can be described instead, because it still sounds quite regular to me. Maybe not 1112, but something like 1!12, with the !phrase sounding like a variation of the 1phrase.

(Trying my best to be clear and successfully complicating things, I think...)


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 2:01 am 
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I don't tend to think of it as AAAB or 1112, because that cuts out a number of songs which follow the same principle of an eight bar phrase, but which don't have quite the same repeated 8 counts. Can't Take That Away From me is a case in point - the first three eight counts can vary quite a bit - but the fourth is still used to close the phrase off and complete it (sometimes the third eight count contributes to this).

A few more very clear examples, in case you need more...

Take it From The Top - Chick Webb - this one does use a lot of 1112
Everything is Jumpin' - Artie Shaw - kicks off with ... let's call it "1123"
Spinnin' the Web - Chick Webb - another 1123 one.
Swingin' on Nothin' - Jonathon Stout - 1112 (and a very nice clear modern recording)


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 4:33 pm 
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I still don't know how to properly describe the phrases we are talking about, but let me at least try my link again. I set the song as private to respect the band, but I thought the link I shared would work. Apparently not. Here is a temporary link for any of you to preview the track. Here's hoping that the third time's the charm! :)

As for "The Whistling Song", I still don't think it is exactly what you are asking for, but it is an amazing swing tune featuring very clear repetitive phrases that would probably also be great for a beginning lindy hop class.

Jesse


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 8:34 pm 
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sonya wrote:
I am looking for songs that have very clear AAAB phrases (like Savoy Blip, for example). This is for a group of Lindyhop beginners who would like to listen to songs that make it easy to get a first feeling for the patterns that you can learn to hear in the music.

Do you have advice? Maybe songs that you like to play in classes in which you focus on musicality?

PS: I searched the discussion board for threads on musicality and was surprised that I couldn't find this question. I hope this post is not duplicating earlier discussions and fits in.

Interesting discussion 8)

Just listened to Savoy Blip by Johnathan Stout to understand the 'very clear AAAB phrases' you described, and I can hear them in that song.

Technically, it's a 32 bar section of music, comprising 4 sets of 8 bars.

The first 2 bars establish a pattern, which is repeated in bars 3 and 4, and again in bars 5 and 6, so 3 x the 2-bar pattern which you called A. Bars 7 and 8 introduce something different to round off the 8 bar section (this is what you called B). So that is your 8-bar AAAB pattern.

The structure of the opening 32 bars of Savoy Blip (after the brief introduction) is:

AAAB
AAAB
CCCD
AAAB

In the 3rd 8 bar section, the music changes, but it's still an AAAB structure - I've called it CCCD because the music is different.

Then in the 4th 8 bar section, the music 'comes home' to the original theme to end off the full 32 bars in a satisfying conclusion.

Savoy Blip by Johnathan Stout is around 165 beats per minute, which is quite fast for beginners, although the structure is clear. I think many beginners may be more comfortable with a slower tempo.

"Lindy Hop Heaven" by Peter Davis which Jesse mentioned has a tempo of 126 bpm, and uses a similar AAAB structure. That song is great for beginners.

Other ideas from my list of beginner-friendly songs , which I think use the AAAB structure are:

Man About Town by Sid Phillips
(124 bpm)

Afternoon Of A Moax by Charlie Barnet
(125 bpm)

Shout, Sister, Shout by Sister Rosetta Tharpe
(134 bpm)

Tuxedo Junction by Erskine Hawkins
(148 bpm)

I have often heard the last 3 of these used by teachers in classes - which is often a sign of a good song.

I'm not sure if these four songs use the same 32 bar pattern as Savoy Blip, but they certainly have a similar AAAB pattern as far as I can tell.

(By the way, just because a song is beginner-friendly doesn't mean it's not suitable for experienced dancers. A good song with a clear structure often appeals to advanced dancers because they have time to play with the music and the breaks.)


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 3:14 pm 
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Yes!! It worked, I could finally listen to the song, Jesse. Third time's a charm ;) This one is so clear, you cannot only hear the pattern, you can also see the pattern in the wave form....!
Fantastic, and a great tempo for a beginner's class! Now I just need to manage to get a version of the song I could play in class.

Thank you also to the others who joined in and are helping translate terminology :) I'm bad with answers because of other stuff getting in between, but will go through Haydn's and straycat's recommendations and really appreciate the discussion.

We want to do an exercise where people jump and clap for each 2bar-section (each A or B in my vocabulary), so faster songs are also good, but definitely also need the slower ones for dancing. For the exercise, we also thought of PECKIN' - Johnny Hodges and his Orchestra, vocal by Cootie Williams (1937) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0O9bnB4_9UY

(Thank you for explaining the musician's take on this so clearly, now I get what you mean with bars! I have only heard people speak of phrases in Lindy hop musicality classes, but it's 32 bars = 4 x 8 bars = 4 x 4 x 2 bars = 4 x 4 x pattern in the music. Thanks for clarifying that for me!)


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:18 am 
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sonya wrote:
Yes!! It worked, I could finally listen to the song, Jesse. Third time's a charm ;) This one is so clear, you cannot only hear the pattern, you can also see the pattern in the wave form....!
Fantastic, and a great tempo for a beginner's class! Now I just need to manage to get a version of the song I could play in class.

Yay! PM me, and I am glad to pass on Peter's email address. Buying a CD directly from him is probably the only option. I personally recommend buying both Lindy Hop Heaven CDs while you are at it - if available. The first has "Lindy Hop Heaven", and the second has "The Whistling Song". And both have many many more danceable tunes!

Jesse


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