Monthly Archives: November 2009

Horace Weston’s Old Time Jig returns

Yesterday’s version of Horace Weston’s Old Time Jig was better than the day before, but it started weak and was emotionally distant. It needed a beginning and it needed fire.

So here it is, the fourth and (I hope) final recording.

It’s 1:43 long. It’s in A minor. The time signature is 2/4. The tempo is 173.


To the extent possible under law, Lucas Gonze
has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to
Horace Weston’s Old Time Jig version 4.
This work is published from
United States.

Farther Along living sheet music

I wrote down the music for this classic gospel tune called “Farther Along.” Here’s what it looks like:

Farther Along sheet music

But then I wanted to share the original in case anybody wants to modify it. And then I wanted people to be able to modify other people’s modifications. What if somebody makes a recording, and then somebody remixes it? And shouldn’t I be able to make successive improvements to the page, in case I find mistakes or ways to do a better job? This could get out of hand. There needs to be a tool to manage it.

So instead of putting my original up on my own server, I put it on Github. That’s where you’ll find the full size image, the PDF, the Sibelius original, MIDI, and an AIFF.

Careless Love lead sheet

Here’s a simplified transcription of the Snooks Eaglin version of the folk/blues classic “Careless Love.”

Even though this song is super simple it still helps a band to have all the parts clearly spelled out, especially the melody.

Speaking of the melody, I only notate where the note changes, and not when the number of syllables require the singer to break a long note out into single notes. That makes it easier to read, as long as you know that a long note in this genre is supposed to be broken up.

Also: I transposed for my own vocal range. Original was in G, this is in D.

I feel like an idiot posting this stuff, because it’s so unlikely that anybody will actually use it. But I feel even dumber not posting it, because there’s no reason for anybody who can Google up this post to redo my work.

My strategy with the layout was to apply the principles of interaction design and think of writing music as an exercise in usability.

The font size is prioritized. The song title is huge because players will be flipping through a stack of unorganized paper in a brief interval between songs. The title is to the right (instead of the ordinary place on the left) because lead sheets get stapled or bound on the left. The chords are huge and the lyrics are big because players will be reading in real time, at a distance, and in bad light. The metadata is tiny so it won’t distract in real-time. The melody is mid-size, as big as possible without distracting from the all-important chords and lyrics.

variety show house concert

I played at a cool little event in Venice Beach last night — a house concert with a bunch of musicians and actors doing 10-15 minutes sets. It’s the same format as an open mic except that the organizer recruits most of the players.

Brad Kay (piano) and Tom Marion (mandolin) are both stellar old time jazz players.

Brad Kay and Tom Marion

The highlight of the night was Frank Fairfield’s red hot set on fiddle and jug.

Brad Kay and Frank Fairfield

The lowlight was going on right after Frank. I got a little nerved up and blanked on parts of an easy song. People were mainly still enthusiastic about the music, but not me.

It turned into a rocking and superloose party and I had to tear myself away after midnight. Just as I was leaving I noticed that the host had an entire room devoted to his record collection.

(High res here)