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Monday Notes

Franco Califano, Un tempo piccolo. A popular poet out of the mainstream

[Monday Notes no. 162] Franco Califano was a singer-songwriter and poet and wrote dozens of songs, often for other singers. Among those interpreted by him personally, we analyse Un tempo piccolo, a song very refined both in its lyrics and music.

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Monday Notes

Someday My Prince Will Come, from Snow White to Jazz

[Monday Notes no. 39] Many songs in the jazz repertoire derive from musicals and films, and cartoons are no exception. In the 1937 cartoon, Snow White sings Someday My Prince Will Come to an audience of dwarves and forest animals.

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Music Lessons

The blues: musical genre, blues scale, blues progression

What is the blues? The answer to this question is not as simple as it may seem, in fact the term ‘blues’ refers to many different things, all of which have to do with music, but the point of view can be very different. In this lesson we will discover different uses of the word…

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Monday Notes

Sharps, flats and circle of fifths. How to write alterations

My students often ask me when to use sharps and when to use flat when writing a note or chord. The answer to this question is not so simple, what is true for single notes is not always true for scales and chords. So let’s see how to use sharps and flats to write notes,…

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Piano

How to play songs on the piano. Adapting a song for the piano

How do you play a song on the piano? In this lesson we will see how to use the piano to accompany a singer, but also how to adapt a melody so that it can be played only with the piano, in an instrumental version.

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Monday Notes

Sade, Kiss of Life. A song without cadences?

[Monday Notes no. 161] Kiss of Life is a song by British singer Sade Adu that has a typical 90s sound. This piece is very peculiar because it apparently does not even contain a cadence. Let’s try to analyze it to find out if there really can exist a pop song without cadences.

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Monday Notes

Samba della rosa, Ornella Vanoni and bossa nova

[Monday Notes no. 160] Samba della rosa is a song by Toquinho and Vinicius De Moraes, performed by Ornella Vanoni on her album La voglia la pazzia l’incoscienza l’allegria. The recording is one of the most successful encounters between Italian music and bossanova.

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Monday Notes

Mo Better Blues, a soundtrack to understand the blues

[Monday notes no. 159] Mo Better Blues is the title track of the soundtrack for the film of the same name directed by Spike Lee, who commissioned the music to his father Bill Lee. Mo Better Blues is has a funky feel but in many ways falls in the tradition of the more archaic blues.…

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Monday Notes

Deborah’s Theme by Ennio Morricone. Analysis of a masterpiece

[Monday Notes no. 158] Deborah’s Theme is the main piece written by Ennio Morricone for the soundtrack of Once Upon a Time in America, one of Sergio Leone’s most important films. I have tried to analyse this masterpiece in film music.

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Monday Notes

Schindler’s List by John Williams, all the secrets of a great soundtrack

[Monday Note 157] The soundtrack of the film Schindler’s List has been created by one of the greatest masters of film music, John Williams. The American composer has written music for all kinds of films, from the science fiction of Star Wars and E.T. to the adventures of Indiana Jones. In this case, his music…

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