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old pop piano #2845578 05/05/19 07:44 PM
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rogerzell Offline OP
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Hi--long time lurker here.

I'm wondering whether anyone is interested in this style:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCofOWZeZePQfRL9DRUKrYhQ/videos

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWskPzXNrsI5zNsaZDiy8gg

There are 2 sites because Youtube would not let me back in the first one, I don't know why.

I haven't seen anything like this in Piano World forum.

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Re: old pop piano [Re: rogerzell] #2845643 05/06/19 01:01 AM
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giulio Offline
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I collect many of this kind of music sheet ( and also ragtime and blues and more ) and I make one pdf for evry single composer.
(Usually It's old music, pre 1923, so it's copyright free)
If somebody want to download these pdf of music sheet, (several Gb of pdf) and download related midi files, just may go in that site web (L52 moderno - rag) and select the composer you are interested in.

http://www.corsodipiano.altervista.org/Spartiti.htm

good luck on piano study.

Re: old pop piano [Re: rogerzell] #2851272 05/22/19 08:21 PM
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rogerzell Offline OP
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Hi, RogerZell here--I think I should have included a bit more info about my post.

I specialize in preswing eighth note Tin Pan Alley piano style (roughly up until 1923-ish), and my videos are intended to illustrate that style. I am heavily influenced by piano roll performances.

Besides the beauty and craft of these songs and not swinging, the other aspect that intrigues me about this old style is the lack of improvisation, so I concentrate on how improv might have sounded in, say, 1906 or 1914 had they actually done it. I reasoned that many, if not most, pianists of the era had heard and/or played classical music, so were aware of (in some sense) how composers develop their material. I try to use some of that technique.

I had to think about whether they had in fact improvised but did not record it, but that seemed unreasonable. Then I discovered a quote from J. Lawrence Cook, one the deans of piano roll cutting:

“Improvising in popular music is by no means new, for instrument players (other than pianists) indulged in it profusely even before the 1920’s; and, although their efforts were probably worthy of all the praise of that period, we doubt if they would stand up well beside present-day improvisers. Incidentally, what passed for piano (popular) improvising in those days could hardly be regarded as more than stereotyped variation upon the original theme.”

Thus these videos, and hours of fun.

Re: old pop piano [Re: rogerzell] #2853962 05/30/19 03:43 PM
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88keezy Offline
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RogerZell,

This is GREAT stuff! Do you find most of the pieces online? I am interested in learning where you find new sheets of this era/style? I'm always on the lookout for historic sheet music collections online! And I'd love to explore this style.

Re: old pop piano [Re: 88keezy] #2854152 05/31/19 07:42 AM
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88keezy Offline
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I see now -- you have sources for sheet music w/ each video in the details! Wonderful! But... how do you search out each one? Do you research the authors first, then scour the internet?

Re: old pop piano [Re: 88keezy] #2854216 05/31/19 11:02 AM
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rogerzell Offline OP
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Hi 88keezy, and thank you.

I spend alot of time randomly searching thru the online collections, looking for good/interesting/beautiful melodies, just reading the sheets. Melody is my prime criterion.

I also notice who wrote them and find their other songs.

Also, there is a nice collection of piano rolls at http://www.trachtman.org/rollscans/RollListing.php?showpage=52&sortby=composer and I listen randomly (or not so randomly).

and there's Youtube.

re "exploring this style"--you should try to define the style in your mind for your own satisfaction. For instance, I define it as what you might have heard in a normal tavern or restaurant in 1915 (or whatever year), except with improvisation, which would not have been heard.

Hope this helps.

Roger Zell

Re: old pop piano [Re: rogerzell] #2854235 05/31/19 11:50 AM
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88keezy Offline
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What's so wonderful about your demonstration with these videos, is that the music combines the melancholy found in war-era songs such as Whiting's "Till We Meet Again" (a piece introduced to me years ago and LOVED by my mom -- sheet music literally worn to tearing by me from playing by this point... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Till_We_Meet_Again_(1918_song)) with the fun, whimsical stuff of Joplin rags -- which I more recently started devouring with the Schirmer collection. It is just FUN and, as you point out, melodically pleasing for long stretches! The online archive I posted elsewhere in this forum (https://digitalcommons.conncoll.edu/sheetmusic/) was my first entry into "searching style" for the early 20th century era pop "stuff"!

Re: old pop piano [Re: 88keezy] #2854242 05/31/19 12:06 PM
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88keezy Offline
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Another one you might like, perhaps too much of a departure from your target:

https://archive.org/details/78_weep...d-his-orchestra-lew-pollack_gbia0014582a

Sheet: https://digitalcommons.conncoll.edu/sheetmusic/1564/ (I prefer the sheet, piano solo vs the recording w/ orchestra)

That one I discovered I loved among Victrola records inherited from my in-laws!

Re: old pop piano [Re: rogerzell] #2855585 06/04/19 09:22 PM
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rogerzell Offline OP
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Hi 88keezy---Weep no more my Mammy is in my repertoire and when I get a good recording down I'll post it. It's right in the center of my target.

Re your other comment--I'm not sure what you're hearing in these songs, as none of them are melancholy in either music or words. Nor are they straight ragtime a la Joplin. "Weep no more my Mammy" IS melancholic, and I have many sadder songs to record.

I shy away from war songs though (Til we Meet Again).

Re: old pop piano [Re: rogerzell] #2856426 06/07/19 02:06 PM
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88keezy Offline
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In particular, one I really enjoyed -- Please Come Back to Me.... has a component of loss/regret (albeit packaged in a jumpy tune)... But recordings in general have the "enjoyment" and "fun-ness" of the ragtime by Joplin I've been focusing on.. Not specific in style or composition, but in which emotional strings get pulled.

Re: old pop piano [Re: 88keezy] #2856454 06/07/19 03:26 PM
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rogerzell Offline OP
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Ahh--I see--

In general, I don't pay attention to lyrics, I'm almost entirely oriented to the music.

And yes, these songs are full of ragtime elements, without actually being rags.

Interesting that you like that song--it's very obscure, I think mine is probably the first recording in 100 years.


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