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Henry Mancini-Moon River

Posted By: Gilbert

Henry Mancini-Moon River - 03/20/07 08:57 AM

I've been working through Moon River for sonme time now, I am a beginner with some previous teaching and am now taking lessons again. I have found the sheet music is fairly straightforward however there are some big bass notes that just don't sound very good - can they be substituted by notes higher in the octave? I find that I am putting a little bit of my touch it, replacing some single notes with nice chord equivelants. Is this common practice. Perhaps someone out there has a nice score for this song I could look at?
Posted By: Monica K.

Re: Henry Mancini-Moon River - 03/20/07 12:24 PM

If this were "Moonlight Sonata" rather than "Moon River," you'd probably get hammered for daring to change it... but with modern music, anything goes. thumb I think it's great that you're experimenting with improvising the arrangement to make it sound better.
Posted By: Les Koltvedt

Re: Henry Mancini-Moon River - 03/20/07 01:03 PM

Absolutly, change is great as LONG AS IT SOUNDS GOOD, that's what my teach says...go for it. Just don't try to do TOO MUCH, it muddles up the song, sometimes les is more...(a little tounge in check for those that know me)
Posted By: J. Mark

Re: Henry Mancini-Moon River - 03/20/07 02:49 PM

What version are you using? Is this from the Hal Leonard Best Songs book? I play that arrangement of the song, and yes, there are a couple of points where it drops down to a very low G or C. I happen to like that, but it is a bit dramatic. I think it partly depends on how you play it (eg, you can emphasize it, or downplay it a bit).

I, too, have been toying with a few little changes here and there, and it is fun. I won't do that with the Bach stuff I'm learning (heaven forbid), but with these pop songs, hey, anything goes, right?
Posted By: Gilbert

Re: Henry Mancini-Moon River - 03/20/07 06:12 PM

I'm working through the original sheet music which is in the key of Cmajor. The bass runs are beautiful but those in the lower octaves suffer a little as they sound muddy. Perhaps its my piano, a digital Yamaha YDP-131 that I bought a few months back. Any ideas?
Posted By: Bob Newbie

Re: Henry Mancini-Moon River - 03/20/07 06:15 PM

try this its free!
Posted By: btb

Re: Henry Mancini-Moon River - 03/21/07 08:03 AM

Is this the “Moon River” we are looking at?
According to my information Henry Mancini was awarded two Oscars in 1962 ... the first for the Best Original Score, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and another for Best Song, “Moon River” (lyrics by Johnny Mercer).
web page
Posted By: Gilbert

Re: Henry Mancini-Moon River - 03/21/07 11:50 AM

Yes, this the score I am working from. I am gradually nearing completion - some of the bass runs are hard work but apart from that the piece has given me a good awareness of sight reading and actually improved my fingering.
Posted By: btb

Re: Henry Mancini-Moon River - 03/21/07 12:45 PM

Nice to hear from Ireland Gilbert,
Good luck with the World Cup cricket ... Isn't Bray a star turn? ... his bloody-minded Irish
defiance against the odds brought back many a
fond memory ... I chose an Irish New Zealander for a Dad.

Having just played through 'Moon River" a few times to be reminded of the arpeggio-like style of Mancini's music ... other than finding all his
compositions or arrangements (such as the themes from Francis Lai's "Love Story", Bert Bacherach's "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" and Antonio Carlos Jobim's "The Adventurers") ... all somewhat spare in content (largely single-note outline driven by the pulsing arpeggios booming up from bass) ... it would surprise me
if any attempt to re-arrange the notes (adding chords) wouldn't make the unique thin Mancini sound collapse like a pack of cards.

It would be interesting to hear where you think you can improve the score... I've numbered the maeasures.
Posted By: Gilbert

Re: Henry Mancini-Moon River - 03/21/07 01:54 PM

btb, I was somewhat thrown by the deep bass arpeggio in the song - they do sound very deep. This is something I have not come across to often. As a beginner I am able to work through a song of this style with ease but there are some things like the bass runs that I am unfamiliar with. Thanks
Posted By: btb

Re: Henry Mancini-Moon River - 03/21/07 02:46 PM

Hi Gilbert,
Mancini constrains the whole "Moon River" composition largely to a mere 3 octaves ... but without the contrasting "deep bass" arpeggio format his nostalgic melody would be in serious danger of becoming mawkish ... perhaps you just need a bit of time to grow confident with the LH arpeggio flow.
Posted By: Gilbert

Re: Henry Mancini-Moon River - 03/22/07 07:50 AM

btb, I'm getting there and really improving everyday. thanks for your advice.
Posted By: Van

Re: Henry Mancini-Moon River - 03/22/07 08:30 AM


I wonder if any of you have reached the point where you could post a recording? I've only ever seen this in a lead sheet so would be curious as to how the official arrangement sounds.
Posted By: Gilbert

Re: Henry Mancini-Moon River - 03/22/07 11:59 AM

Sid, I don't think I'm ready for a performance yet but if you do a search in youTube there are a few really excellent renditions of Moon River. Furthermore, Musicnotes.com have the actually sheet music there and you can play the preview without purchase. Ta
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