a couple questions about Tommy (pete townshend)

Posted by: rakim

a couple questions about Tommy (pete townshend) - 12/12/12 05:49 PM

2 questions.

1. I have the songbook Tommy but I see there are different versions of the sheet music on musicnotes.com. Do I really have to pay $5 dollars or so for a single sheet or is there another book from Pete Townshend that I'm not finding? I've looked around and haven't figured out where these sheets are from but I'd like to have both versions of the song. I'm wondering if it's the album version but on "see me, feel me" on musicnotes it is clearly written as "from the rock opera" and it is a different version than the book.

2. On page 36 of the songbook Tommy (the 3rd page of christmas/see me feel me), on the 3rd staff down, you'll see there are 2 G staffs instead of the bass clef for the left hand but I don't see an "8va" or an "8" under it either. I don't know what I'm supposed to be doing.

I called it 3rd staff down because I can't remember how to refer to a section of measures.
Posted by: spanishbuddha

Re: a couple questions about Tommy (pete townshend) - 12/12/12 06:10 PM

Originally Posted By: rakim
there are 2 G staffs instead of the bass clef for the left hand but I don't see an "8va" or an "8" under it either. I don't know what I'm supposed to be doing.

This is a mistaken assumption on your part, so maybe music lessons for Xmas? smile

You can have G clef for LH and RH for the same bars or measures for piano.

I don't have the book, is it a transcription for piano, or piano and voice, or.....? Also I do not know the music but I would likely play what's written. Does it sound OK?
Posted by: rakim

Re: a couple questions about Tommy (pete townshend) - 12/12/12 06:33 PM

No, it suggests the same notes. In the first measure of that section it has you playing A, C, and F in your left hand and the same A in your right hand. At the exact same time.

Would I benefit from music lessons? Sure, but seeing as I can play this, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJQ9IgT1_kY , I'm not really worried about it. (That's not me in the video I'm just saying I can play that song) I've been playing a year, I moved up quickly because of what skills transferred over from saxophone. I would basically just be paying for a director and occasional new information.

The book is done by Pete Townshend and copyrighted in 1969 but this sheet music (http://www.musicnotes.com/sheetmusic/mtdFPE.asp?ppn=MN0059513) is not in the book even though they're from the same guy and copyrighted the same year and I haven't been able to find out anything about it.
Posted by: zrtf90

Re: a couple questions about Tommy (pete townshend) - 12/13/12 05:50 AM

What goes on record is what Pete Townshend "wrote". What appears in print is the version that some snotty nosed summer student well established professional knocked up on the piano at the publishers.

Two or three years of doing this yourself and you'll be able to, er, do this yourself! smile

Seriously, it doesn't take long to pick out the music by ear and transcribe it for whatever instrument you play.

Pick out just the melody of this song from measure 24 ("List'ning to you..") and compare it with what's written.

When I listen to the song at "I get the heat" I hear 'get' dropping to C#, 'the' rising to D# and 'heat' back on E. The score from "Fabulous Music Ltd" (the version you've linked to) has 'get' on E, 'the' on C# and 'heat' on B. It fits the chords (and it may even be what Pete Townshend originally 'wrote') but it's not what Roger Daltrey is singing.

The score with three staves is, I'm guessing, a Piano/Vocal "arrangement". I'm unfamiliar with it. I'm willing to bet that Mr. Townshend didn't write it. Or even see it.

I suggest you start by picking out the melody, because that's what everyone knows and hears, and getting that on the piano. Then get the bass (or what you think is the bass) then harmonise them with some chords, you can start off with those on the score if you like but you'll get better by picking chords to match the record and your ear.

Posted by: rakim

Re: a couple questions about Tommy (pete townshend) - 12/13/12 02:43 PM

I know all about transcribing, I just didn't know someone could do that and then sell it with "pete townshend copyrighted 1969" on it. That implies that Pete Townshend created that version as well. I don't see another name on there with "transcribed by" or anything like that.
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: a couple questions about Tommy (pete townshend) - 12/13/12 04:07 PM

The copyright always attaches 100% to the original song and its writer no matter what guise (arrangement) it appears in. The transcriber/arranger invariably works for fixed fees (no share in the royalty) unless it’s a public domain work.

Incidentally, these are not snotty-nosed students, far from it. In London, in the 70s, there was no more than a handful of guys, well established professionals, covering the entire output of top-line/piano copy work handed out by the UK publishers. Top lines were themselves the sole written representation of the copyright so they would never have been allocated to a novice. Work producing sheet music for the more auspicious recordings would be assigned to just a couple of guys who’d had long experience producing ‘piano arrangements’.

Sadly, these arrangements were almost entirely junk but they passed muster because the end-user was never discriminating enough to complain and most of those working in the publishing offices were musically illiterate so were unable to apply any quality control.

Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: a couple questions about Tommy (pete townshend) - 12/13/12 04:26 PM

rakim,

The link you sent does not indicate "pete townshend copyrighted 1969" on the sheet music. It indicates "Words and Music by PETER TOWNSHEND" - The copyright for this issue is held by "Fabulous Music, Ltd." with the following notation: "Used by Permission"

Though Tommy is generally attributed to Pete Townshend, it was a collaberation of all of the members of The Who and evolved by means of live rehearsal. The recording sessions were extensive. It was not composed "on paper" as its original genesis. The copyrights for the music are held by the band and all printed forms are transcriptions with royalties paid from its approved uses.

Being a self-taught instrumentalist, I wonder if Townshend even had mastered the skill of music notation.
Posted by: dire tonic

Re: a couple questions about Tommy (pete townshend) - 12/13/12 04:34 PM

Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty

Being a self-taught instrumentalist, I wonder if Townshend even had mastered the skill of music notation.


I don't know in his case but aside from knowing common chord symbols most pop-song writers are musically 'illiterate'.
Posted by: zrtf90

Re: a couple questions about Tommy (pete townshend) - 12/13/12 05:05 PM

Thank you, dire tonic. Correction duly noted and made. smile
Posted by: rakim

Re: a couple questions about Tommy (pete townshend) - 12/13/12 08:26 PM

Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
rakim,

The link you sent does not indicate "pete townshend copyrighted 1969" on the sheet music. It indicates "Words and Music by PETER TOWNSHEND" - The copyright for this issue is held by "Fabulous Music, Ltd." with the following notation: "Used by Permission"


Being a self-taught instrumentalist, I wonder if Townshend even had mastered the skill of music notation.


I missed that.

I would agree he didn't master it but it's not really necessary to master. He expressed himself well through chord choice and giving the music feeling, he might have expressed himself better had he developed more but the music happened and it was good. I don't think self-teaching is necessarily the problem since music is a natural thing and you can access the information elsewhere, it's more-so that he was the "throw the text book out the window" type of player. That doesn't work in the long run, he could've gone deeper with notation and done more.

Everyone learns differently. When I'm in school I generally need to go home after class and teach the information to myself. I've had some really good teachers but most of them just seem to deliver information. That's why I self-teach. I'll probably take lessons for a little while to cover my bases but I have priorities at the moment. Therefore I'm using the internet. :P
Posted by: Minnesota Marty

Re: a couple questions about Tommy (pete townshend) - 12/13/12 08:56 PM

rakim - I agree with what you are saying about musicianship. However, you were asking about printed sheet music editions, specifically piano transcriptions, and of the variations which were issued. The better transcriptions will be more accurate, but they are all transcriptions as they are not a "band" score.

The audio versions are recording studio creations as the instrumentation exceeds what could be performed "live" by the members of the band There is considerable over-dubbing used to produce a recording.
Posted by: KurtZ

Re: a couple questions about Tommy (pete townshend) - 12/13/12 10:26 PM

I've just finished Townshend's auto biography. Over the years, Pete taught himself piano and studied composition. He mentions writing out scores for his theatrical work of which there was more than most people realize. It's not clear from the book what he did or didn't know when he put together Tommy. His father was a first chair professional sax player and his mother was a singer.

Tommy, of course, was a monumental, genre busting epic but I really prefer Quadrophenia as a mature homogenous work.

Kurt
Posted by: landorrano

Re: a couple questions about Tommy (pete townshend) - 12/14/12 02:58 AM

Plugs in your ears, cork in your mouth, dark glasses: that's the way to play "Tommy" !
Posted by: rakim

Re: a couple questions about Tommy (pete townshend) - 12/14/12 10:14 AM

Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
rakim - I agree with what you are saying about musicianship. However...


Everything after "I missed that" was just social banter.

Originally Posted By: KurtZ
I've just finished Townshend's auto biography...



I'll have to look into Quadrophenia. I almost bought that book recently but the title made me think twice. Not sure I'll get it but interesting enough.



So, that solves the 1st one. Does anyone have the book to look at the Christmas song? I assume it's something small I overlooked like with the copyright, I still haven't figured it out though.