April 30, 2009

Some props for the composer

Sinatra classic lifts Gokey into this week's 'Idol' elite

First of all, I thought Come Rain Or Come Shine was a Sandra Bernhard classic. But what it is is a Harold Arlen classic.

Personally, I can't stand American Idol for a variety of reasons. But I was rudely awakened this morning by some twot in a ridiculous mini-fedora engaged in attempting to warble My Funny Valentine, which is not a "Rat Pack classic" but rather the ingenious handiwork of Richard Rodgers, one of the finest songwriters of all times.

I often give My Funny Valentine to my piano students because — among other things — its slow ballad tempo makes it easy to play and because it's a brilliantly succinct compendium of clever chord progressions and basic musical form.

(A 16-bar verse, an 8-bar bridge in the relative major, and an 8-bar reprise with coda, all containing just about every type of 7th-chord they'll ever need to know, for the pedagogically inclined.)

As for American Idol, by all means brutalize Grease Is The Word and MacArthur Park, but please, please leave the masterpieces alone.


Anonymous said...

John Gay -> Kurt Weill -> Louis Armstrong -> Bobby Darrin -> Robbie Williams -> This Dude.

We're pinheads now.

Anonymous said...

OTOH, amateur genius.