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Thread: Microjazz for Mandolin

  1. #1

    Default Microjazz for Mandolin

    I'm interested in this book by Christopher Norton but I didn't find much information on the web.
    I'm not looking for a jazz method, rather for nice pieces that sound good with guitar accompaniment.
    Barbara Pommerenke-Steel, who has a nice collection of solo mandolin pieces at Astute Music has added some mandolin specific hints to Norton's compositions.
    So, does anyone have the book and can recommend it to me?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Microjazz for Mandolin

    Any music makes for a good source, it doesn't have to be "mandolin music". Out of the hundreds of tunes I've played on mandolin, maybe two were actually written as "mandolin music". Converting and arranging other music for mandolin is half the fun.

  3. #3
    Registered User maudlin mandolin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Microjazz for Mandolin

    I have this book which consists of original mandolin/guitar duets wrtten by the author. They get progressively more difficult and cover various different styles. There is a cd so you can play along on either instrument. "Nice pieces that sound good with guitar" describes the book exactly.

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  5. #4

    Default Re: Microjazz for Mandolin

    Thanks maudlin mandolin. I'm currently preparing pieces from the VCM mandolin exam grade 3 sylllabus, and Rustic Dance or Wind up from Microjazz are possible pieces. http://www.vcmexams.co.uk/pdfdocs/Mandolin.pdf
    So I guess I will order the book and prepare these two pieces.

  6. #5

    Default Re: Microjazz for Mandolin

    Got to revive this thread I started almost 2 years ago: I bought the book, but I never managed to play something from it, so it ended up in a pile of unused sheet music books.
    But lately it was brought to my attention again: Michael Reichenbach did some very nice videos with pieces from Microjazz for Mandolin, for example the Ragtime piece Fancy That, which is at the beginning of the book:

    That led me to try song number 4, Oboe Tune

    For this song, I played the guitar part myself, but the good thing is, there are pre-recorded guitar accompaniments on the CD which comes with the book, so you can practise the mandolin part without worrying about playing a guitar accompaniment.

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  8. #6
    Registered User maudlin mandolin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Microjazz for Mandolin

    Very nice playing! Must look out my copy of this book again.

  9. #7
    Michael Reichenbach
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    Default Re: Microjazz for Mandolin

    I have now made ca. 10 videos from this book - more will follow. The pieces are very short - mostly just one minute - so it might be better to play the pieces two or more times.

    A very easy blues in A is the Bike Blues
    You can use it as a base for your own improvisations.



    In general the mandolin parts are very easy, the guitar parts are sometime more difficult.

    In some cases it is possible to play the accompaniment with mandolin or ukulele - this is Gone to Kingston:



    Complete playlist microjazz for mandolin
    Homepage: www.mandoisland.de / Blog: www.mandoisland.com / Freiburg / Germany

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  11. #8
    Michael Reichenbach
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    Default Re: Microjazz for Mandolin

    Enchanted Castle
    A thoughtful, mellow piece - play with sensitivity and expression

    Homepage: www.mandoisland.de / Blog: www.mandoisland.com / Freiburg / Germany

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  13. #9

    Default Re: Microjazz for Mandolin

    What Michael says about the guitar parts is true, the guitar accompaniment to the tune Face in the Crowd seemed quite challenging to me.
    Mandolin-wise, it is rather simple, but Barbara Pommerenke-Steel offers some articulation advice that might seem a little unusual to some players. For example, she uses a sign for an upstroke using only one string, a V with a point in the middle.
    The distinction between an upstroke on one string and an upstroke on two strings(simple V) seems to me typical for German editions. I saw this distinction in mandolin sheet music books by for instance Marlo Strauss, but never in international editions.
    Anyway, using an upstroke for a quarter note is supposed to create a legato effect.
    I don't know, whether this is audible, but it's notated with a legato tie.
    So here is Face in the crowd, which Norton describes as "A whistful waltz with mixolydian overtones":

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