Harmonica_header

My Strongest Weakness

Key: Bb

Genre: Country

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

4 4 -4 5 -4 -5b 5 -4 4
The keep-er of the gates of wis-dom

4 4 4 4
Please let me in

4 4 4 -4 4 5
’cause I just can’t go through

4 4 4 4 -5b 5 5
An-oth-er heart-ache a-gain

4 5 5 5 5 6 6
Pret-ty lies and al-i-bis

-6b -4 -6 -6b -5b -5b
How could I be so blind?

-6b -6b 7 4 4 6 6 5 4
Now all a-lone and scared of stay-in

-4 -4 -4 5 4 5 4 4
Slow-ly go-in out of my mind

CHORUS

4 4 6 4 6 6 -5b
He was my stron-gest weak-ness

4 -4 5 7 4 -6b 4
I sur-ren-dered heart and soul

4 4 4 4 4 4 -5b -4
It’s gon-na be a long, long time

4 4 -5b -5b 5 5
’til I re-gain con-trol

4 4 6 4 -5b
I’m still a pris-‘ner

-6b -5b 7 -4 7 4 -6b -6b
Held cap-tive by his mem-o-ry

5 4 4 4 -5b 4 -4
He was my stron-gest weak-ness

4 -4 5 4 -5b 5 4 4
And I’m a-fraid he’ll al-ways be

VERSE 2

I gave my faithful heart to someone
I couldn’t understand
How he held my little world
In the palm of his hand
Now he’s gone and life goes on
So if this pain will ever end
Will I be afraid to risk it all
If I fall in love again

REPEAT CHORUS

Lyrics


Weak In the Knees

Key: Bb

Genre: Country

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

5 6 6 6 6 6 6 -5 5 -4 -4 5 5
Would you mind if I pretended we were somewhere else

-5-5 -5 -5 -5 -5 5 -4
Doin’ something we wanted to?

4 5 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6
‘Cause all this living makes me want to do

5 -6 5 5 5 -4 5 5
Is die ’cause I can’t live with you

4 -5 -5 -5 5 -4
And you don’t even care.

 

5 6 6 6 6 6 6 -5 5 -4 -4 5 5
Would you mind if I pretended I was someone else

-5 -5 -5 -5 -5 5 -4
With courage in love and war?

6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6
I used to think that’s what I was

5 -6 5 5-4 -4 5 5
But now this lyin’ hurts too much

4 -5 -5 -5 5 -4
And I don’t know what for.

 

-6 -7-66 -7 -7 7-7 -6 -6
I’m weak__ in the knees for you

-6 -6 -7 -6 -7 -7 7 -8 7
But I’ll stand if you want me to.

-6 -7-6 6 7 7 -7 -6 -6
My legs are strong and I’ll move on,

6 6 5 5 -4 4 -4 5 -5
But honey I’m weak in the knees…

 

5 6 6 6 6 6 6 -5 5 -4 -4 5 5
Would you mind if I walked over and I kissed your face,

-5 -5 -5 -5 5 5 -4
In front of all of your friends?

5 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6
Would you mind if I got drunk and said,

5 -6 -6 -6 -7 7 -7 7-6
“I wanna take you home to bed.”

-5 -5 -5 -5 5 -4
Oh, would you change your mind?

 

-6 -7-66 -7 -7 7-7 -6 -6
I’m weak__ in the knees for you

-6 -6 -7 -6 -7 -7 7 -8 7
But I’ll stand if you want me to.

-6 -7-6 6 7 7 -7 -6 -6
My legs are strong and I’ll move on,

6 6 5 5 -4 4 -4 5 -4 4 5
But honey I’m weak in the knees for you.

7-7 -6 -6
Ohh for you

7-7 -6 -6
Ohh for you

7-7 -6 8
Ohh for you

8-8 7 7
Ohh for you

8-8 7 9
Ohh for you

-108-8 7 7
Ohh___ for you

7-7 -6 -6
Ohh for you.

 

-6 -7-66 -7 -7 7-7 -6 -6
I’m weak__ in the knees for you

-6 -6 -7 -6 -7 -7 7 -8 7
But I’ll stand if you want me to.

-6 -7-6 6 7 7 -7 -6 -6
My legs are strong and I’ll move on,

6 6 5 5 -4 4 -4 5 -4 4 5
But honey I’m weak in the knees for you.

 

-6 -7-66 -7 -7 7-7 -6 -6
I’m weak__ in the knees for you

-6 -6 -7 -6 -7 -7 7 -8 7
But I’ll stand if you want me to.

-6 -7-6 6 7 7 -7 -6 -6
My legs are strong and I’ll move on,

6 6 5 5 -4 4 -4 5 -4 4 5
But honey I’m weak in the knees for you.

Lyrics


That’s My Weakness Now (2-harp)

Key: Bb

Genre: Country

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

By: Bud Green, Sam H. Stept
Helen Kane, Bix Beiderbeck
Key: Eb
Harps: Bb, Eb

Harp: Bb
4 -3” -3 4 -3”
7 -6 -7 7 -6
She’s got eyes of blue

4 -3 4 -3” 4 -3 4 -3”
7 -7 7 -6 7 -7 7 -6
I nev-er cared for eyes of blue

4 4 3 -3 4 3
7 7 6 -7 7 6
But she’s got eyes of blue

4 -4 -4 4 -3” -2”
7 -8 -8 7 -6 -5
And that’s my weak-ness now

4 -3” -3 4 -3”
7 -6 -7 7 -6
She’s got dim-pled cheeks

4 4 4 -3” 4 -4 4 -3”
7 7 7 -6 7 -7 7 -6
I nev-er cared for dim-pled cheeks

4 4 3 -3 4 3
7 7 6 -7 7 6
But she’s got dim-pled cheeks

4 -4 -4 4 -3” -2”
7 -8 -8 7 -6 -5
And that’s my weak-ness now

-2” -4 -5 4
-5 -8 -9 7
Oh, my, oh, me

Harp: Eb

2 -2” 3 2 -3”
5 -5 6 5 -6
8 -9 9 8 -10
Oh, I should be good

2 3 2 -3”
5 6 5 -6
8 9 8 -10
I would be good

2 -1
5 -4
8 -8
But, gee

Harp: Bb

4 -3” -3” -3 4 -3”
7 -6 -6 -7 7 -6
She likes to bill and coo

4 -3 4 -3” 4 -3 4 -3”
7 -7 7 -6 7 -7 7 -6
I nev-er cared to bill and coo

4 4 3 3 -3 4 3
7 7 6 6 -7 7 6
But she likes to bill and coo

4 -4 -4 4 -3 -2”
7 -8 -8 7 -7 -5
And that’s my weak-ness now

Lyrics


That’s My Weakness Now (chrom)

Key: Bb

Genre: Country

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

THAT’S MY WEAKNESS NOW chrom
By: Bud Green, Sam H. Stept
Helen Kane, Bix Beiderbeck
Key: Eb

-3* 3 -3 -3* 3
She’s got eyes of blue
-3*-3 -3* 3 -3* -3 -3* 3
I nev-er cared for eyes of blue
-3* -3* -2 -3 -3* -2
But she’s got eyes of blue
-3* 4 4 -3* 3 -1*
And that’s my weak-ness now
-3* 3 -3 -3* 3
She’s got dim-pled cheeks
-3*-3 -3* 3 -3* -3 -3* 3
I nev-er cared for dim-pled cheeks
-3* -3* -2 -3 -3* -2
But she’s got dim-pled cheeks
-3* 4 4 -3* 3 -1*
And that’s my weak-ness now
-1* 4 -5* -3*
Oh, my, oh, me
3 3* -3* 3 4
Oh, I should be good
3 -3* 3 4
I would be good
3 -2
But, gee
-3* 3 3 -3 -3* 3
She likes to bill and coo
-3*-3 -3* 3 -3* -3 -3* 3
I nev-er cared to bill and coo
-3* -3* -2 -2 -3 -3* -2
But she likes to bill and coo
-3* 4 4 -3* 3 -1*
And that’s my weak-ness now

Lyrics


Care and Maintenance of a harmonica

Key: Bb

Genre: Country

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

Basic Harmonica Maintenance – Care and Maintenance of a harmonica

Maintaining your own harps can give you longer lasting harps that play and sound better.  Just as guitar players have to change their strings and constantly tune, or sax players have to work with their mouthpiece, harmonica players should be able to set up their instruments to sound good and play well. 

Maintenance of a harp most often centers around the reeds, as shown in this picture.  The rivets attach the reeds to the reed plates, and the reeds vibrate through slots in the reed plates to generate the sound.  The action of the reeds depends on the gap between the reed and its slot in the reed plate.

Harmonica Maintenance
Diatonic Harmonica Reeds

[toc]

Tuning

Tuning reeds is done by either removing (normally) or adding (infrequently) metal from/to the reeds.  Here’s how it works

  • To raise the pitch of a reed, remove metal from near the reed tip (see above picture).  This lightens the tip of the reed, allowing it to vibrate faster, which raises the pitch.
  • To lower the pitch of a reed, remove metal from near the reed base (see above picture).  This weakens the reed and makes its tip heavier relative to its base, which slows the vibration and lowers the pitch.
  • Alternately, to lower the pitch of a reed add lead-free solder to the tip of the reed to increase the weight at the tip and cause the reed to vibrate more slowly.  It is also possible to increase the weight near the base of the reed to raise the pitch.

You are removing metal from the flat surface of the reed, not at the edges, which would increase the air gap around the reed and cause air loss in the chamber.  Various tools can be used for removing metal from the reeds, and different people have their own preferences.

  • Small jeweler file
  • Small chisel
  • Wet-dry emery type (usually black) fine grained sandpaper
  • Dremel-type rotary tool
  • Fish-hook sharpener
  • Sandpaper pencil

I prefer a Dremel-type rotary tool with a hard rubber disk, which results in a smooth surface, and doesn’t remove material as fast as a stone or burr.  The Lee Oskar tool kit (around $30) has all the tools you need for tuning reeds, including a small chisel. 

Some people feel that filing a reed (i.e. using a file) can cause striations in the reed that can shorten its life, but manufacturers like Hohner file the reeds to tune them at the factory.  I suggest removing small amounts of metal from a large area, minimizing any gouging or scratching or the reeds.

Before attempting to remove metal from a reed, you need to support the reed so you don’t push it through the slot.  A thin shim like a .003 spark plug feeler gauge works well, as does a razor blade.  You can even use a business card–anything small and thin will do.

Be careful not to push the reed sideways in its slot, or the reed won’t vibrate freely.  Also, be careful about filing the reed edges, which can cause burrs that catch on the slot-edges as the reed vibrates through the slot.  If you get a burr you can shave it off gently with a razor blade, or carefully file it off.  Support the other side of the reed so you don’t get it misaligned when you apply pressure to the reed’s edge with the blade or file.

You need to use a chromatic tuner to check the pitch of the note.  You may notice small pitch differences between a note played with the cover off and when the cover is in place.  As you get experience doing it you’ll be able to judge how to read your tuner and end up with the right note.  A popular tuner for harp is the Seiko Chromatic AutoTuner model ST-1000. 

There are lots of others, both more and less expensive, and even software tuners that use a microphone plugged into your sound card.  Many small digital tuners have a mic input, which provides a better signal to the tuner and can help stabilize a “dancing needle” type problem. 

If you seldom tune your harps, an inexpensive model is probably just fine, but if you tune a lot it’s no good being frustrated by a poor tool.  No matter what tuner you use, don’t forget to use your ears.  Your ears are the final judge as to whether a note is properly in tune…  if the tuner says it’s perfect but it sounds off to you, you’ll probably be happier if you make it sound right to you.

Harmonica reeds often go flat, and sometimes you can tune the reed back up to pitch.  However, if the reed has gone flat by a semitone or more, it is probably fractured, and tuning the reed may not work.  In fact, it may stress the reed enough to cause it to break–but don’t worry, it was broken already.

Many harp players do not tune their harps often enough.  With a little practice you’ll know just how much metal to remove, and where, and it won’t take long at all to get your harp all tuned up.

Caution: be sure to check the tuning with a chromatic tuner first to see what the reference ptich frequency is.  Historically, the frequency of an A note is used as the reference frequency, but not everywhere uses the same reference! 

A=440 cycles per second is very common, but harps are often tuned to A=441 or 442 or even higher, because harps are often played slightly flat, so tuning them sharp makes the resultant note fit better with other instruments.

If you tune each note exactly to pitch according to your tuner, the result will be in so-called equal temperament.  Equal temperament is common on many models of harps, such as the Lee Oskar Major Diatonic and the Hohner Golden Melody.  This tuning is optimized for playing single notes and melodies, but the chords will sound a bit out. 

To make certain chords sound better, many harps are tuned to a justified (or just) intonation.  Just intonation involves modifying the pitch of certain notes to make some chords sound better–but melody notes may sound flat or off key.  Various compromised intonations that aren’t quite just intonation and aren’t equal temperament have been devised to try to work as well as possible for both melody notes and chords.

In addition to keeping your harp in tune, various special tunings can be done to provide different notes (without requiring special bending or overbending techniques) and different chords.  Examples include the Natural Minor, country tuning, and Lee Oskar’s Melody Maker tuning.  Using the above procedures, it is relatively easy to build your own specially tuned harps.  Pat Missin’s web page contains his “Altered States” document, which contains hundreds of different tunings for both the diatonic and chromatic harps.

Just Intonation

Just intonation is a modification to equal temperament that makes chords blend together and sound better. There are many variations to just intonation and an extensive discussion is beyond the scope of these pages. For an extensive discussion of tunings and temperaments, see Pat Missin’s web page at: http://patmissin.com/tunings.html.

The following table shows one tuning alteration that produces a just intonation. The values are cents deviations from equal temperament (the raw readings of your chromatic tuner) where negative values mean cents flat and positive values mean cents sharp.

Scale Degree Root Third Fifth flat Seven Ninth
Cents Adjustment 0 -14 +2 -32 +4

Adjustment from Equal Temperament for Just Intonation

Notice how much flatter the dominant (flat) 7 (5 draw) note is-almost half a semitone. That?s pretty flat and can sound off when playing melodies instead of chords. There are lots of ways to compromise between pure equal temperament and just intonation.

The idea is to achieve a compromise tuning that sounds good for melodies without rough sounding chords, or analogously, sounds good for chords without melody notes sounding out of tune. Here?s one such compromise:

Scale Degree Root Third Fifth flat Seven Ninth
Cents Adjustment 0 -8 0 -8 0

Adjustment from Equal Temperament for Compromise Tuning

For the draw reeds, the thirds are 3 and 7, the fifths are 4 and 8, the flat 7ths are 5 and 9, and the ninths are 6 and 10. (The root notes have no adjustments.)

Reed Gapping

A reed gap is the gap between the reed and the slot in the reed plate (see the picture above).  The gap height (and shape, or profile) greatly influences how the reed plays: how the harp responds to your breath.  A wider gap requires more playing pressure to make the reed sound, and allows more aggressive play before the reed sticks or chokes. 

If you attack notes hard, a relatively wide gap can help keep the reed from missing or refusing to sound.  A narrower gap allows less air to activate the reed.  If you play softly, a relatively small gap will help the reed activate with a soft attack. 

If the gap is too small, for instance with the reed tip inside the slot, the reed will refuse to play.  Since the reed gaps are so important to the harp action, each player should learn to set the gaps for his/her own style of play.

The reed gaps need to be wider for longer reeds than shorter ones for consistent action.  In other words, the low notes should have slightly more gap between the reed and the reed plate than the high notes. 

In order for the harmonica to play smoothly and uniformly, the response must be consistent for every reed, with the slight gap differences applied for different length reeds. The nominal adjustment is for the gap of the reed tip above the slot to be about the same as the thickness of the reed.  Fine tune the gap adjustments from there.

The reed’s gap is really the totality of it’s distance above the slot along its entire length.  This is the area that lets the air flow under the reed and start its vibration.  Every bit of the reed should be above the slot in the reed plate, and the distance between the reed and the slot (the gap) should continually increase from the base of the reed to the tip. 

If any of the reed dips into the slot, or if the reed arches up and then back down it will not respond properly.  If the shape of a reed is wrong, correcting the problem is more difficult and requires more care than the normal setting of the height of the reed tip.  You can use small tools to support the reed at different points and work through the slot when necessary to gently bend the reed to make it as flat as you can. 

The best shape for the reed is probably as flat as you can get it, though some players prefer a very slight arc up toward the tip.  You should be pretty well practiced at gapping your reeds at the tip before you try to work on the reed shape–and as always, it’s a good idea to practice on junk harps.  Never throw out a broken harmonica.. they’re great for practicing gapping and tuning, and they can be used to provide parts you need to fix other harps later.

Harmonica reeds are essentially just brass springs that vibrate through slots in the reed plates to chop the air stream, which produces the sound. To adjust the reed gaps, just use your fingernails or a small tool to gently press the reed down, to close the gap, or up to increase the gap. 

After an adjustment is made, flick the tip of the reed a few times to get the reed to settle to its rest position–if you don’t you can get fooled by the reed position.  It can look one way, but revert back to where it was after you play a little–remember, it’s a spring. 

Flicking the reed tip a few times is a good way to get the reed to settle so you can correctly determine its gap.  It’s best to bend the reed in very small increments, and not make over adjustments.  Slight over adjustments are inevitable, but repeated bending one way, then the other, will weaken the reed and could even cause it to break.  The more you do it the more familiar you will become with the characteristics of the brass, and the easier it will be to set the gaps quickly.

By the way, when you go to increase the gap you may want to slide something thin under the reed tip to get hold of the reed.  Be careful not to slide anything too far back toward the rivet.  If you lift the base of the reed out of the slot you’ll probably end up making the reed pitch flat.  It is always a good idea to make sure your harps are in tune, and after gapping is a good time to check since you’ve got the harp open anyway.

Gapping is easy, safe, and a basic requirement for making a harp play well.  Factory reeds are set to some average beginner gap, and are usually too wide–and most often inconsistent across the harp.  I strongly recommend re-gapping your harps according to your personal playing style and needs.

For overblows, the reeds should be gapped close to the reed plate, i.e. with a small or tight gap.   This can be crucial for getting the overblow to sound!  An improperly gapped reed will simply refuse to overblow, or at the very least make the overblow difficult and temperamental. 

I recommend setting the gap as tight as possible without causing the reed to feel “sticky” (slow to respond) when attacked moderately hard.  There is a trade-off between overblow ease and reed action for fast loud play, and you need to find the gap that works best for you.  There is no visible difference between a gap that seems perfect and one that just doesn’t quite work, so you pretty much have to experiment–gap and try, gap and try.

Misaligned Reeds

Misaligned reeds are not straight along the length of their slot, causing part of the reed to catch on the slot, preventing the reed from vibrating properly.  You need to get the reed centered in its slot along its entire length, and there is very little clearance.  Trying to use a tool to torque the reed back into place can be tricky since the tolerances are so tight, and sideways twisting can easily damage the reed. 

A small piece of cigarette paper (or a feeler guage about the same thickness) can be slid between the side of the reed and the edge of the slot to gently nudge the reed back into place.  I feel that a very thin piece of paper like that is more likely to break than the reed if something goes wrong, so its less risky than using a tool.  You can hold the reed plate up to a light to try to peek at the location of the misalignment.

Embossing Reed Slots

Harmonica Maintenance - Embossing

Embossing a reed slot is a narrowing of the slot in order to reduce the air loss around the sides of the reed. This can make the harp more air tight and increase the responsiveness of the reed. It can also help overblows to respond better.

Embossing is relatively simple. Use a smooth round item harder than brass as a tool (like a socket, the round end of a tuning fork or silverware, or even a penny) and run it along the edges of the reed-side of the reed slots a few times.

If you happen to get the slot too tight so the reed won’t vibrate freely or buzzes, run a small “exacto”-type knife or screwdriver blade along the inside of the slot to open it back up a little. Be careful not to mis-align the reed or you’ll have to adjust it back so it’s centered. A thin shim (0.002″) can be used to straighten the reed in the slot and also remove any small burrs that the embossing may have created.

Reed Replacement

This section has been graciously provided by master harmonica customizer Bill Romel.
“I find it troublesome that any harmonica tech or instrument modifier would present information that discourages players from performing simple maintenance on their own instruments. Replacing a reed on a diatonic or chromatic harmonica is a relatively simple technique and it does not require any sophisticated equipment.

Equipment can be obtained from most any hardware store or can be purchased for a few dollars from persons technically competent to make the tools.

  • A bar of steel about 2 inches wide and perhaps an inch thick with a hole drilled the size of the rivet head will suffice.
  • Two pins made of steel, one with a sharp point and one with a flat head will work very well.
  • A small ball peen hammer and some spare reed plates,

or today you can purchase new reeds from your Hohner district office. All Hohner reed plates use reeds that are the same in width, that eliminates one problem. Hering has reeds that are within a fraction of a thousandth of fitting on a Hohner plate if necessary. Run a small diamond file along the slide of the reed just once on both sides and you have a replacement reed from a Hering.

I advocate the rivet reed replacement method. Nine out of 10 times it works perfectly. The tenth time there is usually a problem with reed alignment but you can solve that problem with a screw.

The key to the rivet method is removing the reed used as a replacement from a spare reed plate without removing the rivet. Not a problem. Set the rivet head in the hole in the metal block and tap the rivet on the opposite side gently with your ball peen hammer a few times. The rivet will move. Turn the plate over and grasp the head of the rivet with a needle nose pliers and gently twist back and forth a few times and the rivet will release with the reed attached. It works every time.

Once you have obtained the reed you required, remove the old reed that is fractured or broken from your working reed plate.

To install the replacement reed, place the reed plate on the metal block and place the sharp pointed pin into the receiving hole and tap it once with the hammer. Why? It will spread the sides of the rivet hole outward just a very small amount without distorting the hole and allow you to start the new reed and rivet into the hole in the plate. You may be all fingers at this point.

Once the rivet has been started in the hole slide a thin shim under the reed so it will not fall into the slot and will remain relatively straight while you tap the rivet into the plate with the flat head steel pin and your trusty ball peen hammer. The reed will be loose in the hole.

Next is to set the rivet as my machinist friend use to say. Turn the plate over and place it on the flat surface of the metal block so the rivet head is flat on the surface. If the shaft of the rivet is protruding in the opposite side of the plate, then we must flatten it out with the flat head steel pin.

Turn the plate over and lay the head of the rivet on the metal block. Hold the plate steady and with the flat head pin resting on the protruding rivet body strike the pin a few times until the rivet is flat.

Now we will set the rivet with the sharp pointed pin. Place the point of the steel pin on the rear end of the rivet as close to the center as you can. Secure the reed plate and steel pin with one hand and strike the sharp pointed steel pin about two to three times with the hammer. This will cause the body of the rivet to expand sufficiently to be tight in the hole. Check the reed to ascertain that it is secure and tight. You may have to align the reed with a reed wrench and generally you will have to do some touch up tuning.

Thirty years of experience and trying all methods has convinced me that this is still the best method of reed replacement. Granted there will be times when a screw is necessary due to misalignment but it is the rare occurrence. I like the 0-80 Phillips Round Head stainless steels screws for this problem. Just tap the plate and drill out the reed. It is done in a few minutes.
Regards,
Bill”

Valves

Basic Harmonica Maintenance

On harmonicas, “valves” are flaps attached to the reed plate at the rivet over the slot opposite the reed.  See the picture above.  They are made out of a thin plastic strip, or pair of strips, though they used to be made of other materials such as leather.

Valves are most often found on chromatic harmonicas, on which they are usually called windsavers. They do indeed function as valves, blocking the air stream during a draw from entering through the blow reeds (and vice versa for draw reeds) while allowing the air stream during a blow to exit via the blow-reed slot (again vice versa for draw reeds).

And since they block the air stream from the opposite reed, less air is required overall to play a reed–thus they save wind, which is important on most chromatics because their mouthpieces and slide assemblies typically leak substantial amounts of air.  Windsavers on chromatic are normally present for every reed, sometimes with the exception of the very highest notes.

Such is not the case on diatonics, which are generally much more air tight than their chromatic cousins. The valves on diatonics are not used as windsavers. They are used to facilitate valved bends.

A valved-bend is simply a bend on a reed whose paired-reed (i.e. in the same chamber) is valved.  On the diatonic, not all reeds are valved. The valves are used to obtain bends not normally available on the diatonic harp.  Normal bends are draw bends on holes 1 through 6, and blow bends on holes 7 through 10.  A valved diatonic allows all the regular bends, plus blow bends on holds 1 through 6, and draw bends on holes 7 through 10.  So, when valving a diatonic harp, the flaps are placed as follows:

  • Over the slots opposite the draw reeds on holes 1-6
  • Over the slots opposite the blow reeds on holes 7-10.

The valves for holes 1-6 are inside the reed chambers, so the bottom reed plate must be removed before the valves can be installed.

Installation is simply a matter of using super glue to attach the plastic flaps to the reed plate at the rivet point on the other side of the plate from where the reed is attached.  Only a tiny amount of super glue should be applied to the valve, and care must be taken not to get glue on the reeds! 

A small amount of glue should be put on a small slip of paper or plastic, and the end of valve should be dipped into the glue in order to control the amount of glue applied and make sure you don?t get too much.  If you try to squeeze the glue out of a tube onto the reed plate, you’re sure to get too much and have problems!

There are both single layer and double layer valves. Double layer valves have a slightly shorter, stiffer, usually clear plastic “spring” to help keep the actual valve layer flat over the slot. The double-layer valves are installed stiff side up. A good tip is to put a small kink about one third the way back from the tip of the stiff plastic layer so that the tip bends in to push harder on the actual flap layer, holding it down tighter so it lies flatter.

Some single layer valves have one side textured and one side smooth. The textured side goes toward the reed plate to help keep the valve from sticking to the plate. If there a dimple in one end of the valve, that sits over the rivet to help put the valve as close to the reed plate as possible.

You can buy valves from Hohner, Bill Romel, John Infande, and probably other harp customizers, or you can make your own.  In some sense, valves have not been perfected, and they frequently can rattle or buzz.  One of the best materials to use for valving is a thin (0.003) mylar covered with 3M Micropore tape.  The tape side goes down, toward the plate, which helps reduce sticking, popping, buzzing, etc. The valves should be trimmed to just barely cover the slot they’re on top of.

Take care when reassembling the harmonica that the comb does not interfere with the free operation of the valves.  If the comb keeps the valve from lifting during play, the reed won’t sound, or won’t sound right.

Valved bends are a little different than normal diatonic bends. During a normal bend, both reeds in the chamber can participate to produce the characteristic gutsy sound. These dual-reed bends tend to “snap” into place at the lowest note available.  Valved bends are more delicate and require more control to execute cleanly and clearly on pitch.  Only one reed participates in the generation of the sound, since the other reed is blocked by the valve.  It is especially important not to attack the bend hard when you initiate it, otherwise it will choke off and not sound.  It is also very important to bend “from your diaphragm” using resonance for valved bends.  A pinching of the lips will not produce a good valved bend. Valved bends can be done on the chromatic, as well as a valved diatonic.

The only commercially available valved diatonic at this time is the valved Suzuki ProMaster (or the semi-chromatic Hohner Slide Harp). But, with a little practice valving your own harp will only take 5 or 10 minutes.

Valve Problems

Valve can stick, buzz, rattle, and generally be a nuisance. Cleaning harps with valves takes extra care to avoid knocking off the flaps. Many valve problems are caused by twisted, curled, or bent flaps that don?t lie flat. Many times replacing the valve is the only way to fix a problem. Be careful when you install new valves that any textured side is toward the reed plate, and that the flap is as flat as possible. If it is a 2-layer valve, the stiff plastic goes on top to act as a spring to return the softer flap so it lies flat over the slot.

If the valve is sticking (possibly making a popping sound) there are a couple of things to try. First, tear a small piece of newspaper, moisten it, and slide it between the valve and the reed plate. Sometimes dried saliva is causing the flap to stick, and the wet rough paper can dissolve the “glue” and clean the flap without pulling it off. It sometimes seems to help to make small scratches in the reed plate where the valve hits it to break up the smooth surface to help prevent sticking due to “suction” (surface tension).

Since many sticking problems are due to moisture condensation of your warm breath on the cool harp, it greatly helps to warm up the harmonica before you play it. There are many ways to do that, including wrapping your harp in a warm heating pad for 10 or 15 minutes before you play, or even setting the harp on a warm stereo or TV monitor for a few minutes.

Harp Setup for Chromatic Play Using Valves And Overblows

Overblows and overdraws (overbends) work by choking the reed that normally plays for the airflow direction (blow or draw) and activating the other reed to play as an opening reed.  For overblows, this means the blow reed is choked so as not to sound, and the draw reed is activated to produce the sound.  Using overblows and overdraws it is possible to get full chromatic capability out of a diatonic harp, just as with valved bends.

Valves interfere with overbends.  For example, if a draw reed has been valved, an overblow is not possible in that chamber because the airflow cannot reach the draw reed during a blow.  The bottom line is that you can’t play valved bends and overbends in the same chamber.

Valving the draw reeds in holes 1, 2, 3, and the blow reed in hole 8, is the optimal way to valve a harp while still allowing full chromatic play without losing the most useful overblows.

Storage

Your harps should be stored so that they dry out thoroughly after being played.  It is a good idea to tap the harp on the palm of your hand first, to get out as much moisture as you can before putting the harp away.  Don’t store your harps in unvented plastic boxes, which unfortunately some of them come in.  This keeps them from drying out quickly and can lead to corrosion and reed fatigue.  If you store them with the holes down the moisture will be able to run down out of the harp instead of drying inside it.  Dried saliva is the primary culprit in gunked-up harps, and can keep the harp from playing right and sounding its best.

Cleaning

Occasionally it is a good idea to clean your harps since gunk (the official name..) builds up inside the holes and on the reeds and reed plates.  Saliva is sticky stuff, but fortunately it’s water based and so is best dissolved in water.  You don’t need to use alcohol or harsh chemicals to clean your harp, and you certainly shouldn’t use anything you wouldn’t want anywhere near your mouth–just use water to clean your harps.

I don’t think how you clean your harp is particularly critical, or recommend any specific period of time between cleanings.  Each person’s playing habits, body chemistry, and tolerance for gunk is different.  Obviously, if something is interfering with the way the harp plays you need to take care of it.  If that means some fuzz is lodged in there causing a reed not to respond you need to remove the foreign material.  If you use a brush, make sure to stroke in the direction of the reeds so you don’t cause them to be misaligned by pushing them sideways (not along the slot length).  An electric-shaver type brush works well for brushing out the dried gunk from inside the harp holes, but even a toothpick can be used pluck out any offending material.

Caution: wood comb harps (mainly the Hohner Marine Band) are not good to get wet, certainly not for very long.  Some people swear by soaking their wood comb harps , and others swear at it–bottom line, the comb will swell and dry out, and upon drying be more inclined to crack, split, or warp.  The swelling sometimes will push the comb teeth out beyond the mouthpiece making it very uncomfortable to play.  A swollen comb probably eliminates some air leaks, but once soaked you pretty much have to soak it every time or it won’t be playable, and the life of the harp is greatly reduced. I recommend against soaking wood comb harps.

Soaking plastic or metal comb harps presents no such problems, since neither the plastic nor metal absorb moisture, swell, or shrink.  Prolonged or very frequent soaking can increase corrosion on the reeds and may reduce their overall life, but periodic cleanings shouldn’t cause problems.  Some people report good success putting their harps (not wood!) in a dishwasher for a short time, say 5 minutes or so, using only a small amount of dishwasher detergent (like a tablespoon).  I’ve found that a quick soak in some denture cleaning solution does a pretty good job.  Be sure to shake the excess water out of harp when you’re done.

Sharp Edges

Some harps have reed plates that extend slightly beyond the comb and covers, and sometimes these plates have sharp edges that bother people’s lips.  The outside parts of the harp are not that delicate.. if there’s a sharp edge, file it smooth or sand it with fine grained emery type wet/dry paper.  If a corner feels too sharp or rough you can safely sand it down or round it out by pressing it firmly onto a hard surface.

Lyrics


Les Misérables

Key: Bb

Genre: Country

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

Les Misérables (/l ˌmɪzəˈrɑːbəl, –blə/, French: [le mizeʁabl(ə)]) is a French historical novel by Victor Hugo, first published in 1862, that is considered one of the greatest novels of the 19th century.

In the English-speaking world, the novel is usually referred to by its original French title. However, several alternatives have been used, including The Miserables, The Wretched, The Miserable Ones, The Poor Ones, The Wretched Poor, The Victims and The Dispossessed. Beginning in 1815 and culminating in the 1832 June Rebellion in Paris, the novel follows the lives and interactions of several characters, particularly the struggles of ex-convict Jean Valjean and his experience of redemption.

Examining the nature of law and grace, the novel elaborates upon the history of France, the architecture and urban design of Paris, politics, moral philosophy, antimonarchism, justice, religion, and the types and nature of romantic and familial love. Les Misérables has been popularized through numerous adaptations for film, television and the stage, including a musical.

Novel form

Upton Sinclair described the novel as “one of the half-dozen greatest novels of the world”, and remarked that Hugo set forth the purpose of Les Misérables in the Preface:

So long as there shall exist, by reason of law and custom, a social condemnation, which, in the face of civilization, artificially creates hells on earth, and complicates a destiny that is divine with human fatality; so long as the three problems of the age—the degradation of man by poverty, the ruin of women by starvation, and the dwarfing of childhood by physical and spiritual night—are not solved; so long as, in certain regions, social asphyxia shall be possible; in other words, and from a yet more extended point of view, so long as ignorance and misery remain on earth, books like this cannot be useless.

Towards the end of the novel, Hugo explains the work’s overarching structure:

The book which the reader has before him at this moment is, from one end to the other, in its entirety and details … a progress from evil to good, from injustice to justice, from falsehood to truth, from night to day, from appetite to conscience, from corruption to life; from bestiality to duty, from hell to heaven, from nothingness to God. The starting point: matter, destination: the soul. The hydra at the beginning, the angel at the end.

The novel contains various subplots, but the main thread is the story of ex-convict Jean Valjean, who becomes a force for good in the world but cannot escape his criminal past. The novel is divided into five volumes, each volume divided into several books, and subdivided into chapters, for a total of 48 books and 365 chapters. Each chapter is relatively short, commonly no longer than a few pages.

The novel as a whole is one of the longest ever written, with 655,478 words in the original French. Hugo explained his ambitions for the novel to his Italian publisher:

I don’t know whether it will be read by everyone, but it is meant for everyone. It addresses England as well as Spain, Italy as well as France, Germany as well as Ireland, the republics that harbour slaves as well as empires that have serfs. Social problems go beyond frontiers. Humankind’s wounds, those huge sores that litter the world, do not stop at the blue and red lines drawn on maps. Wherever men go in ignorance or despair, wherever women sell themselves for bread, wherever children lack a book to learn from or a warm hearth, Les Misérables knocks at the door and says: “open up, I am here for you”.

Digressions

More than a quarter of the novel—by one count 955 of 2,783 pages—is devoted to essays that argue a moral point or display Hugo’s encyclopedic knowledge but do not advance the plot, nor even a subplot, a method Hugo used in such other works as The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Toilers of the Sea. One biographer noted that “the digressions of genius are easily pardoned”. The topics Hugo addresses include cloistered religious orders, the construction of the Paris sewers, argot, and the street urchins of Paris. The one about convents he titles “Parenthesis” to alert the reader to its irrelevance to the story line.

Hugo devotes another 19 chapters (Volume II, Book I) to an account of—and a meditation on the place in history of—the Battle of Waterloo, the battlefield which Hugo visited in 1861 and where he finished writing the novel. It opens volume 2 with such a change of subject as to seem the beginning of an entirely different work. The fact that this ‘digression’ occupies such a large part of the text demands that it be read in the context of the ‘overarching structure’ discussed above. Hugo draws his own personal conclusions, taking Waterloo to be a pivot-point in history, but definitely not a victory for the forces of reaction.

Waterloo, by cutting short the demolition of European thrones by the sword, had no other effect than to cause the revolutionary work to be continued in another direction. The slashers have finished; it was the turn of the thinkers. The century that Waterloo was intended to arrest has pursued its march. That sinister victory was vanquished by liberty.

One critic has called this “the spiritual gateway” to the novel, as its chance encounter of Thénardier and Colonel Pontmercy foreshadows so many of the novel’s encounters “blending chance and necessity”, a “confrontation of heroism and villainy”.

Even when not turning to other subjects outside his narrative, Hugo sometimes interrupts the straightforward recitation of events, his voice and control of the story line unconstrained by time and sequence. The novel opens with a statement about the bishop of Digne in 1815 and immediately shifts: “Although these details in no way essentially concern that which we have to tell…” Only after 14 chapters does Hugo pick up the opening thread again, “In the early days of the month of October, 1815…”, to introduce Jean Valjean.

Hugo’s sources

An incident Hugo witnessed in 1829 involved three strangers and a police officer. One of the strangers was a man who had stolen a loaf of bread, similar to Jean Valjean. The officer was taking him to the coach. The thief also saw the mother and daughter playing with each other which would be an inspiration for Fantine and Cosette. Hugo imagined the life of the man in jail and the mother and daughter taken away from each other.

Valjean’s character is loosely based on the life of the ex-convict Eugène François Vidocq. Vidocq became the head of an undercover police unit and later founded France’s first private detective agency. He was also a businessman and was widely noted for his social engagement and philanthropy. Vidocq also inspired Hugo’s “Claude Gueux” and Le Dernier jour d’un condamné (The Last Day of a Condemned Man).

In 1828, Vidocq, already pardoned, saved one of the workers in his paper factory by lifting a heavy cart on his shoulders as Valjean does. Hugo’s description of Valjean rescuing a sailor on the Orion drew almost word for word on a Baron La Roncière’s letter describing such an incident. Hugo used Bienvenu de Miollis (1753–1843), the Bishop of Digne during the time in which Valjean encounters Myriel, as the model for Myriel.

Hugo had used the departure of prisoners from the Bagne of Toulon in one of his early stories, Le Dernier Jour d’un Condamné. He went to Toulon to visit the Bagne in 1839 and took extensive notes, though he did not start writing the book until 1845. On one of the pages of his notes about the prison, he wrote in large block letters a possible name for his hero: “JEAN TRÉJEAN”. When the book was finally written, Tréjean became Valjean.

In 1841, Hugo saved a prostitute from arrest for assault. He used a short part of his dialogue with the police when recounting Valjean’s rescue of Fantine in the novel. On 22 February 1846, when he had begun work on the novel, Hugo witnessed the arrest of a bread thief while a duchess and her child watched the scene pitilessly from their coach. He spent several vacations in Montreuil-sur-Mer.

During the 1832 revolt, Hugo walked the streets of Paris, saw the barricades blocking his way at points, and had to take shelter from gunfire. He participated more directly in the 1848 Paris insurrection, helping to smash barricades and suppress both the popular revolt and its monarchist allies.

Victor Hugo drew his inspiration from everything he heard and saw, writing it down in his diary. In December 1846, he witnessed an altercation between an old woman scavenging through rubbish and a street urchin who might have been Gavroche. He also informed himself by personal inspection of the Paris Conciergerie in 1846 and Waterloo in 1861, by gathering information on some industries, and on working-class people’s wages and living standards. He asked his mistresses, Léonie d’Aunet and Juliette Drouet, to tell him about life in convents. He also slipped personal anecdotes into the plot. For instance Marius and Cosette’s wedding night (Part V, Book 6, Chapter 1) takes place on 16 February 1833, which is also the date when Hugo and his lifelong mistress Juliette Drouet made love for the first time.

Plot

Volume I: Fantine

The story begins in 1815 in Digne, as the peasant Jean Valjean, just released from 19 years’ imprisonment in the Bagne of Toulon—five for stealing bread for his starving sister and her family and fourteen more for numerous escape attempts—is turned away by innkeepers because his yellow passport marks him as a former convict. He sleeps on the street, angry and bitter.

Digne’s benevolent Bishop Myriel gives him shelter. At night, Valjean runs off with Myriel’s silverware. When the police capture Valjean, Myriel pretends that he has given the silverware to Valjean and presses him to take two silver candlesticks as well, as if he had forgotten to take them. The police accept his explanation and leave. Myriel tells Valjean that his life has been spared for God, and that he should use money from the silver candlesticks to make an honest man of himself.

Valjean broods over Myriel’s words. When opportunity presents itself, purely out of habit, he steals a 40-sous coin from 12-year-old Petit Gervais and chases the boy away. He quickly repents and searches the city in panic for Gervais. At the same time, his theft is reported to the authorities. Valjean hides as they search for him, because if apprehended he will be returned to the galleys for life as a repeat offender.

Six years pass and Valjean, using the alias Monsieur Madeleine, has become a wealthy factory owner and is appointed mayor of Montreuil-sur-Mer. Walking down the street, he sees a man named Fauchelevent pinned under the wheels of a cart. When no one volunteers to lift the cart, even for pay, he decides to rescue Fauchelevent himself. He crawls underneath the cart, manages to lift it, and frees him. The town’s police inspector, Inspector Javert, who was an adjutant guard at the Bagne of Toulon during Valjean’s incarceration, becomes suspicious of the mayor after witnessing this remarkable feat of strength. He has known only one other man, a convict named Jean Valjean, who could accomplish it.

Years earlier in Paris, a grisette named Fantine was very much in love with Félix Tholomyès. His friends, Listolier, Fameuil, and Blachevelle were also paired with Fantine’s friends Dahlia, Zéphine, and Favourite. The men abandon the women, treating their relationships as youthful amusements. Fantine must draw on her own resources to care for her and Tholomyès’ daughter, Cosette. When Fantine arrives at Montfermeil, she leaves Cosette in the care of the Thénardiers, a corrupt innkeeper and his selfish, cruel wife.

Fantine is unaware that they are abusing her daughter and using her as forced labor for their inn, and continues to try to meet their growing, extortionate and fictitious demands. She is later fired from her job at Jean Valjean’s factory, because of the discovery of her daughter, who was born out of wedlock. Meanwhile, the Thénardiers’ monetary demands continue to grow. In desperation, Fantine sells her hair and two front teeth, and she resorts to prostitution to pay the Thénardiers. Fantine is slowly dying from an unspecified disease.

A dandy named Bamatabois harasses Fantine in the street, and she reacts by striking him. Javert arrests Fantine. She begs to be released so that she can provide for her daughter, but Javert sentences her to six months in prison. Valjean (Mayor Madeleine) intervenes and orders Javert to release her. Javert resists but Valjean prevails. Valjean, feeling responsible because his factory turned her away, promises Fantine that he will bring Cosette to her. He takes her to a hospital.

Javert comes to see Valjean again. Javert admits that after being forced to free Fantine, he reported him as Valjean to the French authorities. He tells Valjean he realizes he was wrong, because the authorities have identified someone else as the real Jean Valjean, have him in custody, and plan to try him the next day. Valjean is torn, but decides to reveal himself to save the innocent man, whose real name is Champmathieu. He travels to attend the trial and there reveals his true identity. Valjean returns to Montreuil to see Fantine, followed by Javert, who confronts him in her hospital room.

After Javert grabs Valjean, Valjean asks for three days to bring Cosette to Fantine, but Javert refuses. Fantine discovers that Cosette is not at the hospital and fretfully asks where she is. Javert orders her to be quiet, and then reveals to her Valjean’s real identity. Weakened by the severity of her illness, she falls back in shock and dies. Valjean goes to Fantine, speaks to her in an inaudible whisper, kisses her hand, and then leaves with Javert. Later, Fantine’s body is unceremoniously thrown into a public grave.

Volume II: Cosette

Valjean escapes, is recaptured, and is sentenced to death. The king commutes his sentence to penal servitude for life. While imprisoned in the Bagne of Toulon, Valjean, at great personal risk, rescues a sailor caught in the ship’s rigging. Spectators call for his release. Valjean fakes his own death by allowing himself to fall into the ocean. Authorities report him dead and his body lost.

Valjean arrives at Montfermeil on Christmas Eve. He finds Cosette fetching water in the woods alone and walks with her to the inn. He orders a meal and observes how the Thénardiers abuse her, while pampering their own daughters Éponine and Azelma, who mistreat Cosette for playing with their doll. Valjean leaves and returns to make Cosette a present of an expensive new doll which, after some hesitation, she happily accepts. Éponine and Azelma are envious. Madame Thénardier is furious with Valjean, while her husband makes light of Valjean’s behaviour, caring only that he pay for his food and lodging.

The next morning, Valjean informs the Thénardiers that he wants to take Cosette with him. Madame Thénardier immediately accepts, while Thénardier pretends to love Cosette and be concerned for her welfare, reluctant to give her up. Valjean pays the Thénardiers 1,500 francs, and he and Cosette leave the inn. Thénardier, hoping to swindle more out of Valjean, runs after them, holding the 1,500 francs, and tells Valjean he wants Cosette back. He informs Valjean that he cannot release Cosette without a note from the child’s mother. Valjean hands Thénardier Fantine’s letter authorizing the bearer to take Cosette. Thénardier then demands that Valjean pay a thousand crowns, but Valjean and Cosette leave. Thénardier regrets that he did not bring his gun and turns back toward home.

Valjean and Cosette flee to Paris. Valjean rents new lodgings at Gorbeau House, where he and Cosette live happily. However, Javert discovers Valjean’s lodgings there a few months later. Valjean takes Cosette and they try to escape from Javert. They soon find shelter in the Petit-Picpus convent with the help of Fauchelevent, the man whom Valjean once rescued from being crushed under a cart and who has become the convent’s gardener. Valjean also becomes a gardener and Cosette becomes a student at the convent school.

Volume III: Marius

Eight years later, the Friends of the ABC, led by Enjolras, are preparing an act of anti-Orléanist civil unrest (i.e. the Paris uprising on 5–6 June 1832, following the death of General Lamarque, the only French leader who had sympathy towards the working class. Lamarque was a victim of a major cholera epidemic that had ravaged the city, particularly its poor neighborhoods, arousing suspicion that the government had been poisoning wells). The Friends of the ABC are joined by the poor of the Cour des miracles, including the Thénardiers’ eldest son Gavroche, who is a street urchin.

One of the students, Marius Pontmercy, has become alienated from his family (especially his royalist grandfather M. Gillenormand) because of his Bonapartism views. After the death of his father, Colonel Georges Pontmercy, Marius discovers a note from him instructing his son to provide help to a sergeant named Thénardier who saved his life at Waterloo—in reality Thénardier was looting corpses and only saved Pontmercy’s life by accident; he had called himself a sergeant under Napoleon to avoid exposing himself as a robber.

At the Luxembourg Garden, Marius falls in love with the now grown and beautiful Cosette. The Thénardiers have also moved to Paris and now live in poverty after losing their inn. They live under the surname “Jondrette” at Gorbeau House (coincidentally, the same building Valjean and Cosette briefly lived in after leaving the Thénardiers’ inn). Marius lives there as well, next door to the Thénardiers.

Éponine, now ragged and emaciated, visits Marius at his apartment to beg for money. To impress him, she tries to prove her literacy by reading aloud from a book and by writing “The Cops Are Here” on a sheet of paper. Marius pities her and gives her some money. After Éponine leaves, Marius observes the “Jondrettes” in their apartment through a crack in the wall. Éponine comes in and announces that a philanthropist and his daughter are arriving to visit them. In order to look poorer, Thénardier puts out the fire and breaks a chair. He also orders Azelma to punch out a window pane, which she does, resulting in cutting her hand (as Thénardier had hoped).

The philanthropist and his daughter enter—actually Valjean and Cosette. Marius immediately recognizes Cosette. After seeing them, Valjean promises them he will return with rent money for them. After he and Cosette leave, Marius asks Éponine to retrieve her address for him. Éponine, who is in love with Marius herself, reluctantly agrees to do so. The Thénardiers have also recognized Valjean and Cosette, and vow their revenge. Thénardier enlists the aid of the Patron-Minette, a well-known and feared gang of murderers and robbers.

Marius overhears Thénardier’s plan and goes to Javert to report the crime. Javert gives Marius two pistols and instructs him to fire one into the air if things get dangerous. Marius returns home and waits for Javert and the police to arrive. Thénardier sends Éponine and Azelma outside to look out for the police. When Valjean returns with rent money, Thénardier, with Patron-Minette, ambushes him and he reveals his real identity to Valjean. Marius recognizes Thénardier as the man who saved his father’s life at Waterloo and is caught in a dilemma.

He tries to find a way to save Valjean while not betraying Thénardier. Valjean denies knowing Thénardier and tells him that they have never met. Valjean tries to escape through a window but is subdued and tied up. Thénardier orders Valjean to pay him 200,000 francs. He also orders Valjean to write a letter to Cosette to return to the apartment, and they would keep her with them until he delivers the money. After Valjean writes the letter and informs Thénardier of his address, Thénardier sends out Mme. Thénardier to get Cosette. Mme. Thénardier comes back alone, and announces the address is a fake.

It is during this time that Valjean manages to free himself. Thénardier decides to kill Valjean. While he and Patron-Minette are about to do so, Marius remembers the scrap of paper that Éponine wrote on earlier. He throws it into the Thénardiers’ apartment through the wall crack. Thénardier reads it and thinks Éponine threw it inside. He, Mme. Thénardier and Patron-Minette try to escape, only to be stopped by Javert.

He arrests all the Thénardiers and Patron-Minette (except Claquesous, who escapes during his transportation to prison, and Montparnasse, who stops to run off with Éponine instead of joining in on the robbery). Valjean manages to escape the scene before Javert sees him.

Volume IV: The Idyll in the Rue Plumet and the Epic in the Rue St. Denis

After Éponine’s release from prison, she finds Marius at “The Field of the Lark” and sadly tells him that she found Cosette’s address. She leads him to Valjean’s and Cosette’s house on Rue Plumet, and Marius watches the house for a few days. He and Cosette then finally meet and declare their love for one another. Thénardier, Patron-Minette and Brujon manage to escape from prison with the aid of Gavroche (a rare case of Gavroche helping his family in their criminal activities). One night, during one of Marius’s visits with Cosette, the six men attempt to raid Valjean’s and Cosette’s house. However, Éponine, who has been sitting by the gates of the house, threatens to scream and awaken the whole neighbourhood if the thieves do not leave. Hearing this, they reluctantly retire. Meanwhile, Cosette informs Marius that she and Valjean will be leaving for England in a week’s time, which greatly troubles the pair.

The next day, Valjean is sitting in the Champ de Mars. He is feeling troubled about seeing Thénardier in the neighbourhood several times. Unexpectedly, a note lands in his lap, which says “Move Out.” He sees a figure running away in the dim light. He goes back to his house, tells Cosette they will be staying at their other house on Rue de l’Homme Arme, and reconfirms to her that they will be moving to England. Marius tries to get permission from M. Gillenormand to marry Cosette. His grandfather seems stern and angry, but has been longing for Marius’s return. When tempers flare, he refuses his assent to the marriage, telling Marius to make Cosette his mistress instead. Insulted, Marius leaves.

The following day, the students revolt and erect barricades in the narrow streets of Paris. Gavroche spots Javert and informs Enjolras that Javert is a spy. When Enjolras confronts him about this, he admits his identity and his orders to spy on the students. Enjolras and the other students tie him up to a pole in the Corinth restaurant. Later that evening, Marius goes back to Valjean’s and Cosette’s house on Rue Plumet, but finds the house no longer occupied. He then hears a voice telling him that his friends are waiting for him at the barricade. Distraught to find Cosette gone, he heeds the voice and goes.

When Marius arrives at the barricade, the revolution has already started. When he stoops down to pick up a powder keg, a soldier comes up to shoot Marius. However, a man covers the muzzle of the soldier’s gun with his hand. The soldier fires, fatally wounding the man, while missing Marius. Meanwhile, the soldiers are closing in. Marius climbs to the top of the barricade, holding a torch in one hand, a powder keg in the other, and threatens to the soldiers that he will blow up the barricade. After confirming this, the soldiers retreat from the barricade.

Marius decides to go to the smaller barricade, which he finds empty. As he turns back, the man who took the fatal shot for Marius earlier calls Marius by his name. Marius discovers this man is Éponine, dressed in men’s clothes. As she lies dying on his knees, she confesses that she was the one who told him to go to the barricade, hoping they would die together. She also confesses to saving his life because she wanted to die before he did.

The author also states to the reader that Éponine anonymously threw the note to Valjean. Éponine then tells Marius that she has a letter for him. She also confesses to have obtained the letter the day before, originally not planning to give it to him, but decides to do so in fear he would be angry at her about it in the afterlife. After Marius takes the letter, Éponine then asks him to kiss her on the forehead when she is dead, which he promises to do. With her last breath, she confesses that she was “a little bit in love” with him, and dies.

Marius fulfills her request and goes into a tavern to read the letter. It is written by Cosette. He learns Cosette’s whereabouts and he writes a farewell letter to her. He sends Gavroche to deliver it to her, but Gavroche leaves it with Valjean. Valjean, learning that Cosette’s lover is fighting, is at first relieved, but an hour later, he puts on a National Guard uniform, arms himself with a gun and ammunition, and leaves his home.

Volume V: Jean Valjean

Valjean arrives at the barricade and immediately saves a man’s life. He is still not certain if he wants to protect Marius or kill him. Marius recognizes Valjean at first sight. Enjolras announces that they are almost out of cartridges. When Gavroche goes outside the barricade to collect more ammunition from the dead National Guardsmen, he is shot dead.

Valjean volunteers to execute Javert himself, and Enjolras grants permission. Valjean takes Javert out of sight, and then shoots into the air while letting him go. Marius mistakenly believes that Valjean has killed Javert. As the barricade falls, Valjean carries off the injured and unconscious Marius. All the other students are killed. Valjean escapes through the sewers, carrying Marius’s body. He evades a police patrol, and reaches an exit gate but finds it locked. Thénardier emerges from the darkness. Valjean recognizes Thénardier, but Thénardier does not recognize Valjean. Thinking Valjean a murderer lugging his victim’s corpse, Thénardier offers to open the gate for money. As he searches Valjean and Marius’s pockets, he surreptitiously tears off a piece of Marius’s coat so he can later find out his identity. Thénardier takes the thirty francs he finds, opens the gate, and allows Valjean to leave, expecting Valjean’s emergence from the sewer will distract the police who have been pursuing him.

Upon exiting, Valjean encounters Javert and requests time to return Marius to his family before surrendering to him. Surprisingly Javert agrees, assuming that Marius will be dead within minutes. After leaving Marius at his grandfather’s house, Valjean asks to be allowed a brief visit to his own home, and Javert agrees. There, Javert tells Valjean he will wait for him in the street, but when Valjean scans the street from the landing window he finds Javert has gone. Javert walks down the street, realizing that he is caught between his strict belief in the law and the mercy Valjean has shown him. He feels he can no longer give Valjean up to the authorities but also cannot ignore his duty to the law. Unable to cope with this dilemma, Javert commits suicide by throwing himself into the Seine.

Marius slowly recovers from his injuries. As he and Cosette make wedding preparations, Valjean endows them with a fortune of nearly 600,000 francs. As their wedding party winds through Paris during Mardi Gras festivities, Valjean is spotted by Thénardier, who then orders Azelma to follow him. After the wedding, Valjean confesses to Marius that he is an ex-convict. Marius is horrified, assumes the worst about Valjean’s moral character, and contrives to limit Valjean’s time with Cosette. Valjean accedes to Marius’ judgment and his separation from Cosette. Valjean loses the will to live and retires to his bed.

Thénardier approaches Marius in disguise, but Marius recognizes him. Thénardier attempts to blackmail Marius with what he knows of Valjean, but in doing so, he inadvertently corrects Marius’s misconceptions about Valjean and reveals all of the good he has done. He tries to convince Marius that Valjean is actually a murderer, and presents the piece of coat he tore off as evidence. Stunned, Marius recognizes the fabric as part of his own coat and realizes that it was Valjean who rescued him from the barricade. Marius pulls out a fistful of notes and flings it at Thénardier’s face. He then confronts Thénardier with his crimes and offers him an immense sum to depart and never return. Thénardier accepts the offer, and he and Azelma travel to America where he becomes a slave trader.

As they rush to Valjean’s house, Marius tells Cosette that Valjean saved his life at the barricade. They arrive to find Valjean near death and reconcile with him. Valjean tells Cosette her mother’s story and name. He dies content and is buried beneath a blank slab in Père Lachaise Cemetery.

Characters

Major

  • Jean Valjean (also known as Monsieur Madeleine, Ultime Fauchelevent, Monsieur Leblanc, and Urbain Fabre) – The protagonist of the novel. Convicted for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his sister’s seven starving children and sent to prison for five years, he is paroled from prison nineteen years later (after four unsuccessful escape attempts added twelve years and fighting back during the second escape attempt added two extra years). Rejected by society for being a former convict, he encounters Bishop Myriel, who turns his life around by showing him mercy and encouraging him to become a new man. While sitting and pondering what Bishop Myriel had said, he puts his shoe on a forty-sou piece dropped by a young wanderer. Valjean threatens the boy with his stick when the boy attempts to rouse Valjean from his reverie and recover his money. He tells a passing priest his name, and the name of the boy, and this allows the police to charge him with armed robbery – a sentence that, if he were caught again, would return him to prison for life. He assumes a new identity (Monsieur Madeleine) in order to pursue an honest life. He introduces new manufacturing techniques and eventually builds two factories and becomes one of the richest men in the area. By popular acclaim, he is made mayor. He confronts Javert over Fantine’s punishment, turns himself in to the police to save another man from prison for life, and rescues Cosette from the Thénardiers. Discovered by Javert in Paris because of his generosity to the poor, he evades capture for the next several years in a convent. He saves Marius from imprisonment and probable death at the barricade, reveals his true identity to Marius and Cosette after their wedding, and is reunited with them just before his death, having kept his promise to the bishop and to Fantine, the image of whom is the last thing he sees before dying.
  • Javert – A fanatic police inspector in pursuit to recapture Valjean. Born in the prisons to a convict father and a fortune teller mother, he renounces both of them and starts working as a guard in the prison, including one stint as the overseer for the chain gang of which Valjean is part (and here witnesses firsthand Valjean’s enormous strength and just what he looks like). Eventually he joins the police force in Montreuil-sur-Mer. He arrests Fantine and comes into conflict with Valjean/Madeleine, who orders him to release Fantine. Valjean dismisses Javert in front of his squad and Javert, seeking revenge, reports to the Police Inspector that he has discovered Jean Valjean. He is told that he must be incorrect, as a man mistakenly believed to be Jean Valjean was just arrested. He requests of M. Madeline that he be dismissed in disgrace, for he cannot be less harsh on himself than on others. When the real Jean Valjean turns himself in, Javert is promoted to the Paris police force where he arrests Valjean and sends him back to prison. After Valjean escapes again, Javert attempts one more arrest in vain. He then almost recaptures Valjean at Gorbeau house when he arrests the Thénardiers and Patron-Minette. Later, while working undercover behind the barricade, his identity is discovered. Valjean pretends to execute Javert, but releases him. When Javert next encounters Valjean emerging from the sewers, he allows him to make a brief visit home and then walks off instead of arresting him. Javert cannot reconcile his devotion to the law with his recognition that the lawful course is immoral. After composing a letter to the prefect of police outlining the squalid conditions that occur in prisons and the abuses that prisoners are subjected to, he takes his own life by jumping into the Seine.
  • Fantine – A beautiful Parisian grisette abandoned with a small child by her lover Félix Tholomyès. Fantine leaves her daughter Cosette in the care of the Thénardiers, innkeepers in the village of Montfermeil. Mme. Thénardier spoils her own daughters and abuses Cosette. Fantine finds work at Monsieur Madeleine’s factory. Illiterate, she has others write letters to the Thénardiers on her behalf. A female supervisor discovers that she is an unwed mother and dismisses her. To meet the Thénardiers’ repeated demands for money, she sells her hair and two front teeth, and turns to prostitution. She becomes ill. Valjean learns of her plight when Javert arrests her for attacking a man who called her insulting names and threw snow down her back, and sends her to a hospital. As Javert confronts Valjean in her hospital room, because her illness has made her so weak, she dies of shock after Javert reveals that Valjean is a convict and hasn’t brought her daughter Cosette to her (after the doctor encouraged that incorrect belief that Jean Valjean’s recent absence was because he was bringing her daughter to her).
  • Cosette (formally Euphrasie, also known as “the Lark”, Mademoiselle Lanoire, Ursula) – The illegitimate daughter of Fantine and Tholomyès. From approximately the age of three to the age of eight, she is beaten and forced to work as a drudge for the Thénardiers. After her mother Fantine dies, Valjean ransoms Cosette from the Thénardiers and cares for her as if she were his daughter. Nuns in a Paris convent educate her. She grows up to become very beautiful. She falls in love with Marius Pontmercy and marries him near the novel’s conclusion.
  • Marius Pontmercy – A young law student loosely associated with the Friends of the ABC. He shares the political principles of his father and has a tempestuous relationship with his royalist grandfather, Monsieur Gillenormand. He falls in love with Cosette and fights on the barricades when he believes Valjean has taken her to London. After he and Cosette marry, he recognizes Thénardier as a swindler and pays him to leave France.
  • Éponine (the Jondrette girl) – The Thénardiers’ elder daughter. As a child, she is pampered and spoiled by her parents, but ends up a street urchin when she reaches adolescence. She participates in her father’s crimes and begging schemes to obtain money. She is blindly in love with Marius. At Marius’ request, she finds Valjean and Cosette’s house for him and sadly leads him there. She also prevents her father, Patron-Minette, and Brujon from robbing the house during one of Marius’ visits there to see Cosette. After disguising herself as a boy, she manipulates Marius into going to the barricades, hoping that she and Marius will die there together. Wanting to die before Marius, she reaches out her hand to stop a soldier from shooting at him; she is mortally wounded as the bullet goes through her hand and her back. As she is dying, she confesses all this to Marius, and gives him a letter from Cosette. Her final request to Marius is that once she has passed, he will kiss her on the forehead. He fulfills her request not because of romantic feelings on his part, but out of pity for her hard life.
  • Monsieur Thénardier and Madame Thénardier (also known as the Jondrettes, M. Fabantou, M. Thénard. Some translations identify her as the Thenardiess) – Husband and wife, parents of five children: two daughters, Éponine and Azelma, and three sons, Gavroche and two unnamed younger sons. As innkeepers, they abuse Cosette as a child and extort payment from Fantine for her support, until Valjean takes Cosette away. They become bankrupt and relocate under the name Jondrette to a house in Paris called the Gorbeau house, living in the room next to Marius. The husband associates with a criminal group called “the Patron-Minette”, and conspires to rob Valjean until he is thwarted by Marius. Javert arrests the couple. The wife dies in prison. Her husband attempts to blackmail Marius with his knowledge of Valjean’s past, but Marius pays him to leave the country and he becomes a slave trader in the United States.
  • Enjolras – The leader of Les Amis de l’ABC (Friends of the ABC) in the Paris uprising. He is passionately committed to republican principles and the idea of progress. He and Grantaire are executed by the National Guards after the barricade falls.
  • Gavroche – The unloved middle child and eldest son of the Thénardiers. He lives on his own as a street urchin and sleeps inside an elephant statue outside the Bastille. He briefly takes care of his two younger brothers, unaware they are related to him. He takes part in the barricades and is killed while collecting bullets from dead National Guardsmen.
  • Bishop Myriel – The Bishop of Digne (full name Charles-François-Bienvenu Myriel, also called Monseigneur Bienvenu) – A kindly old priest promoted to bishop after a chance encounter with Napoleon. After Valjean steals some silver from him, he saves Valjean from being arrested and inspires Valjean to change his ways.
  • Grantaire – Grantaire (Also known as “R”) was a student revolutionary with little interest in the cause. He reveres Enjolras, and his admiration is the main reason that Grantaire spends time with Les Amis de l’ABC (Friends of the ABC), despite Enjolras’s occasional scorn for him. Grantaire is often drunk and is unconscious for the majority of the June Rebellion. He and Enjolras are executed by the National Guards after the barricade falls.

Friends of the ABC

A revolutionary student club. In French, the letters “ABC” are pronounced identically to the French word abaissés, “the abased”.

  • Bahorel – A dandy and an idler from a peasant background, who is known well around the student cafés of Paris.
  • Combeferre – A medical student who is described as representing the philosophy of the revolution.
  • Courfeyrac – A law student who is described as the centre of the group of Friends. He is honorable and warm and is Marius’ closest companion.
  • Enjolras – The leader of the Friends. A resolute and charismatic youth, devoted to progress.
  • Feuilly – An orphaned fan maker and passionate Polonophile who taught himself to read and write. He is the only member of the Friends who is not a student.
  • Grantaire – A drunk with little interest in revolution. Despite his pessimism, he eventually declares himself a believer in the Republic, and dies alongside Enjolras.
  • Jean Prouvaire (also Jehan) – A Romantic with knowledge of Italian, Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, and an interest in the Middle Ages.
  • Joly – A medical student who has unusual theories about health. He is a hypochondriac and is described as the happiest of the Friends.
  • Lesgle (also Lègle, Laigle, L’Aigle [The Eagle] or Bossuet) – The oldest member of the group. Considered notoriously unlucky, Lesgle begins balding at the age of twenty-five. It is Lesgle who introduces Marius to the Friends.

Minor

  • Azelma – The younger daughter of the Thénardiers. Like her sister Éponine, she is spoiled as a child, impoverished when older. She abets her father’s failed robbery of Valjean. On Marius and Cosette’s wedding day, she tails Valjean on her father’s orders. She travels to America with her father at the end of the novel.
  • Bamatabois – An idler who harasses Fantine. Later a juror at Champmathieu’s trial.
  • (Mlle) Baptistine Myriel – Bishop Myriel’s sister. She loves and venerates her brother.
  • Blachevelle – A wealthy student in Paris originally from Montauban. He is a friend of Félix Tholomyès and becomes romantically involved with Fantine’s friend Favourite.
  • Bougon, Madame (called Ma’am Burgon) – Housekeeper of Gorbeau House.
  • Brevet – An ex-convict from Toulon who knew Valjean there; released one year after Valjean. In 1823, he is serving time in the prison in Arras for an unknown crime. He is the first to claim that Champmathieu is really Valjean. He used to wear knitted, checkered suspenders.
  • Brujon – A robber and criminal. He participates in crimes with M. Thénardier and the Patron-Minette gang (such as the Gorbeau Robbery and the attempted robbery at the Rue Plumet). The author describes Brujon as being “a sprightly young fellow, very cunning and very adroit, with a flurried and plaintive appearance.”
  • Champmathieu – A vagabond who is misidentified as Valjean after being caught stealing apples.
  • Chenildieu – A lifer from Toulon. He and Valjean were chain mates for five years. He once tried to unsuccessfully remove his lifer’s brand TFP (“travaux forcés à perpetuité”, “forced labour for life”) by putting his shoulder on a chafing dish full of embers. He is described as a small, wiry but energetic man.
  • Cochepaille – Another lifer from Toulon. He used to be a shepherd from the Pyrenees who became a smuggler. He is described as stupid and has a tattoo on his arm, 1 Mars 1815.
  • Colonel Georges Pontmercy – Marius’s father and an officer in Napoleon’s army. Wounded at Waterloo, Pontmercy erroneously believes M. Thénardier saved his life. He tells Marius of this great debt. He loves Marius and although M. Gillenormand does not allow him to visit, he continually hid behind a pillar in the church on Sunday so that he could at least look at Marius from a distance. Napoleon made him a baron, but the next regime refused to recognize his barony or his status as a colonel, instead referring to him only as a commandant. The book usually calls him “The colonel”.
  • Dahlia – A young grisette in Paris and member of Fantine’s group of seamstress friends along with Favourite and Zéphine. She becomes romantically involved with Félix Tholomyès’ friend Listolier.
  • Fameuil – A wealthy student in Paris originally from Limoges. He is a friend of Félix Tholomyès and becomes romantically involved with Fantine’s friend Zéphine.
  • Fauchelevent – A failed businessman whom Valjean (as M. Madeleine) saves from being crushed under a carriage. Valjean gets him a position as gardener at a Paris convent, where Fauchelevent later provides sanctuary for Valjean and Cosette and allows Valjean to pose as his brother.
  • Favourite – A young grisette in Paris and leader of Fantine’s group of seamstress friends (including Zéphine and Dahlia). She is independent and well versed in the ways of the world and had previously been in England. Although she cannot stand Félix Tholomyès’ friend Blachevelle and is in love with someone else, she endures a relationship with him so she can enjoy the perks of courting a wealthy man.
  • Listolier – A wealthy student in Paris originally from Cahors. He is a friend of Félix Tholomyès and becomes romantically involved with Fantine’s friend Dahlia.
  • Mabeuf – An elderly churchwarden, friend of Colonel Pontmercy, who after the Colonel’s death befriends his son Marius and helps Marius realize his father loved him. Mabeuf loves plants and books, but sells his books and prints in order to pay for a friend’s medical care. When Mabeuf finds a purse in his yard, he takes it to the police. After selling his last book, he joins the students in the insurrection. He is shot dead raising the flag atop the barricade.
  • Mademoiselle Gillenormand – Daughter of M. Gillenormand, with whom she lives. Her late half-sister (M. Gillenormand’s daughter from another marriage), was Marius’ mother.
  • Madame Magloire – Domestic servant to Bishop Myriel and his sister.
  • Magnon – Former servant of M. Gillenormand and friend of the Thénardiers. She had been receiving child support payments from M. Gillenormand for her two illegitimate sons, who she claimed were fathered by him. When her sons died in an epidemic, she had them replaced with the Thénardiers’ two youngest sons so that she could protect her income. The Thénardiers get a portion of the payments. She is incorrectly arrested for involvement in the Gorbeau robbery.
  • Monsieur Gillenormand – Marius’ grandfather. A monarchist, he disagrees sharply with Marius on political issues, and they have several arguments. He attempts to keep Marius from being influenced by his father, Colonel Georges Pontmercy. While in perpetual conflict over ideas, he holds his grandson in affection.
  • Mother Innocente (a.k.a. Marguerite de Blemeur) – The prioress of the Petit-Picpus convent.
  • Patron-Minette – A quartet of bandits who assist in the Thénardiers’ ambush of Valjean at Gorbeau House and the attempted robbery at the Rue Plumet. The gang consists of Montparnasse, Claquesous, Babet, and Gueulemer. Claquesous, who escaped from the carriage transporting him to prison after the Gorbeau Robbery, joins the revolution under the guise of “Le Cabuc” and is executed by Enjolras for firing on civilians.
  • Petit Gervais – A travelling Savoyard boy who drops a coin. Valjean, still a man of criminal mind, places his foot on the coin and refuses to return it.
  • Sister Simplice – A famously truthful nun who cares for Fantine on her sickbed and lies to Javert to protect Valjean.
  • Félix Tholomyès – Fantine’s lover and Cosette’s biological father. A wealthy, self-centered student in Paris originally from Toulouse, he eventually abandons Fantine when their daughter is two years old.
  • Toussaint – Valjean and Cosette’s servant in Paris. She has a slight stutter.
  • Two little boys – The two unnamed youngest sons of the Thénardiers, whom they send to Magnon to replace her two dead sons. Living on the streets, they encounter Gavroche, who is unaware they are his siblings but treats them like they are his brothers. After Gavroche’s death, they retrieve bread tossed by a bourgeois man to geese in a fountain at the Luxembourg Garden.
  • Zéphine – A young grisette in Paris and member of Fantine’s group of seamstress friends along with Favourite and Dahlia. She becomes romantically involved with Félix Tholomyès’ friend Fameuil.

The narrator

Hugo does not give the narrator a name and allows the reader to identify the narrator with the novel’s author. The narrator occasionally injects himself into the narrative or reports facts outside the time of the narrative to emphasize that he is recounting historical events, not entirely fiction. He introduces his recounting of Waterloo with several paragraphs describing the narrator’s recent approach to the battlefield: “Last year (1861), on a beautiful May morning, a traveller, the person who is telling this story, was coming from Nivelles …” The narrator describes how “[a]n observer, a dreamer, the author of this book” during the 1832 street fighting was caught in crossfire: “All that he had to protect him from the bullets was the swell of the two half columns which separate the shops; he remained in this delicate situation for nearly half an hour.” At one point he apologizes for intruding—”The author of this book, who regrets the necessity of mentioning himself”—to ask the reader’s understanding when he describes “the Paris of his youth … as though it still existed.” This introduces a meditation on memories of past places that his contemporary readers would recognize as a self-portrait written from exile: “you have left a part of your heart, of your blood, of your soul, in those pavements.” He describes another occasion when a bullet shot “pierced a brass shaving-dish suspended … over a hairdresser’s shop. This pierced shaving-dish was still to be seen in 1848, in the Rue du Contrat-Social, at the corner of the pillars of the market.” As evidence of police double agents at the barricades, he writes: “The author of this book had in his hands, in 1848, the special report on this subject made to the Prefect of Police in 1832.”

Contemporary reception

The appearance of the novel was a highly anticipated event as Victor Hugo was considered one of France’s foremost poets in the middle of the nineteenth century. The New York Times announced its forthcoming publication as early as April 1860. Hugo forbade his publishers from summarizing his story and refused to authorize the publication of excerpts in advance of publication. He instructed them to build on his earlier success and suggested this approach: “What Victor H. did for the Gothic world in Notre-Dame of Paris [The Hunchback of Notre Dame], he accomplishes for the modern world in Les Miserables”. A massive advertising campaign preceded the release of the first two volumes of Les Misérables in Brussels on 30 or 31 March and in Paris on 3 April 1862. The remaining volumes appeared on 15 May 1862.

Critical reactions were wide-ranging and often negative. Some critics found the subject matter immoral, others complained of its excessive sentimentality, and others were disquieted by its apparent sympathy with the revolutionaries. L. Gauthier wrote in Le Monde of 17 August 1862: “One cannot read without an unconquerable disgust all the details Monsieur Hugo gives regarding the successful planning of riots.” The Goncourt brothers judged the novel artificial and disappointing. Flaubert found “neither truth nor greatness” in it. He complained that the characters were crude stereotypes who all “speak very well – but all in the same way”. He deemed it an “infantile” effort and brought an end to Hugo’s career like “the fall of a god”. In a newspaper review, Charles Baudelaire praised Hugo’s success in focusing public attention on social problems, though he believed that such propaganda was the opposite of art. In private he castigated it as “repulsive and inept” (“immonde et inepte”). The Catholic Church placed it on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum.

The work was a commercial success and has been a popular book ever since it was published. Translated the same year it appeared into several foreign languages, including Italian, Greek, and Portuguese, it proved popular not only in France, but across Europe and abroad.

English translations

  • Charles E. Wilbour. New York: Carleton Publishing Company, June 1862. The first English translation. The first volume was available for purchase in New York beginning 7 June 1862.[39] Also New York and London: George Routledge and Sons, 1879.
  • Lascelles Wraxall. London: Hurst and Blackett, October 1862. The first British translation.
  • Translator identified as “A.F.” Richmond, Virginia, 1863. Published by West and Johnston publishers. The Editor’s Preface announces its intention of correcting errors in Wilbour’s translation. It said that some passages “exclusively intended for the French readers of the book” were being omitted, as well as “[a] few scattered sentences reflecting on slavery” because “the absence of a few antislavery paragraphs will hardly be complained of by Southern readers.” Because of paper shortages in wartime, the passages omitted became longer with each successive volume.
  • Isabel Florence Hapgood. Published 1887, this translation is available at Project Gutenberg.
  • Norman Denny. Folio Press, 1976. A modern British translation later re-published in paperback by Penguin Books, ISBN 0-14-044430-0. The translator explains in an introduction that he has placed two of the novel’s longer digressive passages into appendices and made some minor abridgements in the text.
  • Lee Fahnestock and Norman McAfee. Signet Classics. 3 March 1987. An unabridged edition based on the Wilbour translation with its language modernized. Paperback ISBN 0-451-52526-4
  • Julie Rose. 2007. Vintage Classics, 3 July 2008. A new translation of the full work, with a detailed biographical sketch of Victor Hugo’s life, a chronology, and notes. ISBN 978-0-09-951113-7
  • Christine Donougher. Penguin Classics, 7 November 2013. A new translation of the full work, with a detailed biographical sketch of Victor Hugo’s life, a chronology, and notes. ISBN 978-0141393599

Adaptations

Since its original publication, Les Misérables has been the subject of a large number of adaptations in numerous types of media, such as books, films, musicals, plays and games.

Notable examples of these adaptations include:

  • The 1934 film, 4½-hour French version directed by Raymond Bernard and starring Harry Baur, Charles Vanel, Florelle, Josseline Gaël and Jean Servais.
  • The 1935 film directed by Richard Boleslawski, starring Fredric March and Charles Laughton, nominated for Best Picture, Best Film Editing, Best Assistant Director at 8th Academy Awards.
  • The 1937 radio adaptation by Orson Welles.
  • The 1952 film adaptation directed by Lewis Milestone, starring Michael Rennie and Robert Newton.
  • The 1958 film adaptation directed by Jean-Paul Le Chanois, with an international cast starring Jean Gabin, Bernard Blier, and Bourvil. Called “the most memorable film version”, it was filmed in East Germany and was overtly political.
  • The 1978 television film adaptation, starring Richard Jordan and Anthony Perkins.
  • The 1980 musical, by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg.
  • The 1982 film adaptation, directed by Robert Hossein, starring Lino Ventura and Michel Bouquet.
  • The 1995 film, by Claude Lelouch, starring Jean-Paul Belmondo
  • The 1998 film, starring Liam Neeson and Geoffrey Rush.
  • The 2000 TV miniseries, starring Gérard Depardieu and John Malkovich.
  • The 2007 TV anime adaptation, by Studio Nippon Animation.
  • The 2012 film of the musical, starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway and Amanda Seyfried.
  • A 2018 TV miniseries by Andrew Davies, starring Dominic West, David Oyelowo and Lily Collins.

Sequels

  • Laura Kalpakian’s Cosette: The Sequel to Les Misérables was published in 1995. It continues the story of Cosette and Marius, but is more a sequel to the musical than to the original novel.
  • In 2001, two French novels by François Cérésa [fr] that continue Hugo’s story appeared: Cosette ou le temps des illusions and Marius ou le fugitif. The former has been published in an English translation. Javert appears as a hero who survived his suicide attempt and becomes religious; Thénardier returns from America; Marius is unjustly imprisoned. The works were the subject of an unsuccessful lawsuit, Société Plon et autres v. Pierre Hugo et autres brought by Hugo’s great-great-grandson.

Lyrics


Dávid Gyula

Key: Bb

Genre: Country

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

Gyula Dávid (Budapest, May 6, 1913 – Budapest, March 14, 1977) Kossuth Prize-winning Hungarian composer. Brother of architect Károly Dávid.

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His life

Gyula Dávid was born on May 6, 1913 in Budapest, id. From the marriage of Károly Dávid, a construction contractor, and Anna Mária Mészáros  as her third child.  (His brothers are Károly Dávid Jr., an architect, and János Dávid, a company manager). His paternal grandparents were János Dávid and Róza Albrecht, his maternal grandparents were mason Gyula Mészáros and Mária Emília Sonnleitner.

His studies

He started playing music, as expected of bourgeois families, at the age of 5. At first his instrument was the violin, but “even my first teacher, Jenő Plán, said that I would not be a prodigy.” At the age of 15, he started composing in a self-taught way, and then, as a high school student, he began studying music theory with Antal Molnár.

Antal Molnár (1890-1983) was a music theory teacher at the music school, and from 1919 he was a teacher of music theory at the College of Music, a violinist of the Hubay – Dohnányi – Kerpely piano quartet, and the excellence of Hungarian music theory and music education. In addition to his articles, his name is preserved today by the School of Music.

In addition to the impulses gained at Antal Molnár, the singing and music lessons of the Cistercian Grammar School played a prominent role. His teacher was the young Cistercian monk Rajjzin Rajeczky, “who brought new air to the walls of the school and introduced him to the Gregorian chant, Renaissance choral literature and Kodály’s then freshly composed children’s songs instead of shoddy tandals.”

Benjámin Rajeczky, 1901-1989 Cistercian monk, music historian, folk music researcher. As a teacher, he built a choir, orchestra, and scout team. The concerts in which the accompanying choir works of Bartók and Kodály were performed for the first time were born from the collaboration of the choir and the orchestra. In the 1930s, he studied composition with Kodály, as well as collecting folk songs. From the 1950s onwards, in addition to his priestly calling, he dedicated his life to this. He was eventually retired in 1970 as director of the Folk Music Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. In 1989, he was awarded the posthumous Kossuth Prize.

The result of Benjámin Rajeczky’s pedagogical work can be considered that several of his choir and orchestra later became significant artists: Endre Rősler, Kálmán Nádasdy, Pál Járdányi, Rezső Sugár, József Romhányi, Gyula Dávid.

Gyula Dávid made a lifelong “paternal” friendship with this great man and teacher. He celebrated his wedding, became the baptismal priest of his first child, helped each other in the difficult years before and after the war. He played an important role in the fact that, in addition to his students, Gyula Dávid became a student of Zoltán Kodály at the Academy of Music.

Like so many of his Hungarian composers, he studied with Zoltán Kodály (1933-1938), and at the same time as his composition studies, he also acquired a high degree of violin knowledge, because at the same time he studied violin with Dezső Rados and graduated from four academic classes.

Folk song collection

Encouraged by Kodály, he collected hundreds of Hungarian folk songs. Of these, the discovery of the Karádi song treasure is of outstanding significance, on the basis of which Kodály composed Karádi’s songs for men in 1934, László Vikár carried out a comprehensive song collection and scientific processing in the 1950s. they sound in order.

During my college years, “For money-making reasons, I toured all the peripheries of music life, from the jazz band to the cabaret band”. He worked as a music critic for “The Newspaper”, composed chamber music, and commissioned the Radio and encouraged Kodály in the sheet music library of the National Theater.

His exploratory work became of musical historical and ideological significance in the 1950s and 1960s, when, with Kodály’s participation, a theoretical debate took place as to whether the musical motifs used in Ferenc Erkel’s folk plays were of folk origin. In this extremely ideological debate, Kodály argued for the Hungarianness of Ferenc Erkel, referring to his collection and processing at the Gyula Dávid National Theater.

Music and theater

After completing his studies, he joined the Székesfővárosi Városi orchestra as an orchestral musician and viola player (1938-43), which was interrupted by a one-year front service from the 43rd autumn. “I never had a special talent for playing the violin, but his viola was the eldorado of weak violinists. However, it was here that I first came into contact with higher-level practical music, met the best conductors from Klemperer to Mengelberg and Monteux, learned how to create a beautiful orchestral sound. ”

In addition to this important experience, he came into contact with theater, directors, actors and the world of theatrical music. His life was decisive for Tamás Major, the young avant-garde director who directed most of the youth performances of the City Theater at the time, and mostly received theatrical accompaniment assignments from him. As early as 1938, he wrote music for the Tragedy of Man, including his performance The Widow Csokonai Widow, which was renewed several times after the war.

Theater home composer and music director

He spent the war year and a half after the front service in the orchestral trench or cellar of the National Theater, and from February 1945 to 1950 he worked as the theater’s music director, but remained a “home composer” of the National Theater until 1960. From 1938 to 1960, he wrote stage accompaniment for more than a hundred plays.

The world of the peculiar creative artist of the theater had a decisive force throughout his life. This peculiarity is manifested in the speed of the work, in the deep experience of the task, in the exaltation of the actor’s way of life, in the competitive struggle for the recognition of the audience, in the laziness of relief after the performances. In the theater, the good composer adapts, translating the director’s ideas into his own musical language. The music not only gives an atmosphere to the whole performance, to the story performed, but also contributes to the success or eventual failure of the actors. The music that prepares and accompanies the entry, the created-recalled world of music, and the creation of a song that fits well with the abilities and characters of the actor require understanding, sensitivity and creative creativity from the composer. You have to create music, you have to put together a small band of 10-15 people so that the sound is properly “theatrical”.

Between 1950 and 1952 he was the artistic and musical director of several Hungarian Honvéd Ensembles, he organized the orchestra and asked Zoltán Vásárhelyi to organize the choir. In 1952, the Interior Art Ensemble was commissioned to organize and conduct its orchestra, choir and dance choir. In the course of these duties, sometimes in a strong headwind, he tried to enforce good musical taste, there was plenty of room for a sense of music pedagogy.

The teacher and mentor

From 1950 to 1960, he was a lecturer at the College of Music. At this time he taught wind chamber music, after 1964 he taught string chamber music.

According to the stories of his students, the emphasis was on music and the technical possibilities of the instrument and the ensemble of music and sound. Above all, he encouraged his disciples to understand the work and not be afraid to interpret it based on their unique understanding. “He wanted to stand out from the instrument-centric playing because he was a chamber music teacher. … I remember we once played Mozart’s sonata at a concert and was very dissatisfied after the performance. “That’s not what I want to teach you,” he said. At that time, we learned more technical things in instrumental lessons. He, as a chamber music teacher, turned our ears to the form, the styles from which we learned a lot. ” (excerpt: from an interview with Géza Szilvai)

It was no coincidence that he taught wind chamber music, as between 1945-64 he wrote dozens of theatrical backing music for the National Theater. For performances, to rattle in a good sense, the dominance of the wind sound is best suited with a few strings and percussion. What’s more, the musicians, not infrequently, played music “dressed up” not on the ditch but on stage. Although it was the instrument of Gyula Dávid, it was originally his viola, but in the theater there was a way to delve into the mysteries of the wind sound. The theater not only provided an opportunity for this, but also to give its friends space and work opportunities. This is how it happened with the Budapest Wind Five, which was formed not long ago.

Establishment of the Budapest Wind Quintet in 1947. Its founding members are Zoltán Jeney (flute), Tibor Szeszler (oboe), György Balassa (clarinet), János Ónozó (horn) and László Hara (bassoon).

Zoltán Jeney was born in Subotica in 1915, he was a student of the College of Music from 1933 to 1940, where he graduated from two departments. He studied flute from Lajos Dömötör, and also went to composition with Albert Siklós and Zoltán Kodály. Already as a college student, he played the solo flute of the Budapest Concert Orchestra, then became a member of the State Opera House Orchestra, where he played until his retirement, and the State Concert Orchestra

In 1949, Gyula Dávid wrote their first wind quintet for them, which was also performed by the Wind Trio, the Flute Piano Sonata, I. and II. brass quintet, and finally the Horn Competition followed

These pieces also aided the work of the teacher by taking into account the technical and musical readiness of the students, and were also suitable for concerts organized as rehearsals and final exams. The result of this work is also two “Flute Schools”, “Bassoon School”. He expressed his sensitivity and openness as a teacher-mentor by thinking as a composer about the performers and their artistic and instrumental abilities at the moment of writing the work. Be they students or mature artists.

As a music teacher, the Wind Chamber was the most proud of the Hungarian Wind Five founded in 1961 from its students in 1961. “It was founded in 1961 by members of a new, talented and well-trained wind generation that grew up after the war. Their predecessor and role model was the successfully operating Budapest wind quintet. Péter Pongrácz, Béla Kovács and Tibor Fülemile Dávid worked together in chamber music lessons at the Academy of Music, and from Mozart to contemporary composers they performed works of the most varied eras and styles. ”

Between 1950 and 1960, as a lecturer at the Liszt Ferenc College of Music, he taught wind chamber music, for which he also wrote several works suitable for teaching, practicing and performing.

In 1960, he was content not to be appointed a full-time college teacher, and therefore resigned from college. The reasons for this go back to the 1940s, the time of conceptual lawsuits. His left-wing communist friends and acquaintances were sued, and they wanted to extort confessions from him as well.

Gyula Dávid was never interested in politics, but when it already called into question human existence, character and honesty, he was compelled to act and helped. So he did this with the persecuted leftists, communists, Jews during the war and he adhered to the same values ​​when they wanted to extort confessions from him during conceptual lawsuits. In 1957, after the revolution, the power reason artist offered a career, if they publicly committed to the Party, they would join the party. He was also offered a College Teacher appointment in return, but he refused. In 1960, he unsuccessfully applied for his appointment, and after his request was not granted. He resigned. In 1964, he received an invitation without compensation, but only for the position of Béla Bartók’s conservatory teacher at the college, which he had already gladly accepted. This is how he was able to continue teaching chamber music for the rest of his life.

His world of music and classical music works

The work has been performed abroad with great success, even in the author’s life (Berlin, Moscow, Bucharest, Leipzig)

The foundation of the teaching of wind chamber music is especially important in his pedagogical work. In 1949, he was the first Hungarian composer to write a wind quintet.

Viola competition

Performance: 1951, Székesfővárosi Orchestra, soloist: Pál Lukács (vla.), Conductor: János Ferencsik.

I. Lot I: Allegro

Sonata form. After a vigorous orchestral introduction, the viola intonates the main theme, which is further intertwined in virtuoso races, octave races and orchestral accompaniment. After an orchestral interlude, a light, playful theme is pulsating, followed by a lyrical sub-theme, first in the orchestra and then on the solo viola. The processing part starts on a subdominant: the author varies the main theme and the sub-theme, enriched with modulations, races, contrasts of dynamic contrasts. The return is the same as the exposure with minor changes. The movement concludes with a short, vigorous code that is a varied material of the orchestral introduction. It is characteristic of both the first and the other movements that the band accompanies the solo instrument primarily and rarely plays an independent role.

II. tétel: Slowly but not too much

After a soft orchestral introduction to the three-member song, the song is a soft, singing melody on the viola and, with ornaments and short cadences, melts into a second B minor theme, accompanied by an eighth-movement movement. After the solo cadence, the second theme returns in the basic tone, and then the first melody dies on the viola over the empty chords of c-g-c muted in the orchestra.

III. tétel: Vivace

The movement, written in sonata-rondo form, starts with a scooter lydi theme and arrives at the dominant one, on which another virtuoso dance theme emerges. The rondo theme returns in a varied form and leads to a playful, folk-like side theme that is light and contrasting with the racing rondo theme. His cadence is slow, a version of the broadly curved melodies of the second movement. The cadence traces the rondo theme back and repeats each theme once more.

Concerto Grosso for viola and string orchestra

(I. Allegro; II. Adagio; III. Vivace)

The technique of the concerto grosso, composed in 1963, follows the twelve-degree editing, but its form refers to Baroque foreshadowing. The motorist’s pulsating rhythm of the first movement, as well as the alternating playing of the solo instrument and the ensemble also have a baroque effect. The melodic arioso of the slow movement is followed by a brightly paced rondo, the theme of which is repeatedly motivated by the composer in each stage of form.

The concerto grosso was recommended by Gyula Dávid – similarly to the viola competition – to Pál Lukács, who performed it at the premiere in 1963 under the direction of György Fejér.

His other major works

  • Symphony (won a prize in the 1948 centenary competition)
  • Ballet music (music written for a fairy tale, presented in the form of a suite)
    wind quintet (1949)
  • Orchestral songs, poems by Endre Ady and Attila József
  • Violin Competition (The concerto, written in 1964-65, was presented in 1966 by Dénes Kovács, conducted by Ervin Lukács.)

 

 

 

Lyrics


Willie Nelson

Key: Bb

Genre: Country

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

Willie Hugh Nelson (born April 29, 1933) is an American musician, actor, and activist. The critical success of the album Shotgun Willie (1973), combined with the critical and commercial success of Red Headed Stranger (1975) and Stardust (1978), made Nelson one of the most recognized artists in country music. He was one of the main figures of outlaw country, a subgenre of country music that developed in the late 1960s as a reaction to the conservative restrictions of the Nashville sound. Nelson has acted in over 30 films, co-authored several books, and has been involved in activism for the use of biofuels and the legalization of marijuana.

Born during the Great Depression and raised by his grandparents, Nelson wrote his first song at age seven and joined his first band at ten. During high school, he toured locally with the Bohemian Polka as their lead singer and guitar player. After graduating from high school in 1950, he joined the U.S. Air Force but was later discharged due to back problems. After his return, Nelson attended Baylor University for two years but dropped out because he was succeeding in music. During this time, he worked as a disc jockey in Texas radio stations and a singer in honky-tonks. Nelson moved to Vancouver, Washington, where he wrote “Family Bible” and recorded the song “Lumberjack” in 1956. He also worked as a disc jockey at various radio stations in Vancouver and nearby Portland, Oregon. In 1958, he moved to Houston, Texas, after signing a contract with D Records. He sang at the Esquire Ballroom weekly and he worked as a disk jockey. During that time, he wrote songs that would become country standards, including “Funny How Time Slips Away”, “Hello Walls”, “Pretty Paper”, and “Crazy”. In 1960 he moved to Nashville, Tennessee, and later signed a publishing contract with Pamper Music which allowed him to join Ray Price’s band as a bassist. In 1962, he recorded his first album, …And Then I Wrote. Due to this success, Nelson signed in 1964 with RCA Victor and joined the Grand Ole Opry the following year. After mid-chart hits in the late 1960s and the early 1970s, Nelson retired in 1972 and moved to Austin, Texas. The ongoing music scene of Austin motivated Nelson to return from retirement, performing frequently at the Armadillo World Headquarters.

In 1973, after signing with Atlantic Records, Nelson turned to outlaw country, including albums such as Shotgun Willie and Phases and Stages. In 1975, he switched to Columbia Records, where he recorded the critically acclaimed album Red Headed Stranger. The same year, he recorded another outlaw country album, Wanted! The Outlaws, along with Waylon Jennings, Jessi Colter, and Tompall Glaser. During the mid-1980s, while creating hit albums like Honeysuckle Rose and recording hit songs like “On the Road Again”, “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before”, and “Pancho and Lefty”, he joined the country supergroup The Highwaymen, along with fellow singers Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, and Kris Kristofferson.

In 1990, Nelson’s assets were seized by the Internal Revenue Service, which claimed that he owed $32 million. The difficulty of paying his outstanding debt was aggravated by weak investments he had made during the 1980s. In 1992, Nelson released The IRS Tapes: Who’ll Buy My Memories?; the profits of the double album—destined to the IRS—and the auction of Nelson’s assets cleared his debt. During the 1990s and 2000s, Nelson continued touring extensively, and released albums every year. Reviews ranged from positive to mixed. He explored genres such as reggae, blues, jazz, and folk.

Nelson made his first movie appearance in the 1979 film The Electric Horseman, followed by other appearances in movies and on television. Nelson is a major liberal activist and the co-chair of the advisory board of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), which is in favor of marijuana legalization. On the environmental front, Nelson owns the bio-diesel brand Willie Nelson Biodiesel, which is made from vegetable oil. Nelson is also the honorary chairman of the advisory board of the Texas Music Project, the official music charity of the state of Texas.

Early life

Nelson was born in Abbott, Texas, on April 29, 1933,[1] the son of Myrle Marie (née Greenhaw) and Ira Doyle Nelson. His birth was incorrectly recorded by Dr. F. D. Sims as April 30.  He was named Willie by his cousin Mildred, who also chose Hugh as his middle name, in honor of her recently deceased younger brother.[1] Nelson traces his genealogy to the American Revolutionary War, in which his ancestor John Nelson served as a major. His parents moved to Texas from Arkansas in 1929 to look for work. His grandfather, William, worked as a blacksmith, while his father worked as a mechanic. His mother left soon after he was born, and his father remarried and also moved away, leaving Nelson and his sister Bobbie to be raised by their grandparents, who taught singing back in Arkansas and started their grandchildren in music. Nelson’s grandfather bought him a guitar when he was six, and taught him a few chords, and Nelson sang gospel songs in the local church alongside Bobbie. He wrote his first song at age seven, and when he was nine, he played guitar for local band Bohemian Polka. During the summer, the family picked cotton alongside other Abbott residents. Nelson disliked picking cotton, so he earned money by singing in dance halls, taverns, and honky tonks from age 13, which he continued through high school. His musical influences were Hank Williams, Bob Wills, Lefty Frizzell, Ray Price, Ernest Tubb, Hank Snow, Django Reinhardt, Frank Sinatra, and Louis Armstrong.

Nelson attended Abbott High School, where he was a halfback on the football team, guard on the basketball team, and shortstop in baseball. He also raised pigs with the Future Farmers of America. While still at school, he sang and played guitar in The Texans, a band formed by his sister’s husband, Bud Fletcher. The band played in honky tonks, and also had a Sunday morning spot at KHBR in Hillsboro, Texas. Meanwhile, Nelson had a short stint as a relief phone operator in Abbott, followed by a job as a tree trimmer for the local electric company, as well as a pawn shop employee. After leaving school in 1950, he joined the U.S. Air Force for eight to nine months. Upon his return in 1952, he married Martha Matthews, and from 1954 to 1956 studied agriculture at Baylor University, where he joined the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity, until dropping out to pursue a career in music. He worked as a nightclub bouncer, autohouse partsman, saddle maker, and tree trimmer again. He later joined Johnny Bush’s band.

Nelson moved with his family to Pleasanton, Texas, where he auditioned for a job as a DJ at KBOP. The owner of the station, Dr. Ben Parker, gave Nelson the job despite his lack of experience working on radio. With the equipment of the station, Nelson made his first two recordings in 1955: “The Storm Has Just Begun” and “When I’ve Sung My Last Hillbilly Song”. He recorded the tracks on used tapes, and sent the demos to the local label SARG Records, which rejected them.  He then had stints working for KDNT in Denton, KCUL, and KCNC in Fort Worth, where he hosted The Western Express, taught Sunday school, and played in nightclubs. He then decided to move to San Diego but, when he was unable to find a job there, he hitchhiked to Portland, Oregon, where his mother lived.[15] When nobody picked him up, he ended up sleeping in a ditch[19] before hopping a freight train bound for Eugene. A truck driver drove him to a bus station and loaned him $10 for a ticket to reach Portland.

Music career

Beginnings (1956–1971)

Nelson was hired by KVAN in Vancouver, Washington and appeared frequently on a television show. He made his first record in 1956, “No Place for Me”, that included Leon Payne’s “Lumberjack” on the B-side. The recording failed. Nelson continued working as a radio announcer and singing in Vancouver clubs. He made several appearances in a Colorado nightclub, later moving to Springfield, Missouri. After failing to land a spot on the Ozark Jubilee, he started to work as a dishwasher. Unhappy with his job, he moved back to Texas. After a short time in Waco, he settled in Fort Worth, and quit the music business for a year. He sold bibles and vacuum cleaners door-to-door,[ and eventually became a sales manager for the Encyclopedia Americana.

After his son Billy was born in 1958, the family moved to Houston, Texas. On the way, Nelson stopped by the Esquire Ballroom to sell his original songs to house band singer Larry Butler. Butler refused to purchase the song “Mr. Record Man” for $10, instead giving Nelson a $50 loan to rent an apartment and a six-night job singing in the club. Nelson rented the apartment near Houston in Pasadena, Texas, where he also worked at the radio station as the sign-on disc jockey. During this time, he recorded two singles for Pappy Daily on D Records “Man With the Blues”/”The Storm Has Just Begun” and “What a Way to Live”/”Misery Mansion”. Nelson then was hired by guitar instructor Paul Buskirk to work as an instructor in his school. He sold “Family Bible” to Buskirk for $50 and “Night Life” for $150. “Family Bible” turned into a hit for Claude Gray in 1960.

Nelson moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 1960, but was unable to find a label to sign him. During this period he often spent time at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, a bar near the Grand Ole Opry frequented by the show’s stars and other singers and songwriters. There Nelson met Hank Cochran, a songwriter who worked for the publishing company Pamper Music, owned by Ray Price and Hal Smith. Cochran heard Nelson during a jam session with Buddy Emmons and Jimmy Day. Cochran had just earned a raise of $50 a week, but convinced Smith to pay Nelson the money instead to sign him to Pamper Music. On hearing Nelson sing “Hello Walls” at Tootsie’s, Faron Young decided to record it.  After Ray Price recorded Nelson’s “Night Life”, and his previous bassist Johnny Paycheck quit, Nelson joined Price’s touring band as a bass player. While playing with Price and the Cherokee Cowboys, his songs became hits for other artists, including “Funny How Time Slips Away” (Billy Walker), “Pretty Paper” (Roy Orbison), and, most famously, “Crazy” by Patsy Cline. Nelson and Cochran also met Cline’s husband, Charlie Dick at Tootsie’s. Dick liked a song of Nelson’s he heard on the bar’s jukebox. Nelson played him a demo tape of “Crazy.” Later that night Dick played the tape for Cline, who decided to record it. “Crazy” became the biggest jukebox hit of all time.

Nelson signed with Liberty Records and was recording by August 1961 at Quonset Hut Studio. His first two successful singles as an artist were released by the next year, including “Willingly” (a duet with his soon-to-be second wife, Shirley Collie, which became his first charting single and first Top Ten at No. 10) and “Touch Me” (his second Top Ten, stalling at No. 7).  Nelson’s tenure at Liberty yielded his first album entitled …And Then I Wrote, released in September 1962. In 1963 Collie and Nelson were married in Las Vegas. He then worked on the west coast offices of Pamper Records, in Pico Rivera, California. Since the job did not allow him the time to play music of his own, he left it and bought a ranch in Ridgetop, Tennessee, outside of Nashville. Fred Foster of Monument Records signed Nelson in early 1964, but only one single was released: “I Never Cared For You”.

By the fall of 1964, Nelson had moved to RCA Victor at the behest of Chet Atkins, signing a contract for $10,000 per year.[38] Country Willie – His Own Songs became Nelson’s first RCA Victor album, recorded in April 1965. That same year he joined the Grand Ole Opry,  and he met and became friends with Waylon Jennings after watching one of his shows in Phoenix, Arizona.  In 1967, he formed his backing band “The Record Men”, featuring Johnny Bush, Jimmy Day, Paul English and David Zettner. During his first few years on RCA Victor, Nelson had no significant hits, but from November 1966 through March 1969, his singles reached the Top 25 in a consistent manner. “One in a Row” (#19, 1966), “The Party’s Over” (#24 during a 16-week chart run in 1967), and his cover of Morecambe & Wise’s “Bring Me Sunshine” (#13, March 1969) were Nelson’s best-selling records during his time with RCA.[23]

By 1970, most of Nelson’s songwriting royalties were invested in tours that did not produce significant profits. In addition to the problems in his career, Nelson divorced Shirley Collie in 1970. In December, his ranch in Ridgetop, Tennessee, burned down. He interpreted the incident as a signal for a change. He moved to a ranch near Bandera, Texas, and married Connie Koepke. In early 1971 his single “I’m a Memory” reached the top 30. After he recorded his final RCA single, “Mountain Dew” (backed with “Phases, Stages, Circles, Cycles and Scenes”), in late April 1972, RCA requested that Nelson renew his contract ahead of schedule, with the implication that RCA would not release his latest recordings if he did not. Due to the failure of his albums, and particularly frustrated by the reception of Yesterday’s Wine, although his contract was not over, Nelson decided to retire from music.

Outlaw country and success (1972–1989)

Nelson moved to Austin, Texas, where the burgeoning hippie music scene (see Armadillo World Headquarters) rejuvenated the singer. His popularity in Austin soared as he played his own brand of country music marked by country, folk and jazz influences. In March, he performed on the final day of the Dripping Springs Reunion, a three-day country music festival aimed by its producers to be an annual event. Despite the failure to reach the expected attendance, the concept of the festival inspired Nelson to create the Fourth of July Picnic, his own annual event, starting the following year.

Nelson decided to return to the recording business, he signed Neil Reshen as his manager to negotiate with RCA, who got the label to agree to end his contract upon repayment of $14,000. Reshen eventually signed Nelson to Atlantic Records for $25,000 per year, where he became the label’s first country artist. He formed his backing band, The Family, and by February 1973, he was recording his acclaimed Shotgun Willie at Atlantic Studios in New York City.

Shotgun Willie, released in May 1973, earned excellent reviews but did not sell well. The album led Nelson to a new style, later stating that Shotgun Willie had “cleared his throat”. His next release, Phases and Stages, released in 1974, was a concept album about a couple’s divorce, inspired by his own experience. Side one of the record is from the viewpoint of the woman, and side two is from the viewpoint of the man. The album included the hit single “Bloody Mary Morning.” The same year, he produced and starred in the pilot episode of PBS’ Austin City Limits.

Nelson then moved to Columbia Records, where he signed a contract that gave him complete creative control, made possible by the critical and commercial success of his previous albums. The result was the critically acclaimed and massively popular 1975 concept album Red Headed Stranger. Although Columbia was reluctant to release an album with primarily a guitar and piano for accompaniment, Nelson and Waylon Jennings insisted. The album included a cover of Fred Rose’s 1945 song “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain”, that had been released as a single previous to the album, and became Nelson’s first number one hit as a singer. Throughout his 1975 tour, Nelson raised funds for PBS-affiliated stations across the south promoting Austin City Limits. The pilot was aired first on those stations, later being released nationwide. The positive reception of the show prompted PBS to order ten episodes for 1976, formally launching the show.

As Jennings was also achieving success in country music in the early 1970s, the pair were combined into a genre called outlaw country, since it did not conform to Nashville standards. The album Wanted! The Outlaws in 1976 with Jessi Colter and Tompall Glaser cemented the pair’s outlaw image and became country music’s first platinum album. Later that year Nelson released The Sound in Your Mind (certified gold in 1978 and platinum in 2001) and his first gospel album Troublemaker (certified gold in 1986).

In the summer of 1977, Nelson discovered that Reshen had been filing tax extensions and not paying the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) since he took over as his manager. In June, a package containing cocaine was sent from Reshen’s office in New York to Jennings in Nashville.  The package was followed by the DEA, and Jennings was arrested. The charges were later dropped, since Reshen’s assistant, Mark Rothbaum stepped in and took the charges. Rothbaum was sentenced to serve time in jail. Impressed by his attitude, Nelson fired Reshen and hired Rothbaum as his manager. In 1978, Nelson released two more platinum albums. One, Waylon & Willie, was a collaboration with Jennings that included “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys”, a hit single written and performed by Ed Bruce. Though observers predicted that Stardust would ruin his career, it went platinum the same year. Nelson continued to top the charts with hit songs during the late 1970s, including “Good Hearted Woman”, “Remember Me”, “If You’ve Got the Money I’ve Got the Time”, and “Uncloudy Day”.

During the 1980s, Nelson recorded a series of hit singles including “Midnight Rider”, a 1980 cover of the Allman Brothers song which Nelson recorded for The Electric Horseman,[68] the soundtrack “On the Road Again” from the movie Honeysuckle Rose, and a duet with Julio Iglesias titled “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before”.[69]

In 1982, Pancho & Lefty, a duet album with Merle Haggard produced by Chips Moman was released.[70] During the recording sessions of Pancho and Lefty, session guitarist Johnny Christopher and co-writer of “Always on My Mind”, tried to pitch the song to an uninterested Haggard. Nelson, who was unaware of Elvis Presley’s version of the song asked him to record it. Produced by Moman, the single of the song was released, as well as the album of the same name. The single topped Billboard’s Hot Country Singles, while it reached number five on the Billboard Hot 100. The release won three awards during the 25th Annual Grammy Awards: Song of the Year, Best Country Song and Best Male Country Vocal Performance. The single was certified platinum; while the album was certified quadruple-platinum, and later inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2008.

Meanwhile, two collaborations with Waylon Jennings were released;WWII in 1982, and Take it to the Limit, another collaboration with Waylon Jennings was released in 1983. In the mid-1980s, Nelson, Jennings, Kristofferson, and Johnny Cash formed The Highwaymen, who achieved platinum record sales and toured the world. Meanwhile, he became more involved with charity work, such as singing on We are the World in 1984. In 1985, Nelson had another success with Half Nelson, a compilation album of duets with a range of artists such as Ray Charles and Neil Young. In 1980, Nelson performed on the south lawn of the White House. The concert of September 13 featured First Lady Rosalynn Carter and Nelson in a duet of Ray Wylie Hubbard’s “Up Against the Wall Redneck Mother”. Nelson frequently visited the White House, where according to the biography by Joe Nick Patoski, Willie Nelson: An Epic Life, he smoked marijuana on the White House roof.

Later career (1990–present)

In 1996, Nelson re-recorded the tracks “Hello Walls” with the band The Reverend Horton Heat, and “Bloody Mary Morning” with the Supersuckers for Twisted Willie, a tribute album featuring rock versions of Nelson’s songs performed by artists such as Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Jerry Cantrell, Mark Lanegan, L7, The Presidents of the United States of America, and Jello Biafra, among others. Proceeds from the sale of the record benefit Nelson’s Farm Aid.

During the 1990s and 2000s, Nelson toured continuously, recording several albums including 1998’s critically acclaimed Teatro,  and performed and recorded with other acts including Phish, Johnny Cash, and Toby Keith. His duet with Keith, “Beer for My Horses”, was released as a single and topped the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts for six consecutive weeks in 2003, while the accompanying video won an award for “Best Video” at the 2004 Academy of Country Music Awards. A USA Network television special celebrated Nelson’s 70th birthday, and Nelson released The Essential Willie Nelson as part of the celebration. Nelson also appeared on Ringo Starr’s 2003 album, Ringo Rama, as a guest vocal on “Write One for Me”.

Nelson was featured on the album True Love by Toots and the Maytals, which won the Grammy Award in 2004 for Best Reggae Album, and showcased many notable musicians including Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Trey Anastasio, Gwen Stefani, and Keith Richards. In the following year of 2005, Nelson released a reggae album entitled Countryman which featured Toots Hibbert of Toots and the Maytals on the song “I’m a Worried Man”.

Nelson headlined the 2005 Tsunami Relief Austin to Asia concert to benefit the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, which raised an estimated $75 thousand for UNICEF. Also in 2005, a live performance of the Johnny Cash song “Busted” with Ray Charles was released on Charles’ duets album Genius & Friends. Nelson’s 2007 performance with jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis at the Lincoln Center, was released as the live album Two Men with the Blues in 2008; reaching number one in Billboard’s Top Jazz Albums and number twenty on the Billboard 200. The same year, Nelson recorded his first album with Buddy Cannon as the producer, Moment of Forever. Cannon acquainted Nelson earlier, during the production of his collaboration with Kenny Chesney on the duet “That Lucky Old Sun”, for Chesney’s album of the same name. In 2009 Nelson and Marsalis joined with Norah Jones in a tribute concert to Ray Charles, which resulted in the Here We Go Again: Celebrating the Genius of Ray Charles album, released in 2011.

In 2010, Nelson released Country Music, a compilation of standards produced by T-Bone Burnett. The album peaked number four in Billboard’s Top Country Albums, and twenty on the Billboard 200. It was nominated for Best Americana Album at the 2011 Grammy Awards. In 2011 Nelson participated in the concert Kokua For Japan, a fund raising event for the victims of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan which raised $1.6 million.

In February 2012, Legacy Recordings signed a deal with Nelson that included the release of new material, as well as past releases that would be selected and complemented with outtakes and other material selected by him. With the new deal, Buddy Cannon returned to produce the recordings of Nelson. After selecting the material and the sound of the tunes with the singer, Cannon’s work method consisted in the recording of the tracks with studio musicians, with the takes later completed on a separate session by Nelson with his guitar. Cannon’s association to Nelson also extended to songwriting, with singer and producer composing the lyrics by exchanging text messages.

Nelson’s first release for the Legacy Recordings was Heroes, that included guest appearances by his sons Lukas and Micah of the band Insects vs Robots, Ray Price, Merle Haggard, Snoop Dogg, Kris Kristofferson, Jamey Johnson, Billy Joe Shaver and Sheryl Crow. The album reached number four on Billboard’s Top Country Albums.  His 2013 release To All the Girls…, a collection of duets with all female partners, featured among others Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Rosanne Cash, Sheryl Crow, Mavis Staples, Norah Jones, Emmylou Harris, Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert. The album entered Billboard’s Top Country Albums at number two, marking his highest position on the chart since the release of his 1989 A Horse Called Music, and extending his record to a total of forty-six top ten albums on the country charts. Nelson scored as well his second top ten album on the Billboard 200, with the release entering at number nine.

His following release was Band of Brothers, in 2014, the first Nelson album to feature the most newly self-penned songs since 1996’s Spirit. Upon its release, it topped Billboard’s Top Country albums chart, the first time since 1986’s The Promiseland, the last Nelson album to top it. The release reached number five on the Billboard 200, Nelson’s highest position on the chart since 1982’s Always on My Mind. In December 2014, a duet with Rhonda Vincent, “Only Me”, topped Bluegrass Unlimited’s National Airplay chart. In June 2015, his collaboration with Haggard Django and Jimmie topped Billboard’s Top Country albums chart and reached number seven on the Billboard 200.

In 2017, Nelson released God’s Problem Child. The release, consisting mostly of Nelson originals co-written with Cannon, entered the Top country albums at number one, while it reached number ten on the Billboard 200.

In 2018, Nelson sang a song written by Daniel Lanois called “Cruel World” for the soundtrack of Rockstar Games’s action-adventure video game Red Dead Redemption 2. Lanois wrote the song especially for Nelson. When a hurricane prevented Nelson from recording the song, the production team sent the track to Josh Homme in the hopes that he could record it in time for the game’s release. Nelson was ultimately able to record the song in time in Los Angeles; the team considered combining the two versions into a duet, but ultimately included both versions in the game. Also in 2018, Nelson was one of several artists on Restoration, a cover album containing various country renditions of songs originally by Elton John, on which he performed “Border Song”.

Following the U.S. coronavirus pandemic lockdowns that began in March 2020, Nelson livestreamed a series of benefit concerts. The first two raised $700,000 for people who had suffered financial loss due to effects on the U.S. economy.  The third, which was held on April 20, 2020, was a variety show titled Come and Toke It.  Some of the content was cannabis-themed, and some of the proceeds will be used to support The Last Prisoner Project, a restorative justice program relating to persons convicted of cannabis related crimes.

In 2020, Nelson was approached by Karen O of The Yeah Yeah Yeahs to collaborate. They chose to do a cover of David Bowie and Queen’s Under Pressure.

IRS troubles

In 1990, the IRS seized most of Nelson’s assets, claiming that he owed $32 million. In addition to the unpaid taxes, Nelson’s situation was worsened by the weak investments he had made during the early 1980s.  In 1978, after he fired Reshen, Nelson was introduced by Dallas lawyer Terry Bray to the accounting firm Price Waterhouse. To repay the debt Reshen had created with the IRS, Nelson was recommended to invest in tax shelters that ultimately flopped.  While the IRS disallowed his deductions for 1980, 1981 and 1982 (at a time that Nelson’s income multiplied), due to penalties and interests, the debt increased by the end of the decade.

His lawyer, Jay Goldberg, negotiated the sum to be lowered to $16 million. Later, Nelson’s attorney renegotiated a settlement with the IRS in which he paid $6 million, although Nelson did not comply with the agreement. Nelson released The IRS Tapes: Who’ll Buy My Memories? as a double album, with all profits destined for the IRS. Many of his assets were auctioned and purchased by friends, who donated or rented his possessions to him for a nominal fee. He sued Price Waterhouse, contending that they put his money in illegal tax shelters. The lawsuit was settled for an undisclosed amount and Nelson cleared his debts by 1993.

Other ventures

Nelson’s acting debut was in the 1979 film The Electric Horseman, followed by appearances in Honeysuckle Rose, Thief, and Barbarosa. He played the role of Red Loon in Coming Out of the Ice in 1982 and starred in Songwriter two years later. He portrayed the lead role in the 1986 film version of his album Red Headed Stranger. Other movies that Nelson acted in include Wag the Dog, Gone Fishin’ (as Billy ‘Catch’ Pooler), the 1986 television movie Stagecoach (with Johnny Cash), Half Baked, Beerfest, The Dukes of Hazzard, Surfer, Dude and Swing Vote. He has also made guest appearances on Miami Vice (1986’s “El Viejo” episode); Delta; Nash Bridges; The Simpsons; Monk; Adventures in Wonderland; Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman; King of the Hill; The Colbert Report; Swing Vote; and Space Ghost Coast to Coast.

In 1988 his first book, Willie: An Autobiography, was published. The Facts of Life: And Other Dirty Jokes, a personal recollection of tour and musical stories from his career, combined with song lyrics, followed in 2002. In 2005 he co-authored Farm Aid: A Song for America, a commemorative book about the twentieth anniversary of the foundation of Farm Aid. His third book, co-authored with long-time friend Turk Pipkin, The Tao of Willie: A Guide to the Happiness in Your Heart, was published in 2006. In 2007 a book advocating the use of bio-diesel and the reduction of gas emissions, On The Clean Road Again: Biodiesel and The Future of the Family Farm, was published. His next book, A Tale Out of Luck, published in 2008 and co-authored by Mike Blakely, was Nelson’s first fictional book. In 2012, it was announced the release of a new autobiography by Nelson, Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die: Musings from the Road. Released on November 13, it was named after the song from his album Heroes. The book contained further biographical details, as well as family pictures and stories about Nelson’s political views, as well as his advocation for marijuana. The artwork of the book was designed by Nelson’s son, Micah, and the foreword written by Kinky Friedman. In 2015, the publication of a second Nelson autobiography entitled It’s a Long Story: My Life co-authored with David Ritz, the book was published on May 5, 2015. Pretty Paper, another collaboration with Ritz was published the following year.

In 2002, Nelson became the official spokesman of the Texas Roadhouse, a chain of steakhouses. Nelson heavily promoted the chain and appeared on a special on Food Network. The chain installed Willie’s Corner, a section dedicated to him and decked out with Willie memorabilia, at several locations.

In 2008, Nelson reopened Willie’s Place, a truck stop in Carl’s Corner, Texas. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court allowed Nelson to invest in it. The establishment had about 80 employees and was used as a concert hall with a bar and a 1,000 square feet (93 m2) dance floor. It closed in 2011 after defaulting on a loan, leading to foreclosure and bankruptcy. In 2010, Nelson founded with the collaboration of producers and filmmakers Luck Films, a company dedicated to produce feature films, documentaries and concerts. The next year, he created the Willie’s Roadhouse show which aired on channel 56 of SiriusXM radio. The channel was a result of the merger of his two other channels The Roadhouse and Willie’s Place.

In November 2014, it was announced that Nelson would be the host of the television series Inside Arlyn, shot at Arlyn Studio in Austin, Texas. The thirteen-episode first season would feature artists being interviewed by Nelson and Dan Rather, followed by a performance. The series concept received attention from cable channels that requested to see the pilot episode. Following the legalization of marijuana in different states, Nelson announced in 2015 through spokesman Michael Bowman the establishment of his own marijuana brand, Willie’s Reserve. Plans to open chain stores in the states where marijuana was legalized were announced, to be expanded state-to-state if marijuana legalization is further expanded. Bowman called the brand “a culmination of (Nelson’s) vision, and his whole life”.

In 2017, Nelson appeared as himself in Woody Harrelson’s live film, Lost in London. In June 2017, he appeared alongside Merle Haggard in the documentary The American Epic Sessions directed by Bernard MacMahon. They performed a song Haggard had composed for the film, “The Only Man Wilder Than Me”, and Bob Wills’s classic “Old Fashioned Love”,  which they recorded live direct to disc on the first electrical sound recording system from the 1920s. It was the last filmed performance of the pair. Rolling Stone commented that “in the final performance of Sessions, Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard perform the duet ‘The Only Man Wilder Than Me.’ Haggard has a look of complete joy on his face throughout the session in the old-timey recording set-up once used by his musical heroes.”

Music style

Nelson uses a variety of music styles to create his own distinctive blend of country music, a hybrid of jazz, pop, blues, rock and folk. His “unique sound”, which uses a “relaxed, behind-the-beat singing style and gut-string guitar” and his “nasal voice and jazzy, off-center phrasing”, has been responsible for his wide appeal, and has made him a “vital icon in country music”, influencing the “new country, new traditionalist, and alternative country movements of the 1980s and 1990s”.

Guitars

In 1969, the Baldwin company gave Nelson an amplifier and guitar with their “Prismatone” pickup. During a show in Helotes, Texas, Nelson left the guitar on the floor of the stage, and it was later stepped on by a drunk man. He sent it to be repaired in Nashville by Shot Jackson, who told Nelson that the damage was too great. Jackson offered him a Martin N-20 Classical guitar, and, at Nelson’s request, moved the pickup to the Martin. Nelson purchased the guitar unseen for $750 and named it after Roy Rogers’ horse “Trigger”. The next year Nelson rescued the guitar from his burning ranch.

Constant strumming with a guitar pick over the decades has worn a large sweeping hole into the guitar’s body near the sound hole—the N-20 has no pick-guard since classical guitars are meant to be played fingerstyle instead of with picks. Its soundboard has been signed by over a hundred of Nelson’s friends and associates, ranging from fellow musicians to lawyers and football coaches. The first signature on the guitar was Leon Russell’s, who asked Nelson initially to sign his guitar. When Nelson was about to sign it with a marker, Russell requested him to scratch it instead, explaining that the guitar would be more valuable in the future. Interested in the concept, Nelson requested Russell to also sign his guitar. In 1991, during his process with the IRS, Nelson was worried that Trigger could be auctioned off, stating: “When Trigger goes, I’ll quit”. He asked his daughter, Lana, to take the guitar from the studio before any IRS agent arrived there, and then deliver it to him in Maui. Nelson then concealed the guitar in his manager’s house until his debt was paid off in 1993.

Activism

Nelson is active in a number of issues. Along with Neil Young and John Mellencamp, he set up Farm Aid in 1985 to assist and increase awareness of the importance of family farms, after Bob Dylan’s comments during the Live Aid concert that he hoped some of the money would help American farmers in danger of losing their farms through mortgage debt. The first concert included Dylan, Billy Joel, B.B. King, Roy Orbison, and Neil Young among many others, and raised over $9 million for America’s family farmers. Besides organizing and performing in the annual concerts, Nelson is the president of the board of Farm Aid.

Nelson is a co-chair of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) advisory board. He has worked with NORML for years, promoting marijuana legalization. In 2005 Nelson and his family hosted the first annual “Willie Nelson & NORML Benefit Golf Tournament”, leading to a cover appearance and inside interview in the January 2008 issue of High Times magazine. After his arrest for possession of marijuana in 2010, Nelson created the TeaPot party under the motto “Tax it, regulate it and legalize it!”

In 2001, following the September 11 attacks, he participated in the benefit telethon America: A Tribute to Heroes, leading the rest of the celebrities singing the song “America the Beautiful”. In 2010, during an interview with Larry King, Nelson expressed his doubts with regards to the attacks and the official story. Nelson explained that he could not believe that the buildings could collapse due to the planes, attributing instead the result to an implosion.

Nelson supported Dennis Kucinich’s campaign in the 2004 Democratic presidential primaries. He raised money, appeared at events, and composed the song “Whatever Happened to Peace on Earth?”, criticizing the war in Iraq. He recorded a radio advertisement asking for support to put musician/author Kinky Friedman on the ballot as an independent candidate for the 2006 Texas gubernatorial election.  Friedman promised Nelson a job in Austin as the head of a new Texas Energy Commission due to his support of bio-fuels. In January 2008, Nelson filed a suit against the Texas Democratic Party, alleging that the party violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution by refusing to allow co-plaintiff Kucinich to appear on the primary ballot because he had scratched out part of the loyalty oath on his application.

In 2004, Nelson and his wife Annie became partners with Bob and Kelly King in the building of two Pacific Bio-diesel plants, one in Salem, Oregon, and the other at Carl’s Corner, Texas (the Texas plant was founded by Carl Cornelius, a longtime Nelson friend and the eponym for Carl’s Corner). In 2005, Nelson and several other business partners formed Willie Nelson Biodiesel (“Bio-Willie”), a company that is marketing bio-diesel bio-fuel to truck stops. The fuel is made from vegetable oil (mainly soybean oil), and can be burned without modification in diesel engines.

Nelson is an advocate for better treatment for horses and has been campaigning for the passage of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (H.R. 503/S. 311) alongside the Animal Welfare Institute. He is on its board of directors and has adopted a number of horses from Habitat for Horses. In 2008, Nelson signed on to warn consumers about the cruel and illegal living conditions for calves raised to produce milk for dairy products. He wrote letters to Land O’Lakes and Challenge Dairy, two of the major corporations that use milk from calves raised at California’s Mendes Calf Ranch, which employs an intensive confinement practice that was the subject of a lawsuit and campaign brought by the Animal Legal Defense Fund. Nelson is seen in the film The Garden supporting the impoverished community South Central Farm in Southern Los Angeles.

A supporter of the LGBT movement, Nelson published in 2006 through iTunes a version of Ned Sublette’s “Cowboys Are Frequently, Secretly Fond of Each Other”, that met instant success. During an interview with Texas Monthly in 2013, regarding the Defense of Marriage Act and Same-sex marriage in the United States, Nelson responded to a comparison the interviewer made with the Civil Rights Movement, stating: “We’ll look back and say it was crazy that we ever even argued about this”. He also presented two logos with the pink equal sign, symbol of the LGBT movement. The first one, featured the sign represented with two long braids; while the second one, featured the sign represented with two marijuana cigarettes. The use of the logos became popular quickly in social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

In June 2018, Nelson deplored the Trump administration family separation policy. During his Fourth of July Picnic, he performed a song with Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic candidate for the Senate election in Texas. Nelson endorsed O’Rourke, and received negative reactions from the conservative part of his followers. On September 29, 2018, Nelson offered a free concert in Austin supporting the candidate’s run. The last number he performed was “Vote ‘Em Out”, a new track that was subsequently released as a single.

Personal life

Nelson has been married four times and has seven children. His first marriage was to Martha Matthews from 1952 to 1962. The couple had three children: Lana, Susie, and Willie “Billy” Hugh, Jr. The latter killed himself in 1991. The marriage was marked by violence, with Matthews assaulting Nelson several times, including one incident when she sewed him up in bedsheets and beat him with a broomstick. Nelson’s next marriage was to Shirley Collie in 1963. The couple divorced in 1971, after Collie found a bill from the maternity ward of a Houston hospital charged to Nelson and Connie Koepke for the birth of Paula Carlene Nelson. Nelson married Koepke the same year, and they had another daughter, Amy Lee Nelson. Following a divorce in 1988, he married his current wife, Annie D’Angelo, in 1991. They have two sons, Lukas Autry and Jacob Micah.

Nelson owns “Luck, Texas”, a ranch in Spicewood, and also lives in Maui, Hawaii with several celebrity neighbors. While swimming in Hawaii in 1981, Nelson’s lung collapsed. He was taken to the Maui Memorial Hospital and his scheduled concerts were canceled. Nelson temporarily stopped smoking cigarettes each time his lungs became congested, and resumed when the congestion ended. He was then smoking between two and three packs per day. After suffering from pneumonia several times, he decided to quit either marijuana or tobacco. He chose to quit tobacco.[181] In 2008, he started to smoke marijuana with a carbon-free system to avoid the effects of smoke. In 2004 Nelson underwent surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome, as he had damaged his wrists by continuously playing the guitar. On the recommendation of his doctor, he canceled his scheduled concerts and only wrote songs during his recovery. In 2012 he canceled a fund-raising appearance in the Denver area. He suffered from breathing problems due to high altitude and emphysema and was taken to a local hospital. His publicist Elaine Schock confirmed soon after that Nelson’s health was good and that he was heading to his next scheduled concert in Dallas, Texas. After repeated instances of pneumonia and emphysema through the years, Nelson underwent stem-cell therapy in 2015 to improve the state of his lungs.

During his childhood, Nelson grew interested in martial arts. He ordered self-defense manuals on jujitsu and judo that he saw advertised in Batman and Superman comic books. Nelson started to formally practice kung fu after he moved to Nashville, in the 1960s. During the 1980s, Nelson began training in taekwondo and now holds a second-degree black belt in that discipline. During the 1990s, Nelson started to practice the Korean martial art GongKwon Yusul. In 2014, after twenty years in the discipline, his Grand Master Sam Um presented him with a fifth-degree black belt in a ceremony held in Austin, Texas. A 2014 Tae Kwon Do Times magazine interview revealed that Nelson had developed an unorthodox manner of training during the lengthy periods of time he was on tour. Nelson would conduct his martial arts training on his tour bus “The Honeysuckle Rose” and send videos to his supervising Master for review and critique.

Legal issues

Nelson has been arrested several times for marijuana possession. The first occasion was in 1974 in Dallas, Texas. In 1977 after a tour with Hank Cochran, Nelson traveled to The Bahamas. Nelson and Cochran arrived late to the airport and boarded the flight without luggage. The bags were later sent to them. As Nelson and Cochran claimed their luggage in the Bahamas, a customs officer questioned Nelson after marijuana was found in a pair of his jeans. Nelson was arrested and jailed. As Cochran made arrangements to pay the bail, he took Nelson a six-pack of beer to his cell. Nelson was released a few hours later. Inebriated, he fell after he jumped celebrating and was taken to the emergency room. He then appeared before the judge, who dropped the charges but ordered Nelson to never return to the country.

In 1994, highway patrolmen found marijuana in his car near Waco, Texas. His requirement to appear in court prevented him attending the Grammy awards that year.  While traveling to Ann W. Richards’ funeral in 2006, Nelson, along with his manager and his sister, Bobbie, were arrested in St. Martin Parish, Louisiana and charged with possession of marijuana and hallucinogenic mushrooms.  Nelson received six months probation.

On November 26, 2010, Nelson was arrested in Sierra Blanca, Texas, for possession of six ounces of marijuana found in his tour bus while traveling from Los Angeles back to Texas. He was released after paying bail of $2,500. Prosecutor Kit Bramblett supported not sentencing Nelson to jail due to the small amount of marijuana involved, but suggested instead a $100 fine and told Nelson that he would have him sing “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” for the court. Judge Becky Dean-Walker said that Nelson would have to pay the fine but not to perform the song, explaining that the prosecutor was joking. Nelson’s lawyer Joe Turner reached an agreement with the prosecutor. Nelson was set to pay a $500 fine to avoid a two-year jail sentence with a 30-day review period, which in case of another incident would end the agreement. The judge later rejected the agreement, claiming that Nelson was receiving preferential treatment for his celebrity status; the offense normally carried a one-year jail sentence. Bramblett declared that the case would remain open until it was either dismissed or the judge changed her opinion.

Legacy

Nelson is widely recognized as an American icon. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1993, and he received the Kennedy Center Honors in 1998.[ In 2011, Nelson was inducted to the National Agricultural Hall of Fame, for his labor in Farm Aid and other fund raisers to benefit farmers. In 2015 Nelson won the Gershwin Prize, the lifetime award of the Library of Congress. In 2018 The Texas Institute of Letters inducted him among its members for his songwriting. He was included by Rolling Stone on its 100 Greatest Singers and 100 Greatest Guitarists lists.

In 2003, Texas Governor Perry signed bill No. 2582, introduced by State Representative Elizabeth Ames Jones and Senator Jeff Wentworth, which funded the Texas Music Project, the state’s official music charity. Nelson was named honorary chairman of the advisory board of the project. In 2005, Democratic Texas Senator Gonzalo Barrientos introduced a bill to name 49 miles (79 km) of the Travis County section of State Highway 130 after Nelson, and at one point 23 of the 31 state senators were co-sponsors of the bill. The legislation was dropped after two Republican senators, Florence Shapiro and Wentworth, objected, citing Nelson’s lack of connection to the highway, his fund raisers for Democrats, his drinking, and his marijuana advocacy.

An important collection of Willie Nelson materials (1975–1994) became part of the Wittliff collections of Southwestern Writers, Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas. The collection contains lyrics, screenplays, letters, concert programs, tour itineraries, posters, articles, clippings, personal effects, promotional items, souvenirs, and documents. It documents Nelson’s IRS troubles and how Farm Aid contributions were used. Most of the material was collected by Nelson’s friend Bill Wittliff, who wrote or co-wrote Honeysuckle Rose, Barbarosa and Red Headed Stranger. In 2014, Nelson donated his personal collection to the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History. The items include photographs, correspondence, song manuscripts, posters, certificate records, awards, signed books, screenplays, personal items and gifts and tributes from Nelson’s fans.

In April 2010, Nelson received the “Feed the Peace” award from The Nobelity Project for his extensive work with Farm Aid and overall contributions to world peace. On June 23, 2010, he was inducted into the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry. Nelson is an honorary trustee of the Dayton International Peace Museum. In 2010, Austin, Texas renamed Second Street to Willie Nelson Boulevard. The city also unveiled a life-size statue to honor him, placed at the entrance of Austin City Limits’ new studio. The non-profit organization Capital Area Statues commissioned sculptor Clete Shields to execute the project. The statue was unveiled on April 20, 2012. The date selected by the city of Austin unintentionally coincided with the number 4/20, associated with cannabis culture. In spite of the coincidence and Nelson’s advocacy for the legalization of marijuana, the ceremony was scheduled also for 4:20 pm. During the ceremony, Nelson performed the song “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die”. The same year, Nelson was honored during the 46th Annual Country Music Association Awards as the first recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, which was also named after him.[ In 2013, he received an honorary doctorate from the Berklee College of Music. The following year, he was part of the inaugural class inducted into the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame. Also included among the first inductees was his friend Darrell Royal, whose jamming parties that Nelson participated in were the source of inspiration for the show.

For many years, Nelson’s image was marked by his red hair, often divided into two long braids partially concealed under a bandanna. In the April 2007 issue of Stuff Magazine Nelson was interviewed about his long locks. “I started braiding my hair when it started getting too long, and that was, I don’t know, probably in the 70’s.” On May 26, 2010, the Associated Press reported that Nelson had cut his hair, and Nashville music journalist Jimmy Carter published a photograph of the pigtail-free Nelson on his website. Nelson wanted a more maintainable hairstyle, as well helping him stay cool more easily at his Maui home. In October 2014, the braids of Nelson were sold for $37,000 at an auction of the Waylon Jennings estate. In 1983, Nelson cut his braids and gave them to Jennings as a gift during a party celebrating Jennings’ sobriety.

Nelson’s touring and recording group, the Family, is full of longstanding members. The original lineup included his sister Bobbie Nelson, drummer Paul English, harmonicist Mickey Raphael, bassist Bee Spears, Billy English (Paul’s younger brother), and Jody Payne. The current lineup includes all the members but Jody Payne, who retired, and Bee Spears, who died in 2011. Willie & Family tours North America in the bio-diesel bus Honeysuckle Rose, which is fueled by Bio-Willie. Nelson’s tour buses were customized by Florida Coach since 1979. The company built the Honeysuckle Rose I in 1983, which was replaced after a collision in Nova Scotia, Canada, in 1990. The interior was salvaged and reused for the second version of the bus the same year. Nelson changed his tour bus in 1996, 2005 and 2013, currently touring on the Honeysuckle Rose V.

 

 

Lyrics


Stephen Foster

Key: Bb

Genre: Country

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

Stephen Collins Foster (July 4, 1826 – January 13, 1864), known also as “the father of American music”, was an American songwriter known primarily for his parlor and minstrel music. He wrote more than 200 songs, including “Oh! Susanna”, “Hard Times Come Again No More”, “Camptown Races”, “Old Folks at Home” (“Swanee River”), “My Old Kentucky Home”, “Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair”, “Old Black Joe”, and “Beautiful Dreamer”, and many of his compositions remain popular today. He has been identified as “the most famous songwriter of the nineteenth century” and may be the most recognizable American composer in other countries. Most of his handwritten music manuscripts are lost, but editions issued by publishers of his day feature in various collections.

Biography

There are many biographies on Foster, but details can differ widely. In addition, Foster wrote very little biographical information himself, and his brother Morrison Foster destroyed much of the information that he judged to reflect negatively upon the family.

Foster was born on July 4, 1826, to William Barclay Foster and Eliza Clayland Tomlinson Foster, with three older sisters and six older brothers. His parents were of Ulster Scots and English descent. He attended private academies in Allegheny, Athens, and Towanda, Pennsylvania and received an education in English grammar, diction, the classics, penmanship, Latin, Greek, and mathematics. The family lived in a northern city but they did not support the abolition of slavery.

Foster taught himself to play the clarinet, guitar, flute, and piano. He did not have formal instruction in composition but he was helped by Henry Kleber (1816–97), a German-born music dealer in Pittsburgh. In 1839, his brother William was serving his apprenticeship as an engineer at Towanda and thought that Stephen would benefit from being under his supervision. The site of the Camptown Races is 30 miles (48 km) from Athens and 15 miles from Towanda. His education included a brief period at Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania, now Washington & Jefferson College. His tuition was paid, but he had little spending money. He left Canonsburg to visit Pittsburgh with another student and did not return.

Career

In 1846, Foster moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, and became a bookkeeper with his brother Dunning’s steamship company. He wrote his first successful songs in 1848–1849, among them “Oh! Susanna”, which became an anthem of the California Gold Rush. In 1849, he published Foster’s Ethiopian Melodies, which included the successful song “Nelly Was a Lady” as made famous by the Christy Minstrels. A plaque marks the site of his residence in Cincinnati, where the Guilford School building is now located.
House in Hoboken, New Jersey where Foster is believed to have written “Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair” in 1854

Then he returned to Pennsylvania and signed a contract with the Christy Minstrels. It was during this period that he wrote most of his best-known songs: “Camptown Races” (1850), “Nelly Bly” (1850), “Ring de Banjo” (1851), “Old Folks at Home” (known also as “Swanee River”, 1851), “My Old Kentucky Home” (1853), “Old Dog Tray” (1853), and “Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair” (1854), written for his wife Jane Denny McDowell.
A Pittsburgh Press illustration of the original headstone on Stephen Foster’s grave

Many of Foster’s songs were of the blackface minstrel show tradition popular at the time but now recognized as racist. He sought to “build up taste…among refined people by making words suitable to their taste, instead of the trashy and really offensive words which belong to some songs of that order”.[citation needed] In the 1850s, he associated with a Pittsburgh-area abolitionist leader named Charles Shiras, and wrote an abolitionist play himself.  Many of his songs had Southern themes, yet Foster never lived in the South and visited it only once, during his 1852 honeymoon.

Foster’s last four years were spent in New York City. There is little information on this period of his life, although family correspondence has been preserved.

Illness and death

Foster got sick with a fever in January 1864. Weakened, he fell in his hotel in the Bowery, cutting his neck. His writing partner George Cooper found him still alive but lying in a pool of blood. Foster died in Bellevue Hospital three days later at the age of 37. Other biographers describe different accounts of his death.

Historian JoAnne O’Connell speculates in her biography, The Life and Songs of Stephen Foster, that Foster may have killed himself, a common occurrence during the Civil War. George Cooper, who was with Foster until he died, said: “He lay there on the floor, naked, suffering horribly. He had wonderful big brown eyes, and they looked up at me with an appeal I can never forget. He whispered, ‘I’m done for.’” Unlike Foster’s brother Morrison, who was not in New York and said Foster was ill and cut his neck on a washbasin, Cooper mentioned no broken crockery and also said Foster had a “large knife” for cutting up apples and turnips. Morrison may have covered up Foster’s suicide. Evelyn Morneweck, Morrison’s daughter, also said the family would have covered up the suicide of their uncle if they could have.

As O’Connell and musicologist Ken Emerson have noted, several of the songs Foster wrote during the last years of his life foreshadow his death, such as “The Little Ballad Girl” and “Kiss Me Dear Mother Ere I Die.”Emerson says in his 2010 Stephen Foster and Co. that Foster’s injuries may have been “accidental or self-inflicted.”
Telegram that communicated Stephen Foster’s death addressed to his brother Morrison Foster

When Foster died, his leather wallet contained a scrap of paper that simply said, “Dear friends and gentle hearts”, along with 38 cents (one for each year of his life) in Civil War scrip and three pennies. The note is said to have inspired Bob Hilliard’s lyric for “Dear Hearts and Gentle People” (1949). Foster was buried in the Allegheny Cemetery in Pittsburgh. After his death, Morrison Foster became his “literary executor”. As such, he answered requests for copies of manuscripts, autographs, and biographical information. One of the best-loved of his works was “Beautiful Dreamer”, published shortly after his death.

Music

Foster grew up in a section of the city where many European immigrants had settled and was accustomed to hearing the music of the Italian, Scots-Irish, and German residents. He composed his first song when he was 14 and entitled it the “Tioga Waltz”. The first song that he had published was “Open thy Lattice Love” (1844). He wrote songs in support of drinking, such as “My Wife Is a Most Knowing Woman”, “Mr. and Mrs. Brown”, and “When the Bowl Goes Round”, while also composing temperance songs such as “Comrades Fill No Glass for Me” or “The Wife”. Foster also authored many church hymns, although the inclusion of his hymns in hymnals ended by 1910. Some of the hymns are “Seek and ye shall find”, “All around is bright and fair, While we work for Jesus”, and “Blame not those who weep and sigh”.  Several rare Civil War-era hymns by Foster were performed by The Old Stoughton Musical Society Chorus, including “The Pure, The Bright, The Beautiful”, “Over The River”, “Give Us This Day”, and “What Shall The Harvest Be?”

Foster usually sent his handwritten scores directly to his publishers. The publishers kept the sheet music manuscripts and did not give them to libraries nor return them to his heirs. Some of his original, hand-written scores were bought and put into private collections and the Library of Congress.

Popular songs

Foster’s songs, lyrics, and melodies have often been altered by publishers and performers. Ray Charles released a version of “Old Folks at Home” that was titled “Swanee River Rock (Talkin’ ’Bout That River),” which became his first pop hit in November 1957.

“My Old Kentucky Home” is the official state song of Kentucky, adopted by the General Assembly on March 19, 1928. “Old Folks at Home” became the official state song of Florida, designated in 1935. The lyrics are widely regarded as racist today, however, so “Old Folks at Home” was modified with approval from the Stephen Foster Memorial. The modified song was kept as the official state song, while “Florida (Where the Sawgrass Meets the Sky)” was added as the state anthem.

Critics and controversies

From a modern perspective Foster’s compositions can be seen as disparaging to African Americans, or outright racist. Apologists have argued that Foster unveiled the realities of slavery in his work while also imparting some dignity to African Americans in his compositions, especially as he grew as an artist.[ Foster composed many songs that were used in minstrel shows. This form of public entertainment lampooned African Americans as buffoonish, superstitious, without a care, musical, lazy, and dim-witted. In the early 1830s, these minstrel shows gained popularity, and blackface minstrel shows were a separate musical art form by 1848, more readily accessible to the general public than opera.

Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford Museum

In 1935, Henry Ford ceremonially presented a new addition to his historical collection of early American memorabilia in the “Home of Stephen Foster”. The structure was identified by notable historians of the time as being authentic and was then deconstructed and moved “piece by piece” from Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania (now part of Pittsburgh), to Greenfield Village, attached to the Henry Ford Museum, in Dearborn, Michigan. Foster’s niece insisted that it was not his birthplace, and the claim was withdrawn in 1953. Greenfield Village still displays a structure that is identified as the birthplace of Stephen Foster.  The Foster family stated that the original Foster birthplace structure was torn down in 1865.

Legacy

Musical influence

  • Many early filmmakers selected Foster’s songs for their work because his copyrights had expired and cost them nothing.
  • Professor of Folklore and musician John Minton wrote a song titled “Stephen C. Foster’s Blues”.
  • Erika M. Anderson, of the band EMA, refers to Foster’s “Camptown Races” in the song “California”, from past Life Martyred Saints (2011): “I bet my money on the bobtail nag/somebody bet on the bay.”
  • The Firesign Theatre makes many references to Foster’s compositions in their CD, Boom Dot Bust (1999, Rhino Records)
  • Larry Kirwan of Black 47 mixes the music of Foster with his own in the musical Hard Times, which earned a New York Times accolade in its original run: “a knockout entertainment”. Kirwan gives a contemporary interpretation of Foster’s troubled later years and sets it in the tumultuous time of the New York draft riots and the Irish–Negro relations of the period. A revival ran at the Cell Theater in New York in early 2014, and a revised version of the musical, called Paradise Square opened at Berkeley Repertory Theatre in 2018.
  • Gordon Lightfoot wrote a song in 1970 titled “Your Love’s Return (Song for Stephen Foster)”
  • Spike Jones recorded a comedy send-up “I Dream of Brownie in the Light Blue Jeans.”
  • Humorist Stan Freberg imagined a 1950s style version of Foster’s music in “Rock Around Stephen Foster” and, with Harry Shearer, had a sketch about Foster having writer’s block in a bit from his “United States of America” project.
  • Songwriter Tom Shaner mentions Stephen Foster meeting up with Eminem’s alter ego “Slim Shady” on the Bowery in Shaner’s song “Rock & Roll is A Natural Thing.”
  • The music of Stephen Foster was an early influence on the Australian composer Percy Grainger, who stated that hearing “Camptown Races” sung by his mother was one of his earliest musical recollections. He went on to write a piece entitled “Tribute to Foster,” a composition for mixed choir, orchestra, and pitched wine glasses based on the melody of “Camptown Races.”
  • Art Garfunkel was cast as Stephen Foster and sang his songs in an elementary school play in Queens, New York
  • Neil Sedaka wrote and recorded a song about Foster and released it on his 1975 album, The Hungry Years.
  • Alternative country duo The Handsome Family‘s song “Wildebeest,” from their 2013 album Wilderness, is about Foster’s death.

Television

  • Two television shows about the life of Foster and his childhood friend (and later wife) Jane MacDowell were produced in Japan, the first in 1979 with 13 episodes, and the second from 1992 to 1993 with 52 episodes; both were titled Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair after the song of the same name.
  • In the Honeymooners episode, “The $99,000 Answer,” Ed Norton warms up on the piano by playing the opening to “Swanee River.” Later, when Ralph returns to the game show, the first question asked is “Who is the composer of ‘Swanee River’?” Ralph nervously responds, “Ed Norton,” and loses the game.
  • In a “Fractured Fairy Tales” segment of The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, Aladdin finds a lamp with a female genie with light brown hair, who immediately asks, “Are you Stephen Foster?”

Film

Other events

  • “Stephen Foster! Super Saturday” is a day of thoroughbred racing during the Spring/Summer meet at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. During the call to the post, selections of Stephen Foster songs are played by the track bugler, Steve Buttleman. The day is headlined by the Stephen Foster Handicap, a Grade I dirt race for older horses at 9 furlongs.
  • 36 U.S.C. §140 designates January 13 as Stephen Foster Memorial Day, a United States National Observance. In 1936, Congress authorized the minting of a silver half dollar in honor of the Cincinnati Musical Center. Foster was featured on the obverse of the coin.
  • “Stephen Foster Music Camp” is a summer music camp held on EKU’s campus of Richmond, Kentucky. The camp offers piano courses, choir, band, and orchestra ensembles.

Art

 

Accolades and honors

Foster is honored on the University of Pittsburgh campus with the Stephen Foster Memorial, a landmark building that houses the Stephen Foster Memorial Museum, the Center for American Music, as well as two theaters: the Charity Randall Theatre and Henry Heymann Theatre, both performance spaces for Pitt’s Department of Theater Arts. It is the largest repository for original Stephen Foster compositions, recordings, and other memorabilia his songs have inspired worldwide.

Two state parks are named in Foster’s honor: the Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park in White Springs, Florida and Stephen C. Foster State Park in Georgia. Both parks are on the Suwannee River. Stephen Foster Lake at Mount Pisgah State Park in Pennsylvania is also named in his honor.

One state park is named in honor of Foster’s songs, My Old Kentucky Home, an historic mansion formerly named Federal Hill, located in Bardstown, Kentucky where Stephen is said to have been an occasional visitor according to his brother, Morrison Foster. The park dedicated a bronze statue in honor of Stephen’s work.

The Lawrenceville (Pittsburgh) Historical Society, together with the Allegheny Cemetery Historical Association, hosts the annual Stephen Foster Music and Heritage Festival (Doo Dah Days!). Held the first weekend of July, Doo Dah Days! celebrates the life and music of one of the most influential songwriters in America’s history. His home in the Lawrenceville Section of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, still remains on Penn Avenue nearby the Stephen Foster Community Center.

A 1900 statue of Foster by Giuseppe Moretti was located in Schenley Plaza, in Pittsburgh, from 1940 until 2018. On the unanimous recommendation of the Pittsburgh Art Commission, the statue was removed on April 26, 2018. Its new home has not yet been determined. It has a long reputation as the most controversial public art in Pittsburgh “for its depiction of an African-American banjo player at the feet of the seated composer. Critics say the statue glorifies white appropriation of black culture, and depicts the vacantly smiling musician in a way that is at best condescending and at worst racist.”  A city-appointed Task Force on Women in Public Art called for the statue to be replaced with one honoring an African American woman with ties to the Pittsburgh community. The Task Force held a series of community forums in Pittsburgh to collect public feedback on the statue replacement and circulated an online form which allowed the public to vote for one of seven previously selected candidates or write in an alternate suggestion. However, the Task Force on Women in Public Art and the Pittsburgh Art Commission have not reached an agreement as to who will be commemorated or if the statue will stay in the Schenley Plaza location.

Lyrics


Ludwig Van Beethoven

Key: Bb

Genre: Country

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

Ludwig van Beethoven (/ˈlʊdvɪɡ væn ˈbeɪtoʊvən/ (About this soundlisten); German: [ˈluːtvɪç fan ˈbeːtˌhoːfn̩] (About this soundlisten); baptised 17 December 1770 – 26 March 1827) was a German composer and pianist whose music ranks amongst the most performed of the classical music repertoire; he remains one of the most admired composers in the history of Western music. His works span the transition from the classical period to the romantic era in classical music. His career has conventionally been divided into early, middle, and late periods. The “early” period, during which he forged his craft, is typically considered to have lasted until 1802. From 1802 to around 1812, his “middle” period showed an individual development from the “classical” styles of Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and is sometimes characterized as “heroic.” During this time he began to suffer increasingly from deafness. In his “late” period from 1812 to his death in 1827, he extended his innovations in musical form and expression.

Born in Bonn, Beethoven’s musical talent was obvious at an early age, and he was initially harshly and intensively taught by his father Johann van Beethoven. Beethoven was later taught by the composer and conductor Christian Gottlob Neefe, under whose tutelage he published his first work, a set of keyboard variations, in 1783. He found relief from a dysfunctional home life with the family of Helene von Breuning, whose children he loved, befriended, and taught piano. At age 21, he moved to Vienna, which subsequently became his base, and studied composition with Haydn. Beethoven then gained a reputation as a virtuoso pianist, and he was soon courted by Karl Alois, Prince Lichnowsky for compositions, which resulted in his three Opus 1 piano trios (the earliest works to which he accorded an opus number) in 1795.

His first major orchestral work, the First Symphony, appeared in 1800, and his first set of string quartets was published in 1801. During this period, his hearing began to deteriorate, but he continued to conduct, premiering his Third and Fifth Symphonies in 1804 and 1808, respectively. His Violin Concerto appeared in 1806. His last piano concerto (No. 5, Op. 73, known as the ‘Emperor’), dedicated to his frequent patron Archduke Rudolf of Austria, was premiered in 1810, but not with Beethoven as soloist. He was almost completely deaf by 1814, and he then gave up performing and appearing in public. He described his problems with health and his unfulfilled personal life in two letters, his “Heiligenstadt Testament” (1802) to his brothers and his unsent love letter to an unknown “Immortal Beloved” (1812).

In the years from 1810, increasingly less socially involved, Beethoven composed many of his most admired works including his later symphonies and his mature chamber music and piano sonatas. His only opera, Fidelio, which had been first performed in 1805, was revised to its final version in 1814. He composed his Missa Solemnis in the years 1819–1823, and his final, Ninth, Symphony, one of the first examples of a choral symphony, in 1822–1824. Written in his last years, his late string quartets of 1825–26 are amongst his final achievements. After some months of bedridden illness, he died in 1827. Beethoven’s works remain mainstays of the classical music repertoire.

Life and career

Family and early life

Beethoven was the grandson of Ludwig van Beethoven (1712–1773)[n 1], a musician from the town of Mechelen in the Austrian Duchy of Brabant (in what is now the Flemish region of Belgium) who had moved to Bonn at the age of 21. Ludwig was employed as a bass singer at the court of Clemens August, Archbishop-Elector of Cologne, eventually rising to become, in 1761, Kapellmeister (music director) and hence a pre-eminent musician in Bonn. The portrait he commissioned of himself towards the end of his life remained displayed in his grandson’s rooms as a talisman of his musical heritage. Ludwig had one son, Johann (1740–1792), who worked as a tenor in the same musical establishment and gave keyboard and violin lessons to supplement his income.

Johann married Maria Magdalena Keverich in 1767; she was the daughter of Heinrich Keverich (1701–1751), who had been the head chef at the court of the Archbishopric of Trier. Beethoven was born of this marriage in Bonn at what is now the Beethoven House Museum, Bonnstrasse 20. There is no authentic record of the date of his birth; however, the registry of his baptism, in the Catholic Parish of St. Remigius on 17 December 1770, survives, and the custom in the region at the time was to carry out baptism within 24 hours of birth. There is a consensus, (with which Beethoven himself agreed) that his birth date was 16 December, but no documentary proof of this.

Of the seven children born to Johann van Beethoven, only Ludwig, the second-born, and two younger brothers survived infancy. Kaspar Anton Karl was born on 8 April 1774, and Nikolaus Johann, (generally known as Johann) the youngest, was born on 2 October 1776.

Beethoven’s first music teacher was his father. He later had other local teachers: the court organist Gilles van den Eeden (d. 1782), Tobias Friedrich Pfeiffer (a family friend, who provided keyboard tuition), Franz Rovantini (a relative, who instructed him in playing the violin and viola),[2] and court concertmaster Franz Anton Ries for the violin. His tuition began in his fifth year. The regime was harsh and intensive, often reducing him to tears. With the involvement of the insomniac Pfeiffer, there were irregular late-night sessions, with the young Beethoven being dragged from his bed to the keyboard. His musical talent was obvious at a young age. Johann, aware of Leopold Mozart’s successes in this area (with his son Wolfgang and daughter Nannerl), attempted to promote his son as a child prodigy, claiming that Beethoven was six (he was seven) on the posters for his first public performance in March 1778.

1780–1792: Bonn

In 1780 or 1781, Beethoven began his studies with his most important teacher in Bonn, Christian Gottlob Neefe. Neefe taught him composition; in March 1783 appeared Beethoven’s first published work, a set of keyboard variations (WoO 63).[n 2] Beethoven soon began working with Neefe as assistant organist, at first unpaid (1782), and then as a paid employee (1784) of the court chapel. His first three piano sonatas, WoO 47, sometimes known as “Kurfürst” (“Elector”) for their dedication to the Elector Maximilian Friedrich (1708–1784), were published in 1783. In the same year, the first printed reference to Beethoven appeared in the Magazin der Musik – “Louis van Beethoven [sic] … a boy of 11 years and most promising talent. He plays the piano very skilfully and with power, reads at sight very well … the chief piece he plays is Das wohltemperierte Klavier of Sebastian Bach, which Herr Neefe puts into his hands …” Maximilian Friedrich’s successor as the Elector of Bonn was Maximilian Franz. He gave some support to Beethoven, appointing him Court Organist and paying towards his visit to Vienna of 1792.

He was introduced in these years to several people who became important in his life. He often visited the cultivated von Breuning family, at whose home he taught piano to some of the children, and where the widowed Frau von Breuning offered him a motherly friendship. Here he also met Franz Wegeler, a young medical student, who became a lifelong friend (and was to marry one of the von Breuning daughters). The von Breuning family environment offered an alternative to his home life, which was increasingly dominated by his father’s decline. Another frequenter of the von Breunings was Count Ferdinand von Waldstein, who became a friend and financial supporter during Beethoven’s Bonn period. Waldstein was to commission in 1791 Beethoven’s first work for the stage, the ballet Musik zu einem Ritterballett (WoO 1).

In the period 1785–90 there is virtually no record of Beethoven’s activity as a composer. This may be attributed to the lukewarm response his initial publications had attracted, and also to ongoing problems in the Beethoven family. His mother died in 1787, shortly after Beethoven’s first visit to Vienna, where he stayed for about two weeks and almost certainly met Mozart. In 1789 Beethoven’s father was forcibly retired from the service of the Court (as a consequence of his alcoholism) and it was ordered that half of his father’s pension be paid directly to Ludwig for support of the family. He contributed further to the family’s income by teaching (to which Wegeler said he had “an extraordinary aversion” ) and by playing viola in the court orchestra. This familiarized him with a variety of operas, including works by Mozart, Gluck and Paisiello. Here he also befriended Anton Reicha, a composer, flautist and violinist of about his own age who was a nephew of the court orchestra’s conductor, Josef Reicha.

From 1790 to 1792, Beethoven composed several works (none were published at the time) showing a growing range and maturity. Musicologists have identified a theme similar to those of his Third Symphony in a set of variations written in 1791. It was perhaps on Neefe’s recommendation that Beethoven received his first commissions; the Literary Society in Bonn commissioned a cantata to mark the occasion of the death in 1790 of Joseph II (WoO 87), and a further cantata, to celebrate the subsequent accession of Leopold II as Holy Roman Emperor (WoO 88), may have been commissioned by the Elector. These two Emperor Cantatas were never performed at the time and they remained lost until the 1880s when they were described by Johannes Brahms as “Beethoven through and through” and as such prophetic of the style which would mark his music as distinct from the classical tradition.

Beethoven was probably first introduced to Joseph Haydn in late 1790 when the latter was travelling to London and stopped in Bonn around Christmas time. A year and a half later, they met in Bonn on Haydn’s return trip from London to Vienna in July 1792, when Beethoven played in the orchestra at the Redoute in Godesberg. Arrangements were likely made at that time for Beethoven to study with the older master. Waldstein wrote to him before his departure: “You are going to Vienna in fulfilment of your long-frustrated wishes … With the help of assiduous labour you shall receive Mozart’s spirit from Haydn’s hands.”

1792–1802: Vienna – the early years

Beethoven left Bonn for Vienna in November 1792, amid rumours of war spilling out of France; he learned shortly after his arrival that his father had died. Over the next few years, Beethoven responded to the widespread feeling that he was a successor to the recently deceased Mozart by studying that master’s work and writing works with a distinctly Mozartian flavour.

He did not immediately set out to establish himself as a composer, but rather devoted himself to study and performance. Working under Haydn’s direction, he sought to master counterpoint. He also studied violin under Ignaz Schuppanzigh. Early in this period, he also began receiving occasional instruction from Antonio Salieri, primarily in Italian vocal composition style; this relationship persisted until at least 1802, and possibly as late as 1809.

With Haydn’s departure for England in 1794, Beethoven was expected by the Elector to return home to Bonn. He chose instead to remain in Vienna, continuing his instruction in counterpoint with Johann Albrechtsberger and other teachers. In any case, by this time it must have seemed clear to his employer that Bonn would fall to the French, as it did in October 1794, effectively leaving Beethoven without a stipend or the necessity to return. However, several Viennese noblemen had already recognised his ability and offered him financial support, among them Prince Joseph Franz Lobkowitz, Prince Karl Lichnowsky, and Baron Gottfried van Swieten.

Assisted by his connections with Haydn and Waldstein, Beethoven began to develop a reputation as a performer and improviser in the salons of the Viennese nobility. His friend Nikolaus Simrock began publishing his compositions, starting with a set of keyboard variations on a theme of Dittersdorf (WoO 66). By 1793, he had established a reputation in Vienna as a piano virtuoso, but he apparently withheld works from publication so that their eventual appearance would have greater impact.

His first public performance in Vienna was in March 1795, where he first performed one of his piano concertos. Shortly after this performance, he arranged for the publication of the first of his compositions to which he assigned an opus number, the three piano trios, Opus 1. These works were dedicated to his patron Prince Lichnowsky, and were a financial success; Beethoven’s profits were nearly sufficient to cover his living expenses for a year. In 1799 Beethoven participated in (and won) a notorious piano ‘duel’ at the home of Baron Raimund Wetzlar (a former patron of Mozart) against the virtuoso Joseph Wölfl; and in the following year he similarly triumphed against Daniel Steibelt at the salon of Count Moritz von Fries. Beethoven’s eighth piano sonata the “Pathétique” (Op. 13), published in 1799 is described by the musicologist Barry Cooper as “surpass[ing] any of his previous compositions, in strength of character, depth of emotion, level of originality, and ingenuity of motivic and tonal manipulation.”

Beethoven composed his first six string quartets (Op. 18) between 1798 and 1800 (commissioned by, and dedicated to, Prince Lobkowitz). They were published in 1801. He also completed his Septet (Op. 20) in 1799, which was one of his most popular works during his lifetime. With premieres of his First and Second Symphonies in 1800 and 1803, he became regarded as one of the most important of a generation of young composers following Haydn and Mozart. But his melodies, musical development, use of modulation and texture, and characterisation of emotion all set him apart from his influences, and heightened the impact some of his early works made when they were first published.[46] For the premiere of his First Symphony, he hired the Burgtheater on 2 April 1800, and staged an extensive programme, including works by Haydn and Mozart, as well as his Septet, the Symphony, and one of his piano concertos (the latter three works all then unpublished). The concert, which the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung described as “the most interesting concert in a long time,” was not without difficulties; among the criticisms was that “the players did not bother to pay any attention to the soloist.” By the end of 1800, Beethoven and his music were already much in demand from patrons and publishers.

In May 1799, he taught piano to the daughters of Hungarian Countess Anna Brunsvik. During this time, he fell in love with the younger daughter Josephine. Amongst his other students, from 1801 to 1805, he tutored Ferdinand Ries, who went on to become a composer and later wrote about their encounters. The young Carl Czerny, who later became a renowned music teacher himself, studied with Beethoven from 1801 to 1803. In late 1801, he met a young countess, Julie Guicciardi, through the Brunsvik family; he mentions his love for Julie in a November 1801 letter to a friend, but class difference prevented any consideration of pursuing this. He dedicated his 1802 Sonata Op. 27 No. 2, now commonly known as the Moonlight Sonata, to her.

In the spring of 1801 he completed The Creatures of Prometheus, a ballet. The work received numerous performances in 1801 and 1802, and he rushed to publish a piano arrangement to capitalise on its early popularity.[50] In the spring of 1802 he completed the Second Symphony, intended for performance at a concert that was cancelled. The symphony received its premiere instead at a subscription concert in April 1803 at the Theater an der Wien, where he had been appointed composer in residence. In addition to the Second Symphony, the concert also featured the First Symphony, the Third Piano Concerto, and the oratorio Christ on the Mount of Olives. Reviews were mixed, but the concert was a financial success; he was able to charge three times the cost of a typical concert ticket.

His business dealings with publishers also began to improve in 1802 when his brother Kaspar, who had previously assisted him casually, began to assume a larger role in the management of his affairs. In addition to negotiating higher prices for recently composed works, Kaspar also began selling some of his earlier unpublished compositions and encouraged him (against Beethoven’s preference) to also make arrangements and transcriptions of his more popular works for other instrument combinations. Beethoven acceded to these requests, as he could not prevent publishers from hiring others to do similar arrangements of his works.

1802–1812: The ‘heroic’ period

Deafness

Beethoven told the English pianist Charles Neate (in 1815) that he dated his hearing loss from a fit he suffered in 1798 induced by a quarrel with a singer. During its gradual decline, his hearing was further impeded by a severe form of tinnitus. As early as 1801, he wrote to Wegeler and another friend Karl Amenda, describing his symptoms and the difficulties they caused in both professional and social settings (although it is likely some of his close friends were already aware of the problems). The cause was probably otosclerosis, perhaps accompanied by degeneration of the auditory nerve.

On the advice of his doctor, Beethoven moved to the small Austrian town of Heiligenstadt, just outside Vienna, from April to October 1802 in an attempt to come to terms with his condition. There he wrote the document now known as the Heiligenstadt Testament, a letter to his brothers which records his thoughts of suicide due to his growing deafness and records his resolution to continue living for and through his art. The letter was never sent and was discovered in his papers after his death. The letters to Wegeler and Amenda were not so despairing; in them Beethoven commented also on his ongoing professional and financial success at this period, and his determination, as he expressed it to Wegeler, to “seize Fate by the throat; it shall certainly not crush me completely.” In 1806, Beethoven noted on one of his musical sketches “Let your deafness no longer be a secret – even in art.”

Beethoven’s hearing loss did not prevent him from composing music, but it made playing at concerts—an important source of income at this phase of his life—increasingly difficult. (It also contributed substantially to his social withdrawal.) Czerny remarked however that Beethoven could still hear speech and music normally until 1812.  Beethoven never became totally deaf; in his final years he was still able to distinguish low tones and sudden loud sounds.

The ‘heroic’ style

Beethoven’s return to Vienna from Heiligenstadt was marked by a change in musical style, and is now often designated as the start of his middle or “heroic” period characterised by many original works composed on a grand scale. According to Carl Czerny, Beethoven said, “I am not satisfied with the work I have done so far. From now on I intend to take a new way.”  An early major work employing this new style was the Third Symphony in E flat Op. 55, known as the Eroica, written in 1803–04. The idea of creating a symphony based on the career of Napoleon may have been suggested to Beethoven by Count Bernadotte in 1798.[65] Beethoven, sympathetic to the ideal of the heroic revolutionary leader, originally gave the symphony the title “Bonaparte”, but disillusioned by Napoleon declaring himself Emperor in 1804, he scratched Napoleon’s name from the manuscript’s title page, and the symphony was published in 1806 with its present title and the subtitle “to celebrate the memory of a great man.” The Eroica was longer and larger in scope than any previous symphony. When it premiered in early 1805 it received a mixed reception. Some listeners objected to its length or misunderstood its structure, while others viewed it as a masterpiece.

Other middle period works extend in the same dramatic manner the musical language Beethoven had inherited. The Rasumovsky string quartets, and the Waldstein and Appassionata piano sonatas share the heroic spirit of the Third Symphony. Other works of this period include the Fourth through Eighth Symphonies, the oratorio Christ on the Mount of Olives, the opera Fidelio, and the Violin Concerto.[68] Beethoven was hailed in 1810 by the writer and composer E. T. A. Hoffmann, in an influential review in the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung, as the greatest of (what he considered) the three “Romantic” composers, (that is, ahead of Haydn and Mozart); in Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony his music, wrote Hoffmann, “sets in motion terror, fear, horror, pain, and awakens the infinite yearning that is the essence of romanticism”.

During this time Beethoven’s income came from publishing his works, from performances of them, and from his patrons, for whom he gave private performances and copies of works they commissioned for an exclusive period before their publication. Some of his early patrons, including Prince Lobkowitz and Prince Lichnowsky, gave him annual stipends in addition to commissioning works and purchasing published works. Perhaps his most important aristocratic patron was Archduke Rudolf of Austria, the youngest son of Emperor Leopold II, who in 1803 or 1804 began to study piano and composition with him. They became friends, and their meetings continued until 1824. Beethoven was to dedicate 14 compositions to Rudolf, including some of his major works such as the Archduke Trio Op. 97 (1811) and Missa solemnis Op. 123 (1823).

His position at the Theater an der Wien was terminated when the theatre changed management in early 1804, and he was forced to move temporarily to the suburbs of Vienna with his friend Stephan von Breuning. This slowed work on Leonore, (his original title for his opera), his largest work to date, for a time. It was delayed again by the Austrian censor and finally premiered, under its present title of Fidelio in November 1805 to houses that were nearly empty because of the French occupation of the city. In addition to being a financial failure, this version of Fidelio was also a critical failure, and Beethoven began revising it.

Despite this failure, Beethoven continued to attract recognition. In 1807 the musician and publisher Muzio Clementi secured the rights for publishing his works in England, and Haydn’s former patron Prince Esterházy commissioned a mass (the Mass in C, Op. 86) for his wife’s name-day. But he could not count on such recognition alone. A colossal benefit concert which he organized in December 1808, and was widely advertised, included the premieres of the Fifth and Sixth (Pastoral) symphonies, the Fourth Piano Concerto, extracts from the Mass in C, the scena and aria Ah! perfido Op. 65 and the Choral Fantasy op. 80. There was a large audience, (including Czerny and the young Ignaz Moscheles). But it was under-rehearsed, involved many stops and starts, and during the Fantasia Beethoven was noted shouting at the musicians “badly played, wrong, again!” The financial outcome is unknown.

In the autumn of 1808, after having been rejected for a position at the Royal Theatre, Beethoven had received an offer from Napoleon’s brother Jérôme Bonaparte, then king of Westphalia, for a well-paid position as Kapellmeister at the court in Cassel. To persuade him to stay in Vienna, Archduke Rudolf, Prince Kinsky and Prince Lobkowitz, after receiving representations from Beethoven’s friends, pledged to pay him a pension of 4000 florins a year. In the event, Archduke Rudolf paid his share of the pension on the agreed date. Kinsky, immediately called to military duty, did not contribute and died in November 1812 after falling from his horse. The Austrian currency destabilized and Lobkowitz went bankrupt in 1811 so that to benefit from the agreement Beethoven eventually had recourse to the law, which in 1815 brought him some recompense.

The imminence of war reaching Vienna itself was felt in early 1809. In April Beethoven had completed writing his Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat major, Op. 73, which the musicologist Alfred Einstein has described as “the apotheosis of the military concept” in Beethoven’s music. Archduke Rudolf left the capital with the Imperial family in early May, prompting Beethoven’s piano sonata Les Adieux, (Sonata No. 26, Op. 81a), actually entitled by Beethoven in German “Das Lebewohl” (The Farewell), of which the final movement, “Das Wiedersehen” (The Return), is dated in the manuscript with the date of Rudolf’s homecoming of 30 January 1810. During the French bombardment of Vienna in May Beethoven took refuge in the cellar of the house of his brother Kaspar. The subsequent occupation of Vienna and the disruptions to cultural life and to Beethoven’s publishers, together with Beethoven’s poor health at the end of 1809, explain his significantly reduced output during this period, although other notable works of the year include his String Quartet No. 10 in F major, Op. 74 (known as The Harp) and the Piano Sonata No. 24 in F sharp major op. 78, dedicated to Josephine’s sister Therese Brunsvik.

At the end of 1809 Beethoven was commissioned to write incidental music for Goethe’s play Egmont. The result (an overture, and nine additional entractes and vocal pieces, Op. 84), which appeared in 1810 fitted well with Beethoven’s “heroic” style and he became interested in Goethe, setting three of his poems as songs (Op. 83) and learning about the poet from a mutual acquaintance, Bettina Brentano (who also wrote to Goethe at this time about Beethoven). Other works of this period in a similar vein were the F minor String Quartet Op. 95, to which Beethoven gave the subtitle Quartetto serioso, and the Op. 97 Piano Trio in B flat major known, from its dedication to his patron Rudolph as the Archduke Trio.

In the spring of 1811, Beethoven became seriously ill, suffering headaches and high fever. His doctor Johann Malfatti recommended him to take a cure at the spa of Teplitz (now Teplice in Czechia) where he wrote two more overtures and sets of incidental music for dramas, this time by August von Kotzebue – King Stephen Op. 117 and The Ruins of Athens Op. 113. Advised again to visit Teplitz in 1812 he met there with Goethe, who wrote: “His talent amazed me; unfortunately he is an utterly untamed personality, who is not altogether wrong in holding the world to be detestable, but surely does not make it any more enjoyable … by his attitude.” Beethoven wrote to his publishers Breitkopf and Härtel that “Goethe delights far too much in the court atmosphere, far more than is becoming in a poet.” But following their meeting he began a setting for choir and orchestra of Goethe’s Meeresstille und glückliche Fahrt (Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage) (Op. 112), completed in 1815. After this was published in 1822 with a dedication to the poet, Beethoven wrote to him “The admiration, the love and esteem which already in my youth I cherished for the one and only immortal Goethe have persisted.”

“The Immortal Beloved”

While he was at Teplitz in 1812 he wrote a ten-page love letter to his “Immortal Beloved”, which he never sent to its addressee. The identity of the intended recipient was long a subject of debate, although the musicologist Maynard Solomon has convincingly demonstrated that the intended recipient must have been Antonie Brentano; other candidates have included Julie Guicciardi, Therese Malfatti and Josephine Brunsvik.

All of these had been regarded by Beethoven as possible soulmates during his first decade in Vienna. Guicciardi, although she flirted with Beethoven, never had any serious interest in him and married Wenzel Robert von Gallenberg in November 1803. (Beethoven insisted to his later secretary and biographer, Anton Schindler, that Gucciardi had “sought me out, crying, but I scorned her.”)   Josephine had since Beethoven’s initial infatuation with her married the elderly Count Joseph Deym, who died in 1804. Beethoven began to visit her and commenced a passionate correspondence. Initially, he accepted that Josephine could not love him, but he continued to address himself to her even after she had moved to Budapest, finally demonstrating that he had got the message in his last letter to her of 1807: “I thank you for wishing still to appear as if I were not altogether banished from your memory”.[90] Malfatti was the niece of Beethoven’s doctor, and he had proposed to her in 1810. He was 40, she was 19 – the proposal was rejected.  She is now remembered as the recipient of the piano bagatelle Für Elise.

Antonie (Toni) Brentano (née von Birkenstock), ten years younger than Beethoven, was the wife of Franz Brentano, the half-brother of Bettina Brentano, who provided Beethoven’s introduction to the family. It would seem that Antonie and Beethoven had an affair during 1811–1812. Antonie left Vienna with her husband in late 1812 and never met with (or apparently corresponded with) Beethoven again, although in her later years she wrote and spoke fondly of him.

After 1812 there are no reports of any romantic liaisons of Beethoven; it is, however, clear from his correspondence of the period and, later, from the conversation books, that he would occasionally resort to prostitutes.

1813–1822: Acclaim

Family problems

In early 1813 Beethoven apparently went through a difficult emotional period, and his compositional output dropped. His personal appearance degraded—it had generally been neat—as did his manners in public, notably when dining.

Family issues may have played a part in this. Beethoven had visited his brother Johann at the end of October 1812. He wished to end Johann’s cohabitation with Therese Obermayer, a woman who already had an illegitimate child. He was unable to convince Johann to end the relationship and appealed to the local civic and religious authorities, but Johann and Therese married on 8 November.

The illness and eventual death of his brother Kaspar from tuberculosis became an increasing concern. Kaspar had been ill for some time; in 1813 Beethoven lent him 1500 florins, to procure the repayment of which he was ultimately led to complex legal measures. After Kaspar died on 15 November 1815, Beethoven immediately became embroiled in a protracted legal dispute with Kaspar’s wife Johanna over custody of their son Karl, then nine years old. Beethoven had successfully applied to Kaspar to have himself named the sole guardian of the boy. A late codicil to Kaspar’s will gave him and Johanna joint guardianship. While Beethoven was successful at having his nephew removed from her custody in January 1816, and had him removed to a private school in 1818 he was again preoccupied with the legal processes around Karl. While giving evidence to the court for the nobility, the Landrechte, Beethoven was unable to prove that he was of noble birth and as a consequence, on 18 December 1818 the case was transferred to the civil magistracy of Vienna, where he lost sole guardianship. He only regained custody after intensive legal struggles in 1820. During the years that followed, Beethoven frequently interfered in his nephew’s life in what Karl perceived as an overbearing manner.

Post-war Vienna

Beethoven was finally motivated to begin significant composition again in June 1813, when news arrived of Napoleon’s defeat at the Battle of Vitoria by a coalition led by the Duke of Wellington. The inventor Mälzel persuaded him to write a work commemorating the event for his mechanical instrument the Panharmonicon. This Beethoven also transcribed for orchestra as Wellington’s Victory (Op. 91, also known as the Battle Symphony).[n 8] It was first performed on 8 December, along with his Seventh Symphony, Op. 92, at a charity concert for victims of the war, a concert whose success led to its repeat on 12 December. The orchestra included several leading and rising musicians who happened to be in Vienna at the time, including Giacomo Meyerbeer and Domenico Dragonetti. The work received repeat performances at concerts staged by Beethoven in January and February 1814. These concerts brought Beethoven more profit than any others in his career, and enabled him to buy the bank shares that were eventually to be the most valuable assets in his estate at his death.

Beethoven’s renewed popularity led to demands for a revival of Fidelio, which, in its third revised version, was also well received at its July opening in Vienna, and was frequently staged there during the following years. Beethoven’s publishers, Artaria, commissioned the 20-year old Moscheles to prepare a piano score of the opera, which he inscribed “Finished, with God’s help!” – to which Beethoven added “O Man, help thyself.”[n 9] That summer Beethoven composed a piano sonata for the first time in five years, his (Sonata in E minor, Opus 90). He was also one of many composers who produced music in a patriotic vein to entertain the many heads of state and diplomats who came to the Congress of Vienna that began in November 1814, with the cantata Der glorreiche Augenblick (The Glorious Moment) (Op. 136) and similar choral works which, in the words of Maynard Solomon “broadened Beethoven’s popularity, [but] did little to enhance his reputation as a serious composer.”

In April and May 1814, playing in his Archduke Trio, Beethoven made his last public appearances as a soloist. The composer Louis Spohr noted: “the piano was badly out of tune, which Beethoven minded little, since he did not hear it … there was scarcely anything left of the virtuosity of the artist … I was deeply saddened.” From 1814 onwards Beethoven used for conversation ear-trumpets designed by Johann Nepomuk Maelzel (a number of these are on display at the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn).

His 1815 compositions include an expressive second setting of the poem “An die Hoffnung” (Op. 94) in 1815. Compared to its first setting in 1805 (a gift for Josephine Brunsvik), it was “far more dramatic … The entire spirit is that of an operatic scena.” But his energy seemed to be dropping: apart from these works, he wrote the two cello sonatas Op. 101 nos. 1 and 2, and a few minor pieces, and began but abandoned a sixth piano concerto.

Pause

Between 1815 and 1819 Beethoven’s output dropped again to a level unique in his mature life. He attributed part of this to a lengthy illness (he called it an “inflammatory fever”) that he had for more than a year, starting in October 1816. His biographer Maynard Solomon suggests it is also doubtless a consequence of the ongoing legal problems concerning his nephew Karl,  and of Beethoven finding himself increasingly at odds with current musical trends. Unsympathetic to developments in German romanticism that featured the supernatural (as in operas by Spohr, Heinrich Marschner and Carl Maria von Weber), he also “resisted the impending Romantic fragmentation of the … cyclic forms of the Classical era into small forms and lyric mood pieces” and turned towards study of Bach, Handel and Palestrina. An old connection was renewed in 1817 when Maelzel sought and obtained, Beethoven’s endorsement for his newly developed metronome. During these years the few major works he completed include the 1818 Hammerklavier Sonata (Sonata No. 29 in B flat major, Op. 106) and his settings of poems by Alois Jeitteles, An die ferne Geliebte Op. 98, (1816), which introduced the song cycle into classical repertoire. In 1818 he began musical sketches that were eventually to form part of his final Ninth Symphony.

By early 1818 Beethoven’s health had improved, and his nephew Karl, now aged 11, moved in with him in January, (although within a year Karl’s mother had won him back in the courts). By now Beethoven’s hearing had again seriously deteriorated, necessitating Beethoven and his interlocutors writing in notebooks to carry out conversations. These ‘conversation books’ are a rich written resource for his life from this period onwards. They contain discussions about music, business, and personal life; they are also a valuable source for his contacts and for investigations into how he intended his music should be performed, and of his opinions of the art of music. His household management had also improved somewhat with the help of Nannette Streicher. A proprietor of the Stein piano workshop and a personal friend, Streicher had assisted in Beethoven’s care during his illness; she continued to provide some support, and in her he finally found a skilled cook. A testimonial to the esteem in which Beethoven was held in England was the presentation to him in this year by Thomas Broadwood, the proprietor of the company, of a Broadwood piano, for which Beethoven expressed thanks. He was not well enough, however, to carry out a visit to London that year which had been proposed by the Philharmonic Society.

Despite the time occupied by his ongoing legal struggles over Karl, which involved continuing extensive correspondence and lobbying, two events sparked off Beethoven’s major composition projects in 1819. The first was the announcement of Archduke Rudolf’s promotion to Cardinal-Archbishop as Archbishop of Olomouc (now in Czechia), which triggered the Missa Solemnis Op. 123, intended to be ready for his installation in Olomouc in March 1820. The other was the invitation by the publisher Antonio Diabelli to fifty Viennese composers, including Beethoven, Franz Schubert, Czerny and the 8-year old Franz Liszt, to compose a variation each on a theme which he provided. Beethoven was spurred to outdo the competition and by mid-1819 had already completed 20 variations of what were to become the 33 Diabelli Variations op. 120. Neither of these works was to be completed for a few years. A significant tribute of 1819, however, was Archduke Rudolf’s set of forty piano variations on a theme written for him by Beethoven (WoO 200) and dedicated to the master. Beethoven’s portrait by Ferdinand Schimon [de] of this year, which was one of the most familiar images of him for the next century, was described by Schindler as, despite its artistic weaknesses, “in the rendering of that particular look, the majestic forehead … the firmly shut mouth and the chin shaped like a shell, … truer to nature than any other picture.”

Beethoven’s determination over the following years to write the Mass for Rudolf was not motivated by any devout Catholicism. Although he had been born a Catholic, the form of religion as practised at the court in Bonn where he grew up was, in the words of Maynard Solomon, “a compromise ideology that permitted a relatively peaceful coexistence between the Church and rationalism.”. Beethoven’s Tagebuch (a diary he kept on an occasional basis between 1812 and 1818) shows his interest in a variety of religious philosophies, including those of India, Egypt and the Orient and the writings of the Rig-Veda. In a letter to Rudolf of July 1821, Beethoven shows his belief in a personal God: “God … sees into my innermost heart and knows that as a man I perform most conscientiously and on all occasions the duties which Humanity, God, and Nature enjoin upon me.” On one of the sketches for the Missa Solemnis he wrote “Plea for inner and outer peace.”

Beethoven’s status was confirmed by the series of Concerts sprituels given in Vienna by the choirmaster Franz Xaver Gebauer in the 1819/1820 and 1820/1821 seasons, during which all eight of his symphonies to date, plus the oratorio Christus and the Mass in C, were performed. Beethoven was typically underwhelmed: when in an April 1820 conversation book a friend mentioned Gebauer, Beethoven wrote in reply “Geh! Bauer” (“Begone, peasant!”)

It was in 1819 that Beethoven was first approached by the publisher Moritz Schlesinger who won the suspicious composer round, whilst visiting him at Mödling, by procuring for him a plate of roast veal. One consequence of this was that Schlesinger was to secure Beethoven’s three last piano sonatas and his final quartets; part of the attraction to Beethoven was that Schlesinger had publishing facilities in Germany and France, and connections in England, which could overcome problems of copyright piracy. The first of the three sonatas, for which Beethoven contracted with Schlesinger in 1820 at 30 ducats per sonata, (further delaying completion of the Mass), was sent to the publisher at the end of that year (the Sonata in E major, Op. 109, dedicated to Maximiliane, Antonie Brentano’s daughter).

The start of 1821 saw Beethoven once again in poor health, suffering from rheumatism and jaundice. Despite this he continued work on the remaining piano sonatas he had promised to Schlesinger (the Sonata in A flat major Op. 110 was published in December), and on the Mass. In early 1822 Beethoven sought a reconciliation with his brother Johann, whose marriage in 1812 had met with his disapproval, and Johann now became a regular visitor (as witnessed by the conversation books of the period) and began to assist him in his business affairs, including him lending him money against ownership of some of his compositions. He also sought some reconciliation with the mother of his nephew, including supporting her income, although this did not meet with the approval of the contrary Karl. Two commissions at the end of 1822 improved Beethoven’s financial prospects. In November the Philharmonic Society of London offered a commission for a symphony, which he accepted with delight, as an appropriate home for the Ninth Symphony on which he was working. Also in November Prince Nikolai Galitzin of Saint Petersburg offered to pay Beethoven’s asking price for three string quartets. Beethoven set the price at the high level of 50 ducats per quartet in a letter dictated to his nephew Karl, who was then living with him.

During 1822, Anton Schindler, who in 1840 became one of Beethoven’s earliest and most influential (but not always reliable) biographers, began to work as the composer’s unpaid secretary. He was later to claim that he had been a member of Beethoven’s circle since 1814, but there is no evidence for this. Cooper suggests that “Beethoven greatly appreciated his assistance, but did not think much of him as a man.”

1823–1827: The final years

The year 1823 saw the completion of three notable works, all of which had occupied Beethoven for some years, namely the Missa Solemnis, the Ninth Symphony and the Diabelli Variations.

Beethoven at last presented the manuscript of the completed Missa to Rudolph on 19 March (more than a year after the Archduke’s enthronement as Archbishop). He was not however in a hurry to get it published or performed as he had formed a notion that he could profitably sell manuscripts of the work to various courts in Germany and Europe at 50 ducats each. One of the few who took up this offer was Louis XVIII of France, who also sent Beethoven a heavy gold medallion. The Symphony and the variations took up most of the rest of Beethoven’s working year. Diabelli hoped to publish both works, but the potential prize of the Mass excited many other publishers to lobby Beethoven for it, including Schlesinger and Carl Friedrich Peters. (In the end, it was obtained by Schotts).

Beethoven had become critical of the Viennese reception of his works. He told the visiting Johann Friedrich Rochlitz in 1822:

You will hear nothing of me here … Fidelio? They cannot give it, nor do they want to listen to it. The symphonies? They have no time for them. My concertos? Everyone grinds out only the stuff he himself has made. The solo pieces? They went out of fashion long ago, and here fashion is everything. At the most, Schuppanzigh occasionally digs up a quartet.

He, therefore, enquired about premiering the Missa and the Ninth Symphony in Berlin. When his Viennese admirers learnt of this, they pleaded with him to arrange local performances. Beethoven was won over, and the symphony was first performed, along with sections of the Missa Solemnis, on 7 May 1824, to great acclaim at the Kärntnertortheater.[ Beethoven stood by the conductor Michael Umlauf during the concert beating time (although Umlauf had warned the singers and orchestra to ignore him), and because of his deafness was not even aware of the applause which followed until he was turned to witness it. The Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung gushed, “inexhaustible genius had shown us a new world”, and Carl Czerny wrote that the Symphony “breathes such a fresh, lively, indeed youthful spirit … so much power, innovation, and beauty as ever [came] from the head of this original man, although he certainly sometimes led the old wigs to shake their heads.” The concert did not net Beethoven much money, as the expenses of mounting it were very high. A second concert on 24 May, in which the producer guaranteed him a minimum fee, was poorly attended; nephew Karl noted that “many people [had] already gone into the country”. It was Beethoven’s last public concert. Beethoven accused Schindler of either cheating him or mismanaging the ticket receipts; this led to the replacement of Schindler as Beethoven’s secretary by Karl Holz, (who was the second violinist in the Schuppanzigh Quartet), although by 1826 Beethoven and Schindler were reconciled.

Beethoven then turned to writing the string quartets for Galitzin, despite failing health. The first of these, the quartet in E♭ major, Op. 127 was premiered by the Schuppanzigh Quartet in March 1825. While writing the next, the quartet in A minor, Op. 132, in April 1825, he was struck by a sudden illness. Recuperating in Baden, he included in the quartet its slow movement to which he gave the title “Holy song of thanks (‘Heiliger Dankgesang’) to the Divinity, from a convalescent, in the Lydian mode.”  The next quartet to be completed was the Thirteenth, op. 130, in B♭ major. In six movements, the last, contrapuntal movement proved to be very difficult for both the performers and the audience at its premiere in March 1826 (again by the Schuppanzigh Quartet). Beethoven was persuaded by the publisher Artaria, for an additional fee, to write a new finale, and to issue the last movement as a separate work (the Grosse Fugue, Op. 133). Beethoven’s favourite was the last of this series, the quartet in C♯ minor Op. 131, which he rated as his most perfect single work.

Beethoven’s relations with his nephew Karl had continued to be stormy; Beethoven’s letters to him were demanding and reproachful. In August, Karl, who had been seeing his mother again against Beethoven’s wishes, attempted suicide by shooting himself in the head. He survived and after discharge from hospital went to recuperate in the village of Gneixendorf with Beethoven and his uncle Johann. Whilst in Gneixendorf, Beethoven completed a further quartet, (Op. 135 in F major) which he sent to Schlesinger. Under the introductory slow chords in the last movement, Beethoven wrote in the manuscript “Muss es sein?” (“Must it be?”); the response, over the faster main theme of the movement, is “Es muss sein!” (“It must be!”). The whole movement is headed “Der schwer gefasste Entschluss” (“The Difficult Decision”). Following this in November Beethoven completed his final composition, the replacement finale for the op. 130 quartet.  Beethoven at this time was already ill and depressed; he began to quarrel with Johann, insisting that Johann made Karl his heir, in preference to Johann’s wife.

Death

On his return journey to Vienna from Gneixendorf in December 1826, illness struck Beethoven again. He was attended until his death by Dr. Andreas Wawruch, who throughout December noticed symptoms including fever, jaundice and dropsy, with swollen limbs, coughing and breathing difficulties. Several operations were carried out to tap off the excess fluid from Beethoven’s abdomen.

Karl stayed by Beethoven’s bedside during December, but left after the beginning of January to join the army at Iglau and did not see his uncle again, although he wrote to him shortly afterwards “My dear father … I am living in contentment and regret only that I am separated from you.” Immediately following Karl’s departure, Beethoven wrote a will making his nephew his sole heir. Later in January, Beethoven was attended by Dr. Malfatti, whose treatment (recognizing the seriousness of his patient’s condition) was largely centred on alcohol. As the news spread of the severity of Beethoven’s condition, many old friends came to visit, including Diabelli, Schuppanzigh, Lichnowsky, Schindler, the composer Johann Nepomuk Hummel and his pupil Ferdinand Hiller. Many tributes and gifts were also sent, including £100 from the Philharmonic Society in London and a case of expensive wine from Schotts. During this period, Beethoven was almost completely bedridden despite occasional brave efforts to rouse himself. On March 24, he said to Schindler and the others present “Plaudite, amici, comoedia finita est” (“Applaud, friends, the comedy is over.”) Later that day, when the wine from Schott arrived, he whispered, “Pity – too late.”

Beethoven died on 26 March 1827 at the age of 56; only his friend Anselm Hüttenbrenner and a “Frau van Beethoven” (possibly his old enemy Johanna van Beethoven) were present. According to Hüttenbrenner, at about 5 in the afternoon there was a flash of lightning and a clap of thunder: “Beethoven opened his eyes, lifted his right hand and looked up for several seconds with his fist clenched … not another breath, not a heartbeat more.” Many visitors came to the death-bed; some locks of the dead man’s hair were retained by Hüttenbrenner and Hiller, amongst others. An autopsy revealed Beethoven suffered from significant liver damage, which may have been due to his heavy alcohol consumption,  and also considerable dilation of the auditory and other related nerves.

Beethoven’s funeral procession in Vienna on 29 March 1827 was attended by an estimated 10,000 people. Franz Schubert and the violinist Joseph Mayseder were among the torchbearers. A funeral oration by the poet Franz Grillparzer was read. Beethoven was buried in the Währing cemetery, north-west of Vienna, after a requiem mass at the church of the Holy Trinity (Dreifaltigkeitskirche) in Alserstrasse. Beethoven’s remains were exhumed for study in 1863, and moved in 1888 to Vienna’s Zentralfriedhof where they were reinterred in a grave adjacent to that of Schubert.

Music

The “three periods”

The historian William Drabkin notes that as early as 1818 a writer had proposed a three-period division of Beethoven’s works and that such a division (albeit often adopting different dates or works to denote changes in period) eventually became a convention adopted by all of Beethoven’s biographers, starting with Schindler, F.-J. Fétis and Wilhelm von Lenz. Later writers sought to identify sub-periods within this generally accepted structure. Its drawbacks include that it generally omits a fourth period, that is, the early years in Bonn, whose works are less often considered; and that it ignores the differential development of Beethoven’s composing styles over the years for different categories of work. The piano sonatas, for example, were written throughout Beethoven’s life in a progression that can be interpreted as continuous development; the symphonies do not all demonstrate linear progress; of all of the types of composition, perhaps the quartets, which seem to group themselves in three periods (Op. 18 in 1801–1802, Opp. 59, 74 and 95 in 1806–1814, and the quartets, today known as ‘late’, from 1824 onwards) fit this categorization most neatly. Drabkin concludes that “now that we have lived with them so long … as long as there are programme notes, essays written to accompany recordings, and all-Beethoven recitals, it is hard to imagine us ever giving up the notion of discrete stylistic periods.”

Bonn 1782–1792

Some forty compositions, including ten very early works written by Beethoven up to 1785, survive from the years that Beethoven lived in Bonn. It has been suggested that Beethoven largely abandoned composition between 1785 and 1790, possibly as a result of negative critical reaction to his first published works. A 1784 review in Johann Nikolaus Forkel’s influential Musikalischer Almanack compared Beethoven’s efforts to those of rank beginners. The three early piano quartets of 1785 (WoO 36), closely modelled on violin sonatas of Mozart, show his dependency on the music of the period. Beethoven himself was not to give any of the Bonn works an opus number, save for those which he reworked for use later in his career, for example, some of the songs in his Op. 52 collection (1805) and the Wind Octet reworked in Vienna in 1793 to become his String Quintet, Op. 4. Charles Rosen points out that Bonn was something of a backwater compared to Vienna; Beethoven was unlikely to be acquainted with the mature works of Haydn or Mozart, and Rosen opines that his early style was closer to that of Hummel or Muzio Clementi. Kernan suggests that at this stage Beethoven was not especially notable for his works in sonata style, but more for his vocal music; his move to Vienna in 1792 set him on the path to develop the music in the genres he became known for.

The first period

The conventional “first period” begins after Beethoven’s arrival in Vienna in 1792. In the first few years he seems to have composed less than he did at Bonn, and his Piano Trios, op.1 were not published until 1795. From this point onward, he had mastered the ‘Viennese style’ (best known today from Haydn and Mozart) and was making the style his own. His works from 1795 to 1800 are larger in scale than was the norm (writing sonatas in four movements, not three, for instance); typically he uses a scherzo rather than a minuet and trio; and his music often includes dramatic, even sometimes over-the-top, uses of extreme dynamics and tempi and chromatic harmony. It was this that led Haydn to believe the third trio of Op.1 was too difficult for an audience to appreciate.

He also explored new directions and gradually expanded the scope and ambition of his work. Some important pieces from the early period are the first and second symphonies, the set of six string quartets Opus 18, the first two piano concertos, and the first dozen or so piano sonatas, including the famous Pathétique sonata, Op. 13.

The middle period

His middle (heroic) period began shortly after the personal crisis brought on by his recognition of encroaching deafness. It includes large-scale works that express heroism and struggle. Middle-period works include six symphonies (Nos. 3–8), the last two piano concertos, the Triple Concerto and violin concerto, five string quartets (Nos. 7–11), several piano sonatas (including the Waldstein and Appassionata sonatas), the Kreutzer violin sonata and his only opera, Fidelio.

The “middle period” is sometimes associated with a “heroic” manner of composing, but the use of the term “heroic” has become increasingly controversial in Beethoven scholarship. The term is more frequently used as an alternative name for the middle period. The appropriateness of the term “heroic” to describe the whole middle period has been questioned as well: while some works, like the Third and Fifth Symphonies, are easy to describe as “heroic”, many others, like his Symphony No. 6, Pastoral or his Piano Sonata No. 24, are not.

The late period

Beethoven’s late period began in the decade 1810-1819. He began a renewed study of older music, including works by Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frideric Handel, that were then being published in the first attempts at complete editions. Many of Beethoven’s late works include fugal material. The overture The Consecration of the House (1822) was an early work to attempt to incorporate these influences. A new style emerged, now called his “late period”. He returned to the keyboard to compose his first piano sonatas in almost a decade: the works of the late period include the last five piano sonatas and the Diabelli Variations, the last two sonatas for cello and piano, the late string quartets (see below), and two works for very large forces: the Missa Solemnis and the Ninth Symphony.[citation needed] Works from this period are characterised by their intellectual depth, their formal innovations, and their intense, highly personal expression. The String Quartet, Op. 131 has seven linked movements, and the Ninth Symphony adds choral forces to the orchestra in the last movement. Other compositions from this period include the Missa solemnis, the last five string quartets (including the massive Große Fuge) and the last five piano sonatas.

Legacy

The Beethoven Monument in Bonn was unveiled in August 1845, in honour of the 75th anniversary of his birth. It was the first statue of a composer created in Germany, and the music festival that accompanied the unveiling was the impetus for the very hasty construction of the original Beethovenhalle in Bonn (it was designed and built within less than a month, on the urging of Franz Liszt). A statue to Mozart had been unveiled in Salzburg, Austria, in 1842. Vienna did not honour Beethoven with a statue until 1880.

There is a museum, the Beethoven House, the place of his birth, in central Bonn. The same city has hosted a musical festival, the Beethovenfest, since 1845. The festival was initially irregular but has been organised annually since 2007.

The Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies serves as a museum, research center, and host of lectures and performances devoted solely to this life and works.

His music features twice on the Voyager Golden Record, a phonograph record containing a broad sample of the images, common sounds, languages, and music of Earth, sent into outer space with the two Voyager probes.

The third largest crater on Mercury is named in his honour, as is the main-belt asteroid 1815 Beethoven.

A 7-foot cast bronze statue of Beethoven by sculptor Arnold Foerster was installed in 1932 in Pershing Square, Los Angeles; it was dedicated to William Andrews Clark Jr., founder of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Lyrics


Ennio Morricone

Key: Bb

Genre: Country

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

Ennio Morricone, OMRI (Italian: [ˈɛnnjo morriˈkoːne]; 10 November 1928 – 6 July 2020) was an Italian composer, orchestrator, conductor, and trumpet player who wrote music in a wide range of styles. With more than 400 scores for cinema and television, as well as more than 100 classical works, Morricone is widely considered as one of the most prolific and greatest film composers of all time. His filmography includes more than 70 award-winning films, all Sergio Leone’s films since A Fistful of Dollars, all Giuseppe Tornatore’s films since Cinema Paradiso, The Battle of Algiers, Dario Argento’s Animal Trilogy, 1900, Exorcist II, Days of Heaven, several major films in French cinema, in particular the comedy trilogy La Cage aux Folles I, II, III and Le Professionnel, as well as The Thing, Once Upon a Time in America, The Mission, The Untouchables, Mission to Mars, Bugsy, Disclosure, In the Line of Fire, Bulworth, Ripley’s Game, and The Hateful Eight. His score to The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) is regarded as one of the most recognizable and influential soundtracks in history. It was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

After playing the trumpet in jazz bands in the 1940s, he became a studio arranger for RCA Victor and in 1955 started ghost writing for film and theatre. Throughout his career, he composed music for artists such as Paul Anka, Mina, Milva, Zucchero, and Andrea Bocelli. From 1960 to 1975, Morricone gained international fame for composing music for Westerns and—with an estimated 10 million copies sold—Once Upon a Time in the West is one of the best-selling scores worldwide. From 1966 to 1980, he was a main member of Il Gruppo, one of the first experimental composers collectives, and in 1969 he co-founded Forum Music Village, a prestigious recording studio. From the 1970s, Morricone excelled in Hollywood, composing for prolific American directors such as Don Siegel, Mike Nichols, Brian De Palma, Barry Levinson, Oliver Stone, Warren Beatty, John Carpenter, and Quentin Tarantino. In 1977, he composed the official theme for the 1978 FIFA World Cup. He continued to compose music for European productions, such as Marco Polo, La piovra, Nostromo, Fateless, Karol, and En mai, fais ce qu’il te plait. Morricone’s music has been reused in television series, including The Simpsons and The Sopranos, and in many films, including Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained. He also scored seven Westerns for Sergio Corbucci, Duccio Tessari’s Ringo duology and Sergio Sollima’s The Big Gundown and Face to Face. Morricone worked extensively for other film genres with directors such as Bernardo Bertolucci, Mauro Bolognini, Giuliano Montaldo, Roland Joffé, Roman Polanski, Henri Verneuil, Lucio Fulci, Umberto Lenzi, and Pier Paolo Pasolini. His acclaimed soundtrack for The Mission (1986), was certified gold in the United States. The album Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone stayed for 105 weeks on the Billboard Top Classical Albums.

Morricone’s best-known compositions include “The Ecstasy of Gold”, “Se Telefonando”, “Man with a Harmonica”, “Here’s to You”, the UK No. 2 single “Chi Mai”, “Gabriel’s Oboe”, and “E Più Ti Penso”. In 1971, he received a “Targa d’Oro” for worldwide sales of 22 million,[11] and by 2016 Morricone had sold more than 70 million records worldwide. In 2007, he received the Academy Honorary Award “for his magnificent and multifaceted contributions to the art of film music”. He was nominated for a further six Oscars, and in 2016, received his only competitive Academy Award for his score to Quentin Tarantino’s film The Hateful Eight, at the time becoming the oldest person ever to win a competitive Oscar. His other achievements include three Grammy Awards, three Golden Globes, six BAFTAs, ten David di Donatello, eleven Nastro d’Argento, two European Film Awards, the Golden Lion Honorary Award, and the Polar Music Prize in 2010. Morricone influenced many artists from film scoring to other styles and genres, including Hans Zimmer, Danger Mouse, Dire Straits, Muse, Metallica, and Radiohead.

Early life and education

Morricone was born in Rome, the son of Libera Ridolfi and Mario Morricone, a musician. At the time of his birth Italy was under fascist rule. His family came from Arpino, near Frosinone. Morricone had four siblings — Adriana, Aldo,[nb 1] Maria, and Franca — and lived in Trastevere in the centre of Rome. His father was a professional trumpet player who performed in light-music orchestras while his mother set up a small textile business.

Morricone’s father first taught him to read music and to play several instruments. He entered the National Academy of Saint Cecilia to take trumpet lessons under the guidance of Umberto Semproni. He formally entered the conservatory in 1940 at age 12, enrolling in a four-year harmony program that he completed within six months. He studied the trumpet, composition, and choral music under the direction of Goffredo Petrassi, to whom Morricone would later dedicate concert pieces.
In 1941 Morricone was chosen among the students of the National Academy of Saint Cecilia to be a part of the Orchestra of the Opera, directed by Carlo Zecchi on the occasion of a tour of the Veneto region. He received his diploma in trumpet in 1946, continuing to work in classical composition and arrangement. Morricone received the Diploma in Instrumentation for Band Arrangement with a mark of 9/10 in 1952. His studies concluded at the Conservatory of Santa Cecilia in 1954 when he obtained a final 9.5/10 in his Diploma in Composition under Petrassi.

Career

First compositions

Morricone wrote his first compositions when he was six years old and he was encouraged to develop his natural talents.[24] In 1946, he composed “Il Mattino” (“The Morning”) for voice and piano on a text by Fukuko, first in a group of seven “youth” Lieder.

In the following years, he continued to write music for the theatre as well as classical music for voice and piano, such as “Imitazione”, based on a text by Italian poet Giacomo Leopardi, “Intimità”, based on a text by Olinto Dini, “Distacco I” and “Distacco II” with words by R. Gnoli, “Oboe Sommerso” for baritone and five instruments with words by poet Salvatore Quasimodo, and “Verrà la Morte”, for alto and piano, based on a text by novelist Cesare Pavese.

In 1953, Morricone was asked by Gorni Kramer and Lelio Luttazzi to write an arrangement for some medleys in an American style for a series of evening radio shows. The composer continued with the composition of other ‘serious’ classical pieces, thus demonstrating the flexibility and eclecticism that always has been an integral part of his character. Many orchestral and chamber compositions date, in fact, from the period between 1954 and 1959: Musica per archi e pianoforte (1954), Invenzione, Canone e Ricercare per piano; Sestetto per flauto, oboe, fagotto, violino, viola, e violoncello (1955), Dodici Variazione per oboe, violoncello, e piano; Trio per clarinetto, corno, e violoncello; Variazione su un tema di Frescobaldi (1956); Quattro pezzi per chitarra (1957); Distanze per violino, violoncello, e piano; Musica per undici violini, Tre Studi per flauto, clarinetto, e fagotto (1958); and the Concerto per orchestra (1957), dedicated to his teacher Goffredo Petrassi.

Morricone soon gained popularity by writing his first background music for radio dramas and quickly moved into film.

Composing for radio, television, and pop artists

Morricone’s career as an arranger began in 1950, by arranging the piece Mamma Bianca (Narciso Parigi). On occasion of the “Anno Santo” (Holy Year), he arranged a long group of popular songs of devotion for radio broadcasting.

In 1956, Morricone started to support his family by playing in a jazz band and arranging pop songs for the Italian broadcasting service RAI. He was hired by RAI in 1958, but quit his job on his first day at work when he was told that broadcasting of music composed by employees was forbidden by a company rule. Subsequently, Morricone became a top studio arranger at RCA Victor, working with Renato Rascel, Rita Pavone, Domenico Modugno, and Mario Lanza.

Throughout his career, Morricone composed songs for several national and international jazz and pop artists, including Gianni Morandi (Go Kart Twist, 1962), Alberto Lionello (La donna che vale, 1959), Edoardo Vianello (Ornella, 1960; Cicciona cha-cha, 1960; Faccio finta di dormire, 1961; T’ho conosciuta, 1963; ), Nora Orlandi (Arianna, 1960), Jimmy Fontana (Twist no. 9; Nicole, 1962), Rita Pavone (Come te non-ce nessuno and Pel di carota from 1962, arranged by Luis Bacalov), Catherine Spaak (Penso a te; Questi vent’anni miei, 1964), Luigi Tenco (Quello che conta; Tra tanta gente; 1962), Gino Paoli (Nel corso from 1963, written by Morricone with Paoli), Renato Rascel (Scirocco, 1964), Paul Anka (Ogni Volta), Amii Stewart, Rosy Armen (L’Amore Gira), Milva (Ridevi, Metti Una Sera A Cena), Françoise Hardy (Je changerais d’avis, 1966), Mireille Mathieu (Mon ami de toujours; Pas vu, pas pris, 1971; J’oublie la pluie et le soleil, 1974), and Demis Roussos (I Like The World, 1970).[

In 1963, the composer co-wrote (with Roby Ferrante) the music for the composition “Ogni volta” (“Every Time”), a song that was performed by Paul Anka for the first time during the Festival di Sanremo in 1964. This song was arranged and conducted by Morricone and sold more than three million copies worldwide, including one million copies in Italy alone.

Another success was his composition “Se telefonando”. Performed by Mina, it was a standout track of Studio Uno 66, the fifth-best-selling album of the year 1966 in Italy.  Morricone’s sophisticated arrangement of “Se telefonando” was a combination of melodic trumpet lines, Hal Blaine–style drumming, a string set, a 1960s Europop female choir, and intensive subsonic-sounding trombones. The Italian Hitparade No. 7 song had eight transitions of tonality building tension throughout the chorus. During the following decades, the song was recorded by several performers in Italy and abroad including covers by Françoise Hardy and Iva Zanicchi (1966), Delta V (2005), Vanessa and the O’s (2007), and Neil Hannon (2008). Françoise Hardy – Mon amie la rose site in the reader’s poll conducted by the newspaper la Repubblica to celebrate Mina’s 70th anniversary in 2010, 30,000 voters picked the track as the best song ever recorded by Mina.

In 1987, Morricone co-wrote It Couldn’t Happen Here with the Pet Shop Boys. Other compositions for international artists include: La metà di me and Immagina (1988) by Ruggero Raimondi, Libera l’amore (1989) performed by Zucchero, Love Affair (1994) by k.d. lang, Ha fatto un sogno (1997) by Antonello Venditti, Di Più (1997) by Tiziana Tosca Donati, Come un fiume tu (1998), Un Canto (1998) and Conradian (2006) by Andrea Bocelli, Ricordare (1998) and Salmo (2000) by Angelo Branduardi, and My heart and I (2001) by Sting.

First film scores

After graduation in 1954, Morricone started to write and arrange music as a ghost writer for films credited to already well-known composers, while also arranging for many light music orchestras of the RAI television network, working especially with Armando Trovajoli, Alessandro Cicognini, and Carlo Savina. He occasionally adopted Anglicized pseudonyms, such as Dan Savio and Leo Nichols.

In 1959, Morricone was the conductor (and uncredited co-composer) for Mario Nascimbene’s score to Morte di un amico (Death of a Friend), an Italian drama directed by Franco Rossi. In the same year, he composed music for the theatre show Il lieto fine by Luciano Salce.

1961 marked his real film debut with Luciano Salce’s Il Federale (The Fascist). In an interview with American composer Fred Karlin, Morricone discussed his beginnings, stating, “My first films were light comedies or costume movies that required simple musical scores that were easily created, a genre that I never completely abandoned even when I went on to much more important films with major directors”.

With Il Federale Morricone began a long-run collaboration with Luciano Salce. In 1962, Morricone composed the jazz-influenced score for Salce’s comedy La voglia matta (Crazy Desire). That year Morricone also arranged Italian singer Edoardo Vianello’s summer hit “Pinne, fucile, e occhiali”, a cha-cha song, peppered with added water effects, unusual instrumental sounds and unexpected stops and starts.

Morricone wrote works for the concert hall in a more avant-garde style. Some of these have been recorded, such as Ut, a trumpet concerto dedicated to Mauro Maur.

The Group and New Consonance

From 1964 up to their eventual disbandment in 1980, Morricone was part of Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza (G.I.N.C.), a group of composers who performed and recorded avant-garde free improvisations. The Rome-based avant-garde ensemble was dedicated to the development of improvisation and new music methods. The ensemble functioned as a laboratory of sorts, working with anti-musical systems and sound techniques in an attempt to redefine the new music ensemble and explore “New Consonance”.

Known as “The Group” or “Il Gruppo”, they released seven albums across the Deutsche Grammophon, RCA, and Cramps labels: Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza (1966), The Private Sea of Dreams (1967), Improvisationen (1968), The Feed-back (1970), Improvvisazioni a Formazioni Variate (1973), Nuova Consonanza (1975), and Musica su Schemi (1976). Perhaps the most famous of these is their album entitled The Feed-back, which combines free jazz and avant-garde classical music with funk; the album frequently is sampled by hip hop DJs and is considered to be one of the most collectable records in existence, often fetching more than $1,000 at auction.

Morricone played a key role in The Group and was among the core members in its revolving line-up; in addition to serving as their trumpet player, he directed them on many occasions and they can be heard on a large number of his scores.[45] Held in high regard in avant-garde music circles, they are considered to be the first experimental composers collective, their only peers being the British improvisation collective AMM. Their influence can be heard in free improvising ensembles from the European movements including the Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble, the Swiss electronic free improvisation group Voice Crack, John Zorn,[46] and in the techniques of modern classical music and avant-garde jazz groups. The ensemble’s groundbreaking work informed their work in composition. The ensemble also performed in varying capacities with Morricone, contributing to some of his 1960s and 1970s Italian soundtracks, including A Quiet Place in the Country (1969) and Cold Eyes of Fear (1971).

Film music genres

Comedy

Morricone’s earliest scores were Italian light comedy and costume pictures, where he learned to write simple, memorable themes. During the nineteen sixties and seventies he composed the scores for comedies such as Eighteen in the Sun (Diciottenni al sole, 1962), Il Successo (1963), Lina Wertmüller’s I basilischi (The Basilisks/The Lizards, 1963),[39] Slalom (1965), Menage all’italiana (Menage Italian Style, 1965), How I Learned to Love Women (Come imparai ad amare le donne, 1966), Her Harem (L’harem, 1967), A Fine Pair (Ruba al prossimo tuo, 1968), L’Alibi (1969), This Kind of Love (Questa specie d’amore, 1972), Winged Devils (Forza “G”, 1972), and Fiorina la vacca (1972).

His best-known scores for comedies includes La Cage aux Folles (1978) and La Cage aux Folles II (1980), both directed by Édouard Molinaro, Il ladrone (The Good Thief, 1980), Georges Lautner’s La Cage aux Folles 3: The Wedding (1985), Pedro Almodóvar’s Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1990) and Warren Beatty’s Bulworth (1998). Morricone never ceased to arrange and write music for comedies. In 2007, he composed a lighthearted score for the Italian romantic comedy Tutte le Donne della mia Vita by Simona Izzo, the director who co-wrote the Morricone-scored religious mini-series Il Papa Buono.

Westerns

Although his first films were undistinguished,[clarification needed] Morricone’s arrangement of an American folk song intrigued director and former schoolmate Sergio Leone. Before being associated with Leone, Morricone already had composed some music for less-known western movies such as Duello nel Texas (aka Gunfight at Red Sands) (1963). In 1962, Morricone met American folksinger Peter Tevis, with the two collaborating on a version of Woody Guthrie’s Pastures of Plenty. Tevis is credited with singing the lyrics of Morricone’s songs such as “A Gringo Like Me” (from Gunfight at Red Sands) and “Lonesome Billy” (from Bullets Don’t Argue). Tevis later recorded a vocal version of A Fistful of Dollars that was not used in the film.

Association with Sergio Leone

The turning point in Morricone’s career took place in 1964, the year in which his third child, Andrea Morricone, who would also become a film composer, was born. Film director Sergio Leone hired Morricone, and together they created a distinctive score to accompany Leone’s different version of the Western, A Fistful of Dollars (1964).

The Dollars Trilogy

Because budget strictures limited Morricone’s access to a full orchestra, he used gunshots, cracking whips, whistle, voices, jew’s harp, trumpets, and the new Fender electric guitar, instead of orchestral arrangements of Western standards à la John Ford. Morricone used his special effects to punctuate and comically tweak the action—cluing in the audience to the taciturn man’s ironic stance.

As memorable as Leone’s close-ups, harsh violence, and black comedy, Morricone’s work helped to expand the musical possibilities of film scoring. Initially, Morricone was billed on the film as Dan Savio. A Fistful of Dollars came out in Italy in 1964 and was released in America three years later, greatly popularising the so-called Spaghetti Western genre. For the American release, Sergio Leone and Ennio Morricone decided to adopt American-sounding names, so they called themselves respectively, Bob Robertson and Dan Savio. Over the film’s theatrical release, it grossed more than any other Italian film up to that point.[51] The film debuted in the United States in January 1967, where it grossed US$4.5 million for the year.[51] It eventually grossed $14.5 million in its American release, against its budget of US$200,000.

With the score of A Fistful of Dollars, Morricone began his 20-year collaboration with his childhood friend Alessandro Alessandroni and his Cantori Moderni.[54] Alessandroni provided the whistling and the twanging guitar on the film scores, while his Cantori Moderni were a flexible troupe of modern singers. Morricone specifically exploited the solo soprano of the group, Edda Dell’Orso, at the height of her powers “an extraordinary voice at my disposal”.

The composer subsequently scored Leone’s other two Dollars Trilogy (or Man with No Name Trilogy) spaghetti westerns: For a Few Dollars More (1965) and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1966). All three films starred the American actor Clint Eastwood as The Man With No Name and depicted Leone’s own intense vision of the mythical West. Morricone commented in 2007: “Some of the music was written before the film, which was unusual. Leone’s films were made like that because he wanted the music to be an important part of it; he kept the scenes longer because he did not want the music to end.” According to Morricone this explains “why the films are so slow”.

Despite the small film budgets, the Dollars Trilogy was a box-office success. The available budget for The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly was about US$1.2 million, but it became the most successful film of the Dollars Trilogy, grossing US$25.1 million in the United States and more than 2,3 billion lire (1,2 million EUR) in Italy alone. Morricone’s score became a major success and sold more than three million copies worldwide. On 14 August 1968 the original score was certified by the RIAA with a golden record for the sale of 500,000 copies in the United States alone.

The main theme to The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly, also titled “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”, was a hit in 1968 for Hugo Montenegro, whose rendition was a No.2 Billboard pop single in the U.S. and a U.K. No.1 single (for four weeks from mid-November that year).

“The Ecstasy of Gold” became one of Morricone’s best-known compositions. The opening scene of Jeff Tremaine’s Jackass Number Two (2006), in which the cast is chased through a suburban neighbourhood by bulls, is accompanied by this piece. While punk rock band the Ramones used “The Ecstasy of Gold” as closing theme during their live performances, Metallica uses “The Ecstasy of Gold” as the introductory music for its concerts since 1983. This composition is also included on Metallica’s live symphonic album S&M as well as the live album Live Shit: Binge & Purge. An instrumental metal cover by Metallica (with minimal vocals by lead singer James Hetfield) appeared on the 2007 Morricone tribute album We All Love Ennio Morricone. This metal version was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category of Best Rock Instrumental Performance. In 2009, the Grammy Award-winning hip-hop artist Coolio extensively sampled the theme for his song “Change”.

Once Upon a Time in the West and others

Subsequent to the success of the Dollars trilogy, Morricone also composed the scores for Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) and Leone’s last credited western film A Fistful of Dynamite (1971), as well as the score for My Name Is Nobody (1973).

Morricone’s score for Once Upon a Time in the West is one of the best-selling original instrumental scores in the world today, with as many as 10 million copies sold, including one million copies in France, and more than 800,000 copies in the Netherlands. One of the main themes from the score, “A Man with Harmonica” (L’uomo Dell’armonica), became known worldwide and sold more than 1,260,000 copies in France.

The collaboration with Leone is considered one of the exemplary collaborations between a director and a composer. Morricone’s last score for Leone was for his last film, the gangster drama Once Upon a Time in America (1984). Leone died on 30 April 1989 of a heart attack at the age of 60. Before his death in 1989, Leone was part-way through planning a film on the Siege of Leningrad, set during World War II. By 1989, Leone had been able to acquire US$100 million in financing from independent backers for the war epic. He had convinced Morricone to compose the film score. The project was cancelled when Leone died two days before he was to officially sign on for the film.

In early 2003, Italian filmmaker Giuseppe Tornatore announced he would direct a film called Leningrad. The film has yet to go into production and Morricone was cagey as to details on account of Tornatore’s superstitious nature.

Association with Sergio Corbucci and Sergio Sollima

Two years after the start of his collaboration with Sergio Leone, Morricone also started to score music for another Spaghetti Western director, Sergio Corbucci. The composer wrote music for Corbucci’s Navajo Joe (1966), The Hellbenders (1967), The Mercenary/The Professional Gun (1968), The Great Silence (1968), Compañeros (1970), Sonny and Jed (1972), and What Am I Doing in the Middle of the Revolution? (1972).

In addition, Morricone composed music for the western films by Sergio Sollima, The Big Gundown (with Lee Van Cleef, 1966), Face to Face (1967), and Run, Man, Run (1968), as well as the 1970 crime thriller Violent City (with Charles Bronson) and the poliziottesco film Revolver (1973).

Other westerns

Other relevant scores for less popular Spaghetti Westerns include Duello nel Texas (1963), Bullets Don’t Argue (1964), A Pistol for Ringo (1965), The Return of Ringo (1965), Seven Guns for the MacGregors (1966), The Hills Run Red (1966), Giulio Petroni’s Death Rides a Horse (1967) and Tepepa (1968), A Bullet for the General (1967), Guns for San Sebastian (with Charles Bronson and Anthony Quinn, 1968), A Sky Full of Stars for a Roof (1968), The Five Man Army (1969), Don Siegel’s Two Mules for Sister Sara (1970), Life Is Tough, Eh Providence? (1972), and Buddy Goes West (1981).

Dramas and political movies

With Leone’s films, Ennio Morricone’s name had been put firmly on the map. Most of Morricone’s film scores of the 1960s were composed outside the Spaghetti Western genre, while still using Alessandroni’s team. Their music included the themes for Il Malamondo (1964), Slalom (1965), and Listen, Let’s Make Love (1967). In 1968, Morricone reduced his work outside the movie business and wrote scores for 20 films in the same year. The scores included psychedelic accompaniment for Mario Bava’s superhero romp Danger: Diabolik (1968).

Morricone collaborated with Marco Bellocchio (Fists in the Pocket, 1965), Gillo Pontecorvo (The Battle of Algiers (1966), and Queimada! (1969) with Marlon Brando), Roberto Faenza (H2S, 1968), Giuliano Montaldo (Sacco e Vanzetti, 1971), Giuseppe Patroni Griffi (‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore, 1971), Mauro Bolognini (Drama of the Rich, 1974), Umberto Lenzi (Almost Human, 1974), Pier Paolo Pasolini (Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom, 1975), Bernardo Bertolucci (Novecento, 1976), and Tinto Brass (The Key, 1983).[1

In 1970, Morricone wrote the score for Violent City. That same year, he received his first Nastro d’Argento for the music in Metti, una sera a cena (Giuseppe Patroni Griffi, 1969) and his second only a year later for Sacco e Vanzetti (Giuliano Montaldo, 1971), in which he collaborated with the legendary American folk singer and activist Joan Baez. His soundtrack for Sacco e Vanzetti contains another well-known composition by Morricone, the folk song “Here’s to You”, sung by Joan Baez. For the writing of the lyrics, Baez was inspired by a letter from Bartolomeo Vanzetti: “Father, yes, I am a prisoner / Fear not to relay my crime”. The song became a hit in several countries, selling more than 790,000 copies in France only. The song was later included in movies such as The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.

In the beginning of the 1970s, Morricone achieved success with other singles, including A Fistful of Dynamite (1971) and God With Us (1974), having sold respectively 477,000 and 378,000 copies in France only.

Horror

Morricone’s eclecticism found its way to films in the horror genre, such as the baroque thrillers of Dario Argento, from The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1969), The Cat o’ Nine Tails (1970), and Four Flies on Grey Velvet (1971) to The Stendhal Syndrome (1996) and The Phantom of the Opera (1998). His other horror scores include Nightmare Castle (1965), A Quiet Place in the Country (1968), The Antichrist (1974), Autopsy (1975), and Night Train Murders (1975).

In addition, Morricone’s music has also been featured in many popular and cult Italian giallo films, such as Senza sapere niente di lei (1969), Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion (1970), A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin (1971), Cold Eyes of Fear (1971), The Fifth Cord (1971), Short Night of Glass Dolls (1971), My Dear Killer (1972), What Have You Done to Solange? (1972), Black Belly of the Tarantula (1972), Who Saw Her Die? (1972), and Spasmo (1974).

In 1977 Morricone scored John Boorman’s Exorcist II: The Heretic and Alberto De Martino’s apocalyptic horror film Holocaust 2000, starring Kirk Douglas. In 1982 he composed the score for John Carpenter’s science fiction horror movie The Thing.[81] Morricone’s main theme for the film was reflected in Marco Beltrami’s film’s score of prequel of the 1982 film, which was released in 2011.

Hollywood career

The Dollars Trilogy was not released in the United States until 1967 when United Artists, who had already enjoyed success distributing the British-produced James Bond films in the United States, decided to release Sergio Leone’s Spaghetti Westerns. The American release gave Morricone an exposure in America and his film music became quite popular in the United States.

One of Morricone’s first contributions to an American director concerned his music for the religious epic film The Bible: In the Beginning… by John Huston. According to Sergio Miceli’s book Morricone, la musica, il cinema, Morricone wrote about 15 or 16 minutes of music, which were recorded for a screen test and conducted by Franco Ferrara. At first Morricone’s teacher Goffredo Petrassi had been engaged to write the score for the great big budget epic, but Huston preferred another composer. RCA Records then proposed Morricone who was under contract with them, but a conflict between the film’s producer Dino De Laurentiis and RCA occurred. The producer wanted to have the exclusive rights for the soundtrack, while RCA still had the monopoly on Morricone at that time and did not want to release the composer. Subsequently, Morricone’s work was rejected because he did not get the permission by RCA to work for Dino De Laurentiis alone. The composer reused the parts of his unused score for The Bible: In the Beginning in such films as The Return of Ringo (1965) by Duccio Tessari and Alberto Negrin’s The Secret of the Sahara (1987).

Morricone never left Rome to compose his music and never learned to speak English. But given that the composer always worked in a wide field of composition genres, from “absolute music”, which he always produced, to “applied music”, working as orchestrator as well as conductor in the recording field, and then as a composer for theatre, radio, and cinema, the impression arises that he never really cared that much about his standing in the eyes of Hollywood.

1970–1985: from Two Mules to Red Sonja

In 1970, Morricone composed the music for Don Siegel’s Two Mules for Sister Sara, an American-Mexican western film starring Shirley MacLaine and Clint Eastwood. The same year the composer also delivered the title theme The Men from Shiloh for the American Western television series The Virginian.

In 1974–1975 Morricone wrote music for Spazio 1999, an Italian-produced compilation movie made to launch the Italian-British television series Space: 1999, while the original episodes featured music by Barry Gray. A soundtrack album was only released on CD in 2016 and on LP in 2017. In 1975 he scored the George Kennedy revenge thriller The “Human” Factor, which was the final film of director Edward Dmytryk. Two years later he composed the score for the sequel to William Friedkin’s 1973 film The Exorcist, directed by John Boorman: Exorcist II: The Heretic. The horror film was a major disappointment at the box office. The film grossed US$30,749,142 in the United States.

In 1978, the composer worked with Terrence Malick for Days of Heaven starring Richard Gere, for which he earned his first nomination at the Oscars for Best Original Score.

Despite the fact that Morricone had produced some of the most popular and widely imitated film music ever written throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Days of Heaven earned him his first Oscar nomination for Best Original Score, with his score up against Jerry Goldsmith’s The Boys from Brazil, Dave Grusin’s Heaven Can Wait, Giorgio Moroder’s Midnight Express (the eventual winner), and John Williams’s Superman: The Movie at the Oscar ceremonies in 1979.

1986 onward: from The Mission to The Hateful Eight

Association with Roland Joffé

The Mission, directed by Joffé, was about a piece of history considerably more distant, as Spanish Jesuit missionaries see their work undone as a tribe of Paraguayan natives fall within a territorial dispute between the Spanish and Portuguese. At one point the score was one of the world’s best-selling film scores, selling over 3 million copies worldwide.

Morricone finally received a second Oscar nomination for The Mission. Morricone’s original score lost out to Herbie Hancock’s coolly arranged jazz on Bertrand Tavernier’s Round Midnight. It was considered as a surprising win and a controversial one, given that much of the music in the film was pre-existing. Morricone stated the following during a 2001 interview with The Guardian: “I definitely felt that I should have won for The Mission. Especially when you consider that the Oscar-winner that year was Round Midnight, which was not an original score. It had a very good arrangement by Herbie Hancock, but it used existing pieces. So there could be no comparison with The Mission. There was a theft!” His score for The Mission was ranked at number 1 in a poll of the all-time greatest film scores. The top 10 list was compiled by 40 film composers such as Michael Giacchino and Carter Burwell. The score is ranked 23rd on the AFI’s list of 25 greatest film scores of all time.

Association with De Palma and Levinson

On three occasions, Brian De Palma worked with Morricone: The Untouchables (1987), the 1989 war drama Casualties of War and the science fiction film Mission to Mars (2000).[81] Morricone’s score for The Untouchables resulted in his third nomination for Academy Award for Best Original Score.

In a 2001 interview with The Guardian, Morricone stated that he had good experiences with De Palma: “De Palma is delicious! He respects music, he respects composers. For The Untouchables, everything I proposed to him was fine, but then he wanted a piece that I didn’t like at all, and of course we didn’t have an agreement on that. It was something I didn’t want to write – a triumphal piece for the police. I think I wrote nine different pieces for this in total and I said, ‘Please don’t choose the seventh!’ because it was the worst. And guess what he chose? The seventh one. But it really suits the movie.”

Another American director, Barry Levinson, commissioned the composer on two occasions. First, for the crime-drama Bugsy, starring Warren Beatty, which received ten Oscar nominations, winning two for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration (Dennis Gassner, Nancy Haigh) and Best Costume Design.

“He doesn’t have a piano in his studio, I always thought that with composers, you sit at the piano, and you try to find the melody. There’s no such thing with Morricone. He hears a melody, and he writes it down. He hears the orchestration completely done,” said Levinson in an interview.

Other notable Hollywood scores

During his career in Hollywood, Morricone was approached for numerous other projects, including the Gregory Nava drama A Time of Destiny (1988), Frantic by Polish-French director Roman Polanski (1988, starring Harrison Ford), Franco Zeffirelli’s 1990 drama film Hamlet (starring Mel Gibson and Glenn Close), the neo-noir crime film State of Grace by Phil Joanou (1990, starring Sean Penn and Ed Harris),[103] Rampage (1992) by William Friedkin, and the romantic drama Love Affair (1994) by Warren Beatty.

Association with Quentin Tarantino

In 2009, Tarantino originally wanted Morricone to compose the film score for Inglourious Basterds. Morricone was unable to, because the film’s sped-up production schedule conflicted with his scoring of Giuseppe Tornatore’s Baarìa. However, Tarantino did use eight tracks composed by Morricone in the film, with four of them included on the soundtrack. The tracks came originally from Morricone’s scores for The Big Gundown (1966), Revolver (1973) and Allonsanfàn (1974).

In 2012, Morricone composed the song “Ancora Qui” with lyrics by Italian singer Elisa for Tarantino’s Django Unchained, a track that appeared together with three existing music tracks composed by Morricone on the soundtrack. “Ancora Qui” was one of the contenders for an Academy Award nomination in the Best Original Song category, but eventually the song was not nominated.On 4 January 2013 Morricone presented Tarantino with a Life Achievement Award at a special ceremony being cast as a continuation of the International Rome Film Festival. In 2014, Morricone was misquoted, as claiming that he would “never work” with Tarantino again, and later agreed to write an original film score for Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, which won an Academy Award in 2016 in the Best Original Score category.

Composer for Giuseppe Tornatore

In 1988, Morricone started an ongoing and very successful collaboration with Italian director Giuseppe Tornatore. His first score for Tornatore was for the drama film Cinema Paradiso. The international version of the film won the Special Jury Prize at the 1989 Cannes Film Festival[115] and the 1989 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. Morricone received a BAFTA award with his son Andrea, and a David di Donatello for his score. In 2002, the director’s cut 173-minute version was released (known in the US as Cinema Paradiso: The New Version). After the success of Cinema Paradiso, the composer wrote the music for all subsequent films by Tornatore: the drama film Everybody’s Fine (Stanno Tutti Bene, 1990), A Pure Formality (1994) starring Gérard Depardieu and Roman Polanski, The Star Maker (1995), The Legend of 1900 (1998) starring Tim Roth, the 2000 romantic drama Malèna (which featured Monica Bellucci) and the psychological thriller mystery film La sconosciuta (2006). Morricone also composed the scores for Baarìa (2009), The Best Offer (2013) starring Geoffrey Rush, Jim Sturgess and Donald Sutherland and the romantic drama The Correspondence (2015)

The composer won several music awards for his scores to Tornatore’s movies. So, Morricone received a fifth Academy Award nomination and a Golden Globe nomination for Malèna. For Legend of 1900, he won a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score.

Television series and last works

Morricone wrote the score for the Mafia television series La piovra seasons 2 to 10 from 1985 to 2001, including the themes “Droga e sangue” (“Drugs and Blood”), “La Morale”, and “L’Immorale”. Morricone worked as the conductor of seasons 3 to 5 of the series. He also worked as the music supervisor for the television project La bibbia (“The Bible”). In the late 1990s, he collaborated with his son Andrea on the Ultimo crime dramas, resulting in Ultimo (1998), Ultimo 2 – La sfida (1999), Ultimo 3 – L’infiltrato (2004) and Ultimo 4 – L’occhio del falco (2013). For Canone inverso (2000) based on the music-themed novel of the same name by the Paolo Maurensig, directed by Ricky Tognazzi and starring Hans Matheson, Morricone won Best Score awards in the David di Donatello Awards and Silver Ribbons.

In the 2000s, Morricone continued to compose music for successful television series such as Il Cuore nel Pozzo (2005), Karol: A Man Who Became Pope (2005), La provinciale (2006), Giovanni Falcone (2007), Pane e libertà (2009) and Come Un Delfino 1–2 (2011–2013).

Morricone provided the string arrangements on Morrissey’s “Dear God Please Help Me” from the album Ringleader of the Tormentors in 2006.

In 2008, the composer recorded music for a Lancia commercial, featuring Richard Gere and directed by Harald Zwart (known for directing The Pink Panther 2).

In spring and summer 2010, Morricone worked with Hayley Westenra for a collaboration on her album Paradiso. The album features new songs written by Morricone, as well as some of his best-known film compositions of the last 50 years. Hayley recorded the album with Morricone’s orchestra in Rome during the summer of 2010.

Since 1995, he composed the music for several advertising campaigns of Dolce & Gabbana. The commercials were directed by Giuseppe Tornatore

In 2013, Morricone collaborated with Italian singer-songwriter Laura Pausini on a new version of her hit single “La solitudine” for her 20 years anniversary greatest hits album 20 – The Greatest Hits.

Morricone composed the music for The Best Offer (2013) by Giuseppe Tornatore.

He wrote the score for Christian Carion’s En mai, fais ce qu’il te plait (2015) and the most recent movie by Tornatore: The Correspondence (2016), featuring Jeremy Irons and Olga Kurylenko. In July 2015, Quentin Tarantino announced after the screening of footage of his movie The Hateful Eight at the San Diego Comic-Con International that Morricone would score the film, the first Western that Morricone scored since 1981. The score was critically acclaimed and won several awards including the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score and the Academy Award for Best Original Score.

Live performances

Before receiving his diplomas in trumpet, composition and instrumentation from the conservatory, Morricone was already active as a trumpet player, often performing in an orchestra that specialised in music written for films. After completing his education at Saint Cecilia, the composer honed his orchestration skills as an arranger for Italian radio and television. In order to support himself, he moved to RCA in the early sixties and entered the front ranks of the Italian recording industry. Since 1964, Morricone was also a founding member of the Rome-based avant-garde ensemble Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza. During the existence of the group (until 1978), Morricone performed several times with the group as trumpet player.

To ready his music for live performance, he joined smaller pieces of music together into longer suites. Rather than single pieces, which would require the audience to applaud every few minutes, Morricone thought the best idea was to create a series of suites lasting from 15 to 20 minutes, which form a sort of symphony in various movements – alternating successful pieces with personal favourites. In concert, Morricone normally had 180 to 200 musicians and vocalists under his baton, performing multiple genre-crossing collections of music. Rock, symphonic and ethnic instruments share the stage.

On 20 September 1984 Morricone conducted the Orchestre national des Pays de la Loire at Cinésymphonie ’84 (“Première nuit de la musique de film/First night of film music”) in the French concert hall Salle Pleyel in Paris. He performed some of his best-known compositions such as Metti, una sera a cena, Novecento and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Michel Legrand and Georges Delerue performed on the same evening.

On 15 October 1987 Morricone gave a concert in front of 12,000 people in the Sportpaleis in Antwerp, Belgium, with the Dutch Metropole Orchestra and the Italian operatic soprano Alide Maria Salvetta. A live-album with a recording of this concert was released in the same year.

On 9 June 2000 Morricone went to the Flanders International Film Festival Ghent to conduct his music together with the National Orchestra of Belgium. During the concert’s first part, the screening of The Life and Death of King Richard III (1912) was accompanied with live music by Morricone. It was the very first time that the score was performed live in Europe. The second part of the evening consisted of an anthology of the composer’s work. The event took place on the eve of Euro 2000, the European Football Championship in Belgium and the Netherlands.

Morricone performed over 250 concerts as of 2001. The composer started a world tour in 2001, the latter part sponsored by Giorgio Armani, with the Orchestra Roma Sinfonietta, touring London (Barbican 2001; 75th birthday Concerto, Royal Albert Hall 2003), Paris, Verona, and Tokyo. Morricone performed his classic film scores at the Gasteig in Munich in 2004.

He made his North American concert debut on 3 February 2007 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The previous evening, Morricone had already presented at the United Nations a concert comprising some of his film themes, as well as the cantata Voci dal silenzio to welcome the new Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. A Los Angeles Times review bemoaned the poor acoustics and opined of Morricone: “His stick technique is adequate, but his charisma as a conductor is zero.”

On 22 December 2012 Morricone conducted the 85-piece Belgian orchestra “Orkest der Lage Landen” and a 100-piece choir during a two-hour concert in the Sportpaleis in Antwerp.

In November 2013 Morricone began a world tour to coincide with the 50th anniversary of his film music career and performed in locations such as the Crocus City Hall in Moscow, Santiago, Chile, Berlin, Germany (O2 World, Germany), Budapest, Hungary, and Vienna (Stadhalle). Back in June 2014, Morricone had to cancel a US tour in New York (Barclays Center) and Los Angeles (Nokia Theatre LA Live) due to a back procedure on 20 February. Morricone postponed the rest of his world tour.

In November 2014 Morricone stated that he would resume his European tour starting from February 2015.

Personal life

On 13 October 1956, Morricone married Maria Travia, whom he had met in 1950. Travia wrote lyrics to complement her husband’s pieces. Her works include the Latin texts for The Mission. They had three sons and a daughter: Marco (1957), Alessandra (1961), the conductor and film composer Andrea (1964), and Giovanni Morricone (1966), a filmmaker, who lives in New York City.

Morricone lived in Italy his entire life and never desired to live in Hollywood. The New York Times Magazine listed him among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.

Morricone described himself as a Christian leftist, stating that he voted for the Christian Democracy (DC) for more than 40 years and then, after its dissolution in 1994, he approached the centre-left coalition.

Morricone loved chess, having learned the game when he was 11. Before his musical career took off, he played in club tournaments in Rome in the mid-1950s. His first official tournament was in 1964, where he won a prize in the third category for amateurs. He was even coached by 12-time Italian champion IM Stefano Tatai [it] for a while. Soon he got too busy for chess, but he would always keep a keen interest in the game. It is not clear how strong Morricone was as a player. His Elo rating was estimated to be 1700. He did hold GM Boris Spassky to a draw once in a simultaneous competition. It took place in 2000 in Turin with 27 players and included Morricone’s son Andrea and Paolo Fresco, CEO of Fiat at the time. Morricone was the last player standing in that game, and Spassky had to concede the half point. Over the years, Morricone played chess with many big names including GMs Garry Kasparov, Anatoly Karpov, Judit Polgar, and Peter Leko. In a Paris Review  interview he said “If I were not a musician I would wish to be a chessplayer. But a great chessplayer, one of those about whom history is written; like Fischer, Karpov, Kasparov and many GMs of the past. It is just a dream; one that arrives, on time, when I lose a game.”

On 6 July 2020, Morricone died at the Università Campus Bio-Medico in Rome, aged 91, as a result of injuries sustained during a fall.

 

Lyrics


Any Way You Want Me

Key: Bb

Genre: Country

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

5 5 6 5 -4 5 -4 4
I’ll be as strong as a mountain
4 -6 -6 -6 -6 -7 7 7 -6 6
or weak as a wi-ll-ow tr-e-e
8 9 8 -8 -8 7
any way you want me
7 7 -6 6 7 -8 8 8 -8 7
well th-a-ts how I will b-e-e.
5 5 6 5 -4 5 -4 4
I’ll be as tame as a baby
4 -6 -6 -6 -6 -7 7 7 -6 6
or wild as the ra-gi-ng s-e-a
8 9 8 -8 -8 7
any way you want me
7 7 -6 6 7 -8 8 8 -8 7
well th-a-ts how I will b-e-e.
-6 -6 7 -6 -6 6 5 6
In your ha-nds my heart is clay,
4 -6 -7 7 -6 7 7 6
to take and mold as you ma-y,
-6 -6 -7 7 -6
I’m what you make me,
-4 -6 -6 -7 7 -6
you’ve only to take me,
-4 8 8 8 -8 7 -8 8
and in your arms I will st-ay.
5 5 6 5 -4 5 -4 4
I’ll be a fool or a wise man,
4 -6 -6 -6 -6 -7 7 7 -6 6
my darling you ho-ld the k-e-y,
6 8 9 8 -8 -8 7
yes any way you want me,
7 7 -6 6 7 -8 8 8 -8 7
well th-a-ts how I will b-e-e.

Lyrics


Bring Me Some Water

Key: Bb

Genre: Country

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

Verse:
3 -3′ -3′ -3′ 3 -3′
To-night I feel so weak

3 -3′ -3′ -3′ -4 4
But all in love is fair

3 -3′ -3′ -3′ 3 -3′
I turn the o-ther cheek

-3′ 3 -3′ 3 -3′ -3′ 3 -3′
And I feel the slap and the sting

-3′ -3′ -4 4 -3′
Of the foul night air

4 -4 -4 4 -4 4 -4 -4
And I know you’re on-ly hu-man

4 -4 -4 4 -4 -4 4 -3′
And I have-n’t got talk-in’ room

4 4 -4 -4 4 -4 -4 4 -4 -4
But to-night while I’m mak-ing ex-cus-es

-3′ -3′ -3′ -3 -3′
Some oth- er wo-man

-3′ -3′ -3′ -3 -3′ -3
Is mak-ing love to you

Chorus:
-6 -6 -6 -6 6 6 6 6 -6
Some-bo-dy bring me some wa- ter

6 6 6 -4 -6 -6 6 -4
Can’t you see I’m burn-in’ a-live

-4 -6 6 6 -6 -6
Can’t you see my ba-by’s

6 -6 6 6 -6 -4
Got an-oth-er lo-ver

6 -6 6 6 -6 6 -6 -6 6
I don’t know how I’m gon-na sur-vive

6 6 6 6 -6 -6 -6 -6 6
Some-bo-dy bring me some wa- ter

-4 -5 6 -5 -6 -6 6 -4
Can’t you see it’s out of con-trol

6 6 6 -6 6
Ba-by’s got my heart

-5 -6 6 6 6 -6 6
And my ba-by’s got my mind

5 5 5
But to-night

5 -6 -6 5
The sweet de-vil

7 -7 6 6 -6 6
Sweet de-vil’s got my soul

Verse:
-3′ 3 – 3′ 3 -3′
Will this ach-ing pass

-3′ 3 -4 -4 4
Will this night be through

-3′ 3 -3′ -3′ -3′ 3 -3′
Want to hear the break-ing glass

-6 -6 6 -6 6 -6
I on-ly feel the steel

-6 6 -6 6 -4
Of the red hot truth

-4 5 6 6 -5 6
And I’d do a-ny-thing

-5 6 -5 6 -5 6 6
To get it out of my mind

6 -5 6 -5 6 -5 6
I need some in-sa-ni-ty

-4 5 -5 6 -4 -4
That tem-po-ra-ry kind

-4 4 -4 4 -4
Tell me, how will I

5 -4 5 -4 5
E-ver be the same

5 -4 5 -4 -5 -3′
When I know that wo-man

-5 -6 -6 -6 6 -6
Is whis-per-ing your name

Chorus:
Somebody bring me some water
Can’t you see Im burning alive
Can’t you see my baby’s got another lover
I dont know how Im gonna survive
Somebody bring me some water
Can’t you see it’s out of control
Baby’s got my heart and my baby’s got my mind
But tonight the sweet devil’s got my soul

Chorus again

Lyrics


Blue (chromatic)

Key: Bb

Genre: Country

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

by: Bill Mack
LeAnn Rimes
Key: A, Bb

Key: A

-7 …7*-87*-8-77*
Blue
-6*-6* -6* 6 5* -3*
Oh, so lone-some for you
-7 -7-6* -7 -7 7*-6*6-6*-6* 6
Why can’t you be blue ov-er me?

-7 …7*-87*-8-77*
Blue
-6*-6* -6* 6 5* -3*
Oh, so lone-some for you
-7 -7 -7 6 5* 5* 5* -3
Tears fill my eyes ’till I can’t see

7*7 7* 7 7* -7 7* 7* 7*-6*
3 o’clock in the morn-ing, here am I
-6* 6* -6*6*-6* 7* -6*
Sit-ting here so lone-ly,
-6* -6* 6 -6* -6* 6
so lone-some I could cry

-7 …7*-87*-8-77*
Blue

-6*-6* -6* 6 5* -3*
Oh, so lone-some for you
-7 -7-6* -7 -7 7*-6*65* 5* -3
Why can’t you be blue ov-er me?

7* 7 7* -7 7* 7*7* -6* -6*
Now that it’s ov-er, I re-al-ized
-6*6*-6*6* -6* 7* 7* -6*
Those weak words you whis-pered,
-6* -6* 6 -6* 6 -6
were noth-ing but lies

-7 …7*-87*-8-77*
Blue
7* 7*
Oh, so

Key: Bb

7 7 -5 -4
lone-some for you
-7* -7* -7*-7* -77-6 -5 -5-3*
Why can’t you be blue ov-er me?
-7* -7* -7*-7* -77-6-5-67-67-7*
Why can’t you be blue ov-er me?

Lyrics


Blue

Key: Bb

Genre: Country

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

7 -7 -8 -7 -8 7 -7
Blue
-6 -6 -6 6 5 -4
Oh, so lonesome for you
7 7 7 7 -6 6 -6-6 6
Why can’t you be blue over me?

7 -7 -8 -7 -8 7 -7
Blue
-6 -6 -6 6 5 -4
Oh, so lonesome for you
7 7 7 7 -6 6 5 5 5 4
Tears fill my eyes ’til I can’t see
-7 -6 -7 -6 -7 7 -7 -7-7 -7 -6
Three o’clock in the morning, here am I
-6 6 -6 6-6 -7 -6 -6 -6 6 -6 -6 6
Sittin’ here s-o lonely, so lonesome I could cry

7 -7 -8 -7 -8 7 -7
Blue
-6 -6 -6 6 5 -4
Oh, so lonesome for you
7 7 7 7 -6 6 -6-6 6
Why can’t you be blue over me?

-7-6 -7-6 -7 7 -7 -7 -7 -7 -6
Now that it’s over, I realize
-6 6 -6 6 -6 -7-6 -6 -6 6 -6 -6 6
Those weak words you whispered, were nothing but lies

7 -7 -8 -7 -8 7 -7
Blue
-6 -6 -6 6 5 -4
Oh, so lonesome for you
7 7 7 7 -6 6 -6-6 6
Why can’t you be blue over me?
7 7 7 7 -6 6 -5 -6 -7 -6 -7 7
Why can’t you be blue over me?

Lyrics


Best Of You

Key: Bb

Genre: Country

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

By: Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins,
Chris Shiflett, Nate Mendel
The Foo Fighters
Key: E

7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 6 6 65*
I’ve got an-oth-er con-fes-sion to make
65* 5* 5*
I’m your fool
7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 6 6 6 -6*
Ev-‘ry-one’s got their chains to break
6 5* 5* 5*
Hold-in’ you
6 6 6 6 6 -6*6-5*-5*7*6-5* 65*
Were you born to re-sist, or be a-bused?

7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 7*6
Is some-one get-ting the best
7* 7*6 7* 7*6 7* 7*6 6 -6*
The best, the best, the best of you?
7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 7*6
Is some-one get-ting the best
7* 7*6 7* 7*6 7* 7*6 6 -6*
The best, the best, the best of you?
5* 5* 5* 5* 5*-5*-5*-5*5* 5* 5*-4
Are you gone and on- to some-one new?

7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 6 6
I need-ed some-where to hang my head
5* 6 5* 5*-4
With-out your noose
7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 6 6 6-6*
You gave me some-thing that I did-n’t have
5* 6 5* 5*-4
But had no use
6 6 6 6 6 6 -6*6-5*
I was too weak to give in
6 7* 6 6 5*
Too strong to lose

7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 6 65*
My heart is un-der ar-rest a-gain
5* 6 5* 5*-4
But I break loose
7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 6 6 -6*
My head is giv-ing me life or death
5* 6 5* 5* -4
But I can’t choose
6 6 6 6 6 6 -6*6-5*
I swear I’ll nev-er give in
7*6 6 65*
I re-fuse

7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 7*6
Is some-one get-ting the best
7* 7*6 7* 7*6 7* 7*6 6 -6*
The best, the best, the best of you?
7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 7*6
Is some-one get-ting the best
7* 7*6 7* 7*6 7* 7*6 6 -6*
The best, the best, the best of you?

7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 7*6
Has some-one tak-en your faith?
7* 7*6 7* 7* 7* 7*
It’s real, the pain you feel
7* 7*6 7* 7* 7* 7*
Your trust, you must con-fess

7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 7*6
Is some-one get-ting the best
7* 7*6 7* 7*6 7* 7*6 6 4*-44*
The best, the best, the best of you?

7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 7*
Has some-one tak-en your faith?
7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 7*
It’s real, the pain you feel
7* 7*6 7* 7*6
The life, the love
-6* -6* -6* -6* 6
You thought you healed
7* 7*6 7* 7*6 7* 7* 7* 7*
The hope that stops the bro-ken hearts
7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 6
Your trust, you must con-fess

7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 7*6
Is some-one get-ting the best
7* 7*6 7* 7*6 7* 7*6 6 -6*
The best, the best, the best of you?
7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 7*6
Is some-one get-ting the best
7* 7*6 7* 7*6 7* 7*6 6 -6*
The best, the best, the best of you?

7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 6 6 6 5*
I’ve got an-oth-er con-fes-sion my friend
65* 5* 5*-4
I’m no fool
7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 6 6 -6*
I’m get-ting tired of start-ing a-gain
65* 5* 5*
Some-where new
6 6 6 6 6 6-6*6-5*
Were you born to re-sist,
-5* 7*6 6 6 5*
or be a-bused?
6 6 6 6 6 6 6-6* 7*6 6 65*
I swear I’ll nev-er give in, I re-fuse

7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 7*6
Is some-one get-ting the best
7* 7*6 7* 7*6 7* 7*6 6 -6*
The best, the best, the best of you?
7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 7*6
Is some-one get-ting the best
7* 7*6 7* 7*6 7* 7*6 6 -6*
The best, the best, the best of you?

7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 7*6
Has some-one tak-en your faith?
7* 7*6 7* 7* 7* 7*
It’s real, the pain you feel
7* 7*6 7* 7* 7* 7*
Your trust, you must con-fess

7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 7* 7*6
Is some-one get-ting the best
7* 7*6 7* 7*6 7* 7*6 6 -6*
The best, the best, the best of you?

Lyrics


Because Of You (Duet) Original

Key: Bb

Genre: Country

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

(Reba)

2 2 1 3 -1 2 -1 2 -1 2 -1
I will not make the same mis-takes that you did

2 -1 1 -2 -1 -1 2 -1 2 -1 -1 2 -1 -1
I will not let my-self cause my heart so much mis-er-y

4 -3 -3b -2 -1 2 -1 2 -1 2 -2b -1
I will not break the way you did you fell so hard

4 4 4 -4 4 4 4 -5 -5 4 -5 4 4
I’ve learned the hard way to nev-er let it get that far

5 -4 -4 5+6
Be-cause of you

5 5 4 5 5 5 5 4 4 -3
I nev-er stray too far from the side-walk

5 -4 -4 5+6
Be-cause of you

4 5+6 5 5 5 4 5 5 5 -5 5 4 4
I learnt to play on the safe side so I don’t get hurt

5 -4 -4 5+6
Be-cause of you

-3b 4 -3b 4 -3b 4 4 4 4 -4
I find it hard to trust not on-ly me

4 -4 4 4 4 5 -4
But ev-‘ry-one a-round me

5 -4 -4 5+6 4 3 4
Be-cause of you im a-fraid

(K.C)

2 2 1 3 -1 2 2 -1 2 -1 2 -1
I lose my way & it’s not too long be-fore you

2 -2b 2
Point it out

2 -1 1 -2 -1 2 -1 2 -1 2 -1
I can not cry be-cause I know that’s weak-ness

2 -2b -2
in your eyes

4 -3 -3b -2
im forced to fake

-1 2 -1 2 2 -1 2 2 -2b -1
a smile a laugh ev-‘ry-day of my life

4 -4 4 -4 4 4 -3b
my heart cant pos-si-bly break

4 -5 4 -5 -5 4 -5 4 4 -4
when it was-nt e-ven whole to start with

5 -4 -4 5+6
Be-cause of you

4 5+6 5 5 5 4 5 5 5 -5 5 4 4
I learnt to play on the safe side so I don’t get hurt

5 -4 -4 5+6
Be-cause of you

-3b 4 -3b 4 -3b 4 4 4 4 -4
I find it hard to trust not on-ly me

4 -4 4 4 4 5 -4
But ev-‘ry-one a-round me

5 -4 -4 5+6 4 3 4
Be-cause of you im a-fraid

(Reba)

2 2 2 2 2 2 -1 -1
I watched you die I heard you cry

-1 1 3 1 2 1
ev-‘ry night in your sleep

2 2 -1 2 2 2 -1 2 2 1 2
I was so young you should have known bet-ter than

2 3 -4 5
To lean on me

2 2 -1 2 2 2 2 -1 -1
You nev-er thought of an-y-one else

2 2 1 2 1
You just saw your pain

5 5 -5 5 5 -4 5 -4 5 -4 5
And now I cry in the mid-dle of the night

4 -5 -5 5 -5
For that same damn thing

5 -4 -4 5+6
Be-cause of you

4 5+6 5 5 5 4 5 5
I learnt to play on the safe side

5 -5 5 4 4
so I don’t get hurt

5 -4 -4 5+6
Be-cause of you

-3b 4 -3b 4 -3b 4 4 4 4 -4
I find it hard to trust not on-ly me

4 -4 4 4 4 5 -4
But ev-‘ry-one a-round me

5 -4 -4 5+6 4 3 4
Be-cause of you im a-fraid

Lyrics


Cwm Rhondda

Key: Bb

Genre: Country

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

Cwm Rhondda

(Guide me O Thou Great Redeemer

/ Wele’n sefyll rhwng y myrtwydd)

First position (C on C diatonic)

-2 -3 4 4 4 -3 4 -4 -4 4

Guide me O Thou Great Red – eem er

We—le’n sef-yll rhwng y myrtwydd

5 4 -3” -5 5 -4 4

Pil-grim through this barr-en land

Gwrthrych teil–wng o’m holl fryd

3 -3 4 4 4 -3 4 -4 5 -4

I am weak but Thou art mighty

Er mai o ran rwy’n ad—nabod

5 -5 6 -5 -4 4 -3 4

Hold me with Thy pow’rful hand

Ei fod uwchlaw wrthrychau’r byd

-4 5 -5 5 -4 5 -5 6 -5 5

Bread of Heav-en, Bread of Heav-en

Henffych fo– re, henffych fo– -re

6 6 -5 5 -4 4 6 [-3 -4 -5]

Feed me till I want no more

Caf Ei we-led fel y mae

6 -5 5 6 -5 -4 4 -3 4

Feed me till I want no more

Caf Ei we—-led fel y mae!

Lyrics


Come, Ye Sinners, Poor & Needy (hi-lo)

Key: Bb

Genre: Country

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

W: Joseph Hart
From: Walker’s “Southern Harmony”
1835
Key: Em

-3” 4 -3” 3 -3” 4 4 -3”3 2
-6 7 -6 6 -6 7 7 -6 6 5
Come ye sin-ners, poor and need-y

3 3 -2” 3-3” 4 -4 5
6 6 -5 6-6 7 -8 8
Weak and wound-ed, sick and sore

5 6 5 -4 4 -4 5 4 -3” 3
8 9 8 -8 7 -8 8 7 -6 6
Je-sus read-y stands to save you

-3” 4 -3”32-1 2 3 -3”
-6 7 -665-4 5 6 -6
Full of pit-y, love and pow’r

-3”4 4 -3” 3-3”4 4 -3”3 2
-6 7 7 -6 6-6 7 7 -6 6 5
I will a-rise and go to Je-sus

3 3 3 -3” 3-3” 4 -4 5
6 6 6 -6 6-6 7 -8 8
He will em-brace me, in His arms

5 6 5 -4 4 -4 5 4-3” 3
8 9 8 -8 7 -8 8 7-6 6
In the arms of my dear Sav-ior

-3” 4 -3”32-1 2 3 -3”
-6 7 -66 5-4 5 6 -6
O there are ten thou-sand charms

Lyrics


Come, Ye Sinners, Poor & Needy (chrom)

Key: Bb

Genre: Country

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

W: Joseph Hart
From: Walker’s “Southern Harmony”
1835
Key: Em

6 7 6 -5 6 7 7 6-5 -4
Come ye sin-ners, poor and need-y
-5 -5 5 -56 7 -7 -8
Weak and wound-ed, sick and sore
-8 -9 -8-7 7 -7 -8 7 6 -5
Je-sus read-y stands to save you
6 7 6-5-4-3 -4 -5 6
Full of pit-y, love and pow’r
6 7 7 6 -56 7 7 6 -5-4
I will a-rise and go to Je-sus
-5 -5 -5 6 -56 7 -7 -8
He will em-brace me, in His arms
-8 -9 -8-7 7 -7 -8 7 6 -5
In the arms of my dear Sav-ior
6 7 6-5 -4-3 -4 -5 6
O there are ten thou-sand charms

Lyrics


Come, Ye Sinners, Poor & Needy (2nd pos)

Key: Bb

Genre: Country

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

W: Joseph Hart
From: Walker’s “Southern Harmony”
1835
Key: Em
Harp: C

5 6 5 -4 5 6 6 5-4 -3
Come ye sin-ners, poor and need-y
-4 -4 4 -45 6 -6 -7
Weak and wound-ed, sick and sore
-7 -8 -7-6 6 -6 -7 6 5 -4
Je-sus read-y stands to save you
5 6 5-4-3-3”-3 -4 5
Full of pit-y, love and pow’r
5 6 6 5 -45 6 6 5 -4-3
I will a-rise and go to Je-sus
-4 -4 -4 5 -45 6 -6 -7
He will em-brace me, in His arms
-7 -8 -7-6 6 -6 -7 6 5 -4
In the arms of my dear Sav-ior
5 6 5-4 -3-3”-3 -4 5
O there are ten thou-sand charms

Lyrics


Come Holy Spirit (tremolo)

Key: Bb

Genre: Country

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

This is tabbed for a 24 hole Echo Celeste tremolo

6 6 6 -6 6 5 6 -5
Come as a wisdom to children
4 -4 -5 -6 6 -5 6
Come as new sight to the blind
7 7 7 7 -6 6 7 -6
Come Lord as strength to my weakness
6 4 6 -6 -4 -5 5
Take me soul, bo-dy and mind

Chorus:
6 6 6 -6 6 5 6 -5
Come Holy Spirit I need You
-6 -6 -6 6 -5 6
Come sweet Spirit I pray
7 7 7 7 -6 6 7 -6
Come in Your strength and Your power
6 6 6 -6 -4 -5 5
Come in Your own gentle way

Verse 2:
Come as a rest to the weary
Come as a balm for the sore
Come as a dew to my dryness
Fill me with joy ever more

(Chorus)

Verse 3:
Come like a spring in the desert
Come to the withered of soul
O let Your sweet healing power
Touch me and make me whole

(Chorus)

Lyrics


Come Holy Spirit

Key: Bb

Genre: Country

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

5 5 5 -5 5 4 5 -4
Come as a wisdom to children
3 -3 -4 -5 5 -4 5
Come as new sight to the blind
6 6 6 6 -5 5 6 -5
Come Lord as strength to my weakness
5 3 5 -5 -3 -4 4
Take me soul, bo-dy and mind

Chorus:
5 5 5 -5 5 4 5 -4
Come Holy Spirit I need You
-5 -5 -5 5 -4 5
Come sweet Spirit I pray
6 6 6 6 -5 5 6 -5
Come in Your strength and Your power
5 5 5 -5 -3 -4 4
Come in Your own gentle way

Verse 2:
Come as a rest to the weary
Come as a balm for the sore
Come as a dew to my dryness
Fill me with joy ever more

(Chorus)

Verse 3:
Come like a spring in the desert
Come to the withered of soul
O let Your sweet healing power
Touch me and make me whole

(Chorus)

Lyrics


Coconut Skins

Key: Bb

Genre: Country

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

5 -4 -4 4 4
you can hold her hand
4 -4 4 -4 4 5
and show her how you cry
5 -4 -4 4 -4 -4 -4 -4 -4 -4 4
explain to her your weakness so she understands
4 5 5 -4 -4 4 4
and then roll over and die

5 5 -4 -4 4 -4 4
or you can brave decisions
-4 4 -4 4 -4 4 5
before you crumble up inside
5 5 -5 5 -4 -4 -4 -4 -4 -4 -4 -4 -4
spend your time asking everyone else’s permission
5 5 -4 -4 4 4
then run away and hide

5 -4 -4 4 -4 4
you can sit on chimneys
-4 4 -4 4 -4 4 5
put some fire up your ass
5 5 5 -5 5 -4 -4 -4 -4 -4 -4 -4
no need to know what you’re doing or waiting for
5 5 -4 -4 4 4
but if anyone should ask
5 5 5 -4 -4 4 -4-4 -4 -4
tell them i’ve been lickin’ coconut skins
-4 -4 4 -4 4 5
and we’ve been hanging out
5 5 5 -4 -4 -4 -4 -4 -4 -4 -4
tell them god just dropped by to forgive our sins
5 5 -4 -4 4 4
and relieve us our doubt

*this is just the basic notes, some bends should be added to make it
better/more interesting.

Lyrics


Drowning

Key: Bb

Genre: Country

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

-7 7 7 -6 7 -6b -4 -5 -6b -6
Don’t pre-tend you’re sor-ry I know you’re not

-5b -7 7 7 -6 5 -6
you know you’ve got the pow-er

-5b -7 7 7 -6 -6
To make me weak in-side

-7 7 7 -6 7 -6b
Girl you leave me breath-less

-4 -5 -6b -6 -5b -7 7 7 -6 5 -6
But it’s o-kay ’cause you are my sur-vi-val

-7 7 -6 -6
Now hear me say

(Pre-Chorus)

-5b 7 -6 7 -7 -5 -6 -6 7 7
I can’t i-mag-ine life with-out your love

-5b 7 8 -7 -8 -7 -6 9
And Ev-en for-ev-er don’t seem

-8 -8 -7 7
Like long e-nough

(CHORUS)

7 8 9 9 9 9 9 9 8 -7
‘Cause ev-‘ry-time I breathe I take you in

-5 -5 9 -8 8 -7
And my heart beats a-gain

7 -7 8 -5 -6b 7 7 -7 7
Ba-by I can’t help it you keep me

8 -7 -7 7 7
Drown-ing in your love

7 8 9 9 9 9 9 9 8 -7
And Ev-‘ry-time I try to rise a-bove

-5 9 9 -8 8 -7 7 -7 8 -5 -6b 7
I’m swept a-way by love Ba-by I can’t help it

7 7 7 8 -7 -7 7 7
You keep me drown-ing in your love

VERSE 2 same as 1

May-be I’m a drif-ter maybe not
‘Cause I have known the safe-ty
Of flow-ing float-ing free-ly in your arms
I don’t need a-noth-er life line
It’s not for me ‘Cause on-ly you can save me
Oh can’t you see

(Pre Chorus+CHORUS)

8 8 -7 -7 7 7 5
Go on and pull me un-der

-5 7 7 -7 -7 7
Cov-er me with dreams, Yeah

8 -7 -7 7 7
Love me mouth to mouth

-5 -7 -7 -7 7 8
You know I can’t re-sist

-5 7 -7 -8 -8 8 -8
‘Cause you’re the air that I breathe

(CHORUS)

ENJOY!!

Lyrics


Don Quixote(tremolo)

Key: Bb

Genre: Country

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

This is tabbed for a 24 hole echo celeste tremolo

5 6 7 7 -7 -7 7 6
Through the woodland, through the valley
5 6 7 6 -5 -5 6
Comes a horseman wild and free
5 6 7 7 7 -7 7 6
Tilting at the windmills passing
5 5 6 7 6 -5 -4 5
Who can the brave young horseman be
5 6 7 7 7 -7 7 6
He is wild but he is mellow
5 6 7 6 -5 -5 6
He is strong but he is weak
5 6 7 7 7 -7 7 6
He is cruel but he is gentle
5 6 7 6 -5 -4 5
He is wise but he is meek
-8 -8 -8 8 -9 -9 9
Reaching for his saddlebag
-9 8 8 8 -8 -8 -7 7 -6 7
He takes a battered book into his hand
-8 -8 -8 8 -9 -9 9
Standing like a prophet bold
-9 8 8 8 -8 -8 -7 7 -6 7
He shouts across the ocean to the shore
6 6 6 -6 6 -5
Till he can shout no more
5 6 7 7 -7 -7 7 6
I have come o’er moor and mountain
5 6 7 6 -5 -4 5
Like the hawk upon the wing
5 6 7 7 -7 -7 7
I was once a shining knight
5 5 6 7 6 -5 -5 5
Who was the guardian of a king
5 6 7 7 7 -7 7 6
I have searched the whole world over
5 6 7 6 -5 -5 6
Looking for a place to sleep
5 6 7 7 -7 -7 7
I have seen the strong survive
6 5 6 7 6 -5 -4 5
And I have seen the lean grown weak
5 6 7 7 -7 -7 7
See the children of the earth
6 5 6 7 6 -5 -5 6
Who wake to find the table bare
5 5 7 7 -7 -7 7 6
See the gentry in the country
5 6 7 5 -5 -4 5
Riding off to take the air
-8 -8 -8 8 -9 -9 9
Reaching for his saddlebag
-9 8 8 8 -8 -8 -7 7 -6 7
He takes a rusty sword into his hand
7 -8 -8 -8 8 -9 -9 9
Then striking up a knightly pose
-9 8 8 8 -8 -8 -7 7 -8 7
He shouts across the ocean to the shore
-5 6 6 -6 6 -5
Till he can shout no more
5 6 7 7 7 -7 7 9
See the jailor with his key
6 5 6 7 6 -5 4 5
Who locks away all trace of sin
5 6 7 7 -7 -7 7
See the judge upon the bench
6 5 6 7 6 -5 -5 6
Who tries the case as best he can
5 6 7 7 7 -7 7
See the wise and wicked ones
6 5 6 7 6 -5 -5 6
Who feed upon life’s sacred fire
5 6 7 7 7 -7 7
See the soldier with his gun
5 5 6 7 6 -5 -4 5
Who must be dead to be admired
5 6 7 7 -7 -7 7 6
See the man who tips the needle
5 6 7 6 -5 -5 6
See the man who buys and sells
5 6 7 7 -7 -7 7 6
See the man who puts the collar
5 6 7 6 -5 -4 5
On the ones who dare not tell
5 6 7 7 -7 -7 7 6
See the drunkard in the tavern
5 6 7 6 -5 -5 6
Stemming gold to make ends meet
5 6 7 7 7 -7 7
See the youth in ghetto black
6 5 6 7 6 -5 -4 5
Condemned to life upon the street
-8 -8 -8 8 -9 -9 9
Reaching for his saddlebag
-9 8 8 8 -8 -8 -7 7 -6 7
He takes a tarnished cross into his hand
-8 -8 -8 8 -9 -9 9
Standing like a preacher now
-9 8 8 8 -8 -8 -7 7 -6 7
He shouts across the ocean to the shore
7 -8 -8 -8 8 -9 -9 9
Then in a blaze of tangled hooves
-9 8 8 8 -8 -8 -7 7 -6 7
He gallops off across the dusty plain
6 6 6 -6 6 -5
In vain to search again
-5 -5 6 -5 5
Where no one will hear
5 6 7 7 -7 -7 7 6
Through the woodland, through the valley
5 6 7 6 -5 -5 6
Comes a horseman wild and free
5 6 7 7 7 -7 7 6
Tilting at the windmills passing
5 5 6 7 6 -5 -4 5
Who can the brave young horseman be
5 6 7 7 7 -7 7 6
He is wild but he is mellow
5 6 7 6 -5 -5 6
He is strong but he is weak
5 6 7 7 7 -7 7 6
He is cruel but he is gentle
5 6 7 6 -5 -4 5
He is wise but he is meek

Lyrics


Don Quixote

Key: Bb

Genre: Country

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

4 5 6 6 -6 -6 6 5

Through the woodland, through the valley
4 5 6 5 -4 -4 5

Comes a horseman wild and free
4 5 6 6 6 -6 6 5

Tilting at the windmills passing
4 4 5 6 5 -4 -3 4

Who can the brave young horseman be
4 5 6 6 6 -6 6 5

He is wild but he is mellow
4 5 6 5 -4 -4 5

He is strong but he is weak
4 5 6 6 6 -6 6 5

He is cruel but he is gentle
4 5 6 5 -4 -3 4

He is wise but he is meek
-7 -7 -7 7 -8 -8 8

Reaching for his saddlebag
-8 7 7 7 -7 -7 -6 6 -5 6

He takes a battered book into his hand
-7 -7 -7 7 -8 -8 8

Standing like a prophet bold
-8 7 7 7 -7 -7 -6 6 -5 6

He shouts across the ocean to the shore
5 5 5 -5 5 -4

Till he can shout no more
4 5 6 6 -6 -6 6 5
I have come o’er moor and mountain
4 5 6 5 -4 -3 4

Like the hawk upon the wing
4 5 6 6 -6 -6 6

I was once a shining knight
4 4 5 6 5 -4 -4 4

Who was the guardian of a king
4 5 6 6 6 -6 6 5

I have searched the whole world over
4 5 6 5 -4 -4 5

Looking for a place to sleep
4 5 6 6 -6 -6 6

I have seen the strong survive
5 4 5 6 5 -4 -3 4

And I have seen the lean grown weak
4 5 6 6 -6 -6 6
See the children of the earth
5 4 5 6 5 -4 -4 5

Who wake to find the table bare
4 4 6 6 -6 -6 6 5

See the gentry in the country
4 5 6 4 -4 -3 4

Riding off to take the air
-7 -7 -7 7 -8 -8 8
Reaching for his saddlebag
-8 7 7 7 -7 -7 -6 6 -5 6

He takes a rusty sword into his hand
6 -7 -7 -7 7 -8 -8 8

Then striking up a knightly pose
-8 7 7 7 -7 -7 -6 6 -5 6

He shouts across the ocean to the shore
-4 5 5 -5 5 -4

Till he can shout no more
4 5 6 6 6 -6 6
See the jailor with his key
5 4 5 6 5 -4 3 4

Who locks away all trace of sin
4 5 6 6 -6 -6 6

See the judge upon the bench
5 4 5 6 5 -4 -4 5

Who tries the case as best he can
4 5 6 6 6 -6 6

See the wise and wicked ones
5 4 5 6 5 -4 -4 5

Who feed upon life’s sacred fire
4 5 6 6 6 -6 6

See the soldier with his gun
4 4 5 6 5 -4 -3 4

Who must be dead to be admired
4 5 6 6 -6 -6 6 5
See the man who tips the needle
4 5 6 5 -4 -4 5

See the man who buys and sells
4 5 6 6 -6 -6 6 5

See the man who puts the collar
4 5 6 5 -4 -3 4

On the ones who dare not tell
4 5 6 6 -6 -6 6 5

See the drunkard in the tavern
4 5 6 5 -4 -4 5

Stemming gold to make ends meet
4 5 6 6 6 -6 6

See the youth in ghetto black
5 4 5 6 5 -4 -3 4

Condemned to life upon the street
-7 -7 -7 7 -8 -8 8
Reaching for his saddlebag
-8 7 7 7 -7 -7 -6 6 -5 6

He takes a tarnished cross into his hand
-7 -7 -7 7 -8 -8 8

Standing like a preacher now
-8 7 7 7 -7 -7 -6 6 -5 6

He shouts across the ocean to the shore
6 -7 -7 -7 7 -8 -8 8

Then in a blaze of tangled hooves
-8 7 7 7 -7 -7 -6 6 -5 6

He gallops off across the dusty plain
5 5 5 -5 5 -4

In vain to search again
-4 -4 5 -4 4

Where no one will hear
4 5 6 6 -6 -6 6 5

Through the woodland, through the valley
4 5 6 5 -4 -4 5

Comes a horseman wild and free
4 5 6 6 6 -6 6 5

Tilting at the windmills passing
4 4 5 6 5 -4 -3 4

Who can the brave young horseman be
4 5 6 6 6 -6 6 5

He is wild but he is mellow
4 5 6 5 -4 -4 5

He is strong but he is weak
4 5 6 6 6 -6 6 5

He is cruel but he is gentle
4 5 6 5 -4 -3 4

He is wise but he is meek

Lyrics


Do Right Woman, Do Right Man

Key: Bb

Genre: Country

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

4 5 6 -6 6
Take me to heart
4 4 -4 5 5 -4
and I’ll always love you
6 6 6 6 -5
And no-body–
-5 -5 6 -6 -6 6
can make me do wrong
4 5 6 -6 6
Take me for granted,
-6 -6 -6 -6 6 -7
leaving love un-shown
6 6 6 6 -6
Makes will-power weak
-5 -5 6 -6 5
and temptation strong

-6 8 -8 7 -8 8 -8
A- woman’s only human
8 -8 8 -8 8
You should understand
-6 -6 -6 6 -6 -6
She’s not just a plaything
-6 -6 6 -6
She’s flesh and blood
-6 -6 -6 6
just like her man
4 4 5 4
If you want a
-6 6 -6 6 5 -4
do-right-all-day woman
-4 -4 -4 -4 -4
You’ve got to be a-
8 -8 8 -8 -8 7
do-right-all-night man-

-6 7 -8 8 -8 8 -6
They say that it’s a man’s world
5 6 -6 -6 6 -6 8
Well you can’t prove that by me
-6 -6 7 -8 -8 7 7 -6 7 -6
And as long as we’re together baby
-6 -6 -6 -6 6 6
Show some respect for me
4 4 5 4
If you want a
-6 6 -6 6 5 -4
do-right-all-day woman
-4 -4 -4 -4 -4
You’ve got to be a-
8 -8 8 -8 -8 7
do-right-all-night man-

-4 -4 -4 -4 -4
You’ve got to be a-
8 -8 8 -8 -8 7
do-right-all-night man-
-4 -4 -4 -4 -4
You’ve got to be a-
8 -8 8 -8 -8 7
do-right-all-night man-
-4 -4 -4 -4 -4
You’ve got to be a-
8 -8 8 -8 -8 7
do-right-all-night man-
-4 -4 -4 -4 -4
You’ve got to be a-
8 -8 8 -8 -8 7
do-right-all-night man-

Lyrics


Excerpt From A Teenage Opera

Key: Bb

Genre: Country

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

6 6 6 5 -6 6 6 5
count the days into years
4 6 6 6 6 -6 6 6 5
yes,eighty two brings many fears
-4 -4 -4 5 -5 -6 -5 -4
yesterdays laughter turns to tears
5 -5 -5 -5 -5 -5 -5 6 -5
his arms and legs don`t feel so strong
-5 5 5 5 4 5 5 -5 5
his heart is weak there`s something wrong
6 -4 -4 -4 -4 -4 -4
opens windows in despair
6 -4 -4 -4 -4 -4 -4
tries to breathe in some fresh air
5 -5 -5 -5 -5 -5 -5 6
his conscience cries,”get on your feet
4 5 5 5 5 5 5 -5 5
without you jack the town can`t eat”

chorus:
6 7 7 -4 6 6 6 6 -5 -5
grocer jack,grocer jack,get off your back
5 6 6 6 -5 -5 5 5 -4 5-4 4 3
go into town don`t let them down,oh no no
6 7 7 -4 6 6 6 6 -5 -5
grocer jack,grocer jack,get off your back
5 6 6 6 -5 -5 5 5 -4 5-4 4 3
go into town don`t let them down,oh no no

verse:

the people that live in the town
don`t understand,he`s never been known
to miss his round
it`s ten o`clock,the housewives yell
“when jack turns up,we`ll give him hell”
husbands moan at breakfast tables,
no milk,no eggs,no marmalade labels
mother`s send their children out
to jacks house to scream and shout.

repeat chorus.

it`s sunday morning,bright and clear,
lovely flowers,decorate a marble square
people cry and mourn away
think about the fateful day
now they wish they`d given jack
more affection and respect
the little children dressed in black
don`t know what`s happened to old jack.

grocer jack,grocer jack,is it true what mummy said
you won`t come back,oh no no.
(repeat and fade)

Lyrics


Everytime We Touch

Key: Bb

Genre: Country

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

6 -6 -6 -8 7
I still hear your voice
-6 -6 6 6 -6 -5
when you sleep next to me.
6 -6 -6 -8 7
I still feel your touch
-6 -6 6
in my dreams.

8 -9 8 -8 7 -6
For-give me my weak-ness,
-6 6 6 -6 -5
but I don’t know why.
8 -9 8 -8
With-out you it’s
7 -9 9 9
hard to sur-vive.

-9 -9 8 8 -8 -8
‘Cause ev-ery-time we touch,
8 8 -9 -9 -9
I get this feel-ing.
-9 -9 8 8 -8 -8
And ev-ery-time we kiss,
-9 9 -9 8 -9 8 -8
I swear I could f-l-y.
-9 -9 8 8 -8
Can’t you feel my heart
-9 7
beat fast?
-9 8 -8 8 -9
I want this to last.
-9 7 7 -6 7
Need you by my side.

Lyrics