Sunday, June 20, 2010

Arrangement Example of Yesterday For the Keyboard

By Hilary Daglish

Yesterday is a well known pop song written by Paul McCartney in 1965, although it was credited to both Paul McCartney and John Lennon. The lyrics could be interpreted as sadness about a lost loved one. It was originally recorded for the Beatles album Help in 1965.

Paul McCartney was accompanied solely by a string quartet for this first official recording. According to the Guinness Book of Records it has over 3000 cover versions which is the most cover versions of any song ever written. And here is a verbal explanation of another version or arrangement example of Yesterday for the Keyboard.

Here are the changes applied to Yesterday

1. Introduction: A four bar introduction was added using 1 chord for each bar namely the tonic, subdominant, dominant seventh and tonic chords. As the piece is in the key of F major then the chord sequence is F Bb C7 F. There are other chord sequences which would work; this is just one idea. The idea of the melody line was thought up because Yesterday includes minims and quavers in scale like passages and so it seemed appropriate to add them to the introduction using the chords as an indicator for notes to use.

2. Melodic Changes: These occur at various places throughout the piece compared to the original. Here they are: Please note that the bar numbers refer to the arrangement example which has included the extra four bars at the beginning for the introduction.

a. Rhythmic Changes at bars 12, 15, 17, 30, 32, 33
b. Addition of Appoggiaturas at bars 14, 16, 18, 46, 48, 50
c. Octaves in Right Hand at bars 19 and 23. The right hand plays the 'a' as written plus the 'a' one octave higher at the same time.
d. Chord Voicing at bars 9 last beat to 11, 16 last beat to 18. Chord Voicing is where you can add harmony notes in the right hand to blend in the the chord and notes played in the left hand.
e. Added Ending at bars 53 and 54.

3. Modulation: A modulation is the process of passing from one key to another key. This can be done abruptly, by using the dominant seventh of the new key followed by the tonic chord of the new key or gradually over a progression of chord changes where the general rule is to finish with the key chord of the first piece, followed by a common chord in both keys, the dominant seventh chord of the new key and then the tonic chord of the new key. As there is a repeat section in Yesterday a modulation into another key was added to create interest.

The tonic key of Yesterday is in F major. The new key chosen is G major. G major was chosen because the Beatles played a G major version in the Tokyo concerts during their 1966 tours. The type of modulation used was abrupt ie the dominant seventh chord of G major followed by the tonic chord of G major, namely D7 to G. This happens in bars 34 to 35 and then the rest of the piece continues in the new key of G major. Therefore all the notes and chord names move up a second.

4. Keyboard Settings: As this version of Yesterday is for Keyboard, then keyboard settings need to be added to the piece. These include the style of the background rhythm, voice (s), tempo, autofill and harmony.
The keyboard used for the arrangement of this piece is a Yamaha Portable Grand DGX-220

Settings are set before playing commences and the ones used in this arrangement are:

style: arpeggio: number 141
voice: flute: number 92
dual voice: oboe: number 72
harmony: duet
autofill: A throughout whole piece
tempo: 80 throughout whole piece

This is how the settings were used throughout this arrangement example of Yesterday. The accompaniment and sync start buttons have to be pressed to sound the style or rhythmic background.

bars 1 - 11: single voice - flute
bars 12 - 27: dual voice on - flute and oboe ( press dual button )
bars 28 - 35: single voice ( press dual button again to release dual effect )
bars 36 - 43: harmony on ( press harmony button )
bars 44 - 52: harmony on with dual voices ( press dual button )
bars 53 - 54: accompaniment off ( press the accompaniment button to release the rhythmic effect.

It was decided to have a melodic ending only as a repeat of bars 51and 52 but one octave higher and getting quieter and slower.

This arrangement example of Yesterday for the Keyboard is just one version, one idea. People have varying ideas of what they like to see in a piece. But the method of creating your own arrangement of any tune is the same. You decide on the various aspects like introductions, endings, changes of melody line, modulations, keyboard settings and how you will use the settings in the piece to create interest.

For Yesterday and other sheet music ideas take a look here. If it is the instrument you want then take a look here.

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