Composition #1: Standards


Y’know, in hiphop you use samples; in jazz, we play standards. They take old records, flip ’em, turn ’em into new songs; well in jazz, that happened to showtunes, we flipped ’em and turned them into new songs.2

Standards could be canonical (My Favorite Things)3 or non-canonical (chosen by the members from a mutually agreed pool).

A version of My Favorite Things was performed by the John Coltrane quartet on his 1961 album of the same name. The song becomes a standard, played by many jazz artists in many different versions over the years.

Popular Classics
Only such works as are familiar to several members are eligible for this category…a particle could be: a page of score, a page or more of the part for one instrument or voice, a page of an arrangement, athematic analysis, a gramophone record etc.4

Cardew suggested particles might be drawn from Beethoven, Mozart, Rachmaninov, Bach, Cage, Brahms, Schoenberg etc.

Particles that a pub rock band might draw on: Mustang Sally, Brown Sugar, Wild Thing, Wild Thing etc.

Particles that a punk rock wedding covers band might draw on: Blitzkrieg Bop, Pretty Vacant, London’s Burning, Neat Neat Neat, Fight For Your Right etc.

What are your standards?

What should my standards be?

1 Or, Songbook.

2 Kamasi Washington in Wire issue 381

3 Rodgers & Hammerstein (1959)

4 From A Scratch Orchestra: Draft Constitution by Cornelius Cardew (1972 edition)


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