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Author Topic:  Oh Shenandoah
b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA
Post  Posted 10 Sep 2019 10:57 am    
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Oh Shenandoah, this song is crazy! Everyone has a different progression, and the last two bars are a total tossup. I want to play it as an instrumental. What progression & timing would you use?

Here's one version:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOcAAl5DF4s

There are many others.
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Marc Jenkins


From:
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Post  Posted 10 Sep 2019 12:56 pm    
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Can’t imagine it any other way after first listen many years ago:

https://youtu.be/rog4I40Heko
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post  Posted 10 Sep 2019 3:01 pm    
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As with any folk song which started life unaccompanied, the melody suggests different harmonies* to different people. So b0b, go ahead and do your own thing - you can't be wrong!

* and metres
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Jim Cohen


From:
Philadelphia, PA
Post  Posted 10 Sep 2019 3:08 pm    
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Buddy did a drop-down gorgeous arrangement of it (not that you should only take inspiration from other steel guitarists...)
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post  Posted 10 Sep 2019 3:25 pm    
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It is so ripe for harmonization and reharmonization.
A friend's band I just saw last week played it (beautifully) and it reminded me of this special one.

https://soundcloud.com/jolt12/shen
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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA
Post  Posted 10 Sep 2019 3:32 pm    
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I want to do it with a beat, in 4/4. I can't get the phrasing at the end of each verse (across the wide Missouri). Anyone have a BIAB or MIDI file with a drum part?
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Douglas Schuch


From:
Valencia, Philippines
Post  Posted 10 Sep 2019 4:00 pm    
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The oldest version I can find sounds very much like the versions of the mid-60's following the movie (although the movie is about the valley in VA, and the song is about an Iriquois Indian Chief):

https://youtu.be/vKlkLwMHcAk

If I were going to try to go in a different direction from the usual, I'd give Van Morrison's version a few repeat plays:

https://youtu.be/nj0IFKX7o68

He mostly plays with the timing of the melody, and adds many leading notes or extra notes, but still, it's the most original take on the song I found in a quick search.
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Graham


From:
Marmora, Ontario, Canada
Post  Posted 11 Sep 2019 3:21 am    
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A great version of this song by Mike Sweeney on his Pure and Simple Country cd.
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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA
Post  Posted 11 Sep 2019 8:05 am    
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Does the verse have an odd number of measures, or is there a bar of 2 at the end? I'm hung up on the phrasing of that last line.
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 11 Sep 2019 8:51 am    
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I would phrase the last stanza differently, so Mis-sou are on beats 2-3-4 of the second to last measure over the V7, and -ri is on beat one of the last measure over the I chord.

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Frank Freniere


From:
The First Coast
Post  Posted 11 Sep 2019 10:57 am    
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Jon Light wrote:
It is so ripe for harmonization and reharmonization.
A friend's band I just saw last week played it (beautifully) and it reminded me of this special one.

https://soundcloud.com/jolt12/shen


Thanks for that, Jon. I needed a good cry!
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Fred Justice


From:
Mesa, Arizona
Post  Posted 11 Sep 2019 11:09 am    
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b0b, take the time to listen to this boy sing it. (all vocal)
It is very correct Very Happy
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NmKp5A8i3M

PS
This version is great if you love lots of pure harmony and big chords (made with human voices only)
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Last edited by Fred Justice on 13 Sep 2019 9:31 am; edited 1 time in total
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Donny Hinson


From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 12 Sep 2019 7:57 am    
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I like Ernie Ford's vocal version best. There's just something about his booming baritone that impresses me when he does historical ballads. But if I were to do it as an instrumental, I'd likely copy this arrangement by Tom Roush, because the song is low on structure, and I think the chords and bass used in this version (after the first minute or so) help define it and add to the flow and movement.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6i5fTie20E
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Andy Volk


From:
Boston, MA
Post  Posted 12 Sep 2019 1:14 pm    
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My all-time favorite version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XDwbZqJKbE
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Brett Lanier


From:
Vermont
Post  Posted 12 Sep 2019 8:11 pm    
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This is my favorite
https://youtu.be/i_YsQIaPo_I
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Charlie McDonald


From:
out of the blue
Post  Posted 13 Sep 2019 2:50 am    
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Andy Volk wrote:
My all-time favorite version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XDwbZqJKbE

Ditto. Lovely string arrangement.

I'd wondered about the half-bar; Jo sings that measure as if it were a bar of 3/4.

I do think she's singing about the river, not the chief.
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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA
Post  Posted 13 Sep 2019 6:45 am    
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Does anyone have a good version with drums or a least a steady rhythm instrument? I've actually seen it written as alternating between 3/4 and 4/4 twice on the last line. It's hard to count the timing in all of these legato renderings. Singers and conductors take liberties. Whoa! The Tom Rousch version seems the clearest for 4/4 timing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6i5fTie20E

How would a marching band play it? Laughing
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 13 Sep 2019 7:40 am    
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The sheet music in my comment has it in straight 4/4 all the way through. A 20-measure verse is a little odd, but plugging the progression as written into BIAB with a half-time groove seems like a good place to start.

I don’t have BIAB. I use Session Band for stuff like this, where the piece is relatively short and simple. You could knock this one out in minutes with it and then change accompaniment styles with 2 clicks. I don’t think there is a marching band style though...
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Dave Mudgett


From:
Central Pennsylvania
Post  Posted 13 Sep 2019 8:05 am    
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Quote:
How would a marching band play it? Laughing

Actually, Shenandoah is pretty traditional for Pipe and Drum Corps; standard issue at Virginia Military Institute:

VMI Pipe and Drum Corps: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eE2XTknMs1A

Combined VMI Pipe and Regimental Band: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vvz_ez-NBxM

A different type of Pipe and Drum Corps treatment: https://youtu.be/KvuAflyGW1c?t=42
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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA
Post  Posted 13 Sep 2019 8:51 am    
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Excellent! Thanks, Dave.
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Andy Volk


From:
Boston, MA
Post  Posted 13 Sep 2019 10:38 am    
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That bagpipe version took me from "Oh Shenandoah" to "Ow! Shenandoah."
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Dave Mudgett


From:
Central Pennsylvania
Post  Posted 13 Sep 2019 10:56 am    
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Whatever. They, and many others, just call it "Shenandoah". I personally love pipes. To me, they share many of the same sonic qualities I love about steel.

Wikipedia has a pretty good article outlining a lot of info about the song, including a pretty extensive list of different but relatively well-known versions - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oh_Shenandoah
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 13 Sep 2019 11:55 am    
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Andy Volk wrote:
That bagpipe version took me from "Oh Shenandoah" to "Ow! Shenandoah."

I was thinking β€œYo-Ee-Um Shenandoah”

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Andy Volk


From:
Boston, MA
Post  Posted 13 Sep 2019 4:42 pm    
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David, I actually love pipes too.
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Roger Rettig


From:
Naples, FL
Post  Posted 13 Sep 2019 7:08 pm    
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Fred

That Peter Hollens version is beyond beautiful! Thanks for posting it.

I can hear 4/4 all the way through - it's the 20-measure form that's unusual.

I did love Buddy's rendition (somewhere on YouTube although not, I think, officially recorded) but I also enjoy Gary Carter's take on his CD.
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