Piano Roll Transcriptions

Piano, Fortepiano and Harpsichord Music
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Dannen
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Piano Roll Transcriptions

Post by Dannen » Tue Apr 13, 2010 5:56 pm

In three years, this is the first time I've ever started a new thread on Pianophilia; but after discussing it with member Frank Himpsl, I think it's a good idea to give the piano roll transcriptions their own domain. Frank tells me he created about a hundred such transcriptions in the 70s and 80s, and is just starting to scan and post them here. I've done only about ten myself, but I've been collecting them regularly. Here for download in one zip file are 74 piano roll transcriptions (including the 7 already posted by Frank in the past week in the "School of Syncopation" thread):

http://www.sendspace.com/pro/dl/b04hry

One side note about Benjamin Intartaglia's transcriptions. Benjamin is a good friend of mine, and the 33 transcriptions of his that I've posted can be found on his website, http://www.ragtime-france.net. Visitors to that site will discover that Benjamin has created dozens of additional transcriptions, but they are for purchase only. If you like his work and want more of it, send him an email at benjamin.intartaglia (@) wanadoo.fr (remove the parentheses around the "at" sign, of course).
Last edited by Dannen on Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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fhimpsl
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Re: Piano Roll Transcriptions

Post by fhimpsl » Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:47 pm

Hello All, Here is another transcription, this time from an Ampico roll played by J.Milton Delcamp. Delcamp was a songwriter and left behind a huge number of piano roll performances on the Republic label (some of which were eventually coded for Welte expression) and on Ampico. In the early 1920s, he and Adam Carroll were the most active in recording Ampico rolls, to the extent that they were actually on the payroll of the American Piano Company. Usually artists were paid a one-time fee for their work (which ranged about from $25 to $200, depending on the artist). Delcamp's playing style is always sophisticated and smooth, with a liberal number of novelty licks thrown in for good measure.

This transcription is of the beautiful and enormously popular song from the early 1920s, "Brown Eyes, Why Are You Blue?" Enjoy!

Frank
Delcamp - Brown Eyes, etc. - Piano Roll Transcription.pdf
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thalbergmad
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Re: Piano Roll Transcriptions

Post by thalbergmad » Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:03 pm

I am officially in stride heaven. These are wonderful.

All i need is a bottle of moonshine and i am set for the evening.

Thal

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fhimpsl
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Re: Piano Roll Transcriptions

Post by fhimpsl » Wed Apr 14, 2010 3:07 pm

I've already posted two transcriptions by the fabulous Ms. Vee Lawnhurst, and here is yet another. Her roll of Walter Donaldson's jazz tune "Changes" is regarded as one of the hottest novelty piano performance ever cut on piano roll. The key changes and dazzling novelty configurations are enough to make one dizzy! She uses just about every trick in the book, and then some. Enjoy!

Frank
Lawnhurst - Changes - Piano Roll Transcription.pdf
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Re: Piano Roll Transcriptions

Post by fhimpsl » Wed Apr 14, 2010 3:12 pm

The companion piece to "Delirious Rag" by the phenomenal Canadian pianists Harry Thomas and Willie Eckstein is another virtuoso workout when played at tempo. Here attached is my transcription of their "Perpetual Rag," played by Harry Thomas for Aeolian (Universal, Metro-Art labels) around 1916. I suppose the first strain of this piece might be considered a ragtime version of a Perpetuum Mobile!

Frank
Thomas-Eckstein - Perpetual Rag - Piano Roll Transcription.pdf
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fhimpsl
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Re: Piano Roll Transcriptions

Post by fhimpsl » Wed Apr 14, 2010 3:21 pm

Paul Pratt was an extremely talented ragtime composer who hailed from Indianapolis. Several of his pieces were published and sold very well in their day, including numbers such as "Hot House Rag" and "Vanity Rag," etc. About 1916 Pratt became involved with the US Music Roll Company in Chicago, as a piano roll arranger and later made hand played rolls as well.

One of Pratt's most brilliant conceptions is entitled "Little Bit Of Rag." This piece was never published in sheet music form, and appeared only as a US Music piano roll arranged by the composer. I say "arranged" because this early effort (ca. 1916-1917) was done before US Music issued hand played piano rolls. Fortunately the score is quite playable with two hands (I suppose a third might help a bit) and it is just a wonderful and highly individual rag from start to finish. My transcription of Pratt's "Little Bit Of Rag" is attached ....please enjoy!

Frank
Pratt - Little Bit Of Rag - Piano Roll Transcription.pdf
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Re: Piano Roll Transcriptions

Post by fhimpsl » Wed Apr 14, 2010 3:30 pm

(.....Thal, you might want to drag out that bottle of moonshine to accompany the next number.... :mrgreen:

Richard M. Jones was one of the most prolific composers of jazz and blues songs during the 1920s and 1930s. His biggest hit was "Jazzin' Baby Blues," which was extensively recorded, even as a piano solo by the composer on Gennett records (backed by 12th Street Rag of all things!) Most of his pieces are true examples of the 12-bar blues song, and a number are in what is sometimes referred to as "Barrel House," or "Gut-Bucket" style. Well this one takes the cake. It's a slow, low down blues tune entitled "The King Of The Zulus Blues," and it is the only piano roll which Richard M. Jones ever recorded (that being for the QRS Company in Chicago). The tune was popularized by no less a celebrity than Louis Armstrong. Here is my transcription of this moody and weird, slow blues as played by the composer...enjoy!

Frank
Jones, Richard M. - King Of The Zulus Blues - Piano Roll Transcription.pdf
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thalbergmad
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Re: Piano Roll Transcriptions

Post by thalbergmad » Wed Apr 14, 2010 5:55 pm

I'm getting me banjo out tonight.

All this jazz has given me some ideas.

Thal

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Re: Piano Roll Transcriptions

Post by fredbucket » Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:53 pm

thalbergmad wrote:I'm getting me banjo out tonight.
Don't forget to warn the neighbours... :)

Regards
Fred

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Re: Piano Roll Transcriptions

Post by fhimpsl » Thu Apr 15, 2010 1:25 pm

Not much is known about Maurice "Roy" Wetzel, except that he recorded one player roll for QRS of his original composition "Fireworks Rag", and also composed two other ragtime pieces: "Interference - A Ragtime Specialty" (which was released as a QRS roll in the 1960s, not played by the composer), and "Static" which survives only as a manuscript score at the Library Of Congress. It was in 1915 that Wetzel wound up at the QRS studio in Chicago to record his rag. He apparently had little interest in additional work for QRS, but recommended a friend, Max Kortlander, claiming him to be a much better pianist. Kortlander subsequently auditioned for QRS and got a full time job playing and arranging rolls. This was quite a chapter in piano roll history, since Kortlander not only went on to record hundreds of hand played rolls, when the company was failing in the early 1930s, he purchased it from Tom Pletcher and was owner until his death ca. 1961.

Here attached is my transcription of Maurice "Roy" Wetzel's "Fireworks", enjoy!

Frank
Wetzel - Fireworks Rag - Piano Roll Transcription.pdf
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