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It Don't Mean a Thing

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Duke Ellington

Duke Ellington (arr. John Moss)


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Subtitle: If It Ain't Got That Swing


General Info

Year: 1932 / 1989
Duration:
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Hal Leonard
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $50.00   |   Score Only (print) - $7.50


Instrumentation

Full Score
Flute
Oboe
Bassoon
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II
Trombone I-II
Euphonium
Tuba
String Bass
Timpani
Percussion I-II-III

(percussion detail needed)


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing) is a 1931 composition by Duke Ellington, with lyrics by Irving Mills, now accepted as a jazz standard, characterized by jazz historian Gunther Schuller as "now legendary", "a prophetic piece and a prophetic title."

The music was written and arranged by Ellington in August 1931 during intermissions at Chicago's Lincoln Tavern and was first recorded by Ellington and his orchestra for Brunswick Records on February 2, 1932. The song became famous, Ellington wrote, "as the expression of a sentiment which prevailed among jazz musicians at the time." Ellington credited the saying as a "credo" of his former trumpeter, Bubber Miley. Probably the first song to use the phrase "swing" in the title, it introduced the term into everyday language and presaged the swing era by three years. The Ellington band played the song continually over the years and recorded it numerous times, most often with trumpeter Ray Nance as vocalist. Ellington's 1932 recording of the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2008.

- Program Note from Wikipedia


Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


Performances

To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • San Luis Obispo (Calif.) Wind Orchestra (Anthony Yi, conductor) – September 15, 2019
  • Iowa City New Horizons Band (Nolan Hauta, conductor) - 18 June 2017
  • Atascadero (Calif.) Community Band (Charlie Buck III, conductor) – 7 May 2017
  • Atascadero (Calif.) Community Band (Jennifer Martin, conductor) – 16 August 2016


Works for Winds by this Composer


Resources