Original Songs

There is a musical tradition that got to be very popular during the bebop era: the writing of “contrafacts” — taking the chord changes to a well-known song and writing a hip new melody over it. Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie breathed new life into a lot of old chestnuts using this technique. Take, for example, “Donna Lee” (“Back Home Again in Indiana”) or “Groovin’ High” (“Whispering”).

Well, if it’s good enough for Bird and Diz, it’s good enough for me. Below are some contrafacts I’ve written. See if you can figure out the changes they are based on. If you get stumped, send me an email, and I’ll tell you. You can hear sound files of these on the Listen page. Have fun!

The fine print: All songs on this page are ©2006 Michael R. Seifried. Duplication, distribution, and performance are prohibited without the express written consent of the composer. (But ask, and I’ll probably say yes.)