4 December 2015


Among My Souvenirs

Hundreds of popular songs written in the period 1910 - 1960 comprised four blocks of eight bars (total 32 bars), usually in the structure:

    a -    a -  b (the 'Middle Eight') -   a

or sometimes two blocks of 16 bars, such as:

   a(i) = 16 bars + a(ii) = 16 bars.

So I was surprised to notice that Among My Souvenirs, with music written in 1927 by Lawrence Wright (under the nom de plume Horatio Nichols), though sounding exactly like a 32-bar tune, in fact comprises 34 bars. What is more, the two 'extra' bars are not a conventional tag. They are arrived add by adding a bar to the second and fourth 8s. So the structure is:

a(i)  :   8 bars
a(ii) : 9 bars - repeat of the first 8 but with an added bar
b      : middle 8
a(ii)  :  9 bars


The tune can, however, be played in 32 bars, without many people noticing the difference. Probably traditional jazz bands would be more comfortable with 32.

The way to achieve this is simply to omit the 17th bar and the 34th bar.

Try it and you will see what I mean.