Sharkskin Serenade

For: Jazz quartet
page one of Sharkskin Serenade

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Sharkskin Serenade


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Year of composition
Moderate (Grades 4-6)
4 minutes
Jazz music
License details
For anything not permitted by the above licence then you should contact the publisher first to obtain permission.

This is my attempt at music in the Progressive Jazz style of the 1950s, when men wore buzz cuts, skinny ties, stingy-brim hats and sharkskin suits. (I still own two such suits, both purchased at pawn shops, but sadly, I’m unable to fit into either.)

The easiest way to view and hear this music is to play the video at

If nothing else, I hope that this encourages young people to try making music in three – the forgotten meter. There’s much that can be done in triple meter – other than Ooom-pah-pah.

For the most part, the piece is in Dorian mode, but I cop-out at the end.

I invite all you hotshot instrumentalists out there in computerland to download the MIDI file of the piece, delete the saxophone track (which is excessively high), and record a better lead part on any instrument – flute, clarinet, soprano sax, cornetto, recorder, slide whistle, kazoo, &c.

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