Guitar and Piano Transcriptions

My Old Man

Piano music transcribed by Dave Blackburn

Author Notes:

My Old Man contains many of the compositional elements that would become Joni's trademarks through her career. These include melodic and harmonic chromaticism, triads played over bass notes that are not the root notes, and temporary modulations of key, often in rapid succession.

Note the very interesting journey the bridge takes us on from the home key of A through the keys of F# and B in the space of a few bars,the major/minor ambiguity between the tonalities of A and Am (bars 11/12) and C# and C#m (bars 26/27). The very exotic G#min13 chord ("and when he's gone, me and them lonesome blues collide") and the Lydian mode she employs on the F# it resolves to are very early glimpses of her jazz sensibility.

Oddly, the last 4 bars of the coda are rather childlike and pianistically rudimentary, in contrast with the sophistication heard earlier in the tune.

Dave Blackburn

[Original Sibelius file, compatible with Sibelius 7+]

This transcription is the author's own work and represents their interpretation of the song.
You may only use this file for private study, scholarship, or research.
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gezkahan on

Fabulous transcription, Dave, and great notes about the composition. I found all the things you pick out illuminating. For my part, I particularly love the hint of blues implied by the C natural - almost a tease for those who first heard it in the 1970s where blues was often our default setting - before the stark E major stamps out any thought of it. GK