Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree Lead Sheet is a popular jazz composition first introduced by the vocal group The Andrews Sisters in their 1942 recording of the same name. It was written by composer Sam Lewis and lyricist Charles Tobias and has been recorded by many famous jazz and popular music artists, including Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald and Sammy Davis Jr. This lead sheet is a guide to teach jazz harmony, improvisation and composition and has been used by experienced musicians and beginners alike. Throughout its history, the lead sheet has gone through many incarnations and versions, with a variety of different melodies, accompaniment, and harmonic concepts. In this article, we will explore some of the most common elements of this popular lead sheet.
Melody & Harmony
The melody and harmony of the lead sheet can be broken down into two main ideas. The first idea is a protagonist melody that is characterized by a basic melodic contour and uses single-notes, eighth-notes, triplets, and rests in its composition. The protagonist melody is usually followed by three companions: a third-voice melody, a counter-melody, and a harmony line. The second idea is the chord progressions that are used in the lead sheet to provide harmonic backing. The chord progressions in Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree Lead Sheet typically consist of a combination of the I-vi-ii-V and I-IV-V-I chord progressions, as well as variations of these.
Rhythm & Accompaniment
The rhythm and accompaniment of the lead sheet are closely tied to the melody and harmony as well. The rhythmic aspects of the lead sheet are based on a combination of traditional jazz rhythms such as swing and blues, as well as popular dance rhythms such as ballroom and Latin. The accompaniment is often provided by piano, guitar, or another plucked instrument such as a banjo. The accompaniment can also be provided by a saxophone or other wind instrument, as well as a vocalist or other vocal accompaniment, such as a choir.
Improvisation & Composition
Improvisation and composition are essential elements of the Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree Lead Sheet. A lead sheet can be used to teach jazz improvisation techniques and improvisation techniques can be used to expand on the composition of the lead sheet. The lead sheet can be used as an outline for composition, allowing musicians to develop the composition in a variety of ways and create unique versions of the lead sheet.
In addition to teaching improvisation and providing a template for composition, the lead sheet provides a platform for creativity and creative expression. Lead sheet compositions can be used to create original arrangements and songs, or to explore jazz improvisation in creative ways. Soloing can be used to explore different tonal colors and ranges, develop phrasing ideas, and create unique expressions. Variations can be used to add complexity to the lead sheet and explore different harmonic, melodic, and rhythmic ideas.
The Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree Lead Sheet can be used with a variety of instruments. The lead sheet can be used with traditional jazz instruments such as piano, guitar, and saxophone, as well as popular dance instruments such as steelpan and ukulele. The lead sheet can also be used with a combination of instruments, such as piano, guitar, and saxophone, as well as a vocalist or choir.
The lead sheet can also be used to create performances. Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree Lead Sheet can be performed as a full-band arrangement, or it can be broken up into smaller groups, such as a quartet or quintet. The lead sheet can be performed as a traditional jazz, swing, or blues arrangement, or a more modern arrangement with jazz-inspired twists. The possibilities for performing the lead sheet are endless and limited only by the creativity of the performer.
Cross-Genre & Genre-Fusion
The lead sheet can also be used to explore cross-genre and genre-fusion possibilities. For example, it can be used to explore the possibility of fusing traditional jazz with other styles, such as Latin, pop, rock, and classical. Cross-genre and genre-fusion techniques can be used to create new arrangements, new harmonic ideas, and new melodies. These techniques can also be used to create entirely new compositions that incorporate elements of the lead sheet along with elements of other genres.
Transcriptions & Arrangements
Transcriptions and arrangements of the lead sheet can also be used to explore new ideas and create unique recordings and performances. Transcriptions are a great way to learn to play the lead sheet and to understand the harmonic, melodic, and rhythmic ideas within the composition. Arrangements can be used to explore different tone colors and harmonic possibilities. Different arrangements can also be used to create different interpretations of the composition, such as a small jazz combo arrangement or a full orchestra arrangement.