Piece of the Week: Tower of Power Greatest Hits

Tower of Power Greatest Hits

Tower of Power, the legends of soul music, have been funkifying fans across the world for more than 40 years. Known for their driving grooves, a soaring horn section, soulful vocals, and an extremely tight rhythm section, it is no surprise that the band continues to find success on the touring circuit, where they remain to this day. Many of their songs have become worldwide standards, beloved by audiences young and old.  We at SmartMusic are sure that you and the parents in your audience will recognize these songs instantly, and your students will love playing these foundational funk pieces.

Alfred Publishing Co. has put out fresh arrangements of Tower of Power’s greatest hits for both concert band and full orchestra. Both pieces are medleys, and include Tower of Power’s three best-known songs: “What is Hip?,” “You’re Still a Young Man,” and “Down to the Nightclub.”

For more information about Tower of Power, including a history of the band and biographical information on the players, click here.

Audio Sample: concert band arrangement

Audio provided by Alfred Music Publishing Co., Inc.

Audio Sample: full orchestra arrangement

Audio provided by Alfred Music Publishing Co., Inc.

Arranger’s Notes by Victor Lopez:

This medley provides an opportunity for your concert band or orchestra to get down and play some funky music. However, it is extremely important that everyone pay close attention to the articulations. In other words, all notes have to be articulated precisely as written in order for the ensemble to sound tight. This may require some additional individual practicing and sectionals. The ultimate goal is to make the entire ensemble sound as if one person is playing all of the parts. Obviously, listening to the original version of the titles included in this medley will help younger musicians understand the “funk style” concept.  Ultimately, keep in mind to always strive for “funkiness” and not necessarily loud, heavy playing. Let’s get funky!

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If you are an educator, musician, composer or student with a suggestion for a “piece of the week” blog post, you can email your suggestion to Griffin at [email protected]. Please let me know the name of the piece, composer, publisher, and why this piece is special to you.

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