Ask the Martin – Question #1

February 3, 2012 Ask The Martin 2 Comments

If there is a question I get asked more than any other, it is this one:

Where can I find the sheet music for your Star Wars: Cantina Band video that I saw on YouTube?

Bryan and I are thrilled that so many people have e-mailed us this question over the past three years. Here’s the story.

On March 28, 2009, Bryan Wright and I were giving our second concert together in Pittsburgh, PA. We had the whole program planned out – trading off solo pieces – but we realized that we needed a big finish. We didn’t have anything prepared, and I am a giant Star Wars nut, so we got together the afternoon of the concert and roughly worked out this ragtime arrangement of John Williams’s masterpiece from the cantina scene in Star Wars: A New Hope.

For fun, we videotaped the rehearsal. We were all dressed up for the concert, the piano was terrific, and we just had a great time. Then we performed it that night, and the crowd went crazy.

I uploaded the video we shot during rehearsal to YouTube two months later, and it has averaged 1,000 views a day ever since. When you search for “ragtime” on YouTube, it is the third video to come up. It is by far the most successful live-played ragtime piano video on YouTube, and it’s a relatively easy arrangement of an awesome tune.

The bad news is that it’s not notated.

Every time Bryan and I chat, we say, “We should really get that notated.” The challenge, though, is that there is no financial incentive – we cannot sell it – and we don’t know who to talk to in order to get it legally published.

 This hasn’t stopped some folks from getting tired of waiting for Bryan and I to transcribe it and transcribing it themselves, however, which is an incredible compliment. You can view one example here, but there are quite a few on YouTube:

So, the answer to this question is: I don’t have a score to send you. But I do hope, someday soon, to get one put together and if so I will post it here!



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2 Comments to “Ask the Martin – Question #1”

  1. Ron O'Dell
    You can always point them to my "theoretically possible but technically improbable" score. It's not a duet but there's enough of the weird harmonies of the original thrown in there that people can expand it into a duet, a band arrangement, or whatever. It's certainly the fullest arrangement I've ever seen...! And that was the point. No simplifications, just pack all the band notes into something theoretically playable with two hands.
  2. Martin
    A great point, Ron; I will add a link to this post to your score! :)

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