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Herman and Rosie
Transcript of Herman and Rosie
learning program and Gus Gordon's beautiful book Herman and Rosie. It has been a privilege to write the score and songs to this quirky story about finding friendship through music.
Herman and Rosie
by Gus Gordon
Listen to the instrumental
version of the GLJN.
Now listen to the full version of the GLJN. Notice how the arrangement of the piece changes regularly (usually every eight bars):
Listen to the vocal version of the GLJN. Learn the tune and the words.
Print out a set of the GLJN form cards on the attached pdf. As a class, listen to the piece and decide which order the cards need to go in.
While walking past Mrs Schwarzman’s Jazz Academy, Herman hears the sound of Rosie singing.
That night Herman is inspired to compose/improvise his Groovy Little Jazz Number (GLJN) on the rooftop. The motif Herman ‘improvises’ is drawn from the exercises that Rosie sings in her lesson.
This GLJN melody crops up throughout the Herman and Rosie score.
different instruments take the melody (even the bass and drums);
the melody is played with multiple variations;
it is played in a number of different styles (a waltz, a traditional jazz tune, a dark hip-hop feel);
and it is played in a number of different time signatures (4/4 and 3/4—and in another section, in 5/4 and 7/4).
Now that you can feel how the piece is changing, improvise movement for each section; move the way the music ‘tells’ you to i.e. change your style of walking/dancing/movement to match the different sections.
The energy of a city that doesn’t sleep.
Have you been out in the East End of Adelaide during Festival season?
New York City is like that all summer, and in some districts, all year.
I used a disco feel for this piece. Disco dance moves are well-known for being
Learn the song. There are three different 4 bar sections;
Buzzin’, Honkin’, Hummin’
Learn each section as a chant, then add the melody. Use strong rhythm, but with relaxed articulations.
All Nite Cheese
Sing along with this track
(note that it is in a lower key than the instrumental versions).
Learn to sing 'Buzzin', Honkin'
Learn to sing
'All Nite Cheese'
Learn to sing 'Dancing Hamsters'.
• After learning each part you could choose two parts to sing together (divide the class into two groups).
Learn the moves from the attached pdf.
Imagine you are walking through a big park; you can usually keep a steady pace with long strides.
But when you walk through the city, you are always having to stop for traffic lights, for crowds of people etc,
so your movement is
Try walking along to the
‘Lopey Walking theme’
It is cheerful and a bit quirky, but you might find that it is difficult to walk along to.
There are seven beats in every bar, unlike the usual four, two or three.
Since we humans only have 2 legs, walking along to seven beats in the bar will always end up feeling a little
Learn to say and clap the ‘Lopey Walk’ rhythm.
• Transfer the rhythm to body percussion. In a circle experiment with different ways to express this rhythm.
R (beats 1 & 2), L (beats 3 & 4),
R (rock backwards as if in slow motion for beats 5, 6 & 7),
L (beats 1 & 2), R (beats 3 & 4),
L (rock backwards as if in slow motion for beats 5, 6 & 7).
Stand and demonstrate the ‘Lopey Walk’.
Forward, forward, baaaaaack,
Forward, forward, baaaaaack,
The pattern takes 14 counts to reset itself (two bars of seven).
Now try doing the ‘Lopey Walk’
along with the
In pairs create your own
version of the ‘Lopey Walk’ using the given rhythm.
Try adding arms,
e.g. bending knees
reaching up etc.
Or write a chant to accompany your ‘Lopey Walk’
using a ‘city’ theme
and perform it to your class.
Herman loves to talk about things.
(The chorus and verse lyrics come straight from the book)
Think about what sort of things are being described here.
Those big wooden things with the pointy bit on the end.
What is he describing?
I added a section for Herman to rap in this tune imagining he was
on the phone trying to
sell his ‘things’.
'Things' the song is based on
the groove of the
'Lopey Walking Theme'.
Listen to the fast moving theme
and learn the words and melody.
Listen to the slow-moving theme and learn the words and melody.
The most important thing you can do to prepare for the Herman and Rosie performance is to familiarise your students with the story, and then learn some of the participation songs from the score, particularly those found on this Prezi.
by the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra
Resource Kit by
Mark Simeon Ferguson
and Susan Ferguson
Music and lyrics
by Mark Simeon Ferguson
Do the "John Travolta a la
Saturday Night Fever" -
point to the exit with RH
with LH on hip, and
while swiveling feet
towards pointing hand
Chop chop grate grate -
Hold out your RH
and chop LH on top
Hold grater in RH and
grate the cheese with LH
Buzzin' honkin' hummin'
Hands outstretched with fists moving
from right to left with each word-
'driving the car' "Like anything's possible"
Punch the air x2
Disco arm rolls while swaying R L R L
"With dancing hamsters"
'Paws' up and shrug shoulders
L R L R
I hope you enjoy working through
this project with your students.'
M. S. Ferguson, Feb. 2017
Now listen to the simplified version of the GLJN and learn to play the melody on glockenspiels.
The simplified version uses the same rhythm but uses less notes (only 4).
If you have any
try out the Things