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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

What's the difference between:
a) A "Real Book" and a "Fake Book"?​
b) All of the different volumes of the Hal Leonard Real book?​

Thanks,
 

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Long story short, the Real book is a collection of songs that were made illegally, The legal version of the real book is called the New Real Book. Fake books are basically just big collections as well, but the "real book" contains the most popular songs played by jazz musicians and is the one most used.
 

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Real book is the name of the most-used fakebook.

The sixth addition Hal Leonard (Three volumes, I think) is legal, and most accurate version. Unfortunately, it doesn't have as many tunes as the old, illegal version(s).
 

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saxplaya81 said:
Long story short, the Real book is a collection of songs that were made illegally, The legal version of the real book is called the New Real Book. Fake books are basically just big collections as well, but the "real book" contains the most popular songs played by jazz musicians and is the one most used.
Nope, the 'New' Real Book is a separate publication.
 

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Get Real!!!

Correct me if I'm wrong but I thought a fake book was a collection of tunes written out in 'shorthand', just the 'A' section once,the bridge and the chord progression. I thought the idea was to give just enough to fake a tune without( hopefully ) running into copyrite problems. The Real Books were called that because the whole tune was written out so you didn't have to 'fake' it anymore( in blatant disregard of copyrite infringement ) and hence were illegal. I got my first copy out of someones car trunk;) .These problems have been cleared up and the books are now available legally as well as the new series of 'New Real Books' 1,2 and 3. The New Real Books are nice because being legal from the gitgo they are nicely laid out with all the chords,original arrangements and often lyrics printed properly instead of photocopies of someones hand written notation as the originals were.If you attend jams, you'll often hear a tune called by it's page number in the Real Book, they've become that ubiquitous.Is it right? Probably not.But they're well worth getting:cool:
 

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the 6th edition is not necessarily the most accurate. I have not found a song that is 100% correct yet.
 

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Off-kilter said:
Correct me if I'm wrong but I thought a fake book was a collection of tunes written out in 'shorthand', just the 'A' section once,the bridge and the chord progression. I thought the idea was to give just enough to fake a tune without( hopefully ) running into copyrite problems.
That ain't right. "Faking" a tune meant making up an arrangement of it on the fly. Having the A section of the tune along with the bridge would suffice to violate copyright laws....
The Real Books were called that because the whole tune was written out so you didn't have to 'fake' it anymore( in blatant disregard of copyrite infringement ) and hence were illegal.
Naw, it was just a play on the words "fake book" -- maybe suggesting that the tunes were hipper, or the chord progressions more definitive (HAR!).
These problems have been cleared up and the books are now available legally as well as the new series of 'New Real Books' 1,2 and 3. The New Real Books are nice because being legal from the gitgo they are nicely laid out with all the chords,original arrangements and often lyrics printed properly instead of photocopies of someones hand written notation as the originals were.
The Hal Leonard books are indeed legal, and more legible, etc. (in fact, the original Bb version of the illicit Real Book was truly vile -- I always thought it would be fun to hunt down whoever did the manuscript for that one, and, you know, kill him...).

However, the Hal Leonard books also omit many numbers from the original books (bye, bye, Carla Bley!).

If you attend jams, you'll often hear a tune called by it's page number in the Real Book, they've become that ubiquitous.Is it right? Probably not.But they're well worth getting:cool:
The original Real Book did violence to the chord progressions of many tunes (like "Four") and also presented certain tunes in dorky keys that weren't used by jazz players (like "Autumn Leaves" -- no jazz player has ever recorded it in the idiotic Real Book key -- well, I guess Booker Ervin did, and he was definitely a real jazz musician, but shame on him...). I think the Hal Leonard versions of the book retained the dorky keys...
 

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Kelly Bucheger said:
The original Real Book did violence to the chord progressions of many tunes (like "Four") and also presented certain tunes in dorky keys that weren't used by jazz players
And some of the melodies are wrong, and it left out intro's, endings, interludes, shout choruses, and rhythm section hits. The "real" book is good for pretty much one thing, if you run out of paper towels, it's fairly absorbent...actually two things, if you go to Russia, it'll be softer than the toilet paper in your hotel room.
 

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I've been corrected

Does anyone know the history of the original ( illegal ) Real books? I seem to remember reading somewhere that they were a Berkley School of Music project or something that got published underground. Does anyone know anything about that? By the way, I agree the tunes are sometimes pretty excreble in the originals and even into the newer legal versions but I reserve my kudos for the new series of books called the 'New Real Books', they have a few of the tunes in the old books but they are all legal so everything is as the composer intended,clearly written with lyrics,arrangements for horns and basslines. Really nice:cool:
 

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From Barry Kernfelds site. He has a book of history (very expensive $50 or so)

"Pop Song Piracy: A History of Fake Books and America’s First Criminal Copyright Trials

Barry Kernfeld, fifth Jyväsklyä Summer Jazz Conference, University of Jyväsklyä, Finland, June 5, 2003

This paper is abstracted from the central chapters of my book Pop Song Piracy: Bootleg Song Sheets, Fake Books, and America’s First Criminal Copyright Trials . The factual portions of the paper trace the story of bootleg fake books from the appearance of the Tune-Dex in the spring of 1942, to the first bootleg volumes of Tune-Dex cards in 1949, through failed FBI investigations into Tune-Dex bootlegging in the early 1950s, and finally to the government’s prosecution of fake-book bootlegging in three cases from the 1960s. The first of these three, in Chicago in 1962, was aborted when the defendants changed their pleas from not guilty to guilty at the last moment, but the other two, in New York City in 1966 and 1969, were full-blown events which raised significant issues with regard to copyright infringement. In relating this story, I endeavor to address the changing nature of pop song during these decades, the rise of “cocktail music,” and the function and nature of fake books in their relationship to sheet music and to professional music-making. More broadly, I strive to say something about the role of bootlegging in the American marketplace, and to situate the fake-book trials of the 1960s within the history of criminal copyright infringement cases in America."


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"The Making of The Real Book

Barry Kernfeld, fifth Jyväsklyä Summer Jazz Conference, University of Jyväsklyä, Finland, June 6, 2003

Abstracted from the final chapter of Pop Song Piracy, this paper picks up the story of fake books in the 1970s, after the government abandoned its effort to prosecute fake-book bootleggers through the criminal infringement clause of the Copyright Act. To begin, I briefly outline the appearance of legitimate, authorized, copyrighted pop-song fake books, and I speculate on the audiences for such books. The bulk of this paper is devoted to excerpts from an interview with Steve Swallow and correspondence with Pat Metheny, both of whom contributed to the making of a bootleg jazz fake book, The Real Book, while teaching at the Berklee College of Music in Boston during the academic year 1974–75. In presenting that story, I consider reasons why the arena for fake-book bootlegging shifted from pop music to jazz. Swallow describes how the book was made. He explains issues of printed-music and recorded-music licensing and royalties that influenced decisions which he made to contribute lead sheets directly to The Real Book, and which he then explored in consultation with Metheny, Carla Bley, Steve Kuhn, and others, who chose to follow that same path, and he examines, from the perspective of later years, the consequences of these decisions. Both men address the contentious question of the “accuracy” of The Real Book. Swallow offers, from the experience of his career as a professional jazz bassist, thoughts on changing attitudes toward the use of printed music in jazz performance. Finally, we suggest possible reasons for the ongoing widespread proliferation of The Real Book, even in the face of legitimate, authorized, copyrighted competitors which have emerged within the realm of jazz in recent decades."

End of quotation
**************************************

My forthcoming book available sometime in November ("A Songdex of Fake Books, Past and Present") is an index of fakebooks (legal and illegal) that have been around since the 1950s. I bought my first one in France in 1957 and have been collectiong them since then. Most are available on ebay but some I have not seen since the 50s or 60s. The soon to be available book will list tunes from about 150 plus books. i have books composed of the original tunedex cards which was put together to make the first fake book.
 

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Clarification. The term "fake" used to be synonymously with "improvise". You can figure out the rest. ;)
 

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Thank You, Spartacus!

Pat Metheny contributed to the original Real Book!!!:shock: :shock: That's amazing. B.T.W. are we going to hear about this book of yours here when it comes out ?:? Sounds really interesting.
 

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Thanks Sparty.

Just to clarify--I wrote that the Hal Leonard Real Book is the most accurate. Yes, there are mistakes--I've already corrected a few in mine. However, I still think it's the MOST accurate. Kelly's right, the Bb fifth edition is horrible.:shock:
 

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Kelly Bucheger said:
The original Real Book did violence to the chord progressions of many tunes (like "Four") and also presented certain tunes in dorky keys that weren't used by jazz players (like "Autumn Leaves" -- no jazz player has ever recorded it in the idiotic Real Book key -- well, I guess Booker Ervin did, and he was definitely a real jazz musician, but shame on him...). I think the Hal Leonard versions of the book retained the dorky keys...
I think the reason some of those keys are different/wrong may have to do with who wrote them out and submitted them to the original Real Book project. If "Autumn Leaves" was in Gmin (Bb Maj) and got transcribed by an alto player, he might write it out in alto key (Emin/GMaj). Then is gets put in that way in the concert pitch book (for many years there was only the "C" version of The Real Book).

Same kind of mix up is with a tune like "Green Dolphin Street". Most often played in Eb, but the book has it written in "alto key" of C.
 

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DukeCity said:
I think the reason some of those keys are different/wrong may have to do with who wrote them out and submitted them to the original Real Book project. If "Autumn Leaves" was in Gmin (Bb Maj) and got transcribed by an alto player, he might write it out in alto key (Emin/GMaj). Then is gets put in that way in the concert pitch book (for many years there was only the "C" version of The Real Book).

Same kind of mix up is with a tune like "Green Dolphin Street". Most often played in Eb, but the book has it written in "alto key" of C.
Yeah, DukeCity, that's a very viable conjecture for the oddity of the keys in the original Real Book.

For a long time I just assumed that some tunes were written in C out of, what, laziness, and they never bothered to verify the keys the tunes were typically played in. (I figured the same thing happened to "I Could Write A Book", but I was left scratching my head about "Autumn Leaves"...)

However, one source suggests we're *both* wrong, and that in one way the original Real Book was right! If you go to jazzstandards.com and look up "Green Dolphin Street," it states that the original key was ... C! And that the original key for "Autumn Leaves" was G Major / E minor!

These entries appear to be "researched" to within an inch of their lives -- one doesn't get the impression that the original illicit Real Book is the source of their info....

(And indeed, Booker Ervin recorded AL in G Maj / E min in 1960 -- too early to be influenced by the Real Book...)

And yet, that would leave me now scratching my head wondering how a critter with the motley parentage of the illicit Real Book would end up using the original keys of the tunes....
 

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The original Tune Dex cards and the Anderson data says Autumn Leaves was orginally published in the key of G. However, the Abersold listings in four volumes are in G min and one volume in all keys.

If you want my book I can e-mail a pdf if I have your e-mail address and you have a fast connection. I will be looking for a new server as the server I was using was not renewed by the owner.

email address removed
 

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spartacus said:
- likely i will be martysaxed for good soon.
Say it duck! isn't DUCK!! so!!!

 
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