Chapter Six “He Is He and I Am Me”: The Ellington-Strayhorn Collaboration

Walter van de Leur

in Something to Live For

Published in print April 2002 | ISBN: 9780195124484
Published online September 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780199868711 | DOI:
Chapter Six “He Is He and I Am Me”: The Ellington-Strayhorn Collaboration

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This chapter dissects the myths that have surrounded the collaboration of both composers. It explains why Strayhorn remained so invisible to the larger audience. Factors include the poor crediting of Strayhorn’s contributions to the orchestra’s oeuvre, the sound of the Ellington orchestra through which all his work was filtered, and the evasive answers of both when asked who wrote what. The chapter then details how the different approaches to composition and the written score had far-reaching consequences for Ellington’s final performances of Strayhorn’s work. A number of works are identified that were seriously edited by Ellington, which affected their coherence and often undermined their composed structures. The chapter also looks at the administrative chaos at Tempo Music, the publisher responsible for copyrighting Strayhorn’s work.

Keywords: crediting; composition; collaboration; Tempo Music; copyrights

Chapter.  7895 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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