Text-painting in Joe Zawinul’s “Midnight Mood”

Hey Improvisers,

Have you ever text-painted with your music?

Text-painting is when we compose or improvise music that depicts something that’s non-musical, such as the passage in Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony that paints a portrait of a walk in the country. We can paint musical pictures in any genre of music, such as rock, pop, folk, or jazz.

Joe Zawinul’s “Midnight Mood” is a natural candidate for text-painting, since the title itself conveys an image of the late night, and whatever feelings we associate with the midnight hour.

Here’s a video I’ve made to show you how to get started with text-painting, using this beautiful jazz waltz as an example. You’ll also learn the correct opening notes of the melody, which are incorrect in The Real Book.

Midnight Mood: Journey Through The Real Book #230

Have fun!


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