Ritooria Transcription for download

“Thank you so much.  Your transcription was truly both humbling and enlightening.  The section that begins at m.59 has, for the last thirty-some-odd years been one of my favorite passages of music.  It is sublime.  Screw all the “Down with transcriptions” people.  I, for one, truly appreciate your Herculean efforts [they were Herculean, weren’t they!?] regarding Ritooria.  Nu?  When is the next transcription coming up (he said, greedily rubbing his gnarled fingers together…)?”

– Peter at JazzTemple

[more jazz geek comments below]

As part of my undergraduate dissertation at Manchester, I set-about transcribing the works of Keith Jarrett‘s virtuosic improvised piano pieces. My first attempt is shown here: Ritooria.

Have a quick gander at these five pages taken from the transcription (to get an idea of what the score feels like), then download the full version in a zip file below these snippets:

A bound copy of the score, including editorial notes, was thrust into the hands of an ungracious Keith Jarrett after about 2 hours of waiting in the rain at the end of a concert in London a number of years ago.  (Ok, perhaps he was exhausted, but still.) It had my number.  I saw him shuffle through the score whilst being driven off in his chauffeur-driven limo but that was it. I could vouch the limo was taken on this website. I also called his then agent who was sadly a little curt and showed no interest.

Quite a few Keith Jarrett followers have now asked for this since I ditched my old website, and so here it is.

UPDATE 13th April 2009: The below download is back online.
UPDATE 27 July 2013: The below download is back online… again!

This is for personal use only. Transcription copyright pending.

Download the score (PDF), editorial notes (PFD), and original MP3 from which the score was transcribed in a zipped bundle here: Ritooria – Keith Jarrett – Sheet Music and Audio (5.8Mb)

From the old guestbook:

“Ciao Mat,
Thank you for you incredible transcription of Jarrett’s Ritooria!
I will study it real hard.”

– Rudy

“Incredible job on the Ritooria transcription. Quite a feat, one of the more complex pieces on the record, rhythmically and harmonically. Was this done as a labor of love on you behalf? As an ear training assigment? A sadistic challenge? Whatever your reason, thank you! I have been a Jarrett fan for many years, and “Facing You” is my favorite solo piano record of all time. I look forward to any other “Facing You” transcriptions that you tackle in the future. And I would be certainly be willing to pay for them. Thanks again!”

– Greg Laporta

“I’ve been looking for transcriptions from ‘facing you’ for a long time. Appreciate the effort you’ve made. Maybe I can reciprocate someday.”

– Robert Scurlock

“hey Mat,
Wow! Totally nice to get that transcription.
Finally I’ve just looked at it, but seems to be very well done work, perfect read-ability and looks like it took a lot of time.
Thank you for sharing it with us. You’ll get another comment, when I played some part of it.
Thanks once again!”

– Phillip Enders

Wow! I am much impressed. And I must concur with garthhudson 2000 who, at the Yahoo Jarrett club, posted the following comment:

“finally someone transcribed that dang thing.”

Though many a “purist” abhors the idea of taking one portion of a musical work out of the context of its whole, I do not. Mind you, I treasure Ritooria in its entirety, but the absolutely stunningly lush and beautiful passage from measure 59 (4:23) to the end has always held a special place in my heart for the entire thirty-some-odd years that I have been listening to Facing You.”

– [previously posted as Anonymous. Later comment given from Peter at Jazztemple.]





16 responses to “Ritooria Transcription for download”

  1. Bryant Miano avatar

    Hi Mat –

    Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful transcription. It’s amazingly accurate! Great work!

  2. Yannis Gutmann avatar
    Yannis Gutmann

    Thank you very much Mat.
    Very strong poetry from the first notes …. this piece is amazing , one of my all time Jarrett favorites..

    Googled rittoria to find out about the meaning of the title ( guessing it had something to do with the greek rheetoria (=rhetoric) and here i am playing it on piano

    thanks again from Greece

  3. Victoria Webb avatar

    Wow, this looks like a beautiful transcription. Haven’t tried it yet, but look forward to stumbling through in my own ineptitude. Thanks so much!

    Do you have anything else of Jarrett’s? Not to be greedy, but I love In Front, and the IV side (part IIc) of the Koln concert….

    Many thanks.

  4. Christian Wegscheider avatar

    Thanks Mat!

    Great work.
    I´m a fan of the album “facing you” and I´m just transcribing “starbright”.
    I´m gonna send it to you if you´re interrestet.



  5. admin avatar

    Hello Christian,

    Thanks for the kind comment. I’d love to see your transcription when it’s done. Please bookmark my blog and come back to me when complete!

    Greetings from London


  6. Eric avatar

    Thanks so much! Great job! Just a note on your encounter with KJ — don’t take it personally. He appears to have authorized only a single transcription of his playing during his entire career — the Koln concert. All other sheet music of his work consists of actual scores that he prepared for others to play, not transcriptions of his improvisations by third parties for study and dissection. My guess would be that he is against transcriptions of his work (maybe everyone’s work?) on philosophical grounds. That would be consistent with what appears to be his approach to improvisation — study all the music you can get your hands on, internalize it, then when you improvise, just let it come out through your subconscious in a new, individual form. Although I don’t subscribe to it myself, I can understand a point of view that studying transcriptions can potentially influence you too strongly and reduce the individuality of your playing. Just a guess.

  7. John O avatar

    This looks great, can’t wait to try it out. I have a transcription of the intro to “Autumn Leaves” from the live Blue Note recording… I need to get it into Finale so it’s legible but once I do I’ll share.

  8. Jeff Pittson avatar
    Jeff Pittson

    Quite frankly an amazing piece of musicianship (yours!) brought to bear on an extraordinary improvisation. It was with this selection that I fully understood that Keith had the technique of a classical concert pianist which is what separates him from everybody to this day. I do believe this is spontaneously composed as Keith would put it.
    I must also assert that the most amazing way to hear Ritooria is on the original vinyl. It has the tone of doom and I do miss the vinyl desperately.
    One word: Bravo!

  9. Michael Thorn avatar

    Thank you for your transcription.
    I had a similar experienmce when I met KJ after a concert in Chicago.
    I’ve met many jazz greats but was never treated like that.
    Oh well-I guess he’s just from another planet.
    Michael Thorn

  10. […] I’ve re-listened to Ritooria from Jarrett’s ECM debut, Facing You, a handful of times in the past 24 hours. The development of his complex right-hand noodling over an original, tonally ambiguous chord sequence is compelling stuff. From the opening pin-pricked staccato notes to wave-upon-wave of cascading angular demi-semi-quavers, Jarrett’s outpouring of melodic material is a lesson in compositional risk. Thanks to London-based photographer, Mat Smith, there is a fine transcription of the piece available for free here. […]

  11. johnroney avatar

    not surprised that keith was not really gracious when you handed him a transcription of something he played once. he played alot of things. once. and then done. you gotta step into his shoes a bit to understand, but they’re big shoes, and important ones. there have never been shoes like them before, and currently they are the only living shoes that are weightless, and without time and gravity holding them down. (to continue the shoe metaphor). so, not surprised. but don’t take it personally… you’re probably a great guy. keith is a GREAT artist, which is why we do these things 🙂 be happy that you met him.

  12. admin avatar

    “You are probably a great guy”… thanks, er… I think.

    Not all musicians who have the “genius” attribution bestowed upon them by scholars and fans are quite so snooty when it comes to interacting with other human beings. Many (Hancock, Corea, etc.) love that kind of interaction.

  13. Terrigal Burn avatar

    Wonderful transcription. I transcribed “My Song” several years ago and have learned the intros to Green Dolphin Street, I’m Old Fashioned, What Is This Thing called Love (but didn’t write them out.)

    Do you know of a transcription of the first tune on Facing You-In Front?

  14. Bob Ness avatar
    Bob Ness

    Who/what was Ritooria?

  15. Bob Ness avatar
    Bob Ness

    Who/what was Ritooria??

  16. Robert Rotstein avatar
    Robert Rotstein

    Have you transcribed other pieces from “Facing You” ?

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