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Well You Needn't (1944)

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Origin and Chart Information
Rank 313
Music Thelonious Monk
Lyrics Mike Ferro

Here are the top ten...

Year Rank Title
1930 1 “Body and Soul”
1939 2 “All the Things You Are”
1935 3 “Summertime”
1944 4 “'Round Midnight”
1935 5 “I Can't Get Started (with You)”
1937 6 “My Funny Valentine”
1942 7 “Lover Man (Oh, Where Can You Be)”
1930 8 “What Is This Thing Called Love?”
1933 9 “Yesterdays”
1946 10 “Stella by Starlight”

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Music and Lyrics Analysis

Musical analysis of “Well You Needn’t”

Original Key F major
Form A -A-B-A

Major tonality during the “A” sections and dominant during the Bridge


Primarily 3rds during the “A” section, although there are movements of 2nds and 7ths to begin and end phrases. The bridge is a motif which consists of the 5th and root of the respective chord

Comments (assumed background)

Although this sparsely constructed Monk composition consists of only two chords, which are separated by only a half step during the “A” section, it can remain a rather lively progression when taken at a brisk tempo. The melodic motif of the “A” section (which is essentially an F7 with a leading tone) begins and ends on the Gb6, thereby treating it primarily as a passing chord. The bridge also utilizes a stepwise harmonic progression, but multiple dominant chords are used and the number of measures for each respective chord varies slightly. This piece would make an excellent choice for a beginning improviser, because the stepwise chordal analysis is receptive to a pseudo-vamping approach.

Submitted by Michael Bogart, Jazz, Blues, Rock Guitarist


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Reading and Research
Additional information for "Well You Needn't" may be found in:

Alyn Shipton
A New History of Jazz
Continuum International Publishing Group
Paperback: 956 pages

(1 paragraph including the following types of information: music analysis. (Page 489).)
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By the Same Writers...

Written by the Same Composer(s)...
This section shows the jazz standards written by the same writing team.

Mike Ferro and Thelonious Monk

Year Rank Title
1944 313 “Well You Needn't”

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