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Francis Bebey : The Magic Box : Doberman – Yppan

Francis Bebey

Doberman – Yppan: 7 pages



I was very surprised to see this in print, because I , like many other followers of the great John Williams, remember very well  how he championed this writer and some of his pieces, a long time ago, now finally , 23 years after the composer’s death aged 71 , we find the sheet music to one of his famous works ! We have the French classical guitarist, Ingrid Riollot to thank for this, the story behind which you will find in the detailed Preface at the beginning of the book.

Being from Cameroon, this piece is full of the complex rhythms one might associate with the African nations, and like Latin American music the straight beat tends to be in the bass line whilst the melody and harmonies above are almost constantly not on the beat!

Set in Am /C Major in a beat of 4/4, one finds instantly a set of parallel 6th above a standard straight set of bass crotchets , which then becomes three – note chords every so often. Then the middle section which is in C Major continues the same general feel before 1st and 2nd time bars then , after a repeat, take us back to the opening themes for one more time before a new melody briefly leads us elsewhere. Then a D.C. al Coda, leads us to the end where strong Am chords provide the close, and underneath a little note saying written in Paris in 1985.

This is a friendly piece, moderate in difficulty that will be great fun for any player who likes his music upbeat, and perhaps who remembers it from many moons ago, when John Williams played it!


Chris Dumigan

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