Jazz of the Week: Linus & Lucy

The classic theme song from Charlie Brown.

Music video by Vince Guaraldi Trio performing Linus And Lucy. (C) 2012 Concord Music Group, Inc.

Whenever a conversation about renown Jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi comes up, you can't finish it without mentioning this timeless masterpiece.

"Linus & Lucy" was an instrumental piece Vince wrote for the popular TV show's Christmas special "Peanuts." After he wrote it, he called up the show's producer and played it for him over the phone. His response? "This is gonna be very meaningful." 

I'd say. The TV's crew have admitted in the past that it was the music Vince wrote for the show that saved it. His unique approach to scoring the series contributed greatly to the staple it now holds in American television history, utilizing the simplicity and complexity that come with a live jazz trio and making the show the first cartoon to use jazz music for its score. 

The song is written in the key of Ab major and utilizes modal interchange in its chorus, arpeggiating an inverted Abm7 chord in the left hand after the Ab5 chord and contributing to the song's jazzy atmosphere. The song follows a traditional jazz structure in that a chorus is played in between piano-led instrumental solos. 

It's also just a damn good song.