What is an “Arrangement” in music? Essentially, arrangements are the reorganization of an already created work through the altering of orchestration, structure, transitions and themes. Arrangements are often referred to as Cover Versions and can encapsulate instrumental updates, lyrical changes and tonal modifications.

Within the Allan Blank Collection, the composer kept many arranged scores (especially Jazz compositions) as reference materials. More intriguing however, are the arrangements created by Allan Blank. These include: Beethoven’s Cannons, Schoenberg Op. 26 Quintet and Passacaglia for String Orchestra by Heinrich Franz Biber. Below is a sample of the Passacaglia arrangement.

Passacaglia for String Orchestra by Heinrich Franz Biber and Arranged by Allan Blank, 1989.
Unfortunately, I could not find an example of Passacaglia by Heinrich Franz Biber for String Orchestra. Please enjoy the solo violin version!

One of the most famous examples of a musical arrangement is the song “With a Little Help from My Friends“. Originally written by Paul McCartney and John Lennon of The Beatles for band member Ringo Starr, the song’s true popularity rose with Joe Cocker after his performance at Woodstock. The first rendition has an up tempo with a lighter feel, while Joe Cocker’s cover is slower and more soulful.

Artists from Allan Blank to Whitney Houston (“I Will Always Love You” was first written and performed by Dolly Parton) will always be drawn to works that inspire their creativity. As much as I like the original compositions created by Mr. Blank, it is also nice to see how he breathed new life into older works.