Four Notes - Paul's Tune

Album: single release only (2020)
Charted: 32

Songfacts®:

  • Paul Harvey is a music teacher and composer from Buxted, Sussex, England, whose party trick is to request four random notes and then improvise a song on the piano. Despite being diagnosed with dementia late in 2019 he continued to play piano pieces from memory - as well as create new ones.

    His son Nick filmed his father sat at the piano in his pajamas improvising a song from just four notes (F natural, A, D and B natural). He posted the video online to show how the power of music can help those living with brain disorders. The clip went viral in September and was aired on Radio 4's Broadcasting House for World Alzheimer's Day on September 21, 2020.

    After listeners asked the BBC to have the performance orchestrated, the show's host, Paddy O'Connell, organized the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra to record the song. Arranged by the BBC Philharmonic's double bass player, Dan Whibley, it was released as a single on November 1, 2020.
  • Nick Harvey tweeted when he uploaded the video: "Dad's ability to improvise and compose beautiful melodies on the fly has always amazed me. Tonight, I gave him four random notes as a starting point. Although his dementia is getting worse, moments like this bring him back to me."
  • All proceeds from the song go to the Alzheimer's Society and Music for Dementia.

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