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"Just the Way You Are"

Title Just the way you are
ComposerB. Joel (arr: F.G.J. Absil)
Instrum.Concert Band
DateJuly 2011 (manuscript: January 1985)
StyleLatin - Rock
KeyEb - F
Tempo126 BPM


A musical score excerpt
  • Piccolo, Flute 1-2, Oboe, Bassoon, Eb Clarinet, Clarinet in Bb 1-2-3, Bass Clarinet;
  • Alto Saxophone 1-2, Tenor Saxophone 1-2, Baritone Saxophone;
  • Trumpet 1-2-3, Trombone 1-2-3-(4), Horn in F 1-2-3, Baritone 1-2, Tuba;
  • Rhythm Guitar, Keyboard (E-Piano, Celesta), Bass Guitar, Drums;
  • Timpani, Percussion (bar chimes, congas, cowbell, suspended cymbal, triangle), Mallets (glockenspiel, vibraphone, xylophone).


This arrangement of Just the way you are is a relaxed Latin-Rock for concert band. The solo lead trombone plays the melody in [A] (m. 9-24), [D] (m. 57-63) and [J] (m. 127-133). Other melody phrases are played by unisono woodwinds [B], brass [G] or horns/baritones (bridge section in [H], m. 111-117).

The workhorses in this piece are the 5-piece saxophone section, playing harmonic backgrounds (see [A], [D], [E], [G], [H], [J] and [K]), unisono lead [C] or fills [B], and a special chorus phrase (in [F], after the transition from Eb to F). There are tutti climaxes in [C] (m. 49-52), [D] (m. 65-69), and [K] (m. 135-140). This last tutti is in quasi-classical chorale style. Other classical elements are the counterpoint introduction (brass, m. 1-4) and 2nd chorus bridge (winds, horns and celesta, m. 119-124).

This piece can be played by a smaller band. There are non-essential parts for oboe, bassoon, bass trombone and mallets. In case a bass guitar player is missing, assign the full bass line to the tuba (otherwise, apply tacet to the tuba occasionally). Guitar and keyboard may be added for improved rhythmic support (the celesta doubles melodic material).