Stephen Sondheim talks about the writting of Send in the Clowns from A Little Night Music – with excerpts of the rehearsal with Sally Ann Howes. Insight into Sondheim’s composing process – he says he does not let lyrics or melody get too far ahead of each other during the writing process.
Sondheim says he likes to know how a song will end when he starts it.
We all know the sound. It’s that quirky slapped bass that opens while Jerry Seinfeld does his comedic monologue, and then hilarity ensues. The little ditty was written by Jonathan Wolf. When hired for the job he listened to Jerry’s stand-up and found a sort of melody and rhythm to his delivery. Knowing that he couldn’t actually write a melodic theme over the monologue, he sort of timed it instead. The tempo, about 110, became the basis for a simple slapped bass line. With Jerry in studio, he recorded the line while Jerry did his thing. And that has become the popular and recognizable Seinfeld theme.
From the bass guitar forum at BassDogs.com