Desafinado, a tune by Antonio Carlos Jobim: a comparison of four different versions.

Presenter: Renato Vasconcellos Unb

The proposed paper for the 29th Meeting of the IASJ, Zagreb,Croatia is a portion of my Doctoral thesis called The Lead Sheet and the Misdirections of Fake Books. The panel “Desafinado” by Antonio Carlos Jobim: A comparison of four different written versions is an attempt to show how fake books had changed the path of specific tunes.

The song Desafinado was published in Brazil by Editora Musical Arapuã (1959) and in the United States by Hollis Music Incorporation (1962). Anyone can see at the front page of the American edition, found by this researcher at Instituto Antonio Carlos Jobim (*), the hand written anottation by Jobim himself: “Tudo errado”, which means all wrong. That was the motivation for my research and the answer for a question asked to myself over and over again during decades: “Why the Desafinado lead sheet published by the Real Book in 1975 is so mistaken and full of wrong notes and chords?”. It was easy to conclude that the editors of the Real Book might have used the Hollis Music’s edition as a reference for their “manuscript type” lead sheet. The proposed presentation put side by side the lead sheet made by the Real Book and three other written versions of Desafinado to analyze in detail every measure, every note and every chord, reaching the conclusion that publishers copied each other, corroborating and amalgamating errors of transcription.