World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

'Round Midnight (song)

"'Round Midnight"
Song by Thelonious Monk
Published 1944
Genre Bebop
Composer Thelonious Monk

"‍ '​Round Midnight" is a 1944 jazz standard by pianist Thelonious Monk. It is the most recorded jazz standard composed by a jazz musician.[1]


It is thought that Monk originally composed the song sometime in 1940 or 1941. However, Harry Colomby claims that Monk may have written an early version around 1936 (at the age of 19) with the title "Grand Finale". Monk first recorded the song on the 1947 Blue Note album Genius of Modern Music: Volume 1, and recorded it several times after that. His first version was transcribed by Lionel Grigson in A Thelonious Monk Study Album (Novello, 1993).[2]

Jazz artists Cootie Williams, Dizzy Gillespie, Art Pepper, and Miles Davis have further embellished the song, with songwriter Bernie Hanighen adding lyrics. Both Williams and Hanighen have received co-credits for their contributions.

The song is also called "'Round About Midnight", as Miles Davis used this title for his Columbia Records album 'Round About Midnight (1957) that included a cover based on Dizzy Gillespie's interpretation. It became a signature song for Miles Davis, it is said because his performance of it with Monk at the 1955 Newport Jazz Festival is said to have gotten him a record deal at Columbia Records.[3] He recorded the song in the studio two other times, once for Prestige in 1953 and again in 1956 as released on Miles Davis and the Modern Jazz Giants.

The version by Jimmy McGriff was used as the 6pm closedown theme in the early days of Radio Caroline in 1964.

In 1971, Ron Grainer used a down-tempo variation by Cootie Williams to accompany a memorable scene from The Omega Man. The song later appeared on a 2004 Gotan Project CD, Inspiración Espiración, featuring Chet Baker.

In 1986, the song was used as the title for the film Round Midnight which starred veteran saxophonist Dexter Gordon in a fictional story about an expatriate American jazz musician living in Paris. The soundtrack by Herbie Hancock prominently features the song 'Round Midnight along with a number of other jazz standards and a handful of original pieces written by Hancock.

In 2002, Italian pianist Michael Daugherty, Filippo Del Corno, John Harbison, Joel Hoffman, Aaron Jay Kernis, Gerald Levinson, Tobias Picker, Matthew Quayle, Frederic Rzewski, Augusta Read Thomas and Michael Torke.[4]

\relative c' { 
\new ChordNames { 
\set chordChanges = ##t
\chordmode {  
ees4 ees/d ees2/des | c:dim7 aes4:min9 des:7 | c1:m7.5- | b4:m7 e:7 bes:m7 ees:7

\new Staff {
\tempo "Ballad"
\key ees \major
\set Score.tempoHideNote = ##t
\tempo 4 = 60
r4 bes16 ees f bes ges4. bes,8 | ees ees4. bes'4 aes | r ees16 ges bes des c4. ees,8 | a4 aes aes g |



  1. ^ 'Round Midnight at - retrieved February 20, 2009.
  2. ^ Rachel Hoiem, "Layin' Dead – Composition Analysis: 'Round Midnight (1947)", As It ought To Be, October 6, 2009.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Matthew Quayle


  • Gourse, Leslie. Straight, No Chaser: The Life and Genius of Thelonious Monk. Schirmer Books, 1998. ISBN 0-8256-7229-5
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.