Episodes YMP Classic Feed

Episode 82 – Yes QI Part 4 – Yes Complete Deluxe Edition

It was complete at the time...almost
It was complete at the time…almost

The eighty-second episode of the Yes Music Podcast featuring some quite interesting things about the Yes Complete Deluxe Edition score book.

Listen and then let me know if agree with my assessment of the book by contacting me via any of the different routes on the right hand side or by leaving a comment below!

  • Do we need a book of scores?
  • Are all the parts played by all musicians included?
  • Is it ‘complete’?


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Show links

Alan White’s Q&A on Yes World

Wikipedia on musical notation

The British Library exhibition of Victorian Music Hall scores

Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp with Yes

Sign the e-petition to release the lost Yes tapes!

Theme music

The music I use is the last movement of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. This has been used as introduction music at many Yes concerts. My theme music is not take from a live concert – I put it together from the following two creative commons sources:

thanvannispen and

6 replies on “Episode 82 – Yes QI Part 4 – Yes Complete Deluxe Edition”

Hi again Kevin. What an unexpected pleasure to discover the subject of YMP 82. It reminded me that tucked away in my ex-wife’s loft is what is presumably a sub-set of what you have – “Yes Complete Vol 2” containing reductions of CTTE, TFTO & Relayer.
This episode got me thinking about a couple of your points and I have a couple of suggestions.
Firstly, I can see how Chris Squire’s claim that he cannot read music is consitent with his singing in a high profile choir. As a boy I sung in the local church choir (we regularly deputised for Guildford Cathedral choir when they were elsewhere) and learned to read music there, a skill which i developed when I learned flute. However, i have never been able to transfer that skill to guitar – yes I can painfully slowly read the note off the score and play that on the guitar but it has never been automatic, like it might be for singing or flute or picking out a single line on a keyboard. So i wonder if this is what Chris finds.
Secondly – and not unrelated to the above – Guitar Chords. As a guitarist, the chords on a piece of sheet music tell me far more about the structure of the song and how to play it than the notation. Say G7 to me and I can instantly “hear” it or play it. One operation. Show me the notes G, B, D & F on a score and I have to translate each into a note (on flute I associate each note on the score with a particular fingering – not so on the guitar as there are several places one can play each note) and then mentally process the notes in order to work out what the harmony should sound like – a total of five operations.
Any musician (particularly “rhythm section” musician who has worked with covers/function bands or jazz bands will be used to working from either chord charts or “top line plus chords”. Most rock is conceived that way as well. It’s almost the opposite to what you were describing about your studying of music – I think almost entirely in terms of chords and harmony – how a note fits with the underlying chord rather than what I’d call a linear approach, where you are looking at how a note fits with the notes either side of it.
I suppose a perfect example would be that last month I fulfilled a boyhood ambition to become Brian May – I was asked to play guitar (which i hadn’t done for 10 years) for a production of some of the material for “We Will Rock You” at a school i work at. At the end of the final heavy riff bit (Waynes World) there are a number of what are basically ascending scale runs. I learned these not by looking at the notes as such, but by looking at each chord and the note that each run started on as well as noting where the runs went back on themselves.
In other words I was thinking “B7 scale run starting on D#, Ab7 scale run starting on Ab, Bb7 scale runs starting on Bb”. That probably sounds over complicated to you, but to me, I can assure you, a line of semiquavers with various accidentals looks far more daunting!
Anyway, I’ve gone on far too long. I hope that provides an insight into how this particular amateur musician’s mind work, if not others.
As a postscript, the actual chord “pictures” tahta ccompany music – unless in a basic guitar tutor have always seemed absolutely pointless to me. Who on earth would attempt to play Gates of Delirium in first position?
BTW I also have (again in ex wife’s loft) an excellent book of Steve Howe guitar transcriptions – the book which finally convinced me I was never going to become professional on the instrument!

Tim, thanks so much for this fascinating comment. I can see exactly what you mean about Chris Squire and it makes a lot of sense when you explain it like this.

I also loved hearing about your very different way of thinking about music. You and I are a bit like chalk and cheese there! As they say, it takes all sorts!

Any video footage of you as Brian May? I’d love to see that…

That sounds like a very interesting book of Steve Howe transcriptions – are you planning a raid to repatriate those items?

Fortunately (for me) there is no video of the band – we weren’t on display as such and all video was of the pupils.
Repatriation sounds like a good idea (my ex and I are on good terms, but she might demand I clear everything out of the loft). If I get them back I’ll be sure to include the Steve Howe book in a future “Yes memorabilia” edition.

I also have a copy of Yes Complete Vol.2 mentioned by Tim, and it sounds like it is a subset of your book, Kevin. The contents are:
– The Ancient
– And You and I
– Close to the Edge
– Dear Father
– The Gates of Delirium
– The Revealing Science of God
– The Remembering
– Ritual
– Siberian Khatru
– Six Wives (excerpts from)
– Sound Chaser
– To Be Over

In addition, I have one simply called “Yes”, that I bought in the USA in 1975 (for $5.95). The front cover is a reproduction of the Fragile cover, and the back cover is The Yes Album. And indeed, the contents are those two albums, with only Cans and Brahms missing (for obvious reasons).

I can remember programming my BBC Micro to play Roundabout using this score. The bass part was fun!

Thanks for the comment, Russell. Yes there do seem to have been a few of these around. I have subsequently found a list of them in the YES Perpetual Change book by David Watkinson – which includes the ones you mention here.

I never tried to program my ZX Spectrum to play Yes – that would have been a great project. However, I did program it to play Arrival of the Queen of Sheba. Sadly, as you probably know, the Spectrum was only capable of producing one note at a time. I do remember a friend who had a Dragon 32 (I think) with full polyphonic capabilities. He managed to get a complete classical piece going.

Ah – those were the days!

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