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Mercer Ellington has stated that Juan Tizol conceived the melody to "Caravan" in 1936 as a result of his days studying music in Puerto Rico, where they couldn't afford much sheet music so the teacher would turn the music upside down after they had learned to play it right-side up. This "inversion" technique led to a modal sound throughout Tizol's work - wikipedia entry for "modal jazz"

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