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Indiana, also known as Back Home Again In Indiana, is a tune written by Ballard MacDonald and James Hanley. This song is perhaps the most well-known number that pays tribute to the state of Indiana in the United States.

Though it started out as a Tin Pan Alley pop tune of its time, it has been adapted by jazz musicians as a standard and has played an important part in the jazz repertoire. Donna Lee is most well-know contrafact based on the changes to “Indiana.” “Donna Lee” was written by Miles Davis or Charlie Parker (“Donna Lee” is one of the several tunes accredited to Miles Davis which may have possibly been penned by another musician).

For many years Louis Armstrong would open up his sets with “Indiana.” This tune is most commonly played in the key of F major.

Videos to learn the melody/changes

Brent Vaartstra
Brent Vaartstra
Brent Vaartstra is a professional jazz guitarist and educator living in New York City. He is the head blogger and podcast host for which he owns and operates. He actively performs around the New York metropolitan area and is the author of the Hal Leonard publication "Visual Improvisation for Jazz Guitar." He's also the host of the music entrepreneurship podcast "Passive Income Musician."


  1. Hi Jazzmen,

    Greetings from across the pond.
    Nice to have this old standard amongst your cannon. I was wondering if it could be re-posted in stereo, somehow, like they usually are.



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