Sunday, May 27, 2007

Sunday kind of Folk

All right. I found a office supply place open and I have a new toner cartrige.
The pressure is off, so I went back to Folklife festival.
Heard a wonderful Chicago-blues band by the name of
  • Sassparilla

  • Called themselves a jug band but I saw no jugs. Washtub bass, washboards, homebuilt guitars, they sat on plastic buckets, but no one hooting away on a jug. Made no difference. I loved it!
    I really love the blues. There are people who argue that Jazz is based on the blues.
    Nonsense, I say to "those people", ALL music is based on or inspired by the blues. There is the tautological argument that composers write because they feel that there should be more to life, therefore they feel they are getting less than they deserve and have no other way of trying to get it than writing music, even though they know it is impossible.
    That's the blues Dear readers.
    Recently I heard Seattle Opera's excellent rendition of "La Boheme"
    Lost love, the enevitability of death, having a good time in the meantime.
    That's what the blues is all about.
    "Fidelio" is a fantasy about a longing for freedom. The blues.
    "Turindot is a fantasy about dealing with cruelties of the powers that be (The MAN). The blues
    Beethoven's 9th Symphony is about longing for a good time. The blues
    Studying composer's biographies, you will find very few truely happy stories.
    Even Haydn had to work for the man. The blues.
    Read Mozart's story and tell me that blues man's type of life
    "Flying Dutchman" is a fantasy about impossible love. The blues
    "Porgy and Bess" well, yeah, willing to admit it.
    It's a little known fact that Michael Pretorius was a kick-ass blues shouter.
    It's so little known that even I don't know it.
    I think I've made my point.
    If you don't agree, please be kind, I'm feeling a little down lately.

    P.S. This whole blog is me singin' the blues, innit?
    "The Seattle Symphony kicked my ass blues"
    Sounds real good on hammered dulcimer

    And speaking of Celtic music.....
    Speaking of the cultural feelings of people tossed out of thier homes by forces over which they have no control....
    Famines...
    Evictions....
    Being hot property in the muscle market...
    All of us.
    Everyone who looks up experiences the blues.
    If you listen to religious utterances closely, what are they saying but, O lord I am so down and you are so up, please be kind.
    Which is all I ask of you.

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    3 Comments:

    Blogger butch said...

    Doug:
    Man, you nailed it hard, the blues; it's what the whole thing is about, transferring the folk music of Africa to the frustration, pain, and confinement of our wonderful Slave Trade --started by the way in England long before our founding fathers continued it in the 18th Century. Go see the film, AMAZING GRACE. It lays it all out nice and clean and dramatically. Albert Finney is wonderful in it.

    Ever since I was knee high to a grasshopper I have been in love with the blues; just taken away by the a six string slide guitar, and that incredible emotion, and that beat, the thump of life itself rolling out of the Mississipi Delta and hanging out in the big cities, held down, held back, incarcirated, whipped, chained, or just hurt by women. Yes, the goddamn blues led to America's Country music about cheatin', drinkin', whoring, broken hearts, trucks, Mama, and trains.

    Blind Willie Brown, Lightning Hopkins, W.C.Handy, Muddy Waters, Leadbelly, Robert Johnson and the rest of them.

    Blues is a vocal and instrumental form of music based on the use of the blue notes and a repetitive pattern that most often follows a twelve-bar structure. It emerged in African-American communities of the United States from spirituals, praise songs, field hollers, shouts, and chants. The use of blue notes and the prominence of call-and-response patterns in the music and lyrics are indicative of the blues' West African pedigree. The blues influenced later American and Western popular music, as it became part of the genres of ragtime, jazz, bluegrass, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, hip-hop,and pop songs.

    The phrase the blues is a reference to having a fit of the blue devils, meaning 'down' spirits, depression and sadness. An early reference to "the blues" can be found in George Colman's farce Blue devils, a farce in one act (1798).[1] Later during the 19th century, the phrase was used as a euphemism for delirium tremens and the police.

    Though usage of the phrase in African American music may be older, it has been attested to since 1912 in Memphis, Tennessee with W. C. Handy's "Memphis Blues".[2][3] In lyrics the phrase is often used to describe a depressed mood.[4]

    Stylistic and cultural origins
    Main article: Origins of the blues
    There are few characteristics common to all blues, because the genre takes its shape from the idiosyncrasies of individual performances.[5] However, there are some characteristics that were present long before the creation of the modern blues.

    An early form of blues-like music was a call-and-response shouts, which were a "functional expression... style without accompaniment or harmony and unbounded by the formality of any particular musical structure."[6] A form of this pre-blues was heard in slave field shouts and hollers, expanded into "simple solo songs laden with emotional content".[7] The blues, as it is now known, can be seen as a musical style based on both European harmonic structure and the West African call-and-response tradition, transformed into an interplay of voice and guitar.[8]

    Many blues elements, such as the call-and-response format and the use of blue notes, can be traced back to the music of Africa. Sylviane Diouf has pointed to several specific traits—such as the use of melisma and a wavy, nasal intonation—that suggest a connection between the music of West and Central Africa and blues.[9] Ethnomusicologist Gerhard Kubik may have been the first to contend that certain elements of the blues have roots in the Islamic music of West and Central Africa.

    Stringed instruments (which were favored by people enslaved from Muslim regions of Africa…), were generally allowed because slave owners considered them akin to European instruments like the violin. So the enslaved people who managed to cobble together a banjo or other instrument…could play more widely in public. This solo-oriented "slave music" featured elements of an Arabic-Islamic song style that had been imprinted by centuries of Islam's presence in West Africa, says Gerhard Kubik.[10]

    Kubik also pointed out that the Mississippi technique of playing the guitar using a knife blade, recorded by W.C. Handy in his autobiography, corresponds to similar musical techniques in West and Central Africa cultures. The Diddley bow, a homemade one-stringed instrument thought to be common throughout the American South in the early twentieth century, is an African-derived instrument that likely helped in the transferral of African performance techniques into the early blues instrumental vocabulary.


    Robert Johnson, a Delta blues singer, contributed to the standardization of the 12-bar blues form.Blues music later adopted elements from the "Ethiopian airs", minstrel shows and Negro spirituals, including instrumental and harmonic accompaniment.[11] The style also was closely related to ragtime, which developed at about the same time, though the blues better preserved "the original melodic patterns of African music".

    Blues songs from this period, such as Leadbelly's or Henry Thomas's recordings, show many different structures. The twelve-, eight-, or sixteen-bar structure based on tonic, subdominant and dominant chords became the most common forms.[13] What is now recognizable as the standard 12-bar blues form is documented from oral history and sheet music appearing in African American communities throughout the region along the lower Mississippi River, in Memphis, Tennessee's Beale Street, and by white bands in New Orleans.

    The phrase the blues is a reference to having a fit of the blue devils, meaning 'down' spirits, depression and sadness. An early reference to "the blues" can be found in George Colman's farce Blue devils, a farce in one act (1798).[1] Later during the 19th century, the phrase was used as a euphemism for delirium tremens and the police.

    Though usage of the phrase in African American music may be older, it has been attested to since 1912 in Memphis, Tennessee with W. C. Handy's "Memphis Blues".[2][3] In lyrics the phrase is often used to describe a depressed mood.[4]


    [edit] Main characteristics

    [edit] Stylistic and cultural origins
    Main article: Origins of the blues
    There are few characteristics common to all blues, because the genre takes its shape from the idiosyncrasies of individual performances.[5] However, there are some characteristics that were present long before the creation of the modern blues.

    An early form of blues-like music was a call-and-response shouts, which were a "functional expression... style without accompaniment or harmony and unbounded by the formality of any particular musical structure."[6] A form of this pre-blues was heard in slave field shouts and hollers, expanded into "simple solo songs laden with emotional content".[7] The blues, as it is now known, can be seen as a musical style based on both European harmonic structure and the West African call-and-response tradition, transformed into an interplay of voice and guitar.[8]

    Many blues elements, such as the call-and-response format and the use of blue notes, can be traced back to the music of Africa. Sylviane Diouf has pointed to several specific traits—such as the use of melisma and a wavy, nasal intonation—that suggest a connection between the music of West and Central Africa and blues.[9] Ethnomusicologist Gerhard Kubik may have been the first to contend that certain elements of the blues have roots in the Islamic music of West and Central Africa.

    Stringed instruments (which were favored by people enslaved from Muslim regions of Africa…), were generally allowed because slave owners considered them akin to European instruments like the violin. So the enslaved people who managed to cobble together a banjo or other instrument…could play more widely in public. This solo-oriented "slave music" featured elements of an Arabic-Islamic song style that had been imprinted by centuries of Islam's presence in West Africa, says Gerhard Kubik.[10]

    Kubik also pointed out that the Mississippi technique of playing the guitar using a knife blade, recorded by W.C. Handy in his autobiography, corresponds to similar musical techniques in West and Central Africa cultures. The Diddley bow, a homemade one-stringed instrument thought to be common throughout the American South in the early twentieth century, is an African-derived instrument that likely helped in the transferral of African performance techniques into the early blues instrumental vocabulary.


    Robert Johnson, a Delta blues singer, contributed to the standardization of the 12-bar blues form.Blues music later adopted elements from the "Ethiopian airs", minstrel shows and Negro spirituals, including instrumental and harmonic accompaniment.[11] The style also was closely related to ragtime, which developed at about the same time, though the blues better preserved "the original melodic patterns of African music".[12]

    Blues songs from this period, such as Leadbelly's or Henry Thomas's recordings, show many different structures. The twelve-, eight-, or sixteen-bar structure based on tonic, subdominant and dominant chords became the most common forms.[13] What is now recognizable as the standard 12-bar blues form is documented from oral history and sheet music appearing in African American communities throughout the region along the lower Mississippi River, in Memphis, Tennessee's Beale Street, and by white bands in New Orleans.


    The phrase the blues is a reference to having a fit of the blue devils, meaning 'down' spirits, depression and sadness. An early reference to "the blues" can be found in George Colman's farce Blue devils, a farce in one act (1798).[1] Later during the 19th century, the phrase was used as a euphemism for delirium tremens and the police.

    Though usage of the phrase in African American music may be older, it has been attested to since 1912 in Memphis, Tennessee with W. C. Handy's "Memphis Blues".[2][3] In lyrics the phrase is often used to describe a depressed mood.[4]


    Main characteristics

    [edit] Stylistic and cultural origins
    Main article: Origins of the blues
    There are few characteristics common to all blues, because the genre takes its shape from the idiosyncrasies of individual performances.[5] However, there are some characteristics that were present long before the creation of the modern blues.

    An early form of blues-like music was a call-and-response shouts, which were a "functional expression... style without accompaniment or harmony and unbounded by the formality of any particular musical structure."[6] A form of this pre-blues was heard in slave field shouts and hollers, expanded into "simple solo songs laden with emotional content".[7] The blues, as it is now known, can be seen as a musical style based on both European harmonic structure and the West African call-and-response tradition, transformed into an interplay of voice and guitar.[8]

    Many blues elements, such as the call-and-response format and the use of blue notes, can be traced back to the music of Africa. Sylviane Diouf has pointed to several specific traits—such as the use of melisma and a wavy, nasal intonation—that suggest a connection between the music of West and Central Africa and blues.[9] Ethnomusicologist Gerhard Kubik may have been the first to contend that certain elements of the blues have roots in the Islamic music of West and Central Africa.

    Stringed instruments (which were favored by people enslaved from Muslim regions of Africa…), were generally allowed because slave owners considered them akin to European instruments like the violin. So the enslaved people who managed to cobble together a banjo or other instrument…could play more widely in public. This solo-oriented "slave music" featured elements of an Arabic-Islamic song style that had been imprinted by centuries of Islam's presence in West Africa, says Gerhard Kubik.[10]

    Kubik also pointed out that the Mississippi technique of playing the guitar using a knife blade, recorded by W.C. Handy in his autobiography, corresponds to similar musical techniques in West and Central Africa cultures. The Diddley bow, a homemade one-stringed instrument thought to be common throughout the American South in the early twentieth century, is an African-derived instrument that likely helped in the transferral of African performance techniques into the early blues instrumental vocabulary.


    Robert Johnson, a Delta blues singer, contributed to the standardization of the 12-bar blues form.Blues music later adopted elements from the "Ethiopian airs", minstrel shows and Negro spirituals, including instrumental and harmonic accompaniment.[11] The style also was closely related to ragtime, which developed at about the same time, though the blues better preserved "the original melodic patterns of African music".[12]

    Blues songs from this period, such as Leadbelly's or Henry Thomas's recordings, show many different structures. The twelve-, eight-, or sixteen-bar structure based on tonic, subdominant and dominant chords became the most common forms.[13] What is now recognizable as the standard 12-bar blues form is documented from oral history and sheet music appearing in African American communities throughout the region along the lower Mississippi River, in Memphis, Tennessee's Beale Street, and by white bands in New Orleans.

    The original lyrical form of the blues was probably a single line, repeated three times. It was only later that the current, most common structure of a line, repeated once and then followed by a single line conclusion, became standard.[14] These lines were often sung following a pattern closer to a rhythmic talk than to a melody.

    Early blues frequently took the form of a loose narrative. The singer voiced often his or her "personal woes in a world of harsh reality: a lost love, the cruelty of police officers, oppression at the hands of white folk, [and] hard times".[15] Many of the oldest blues records contain gritty, realistic lyrics, in contrast to much of the popular music being recorded at the time. For example, "Down in the Alley" by Memphis Minnie, is about a prostitute having sex with men in an alley.

    Music such as this was called "gut-bucket" blues, a term which refers to a type of homemade bass instrument made from a metal bucket used to clean pig intestines for chitterlings (a soul food dish associated with slavery). "Gut-bucket" blues songs are typically "low-down" and earthy, about rocky or steamy man-woman relationships, hard luck and hard times. Gut-bucket blues and the rowdy juke-joint venues where it was played, earned blues music an unsavory reputation; church-goers shunned it and some preachers railed against it.


    Blind Willie Johnson straddled blues and spiritualsAuthor Ed Morales has claimed that Yoruba mythology played a part in early blues, citing Robert Johnson's "Cross Road Blues" as a "thinly veiled reference to Eleggua, the orisha in charge of the crossroads".[16] However, many seminal blues artists such as Son House, or Skip James had in their repertoire several religious songs or spirituals. Reverend Gary Davis and Blind Willie Johnson are examples of artists often categorized as blues musicians for their music but whose lyrics clearly belongs to the spirituals.

    Although the blues gained an association with misery and oppression, the blues could also be humorous and raunchy as well:

    "Rebecca, Rebecca, get your big legs off of me,
    Rebecca, Rebecca, get your big legs off of me,
    It may be sending you baby, but it's worrying the hell out of me."
    In particular, Hokum blues celebrated both comedic lyrical content and a boisterious, farcical performance style. Tampa Red's classic "Tight Like That" is a sly wordplay with the double meaning of being "tight" with someone coupled with a more salacious physical familiarity.

    Lyrical content of music became slightly simplier in post war blues in which focus was often almost exclusively on singer's sexual worries. Many lyrical themes that frequently appeared in pre war blues such as economic depression, transportation, technology, horses, cows, devils, gambling, magic, floods and dry periods were mostly left out in post war blues.


    Musical style
    During the first decades of the twentieth century blues music was not clearly defined in terms of a chord progression. There were many blues in 8-bar form, such as "How Long Blues", "Trouble in Mind", and Big Bill Broonzy's "Key to the Highway". There are also 16 bar blues, as in Ray Charles's instrumental "Sweet 16 Bars", and in Herbie Hancock's "Watermelon Man". More idiosyncratic numbers of bars are also encountered occasionally, as with the 9 bar progression in Howlin' Wolf's "Sitting on top of the World". The basic twelve-bar lyric framework of a blues composition is reflected by a standard harmonic progression of twelve bars, in 4/4 or (rarely) 2/4 time. Slow blues are often played in 12/8 (4 beats per measure with 3 subdivisions per beat).

    By the 1930s, twelve-bar blues became more standard. The blues chords associated to a twelve-bar blues are typically a set of three different chords played over a twelve-bar scheme:

    I I or IV I I
    IV IV I I
    V IV I I or V

    where the Roman numbers refer to the degrees of the progression. That would mean, if played in the tonality of C, the chords would be as follows:

    C C or F C C
    F F C C
    G F C C or G

    (When the IV chord is played in bar 2, the blues is called a "Quick-Change" blues). In this example, C is the tonic chord, F the subdominant. Note that much of the time, every chord is played in the dominant seventh (7th) form. Frequently, the last chord is the dominant (V or in this case G) turnaround making the transition to the beginning of the next progression.


    Minor pentatonic blues scale on AThe lyrics generally end on the last beat of the tenth bar or the first beat of the eleventh bar, and the final two bars are given to the instrumentalist as a break; the harmony of this two-bar break, the turnaround, can be extremely complex, sometimes consisting of single notes that defy analysis in terms of chords. The final beat, however, is almost always strongly grounded in the dominant seventh (V7), to provide tension for the next verse.


    Sheet music from "St. Louis Blues" (1914)Melodically, blues music is marked by the use of the flatted third, fifth and seventh (the so-called blue or bent notes) of the associated major scale.[17] These scale tones can replace the natural scale tones or be added to the scale, as in the case of the minor pentatonic blues scale, where the flatted third replaces the natural third, the flatted seventh replaces the natural seventh and the flatted fifth is added in between the natural fourth and natural fifth. While the twelve-bar harmonic progression had been intermittently used for centuries, the revolutionary aspect of blues was the frequent use of the flatted third, flatted seventh, and even flatted fifth in the melody, together with crushing—playing directly adjacent notes at the same time, i.e., diminished second—and sliding—similar to using grace notes.[18]

    Whereas a classical musician will generally play a grace note distinctly, a blues singer or harmonica player will glissando, "crushing" the two notes and then releasing the grace note. In blues chord progressions, the tonic, subdominant and dominant chords are often played as dominant sevenths, the lowered seventh (minor seventh) being an important component of the blues scale. Blues is also occasionally played in a minor key. The scale differs little from the traditional minor, except for the occasional use of a flatted fifth in the tonic, often sang or played by the singer or lead instrument with the perfect fifth in the harmony.

    Janis Joplin's rendition of "Ball and Chain", accompanied by Big Brother and the Holding Company, provides an example of this technique.
    Minor-key blues is often structured in sixteen bars rather than twelve, in the style of gospel music, as in "St. James Infirmary Blues" and Trixie Smith's "My Man Rocks Me."
    Sometimes, a Dorian scale is used for minor-key blues, with its minor third and seventh but major sixth.[citation needed]
    Blues shuffles reinforce the trance-like rhythm and call-and-response, and form a repetitive effect called a "groove". The simplest shuffles commonly used in many postwar electric blues, rock-and-rolls, or early bebops were a three-note riff on the bass strings of the guitar. When this riff was played over the bass and the drums, the groove "feel" is created. The walking bass is another device that helps to create a "groove" . The last bar of the chord progression is usually accompanied by a turnaround that makes the transition to the beginning of the next progression.

    Shuffle rhythm is often vocalized as "dow, da dow, da dow, da" or "dump, da dump, da dump, da"[19] as it consists of uneven, or "swung", eighth notes. On a guitar this may be done as a simple steady bass or may add to that stepwise quarter note motion from the fifth to the sixth of the chord and back. An example is provided by the following tablature for the first four bars of a blues progression in E:[20][21]

    Blues has evolved from an unaccompanied vocal music of poor black laborers into a wide variety of styles and subgenres, with regional variations across the United States and, later, Europe and Africa. The musical forms and styles that are now considered the "blues" as well as modern "country music" arose in the same regions during the nineteenth century in the southern United States. Recorded blues and country can be found from as far back as the 1920s, when the popular record industry developed and created marketing categories called "race music" and "hillbilly music" to sell music by blacks for blacks and by whites for whites respectively.

    At the time, there was no clear musical division between "blues" and "country," except for the race of the performer, and even that sometimes was documented incorrectly by record companies.[22] Studies have situated the origin of "black" spiritual music inside enslaved peoples' exposure to their "masters'" Hebridean-originated gospels. African-American economist and historian Thomas Sowell also notes that the southern, black, ex-slave population was acculturated to a considerable degree by and among their Scots-Irish "redneck" neighbours. However, the findings of Kubik and others also clearly attest to the essential Africanness of many essential aspects of blues expression.

    The social and economic reasons for the appearance of the blues are not fully known.[23] The first appearance of the blues is not well defined and is often dated between 1870 and 1900, a period that coincides with the emancipation of the enslaved people and the transition from slavery to sharecropping and small-scale agricultural production in the southern United States.

    Several scholars characterize the early 1900s development of blues music as a move from group performances to a more individualized style. They argue that the development of the blues is associated with the newly acquired freedom of the enslaved people. According to Lawrence Levine,[24] "there was a direct relationship between the national ideological emphasis upon the individual, the popularity of Booker T. Washington's teachings, and the rise of the blues." Levine states that "psychologically, socially, and economically, Negroes were being acculturated in a way that would have been impossible during slavery, and it is hardly surprising that their secular music reflected this as much as their religious music did."


    [edit] Prewar blues
    The American sheet music publishing industry produced a great deal of ragtime music. By 1912, the sheet music industry published three popular blues-like compositions, precipitating the Tin Pan Alley adoption of blues elements: "Baby Seals' Blues" by "Baby" F. Seals (arranged by Artie Matthews), "Dallas Blues" by Hart Wand and "Memphis Blues" by W. C. Handy.[25]

    Handy was a formally trained musician, composer and arranger who helped to popularize the blues by transcribing and orchestrating blues in an almost symphonic style, with bands and singers. He became a popular and prolific composer, and billed himself as the "Father of the Blues"; however, his compositions can be described as a fusion of blues with ragtime and jazz, a merger facilitated using the Cuban habanera rhythm that had long been a part of ragtime;[26][27] Handy's signature work was the St. Louis Blues.


    Blind Blake was an influential blues singer and guitarist known as the "King of Ragtime Guitar".In the 1920s, the blues became a major element of African American and American popular music, reaching "white" audiences via Handy's arrangements and the classic female blues performers. The blues evolved from informal performances in bars to entertainment in theaters. Blues performances were organized by the Theater Owners Bookers Association in nightclubs such as the Cotton Club, and juke joints, such as the bars along Beale Street in Memphis. This evolution led to a notable diversification of the styles and to a clearer division between blues and jazz. Several record companies, such as the American Record Corporation, Okeh Records, and Paramount Records, began to record African American music.

    As the recording industry grew, country blues performers like Charlie Patton, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Lonnie Johnson, Son House and Blind Blake became more popular in the African American community. Jefferson was one of the few country blues performers to record widely, and may have been the first to record the slide guitar style, in which a guitar is fretted with a knife blade or the sawed-off neck of a bottle. The slide guitar became an important part of the Delta blues.[28] The first blues recordings from the 1920s were in two categories: a traditional, rural country blues and more polished 'city' or urban blues.

    Country blues performers often improvised, either without accompaniment or with only a banjo or guitar. There were many regional styles of country blues in the early 20th century. The (Mississippi) Delta blues was a rootsy sparse style with passionate vocals accompanied by slide guitar. Robert Johnson,[29] who was little-recorded, combined elements of both urban and rural blues. Along with Robert Johnson, influential performers of this style were his predecessors Charley Patton and Son House. Singers such as Blind Willie McTell and Blind Boy Fuller performed in the southeastern "delicate and lyrical" Piedmont blues tradition, which used an elaborate fingerpicking guitar technique. Georgia also had an early slide tradition.[30]

    The lively Memphis blues style, which developed in the 1920s and 1930s around Memphis, Tennessee, was influenced by jug bands, such as the Memphis Jug Band or the Gus Cannon's Jug Stompers. Performers such as Frank Stokes, Sleepy John Estes, Robert Wilkins, Joe McCoy and Memphis Minnie used a variety of unusual instruments such as washboard, fiddle, kazoo or mandolin. Memphis Minnie was famous for her virtuoso guitar style. Pianist Memphis Slim began his career in Memphis, but his quite distinct style was smoother and contained some swing elements. Many blues musicians based in Memphis moved to Chicago in the late 1930s or early 1940s and became part of the urban blues movement which blended country music and electric blues.

    And hell, that's some information about the blues. There is lots more if one is interested.

    Fidelio (Op. 72) is an opera in two acts by Ludwig van Beethoven. It is Beethoven's only opera. The German libretto is by Joseph Sonnleithner from the French of Jean-Nicolas Bouilly. The opera tells how Leonore, disguised as a prison guard named "Fidelio", rescues her husband Florestan from death in a political prison.

    Turandot is an opera in three acts by Giacomo Puccini, to an Italian libretto by Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni, based on the play Turandot by Carlo Gozzi. It was left unfinished by Puccini at his death, and completed by Franco Alfano. The first performance, at the Teatro alla Scala, in Milan, on 25 April 1926, conducted by Arturo Toscanini, included only Puccini's music and not Alfano's additions. Later performances were of the completed score.

    Turandot is a Persian word and name meaning "the daughter of Turan", Turan being a region of Central Asia which used to be part of the Persian Empire. In Persian, the fairy tale is known as "Turandokht", with "dokht" being a contraction for "Dokhtar" (meaning "Daughter"), and both the "kh" and "t" are clearly pronounced. However, according to Puccini scholar Patrick Vincent Casali, the final "t" should not be sounded in the pronunciation of the opera's name or when referring to the title character, as Puccini never pronounced it (according to Rosa Raisa, the first singer to play the title role) and, as Casali notes, the musical setting of many of Calaf's intonations of the name makes sounding the final "t" all but impossible. [1]

    The Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 "Choral" is the last complete symphony composed by Ludwig van Beethoven. Completed in 1824, it incorporates part of the Ode an die Freude ("Ode to Joy"), a poem by Friedrich Schiller, with text sung by soloists and a chorus in the last movement. It is the first example of a major composer using the human voice on the same level with instruments in a symphony.

    The symphony was first published with the German title "Sinfonie mit Schlusschor über Schillers Ode 'An die Freude' für großes Orchester, 4 Solo und 4 Chorstimmen componiert und seiner Majestät dem König von Preußen Friedrich Wilhelm III in tiefster Ehrfurcht zugeeignet von Ludwig van Beethoven, 125 tes Werk"; however, it is more commonly simply called the Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125. The work is referred to as the "Choral" symphony.

    This symphony is one of the best known works of romantic music, and is considered one of Beethoven's greatest masterpieces, composed while he was completely deaf. It plays a prominent cultural role in the world today.

    In particular, the music from the fourth movement (Ode to Joy) was rearranged by Herbert von Karajan into what is now known as the official anthem of the European Union. Further testament to its prominence is that an original manuscript of this work sold in 2003 for $3.3 million USD at Sotheby's, London. The Head of the Manuscripts Department, Dr. Stephen Roe stated, "it is one of the highest achievements of man ranking alongside Shakespeare's Hamlet and King Lear."

    Der fliegende Holländer (English title: The Flying Dutchman, Dutch title De vliegende Hollander) is an opera, with music and libretto by Richard Wagner. Wagner originally wrote it to be performed without intermission — an example of his efforts to break with tradition — and, while today's opera houses sometimes still follow this directive, it is most often performed in three acts. The central theme is redemption through love, which Wagner returns to in most of his subsequent operas.

    Wagner conducted the premiere at the Semper Oper in Dresden, 1843. This work marks the first major shift in Wagner's oeuvre away from conventional opera and towards music drama. That is, rather than relying on a series of individual songs with clear boundaries, he created an uninterrupted melody filled with leitmotifs (literally, "leading motifs") associated with the characters and themes. The leitmotifs are all introduced in the overture, which begins with a well-known ocean or storm motif before moving into the Dutchman and Senta motifs.

    The story comes from the legend of the Flying Dutchman, about a ship captain condemned to sail until Judgement Day. Wagner claimed in Mein Leben that the inspiration was partly autobiographical, arising during his stormy sea crossing in July and August 1839, but a more likely source is Heinrich Heine's retelling in his Aus den Memoiren des Herren von Schnabelewopski.

    His real name was Michael Schultheiß (German for “mayor,” which in La­tin is “Praetorius”).

    Beginning in 1585, Praetorius stu­died the­ol­o­gy at the Un­i­ver­si­ty of Frank­furt an der Oder, where he was al­so an or­gan­ist. In 1595 (or ear­lier—other sourc­es say 1592), he be­came court mu­si­cian to Duke Hein­rich Ju­li­us von Braun­schweig. The Duke’s Re­si­denz (roy­al seat) was not in Braun­schweig, but in a few miles away in Wolf­en­büt­tel. At first Prae­tor­i­us was the Duke’s or­gan­ist; in 1604, he was ap­point­ed mas­ter of the Duke’s court mu­sic. The in­scrip­tion around the por­trait at the left reads, “Mi­chael Prae­tor­i­us, of Creutz­burg [sic] in Thür­ing­en, the Duke of Bruns­wick Or­gan’s and Choir Mu­sic’s Mas­ter, at the age of thir­ty-five, in the year 1606.”

    From 1613-1616, Prae­tor­i­us was in Dres­den, at the court of the Kur­fürst von Sach­sen (Elect­or of Sax­o­ny). Then he re­turned to Wolf­en­büt­tel, but from that time on, he tra­veled fre­quent­ly in cen­tral Ger­ma­ny and was very ac­tive as a mu­sic­al ad­vis­er and Or­gan­i­sa­tor (or­gan­iz­er).

    He was not on­ly a com­pos­er, but al­so a mu­sic­ol­o­gist. From 1605 to 1610, he ed­it­ed Mu­sae Si­on­i­ae, a col­lect­ion of 1244 ar­range­ments of songs and hymns in 9 vol­umes. From 1615 to 1619, he ed­it­ed his 3-vol­ume Syn­tag­ma mu­sic­um, about sac­red and pro­fane mu­sic­ol­o­gy.

    THE SSO KICKED MY ASS BLUES --now sir, that would be a piece of music I would love to hear. I already know many of the lyrics. You need to get busy and pour your heart out. Do something different, like have a violin accompany the slide guitar riffs, and sing in falsetto like Tiny Tim. I can hardly wait.

    As to being kind, Sir Savant, there are those of us who kindly read your blog religiously, and love it --even when we don't.

    Glenn

    6:59 AM  
    Blogger butch said...

    Man, I had a heavy mouse this morning. Some of my Blues research got "repeated" like three times. So my apologies for being a cyber putz, but the data is hot and good and accurate, so just enjoy it three times; lol.

    Glenn

    7:06 AM  
    Blogger butch said...

    Maybe you could edit out the repeated paragraphs in the first third of the Blues Data. If not, it will stand for posterity and the whole world will see what a dummy old Butch is. I really do like rereading the data though. As Anonomann says, it is a definite education for me.

    With your grass over 10 feet tall, so that you could see it from the second story of your domicile, perhaps it was not wise to let Derrick wander out there on his quest to find and play the Great Oil Barrel End Gong.

    Glenn

    11:49 AM  

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