Monday, July 23, 2007

Can't get 'er outta my head

O.K the song "A Whistler and his dog" is running through my head, not a bad tune but I can't seem to separate it from "The Liberty Bell March". Both these tunes were played at Good Shepard last Sunday and I can't get one phrase straight before the other tune welds itself on.
I think that the two could be played together as a single piece and nobody would ever know the difference.
Jeremy Denk has run into a related phenomonen involving a Beethoven's "Apassionata" and the theme for "Three's Company".
Doth approach the Apocolypse?

Or is that just my tuba concerto that's making my plaster crack?

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Blogger butch said...

Man, you nearly exhausted me trying to keep up on your Sunday afternoon comments, but that is the sheer beauty of the precious state of your cortex.

The Liberty Bell" is an American military march composed by famous bandmaster John Philip Sousa in 1893, and is considered one of his finest works. Many people associate it with the British comedy television show, Monty Python's Flying Circus, which played an excerpt over its opening titles.

The melodies in "The Liberty Bell" have a very lively and bouncy feel to them. It is said that the themes come from a whistling tune, much like Kenneth Alford's "Colonel Bogey March".

The march follows the standard form (IAABBCDCDC).

The bass line is a prominent part, which is usually played out more.

The first strain of the march carries an agreeably catchy tune, but the fact that it has very simple and similar phrases is not obvious. The second strain holds some more diverse phrasing and dynamic contrasts than the 1st.

The trio is a definite contrast, combining the two ideas of repeated phrasing and diverse phrasing.

Unlike most trios which carry a more mellow and simpler feel, "The Liberty Bell"'s trio jumps right in, first with two identical phrases rising up the scale, both with a different fanfaric note. Separating these two phrases are two identical phrases holding three sudden low notes, and then a phrase of quarter and eighth notes. The first two identical phrases repeat, and take you to the breakstrain, a typical low brass statement with woodwind responses.

What makes the trio unique is the use of tubular bells, which symbolizes the Liberty Bell ringing in the distance. The bell part is usually started during the first breakstrain, but some bands start it right away at the first trio.

Monty Python
The fact that it carries such catchy and bouncy melodies probably was the reason it attracted the creators of Monty Python. Terry Gilliam said that the theme was chosen as they thought it could not be associated with the programme's contents, and that the first bell strike and the subsequent melody gave the impression of getting "straight down to business." (The word "down" is instrumental here, as Gilliam's MPFC lead-in cartoon, accompanied by the music, ends with a large foot stomping down all the other contents of the screen.) It was also selected because it was in the public domain and therefore free from royalties, as there was no budget left over to spend on theme music.

The Pythons' normal mode of presenting the tune was with a single strike of the bell, lifted from the third section and increased in volume, followed by just one strain of each of the first two sections, followed by the famous stomping foot. At the end of their live show Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl, however, the entire tune was played over the closing credits.

John Walto wrote:
I enjoyed reading Pip Laurenson's 'Authenticity, Change and Loss in the Conservation of Time-Based Media Installations' in Autumn 2006 Tate Papers and wish to draw attention to one interesting aspect of the debate, and to one factual error.

The error: In the section 'Contingency and decision-making' Pip ends the 2nd paragraph: ‘In his book Musical Works and Performances, Stephen Davies cites the example of Beethoven's Apassionata:’ Stephen Davies may refer to the work as Beethoven's Apassionata, but Pip should not as this is incorrect. It is Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 23, Op.57, which was not known as the Appassionata (note correct spelling) in Beethoven's lifetime; it was labelled this in 1838. We can call it this, but only if we do so with the correct spelling and after noting what it should more properly be called as well. [This error has now been corrected in the article. Editor]

After the nit-picking... as Pip draws parallels with music and the score, it would be interesting to consider the theory of 'reception history' - whilst we may create, as close as possible, what an artist (whether visual, sonic, literary or some other medium) originally intended - through appropriate conservation of source materials, study of instructions, etc. - we cannot re-create the intended audience. What we see and hear is based on our personal universe of experience, on our knowledge and understanding of Art (short-hand for whatever we consider this to be), and on our shared experience of the event in question. All Art conservation / exhibition can do is to give context - whether this be historical, cultural, social, sexual - and leave the audience to re-create the art-work anew each and every time.

Three's Company is a popular American sitcom that ran from 1977 to 1984 on ABC. It is a remake of the British sitcom Man About the House.

The show was set minutes from the beach in Santa Monica, California, and usually focused on four sets: the trio's apartment, the landlord's apartment, the upstairs apartment of Larry, the womanizing neighbor, and the neighborhood pub/restaurant called The Regal Beagle. In later seasons, The Beagle was seen less frequently, as Jack's Bistro became the setting for many scenes. The series revolved around sexual double entendres, misunderstandings and clumsiness/slapstick

And let me repeat, sir, I dearly love your Tubatuba work, even though it does not touch the sophistication and verve of the Trombone concerto.


12:21 PM  
Blogger Lane Savant said...

You havn't actually heard the Trombone concerto yet. The link is just the first minute of each movement. You will hear it soon, 'cause I'm sending you a CD, Tuba concerto included.

10:41 PM  

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