Music for Halloween: The Skeleton Dance

 

The Skeleton Dance’ comes from a 1929 Disney short film called Silly Symphony, and it’s a perfect example of classical music at its most creative. The light-hearted music scores the dancing skeletons’ movements with various percussion instruments – and one of the skeletons themselves even gets used as a glockenspiel.

As we hear the chimes at midnight and bats flutter from a belfry; as a hound howls at the full moon and black cats brawl on the tombstones; Through the gloom, white skeletons pass, Running and leaping in their shrouds!

 

Percussion

 

A color version

 

October 19 ~ On This Day in Music

• 1911 ~ George Cates, Musician, worked with Steve Allen, musical director of the Lawrence Welk Show for 25 years

• 1916 ~ Karl-Birger Blomdahl, Swedish opera composer

• 1916 ~ Emil Gilels, Russian pianist

• 1938 ~ The Bob Crosby Orchestra recorded I’m Free for Decca. Billy Butterfield was featured on trumpet. A few years later, the song would be retitled, What’s New.

• 1939 ~ Benita Valiente, American soprano

• 1944 ~ Peter Tosh (Winston McIntosh), Singer, baritone and musician. He uses homemade instruments and performed reggae with Bob Marley

• 1944 ~ An actor who would become legend in scores of tough guy roles made his stage debut in New York. Marlon Brando appeared in the Broadway hit, “I Remember Mama”.

• 1945 ~ Jeannie C. Riley (Stephenson), Grammy Award-winning singer

• 1953 ~ Julius LaRosa, popular singer of the time, was unceremoniously fired on the air by Arthur Godfrey. “Julie lacks humility,” Godfrey told the stunned audience, while putting his arm around LaRosa. He said, “So, Julie, to teach you a lesson, you’re fired!”

• 1956 ~ Nino DeFranco, Singer with The DeFranco Family

• 1957 ~ Karl Wallinger, Musician, keyboards, guitarist with World Party

• 1959 ~ Twelve-year-old Patty Duke made her first Broadway appearance, in “The Miracle Worker”. The play would last for 700 performances and become a classic motion picture, launching Patty to fame and fortune.

• 1973 ~ Elvis and Priscilla Presley were divorced after six years and one child (Lisa Marie).

• 1987 ~ Jacqueline du Pre, British cellist, died at the age of 42