October 24 ~ On This Day in Music

today

1788 ~ Sarah Hale, Poet, magazine editor, wrote Mary Had a Little Lamb

• 1904 ~ Moss Hart, Tony Award-winning director of My Fair Lady (1957), playwright, married to actress Kitty Carlisle

• 1911 ~ “Sonny” Terry (Saunders Terrell), American blues singer and harmonica player

OCMS 1925 ~ Luciano Berio, Italian composer
More information about Berio

• 1929 ~ George Crumb, American composer and teacher

• 1929 ~ The Rudy Vallee Show was broadcast for the first time over NBC radio. Actually, the Rudy Vallee show had several different titles over the years, all of which were referred to by the public as The Rudy Vallee Show. Megaphone-toting Rudy and his Connecticut Yankees band were mainstays on radio into the late 1940s.

• 1930 ~ J.P. (Jiles Perry) Richardson (The Big Bopper), singer, songwriter

• 1936 ~ David Nelson, Actor, son of entertainers Ozzie and Harriet Nelson, brother of singer Ricky Nelson

• 1936 ~ Bill Wyman, Musician with The Rolling Stones, songwriter, London restaurant owner of Sticky Fingers

• 1937 ~ Santo Farina, Steel guitar with Santo & Johnny

• 1939 ~ F. Murray Abraham, Academy Award-winning actor for his portrayal of Salieri in “Amadeus” (about Mozart), 1984.

• 1939 ~ Let’s Dance was recorded on Columbia Records. It became the theme song for the band that recorded it, the Benny Goodman Band.

• 1946 ~ Jerry Edmonton, Drummer with Steppenwolf

• 1960 ~ Brenda Lee hit #1 for the second time in the year with I Want to Be Wanted. 1960 was a very good year for the young (age 15) songstress. In addition to her first #1 smash, I’m Sorry (July 18), Lee had two other songs on the charts: SweetNothin’s (#4, April 18) and That’s All You Gotta Do (#6, July 4).

• 1974 ~ David Oistrakh, Soviet violinist considered one of the preeminent violinists of the 20th century (Moscow Conservatory), died at the age of 66

• 1975 ~ Looking to name your own greatest hits album something other than Greatest Hits? Do what former Beatle John Lennon did, with his package of the best. Lennon called it, “Shaved Fish”.

• 1977 ~ Gary Busey began filming The Buddy Holly Story. The star was a ringer for the rock idol.

• 1999 ~ Phillip Glass’ “Dracula” score made news.

• 2001 ~ Kim Gardner, a bassist who played with several bands, including the British rock group Ashton, Gardner & Dyke, died. He was 53. Gardner, born in London, joined fellow teen-age musicians Ron Wood, Ali McKenzie, Tony Munroe and Pete McDaniels to form the Thunderbirds. Shortening their name to the Birds, the band released four singles, including Leaving Here and No Good Without You Baby, both in 1965. Gardner’s next group was Ashton, Gardner & Dyke with Tony Ashton and Roy Dyke in 1968. The trio, whose albums featured a light, jazz-rock style, scored a top-three hit in Britain with Resurrection Shuffle in 1971. The group broke up a year later. Gardner also toured with Pacific Gas and Electric and other bands in the 1970s. He played bass with everyone from Eric Clapton to Bo Didley, and worked on 27 albums. Gardner also was a successful pub master and restaurateur. Gardner toured the United States regularly before settling in Los Angeles in 1973. In 1982, he started the original, 50-seat Cat & Fiddle Restaurant and Pub. Over the years, Cat & Fiddle has been a favorite destination for British rockers such as Keith Moon, Robert Plant and Rod Stewart, as well as Hollywood celebrities.

• 2017 ~ Antione “Fats” Domino, American rhythm & blues star of the early rock ’n’ roll era (Blueberry Hill, Blue Monday), died from natural causes at the age of 89

Music for Halloween: Dies Irae

 

Although not technically a “halloween piece” this very old Gregorian Chant (from the 300s!) is used in a lot of music that sounds spooky.  Dies Irae is a Latin term that means “Day of Wrath”.

The words of Dies irae have often been set to music as part of a Requiem service. In some settings, it is broken up into several movements; in such cases, Dies irae refers only to the first of these movements.

The traditional Gregorian melody has been used as a theme or musical quotation in many classical compositions, film scores, and popular works, including:

  • Marc-Antoine Charpentier – Prose des morts – Dies irae H. 12 (1670)
  • Thomas Adès – Totentanz
  • Charles-Valentin Alkan – SouvenirsTrois morceaux dans le genre pathétique, Op. 15 (No. 3: Morte)
  • Ernest Bloch – Suite Symphonique
  • Hector Berlioz – Symphonie fantastiqueRequiem
  • Johannes Brahms – Six Pieces for Piano, Op. 118, No. 6, Intermezzo in E-flat minor
  • Wendy Carlos and Rachel Elkind – Opening theme for The Shining, 1980
  • Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco – 24 Caprichos de Goya, Op. 195: “XII. No hubo remedio” (plate 24)
  • Michel Chion – “Dies Irae” (on The Roots 2014 album …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin)
  • George Crumb – Black Angels (1970)
  • Michael Daugherty – Metropolis Symphony 5th movement, “Red Cape Tango”; Dead Elvis (1993) for bassoon and chamber ensemble
  • Gerald Fried – Opening theme for The Return of Dracula, 1958
  • Donald Grantham – Baron Cimetiére’s Mambo
  • Jerry Goldsmith – scores for The Mephisto Waltz (1971) and Poltergeist (1982) – quoted during the track “Escape from Suburbia”
  • Charles Gounod – Faust opera, act 4
  • Joseph Haydn – Symphony No. 103, “The Drumroll”
  • Gustav Holst – The Planets, movement 5, “Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age”Ode to Death for chorus and orchestra (1919)
  • Arthur Honegger – La Danse des Morts, H. 131
  • Gottfried Huppertz – Score for Metropolis (1927)
  • Aram Khachaturian – Symphony No. 2
  • Franz Liszt – Totentanz
  • Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez – Frozen II (soundtrack), “Into the Unknown”
  • Gustav Mahler – Symphony No. 2, movements 1 and 5
  • Ennio Morricone – “Penance” from his score for The Mission
  • Modest Mussorgsky – Songs and Dances of Death, No. 3 “Trepak”
  • Nikolai Myaskovsky – Symphony No. 6, Op. 23
  • Sergei Rachmaninoff – Symphony No. 1, Op. 13; Symphony No. 2, Op. 27; Symphony No. 3, Op. 44; Isle of the Dead, Op. 29; The Bells choral symphony, Op. 35; Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43; Symphonic Dances, Op. 45, Piano sonata No. 1, Études-Tableaux, Op. 39 No. 2
  • Ottorino Respighi – quoted near the end of the second movement of Impressioni Brasiliane (Brazilian Impressions)[23]
  • Leonard Rosenman – the main theme of The Car (1977)
  • Camille Saint-Saëns – Danse Macabre, Symphony No. 3 (Organ Symphony), Requiem
  • Dmitri Shostakovich – Symphony No. 14; Aphorisms, Op. 13 – No. 7, “Dance of Death”
  • Stephen Sondheim – Sweeney Todd – quoted in “The Ballad of Sweeney Todd” and the accompaniment to “Epiphany”
  • Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji – Sequentia cyclica super “Dies irae” ex Missa pro defunctis and nine other works
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky – Manfred Symphony, Orchestral Suite No. 3
  • Eugène Ysaÿe – Solo Violin Sonata in A minor, Op. 27, No. 2 “Obsession”

 

By itself, it sounds like this:

 

See if you can find it in these other places:

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you watch movies or listen to music, see if you can hear a hidden Dies Irae.

 

 

 

 

October 23 ~ On This Day in Music

today

• 1878 ~ The opera Carmen, by Bizet, had its first American performance but it was sung in Italian. It took another fifteen years before audiences could hear it in French, the language in which it was written.

• 1891 ~ Albert Lortzing, German composer

• 1906 ~ Miriam Gideon, American composer

OCMS 1923 ~ Ned Rorem, American composer and writer
Read quotes by and about Ned Rorem
More information about Rorem

• 1927 ~ Sonny (William) Criss, Saxophonist

• 1939 ~ Charlie Foxx, Singer with sister, Inez

• 1940 ~ (Eleanor) Ellie Greenwich (Ellie Gay, Ellie Gee), Songwriter

• 1941 ~ Clarinet a la King was recorded by Benny Goodman and his orchestra on Okeh Records.

• 1947 ~ Greg Ridley, Bass with Spooky Tooth

• 1950 ~ Al Jolson passed away

• 1956 ~ Dwight Yoakam, Songwriter, singer

• 1959 ~ ‘Weird’ Al Yankovic, Singer, comedian, parodies

• 1970 ~ ‘Lady Soul’, Aretha Franklin, won a gold record for Don’t Play that Song.

• 1975 ~ Elton John’s Los Angeles concert was sold out at Dodger Stadium. It was the finale to his concert tour of the western U.S.

• 1978 ~ Mother Maybelle Carter (Addington) passed away

• 1978 ~ CBS Records hiked prices of many vinyl albums by one dollar to $8.98. Other labels soon joined in.

• 1982 ~ Jacques Klein, Brazilian pianist and composer, died at the age of 52

• 2001 ~ Russell “Rusty” Kershaw, a guitarist and recording artist, died of a heart attack at the age of 63. Over the course of a long career, Kershaw, the younger brother of Cajun recording star Doug Kershaw, performed with Neil Young, Chet Atkins, J.J. Cale and Charlie Daniels. Kershaw’s musical career began with a small family band, Pee Wee Kershaw and the Continental Playboys. The band joined the Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport in 1955 and moved on the following year to the Wheeling Jamboree on a West Virginia radio station. Doug and Rusty Kershaw went on to perform as a duo and joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1957. In 1964, Rusty Kershaw started performing on his own, and worked on numerous albums with other artists. Kershaw had lived in New Orleans since 1980 when then-Gov. Edwin Edwards asked him to join the Louisiana Music Commission.

• 2003 ~ Nico Snel, conductor of the Port Angeles Symphony for 18 years, died after a battle with cancer. He was 69. Port Angeles, with a population of about 19,000, is one of the smallest cities in the nation to support a full orchestra. A search committee will spend the next two seasons looking for a new permanent conductor to succeed him. Born in Alkmaar, Holland, Snel began studying music with his father, an accomplished musician and conductor. He started with piano and then moved on to violin, and began performing when he was about 8. The family immigrated to the United States after World War II, when Snel was 15. An accomplished violinist, he went to Germany as a young man and served with the Seventh Army Symphony, becoming the organization’s conductor in 1958. In the 1960s and early ’70s, he worked as a conductor for the Oakland, Calif., Light Opera and the Diablo Light Opera and as director of the Oakland Temple Pageant chorus and orchestra. He moved to the Northwest in the late 1970s and conducted the Everett Youth Symphony for three years. He was named conductor of the Seattle Philharmonic in 1980, a position he held until 1995. He became conductor of the Port Angeles Symphony in 1985, for a time serving both orchestras.

• 2004 ~ Robert Merrill [Moishe Miller], American operatic baritone and actor (NY Metropolitan Opera), died at the age of 87

October 22 ~ On This Day in Music

today

OCMS 1811 ~ Franz Liszt, Hungarian composer and pianist
Read quotes by and about Franz Liszt
More information about Liszt

• 1885 ~ Giovanni Martinelli, Opera singer, tenor with Metropolitan Opera for 30 seasons

• 1904 ~ Paul Arma, Hungarian composer and theorist

• 1917 ~ Leopold Stokowski led the Philadelphia Orchestra in its first recording session, for Victor Records.

• 1930 ~ Dory Previn, Songwriter with André Previn

• 1939 ~ Ray Jones, Bass with Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas

• 1943 ~ Paul Zukofsky, American violinist

• 1943 ~ Bobby Fuller, Singer, guitarist with Bobby Fuller Four

• 1945 ~ Leslie West (Weinstein), Singer, musician, guitarist with Mountain

• 1945 ~ Eddie Brigati, Singer, a musician with The (Young) Rascals

• 1959 ~ “Take Me Along” opened on Broadway and quickly became an American classic. Walter Pidgeon starred along with Jackie Gleason.

• 1966 ~ The Supremes rocketed to the top of the pop album charts with “Supremes A’ Go-Go”. They were the first all-female vocal group to hit the top of the LP chart.

• 1969 ~ Giovanni Martinelli passed away on his birthday

• 1969 ~ Michael Tilson Thomas, the 25-year-old assistant conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, took over for ailing conductor William Steinberg in the symphony’s appearance in New York City.

• 1971 ~ Folk singer Joan Baez received a gold record for her hit, The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down. It turned out to be her biggest hit, peaking at #3 on the charts on October 2, 1971.

• 1979 ~ Nadia Boulanger, French composer and conductor (1st woman to conduct Boston Symphony), died at the age of 92

• 1983 ~ Celebrating its 100th anniversary, New York’s Metropolitan Opera featured a daylong concert with some of the world’s greatest opera stars. On stage at the Met were Dame Joan Sutherland, Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti.

• 2001 ~ Tom Baker, one of Australia’s most respected jazz musicians, died of a heart attack while touring in the Netherlands. He was 49. Baker, a native of California, took up residence in Australia 30 years ago. He was a regular at Sydney’s famous jazz club, The Basement. Willie Qua, drummer and co-founder of one of Australia’s best-known jazz bands, Galapagos Duck, said Baker had often played as “a part-time member” of the band and was an icon of the Sydney jazz scene. Baker formed his first band, Tom Baker’s San Francisco Jazz Band, in 1975, earning himself a reputation as one of Australia’s very best jazz musicians. Recently he toured extensively through Europe and America.

Happy Birthday, Franz Liszt!

liszt-quote

Franz Liszt was born in Raiding, near Ödenburg, October 22, 1811 and died in Bayreuth, July 31, 1886. He was a Hungarian composer and pianist who was a major influence during the romantic period. Liszt was an outstanding pianist at seven, composed at eight and made concert appearances at nine. In addition to being a piano virtuoso, he was also a critic, conductor, city music director, literary writer and transcriber of the works of other composers. He transcribed Beethoven’s Symphonies for the piano.

Franz Liszt began his career as the outstanding concert pianist of the century, who, along with the prodigious violinist Niccoló Paganini (1782-1840), created the cult of the modern instrumental virtuoso. To show off his phenomenal and unprecedented technique, Liszt composed a great deal of music designed specifically for this purpose, resulting in a vast amount of piano literature laden with dazzling, and other technical marvels. In this vein, Liszt composed a series of virtuosic rhapsodies on Hungarian gypsy melodies, the best-known being the all too familiar Hungarian Rhapsody no. 2. Liszt developed the rhapsody as a form of serious music. This kind of music is worlds apart from the generally more introspective, poetic music of pianist-composer Frédéric Chopin.

Liszt was wildly handsome and hugely talented. He was extremely popular in Paris during the 1830’s. It is said that women actually fainted at his piano recitals. He was the first to position the piano so that its lid reflected the sound and the audience could see his profile as he performed.

Liszt was the first to write a tone poem, which is an extended, single-movement work for orchestra, inspired by paintings, plays, poems or other literary or visual works, and attempting to convey the ideas expressed in those media through music. Such a work is Les Préludes, based on a poem in which life is expressed as a series of struggles, passions, and mysteries, all serving as a mere prelude to . . .what? The Romantic genre of the symphonic poem, as well as its cousin the concert overture, became very attractive to many later composers, including Saint-Saëns, TchaikovskyDvorák, Sibelius, and Richard Strauss.


     Liszt’s birthday

     anniversary of Liszt’s death

    Listen to Liszt’s transcription of Meyerbeer’s Hellish Waltz from Robert du Diable, which probably caused more public commotion than any other piano piece in history.


     Read quotes by and about Liszt

     Liszt was the first recitalist

     In Praise of Pianos and the Artists Who Play Them

     History of the Piano

     Franz Liszt

October 21 ~ On This Day in Music

today

• 1885 ~ Egon Wellesz, Austrian composer and musicologist

• 1907 ~ The “Merry Widow” opened in New York. The play starred Ethel Jackson and Donald Brian. The operetta had been introduced in Europe two years before.

• 1908 ~ A Saturday Evening Post advertisement offered a chance to buy, for the first time, a two-sided record. It was on Columbia.

• 1912 ~ Sir Georg Solti, Hungarian-born British conductor, Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He conducted the first complete recording of Wagner’s “Der Ring des Nibelungen”.

OCMS 1917 ~ Dizzy (John Birks) Gillespie, American jazz trumpeter and bandleader Read quotes by and about “Dizzy” Gillespie
More information about Gillespie

• 1921 ~ Sir Malcolm Arnold, Composer of screen scores: “David Copperfield”, “The Chalk “Garden”, “Suddenly, Last Summer”, “Solomon and Sheba”, “Island in the Sun”, “The Bridge on the River Kwai”, “Trapeze”, “I Am a Camera”, “The Belles of St. Trinian’s” “the Eye Witness series”

• 1924 ~ It was a big night for a big band in New York’s Cinderella Ballroom. The crowd loved the Wolverine Orchestra from Chicago and the guy on the cornet, Bix Beiderbecke, the ‘young man with a horn’.

• 1938 ~ Quaker City Jazz was recorded on the Bluebird label by Jan Savitt’s orchestra. The tune would become the theme of the band. It was not, however, recorded in the Quaker City of Philadelphia. The song was waxed in New York City.

• 1940 ~ Manfred Mann (Michael Lubowitz), Singer with Mann-Hugg Blues Brothers

• 1941 ~ Steve Cropper, Guitarist with the groups: Blues Brothers as well as Booker T and The MG’s

• 1942 ~ Elvin Bishop, Guitarist, singer with Paul Butterfield Blues Band

• 1943 ~ Ron Elliott, Guitarist with Beau Brummels

• 1946 ~ Lee Loughnane, Brass with Chicago

• 1953 ~ Charlotte Caffey, Guitar, singer with The Go-Gos

• 1955 ~ Eric Faulkner, Guitarist with Bay City Rollers

• 1957 ~ Julian Cope, Bass, guitar, singer

• 1957 ~ Steve Lukather, Guitarist with Toto

• 1958 ~ Orchestral strings were used for the first time in a rock and roll tune. Buddy Holly recorded It Doesn’t Matter Anymore, written by Paul Anka. Sadly, it would be Holly’s last studio session. The song wasn’t released until after his death in February of 1959.

• 2001 ~ George Feyer, a pianist and entertainer who played at some of New York’s top hotels, died at the age of 92. Feyer, who was known for setting pop lyrics to classical music, entertained the sophisticated Manhattan cafe society for three decades. He played for decades at the Carlyle, the Stanhope and the Waldorf-Astoria. He made many recordings, including his Echoes album series, which featured Echoes of Paris and Echoes of Broadway. Born in Budapest on Oct. 27, 1908, Feyer attended the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, where he studied with composer Sir Georg Solti. One of his first jobs was playing for silent movies. During World War II, the Nazis put Feyer on forced labor details, then imprisoned him in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp for the final year of the war. Feyer and his family moved to New York in 1951. He stopped working full time in 1982.

Music for Halloween: “Catacombs” from “Pictures at an Exhibition”

 

Modest Mussorgsky composed this multi-movement work in memory of his friend, artist Viktor Hartmann. Each movement corresponds to a picture in Hartmann’s gallery, with one pairing with Hartmann’s Paris catacombs. The painting depicts Hartmann and two other men walking through the labyrinthine catacombs, illuminated only by lamplight.

The movement is in two distinct parts. Its two sections consist of a nearly static Largo consisting of a sequence of block chords with elegiac lines adding a touch of melancholy and a more flowing, gloomy Andante that introduces the Promenade theme into the scene.

The first section’s alternating loud and soft chords evoke the grandeur, stillness, and echo of the catacombs. The second section suggests a merging of observer and scene as the observer descends into the catacombs. Mussorgsky’s manuscript of “Catacombs” (shown right) displays two pencilled notes, in Russian: “NB – Latin text: With the dead in a dead language” and, along the right margin, “Well may it be in Latin! The creative spirit of the dead Hartmann leads me towards the skulls, invokes them; the skulls begin to glow softly.”

The whole suite is really good – there is a copy of Mussorgsky — Pictures at an Exhibition (Alfred Masterwork Edition) in the O’Connor Music Studio, if you want to give it a try.

 

Piano

 

Orchestra

Symphony Band

 

October 20 ~ On This Day in Music

today

 

OCMS 1874 ~ Charles Ives, American composer
More information on Ives

• 1890 ~ Ferdinand “Jelly Roll” Morton, jazz pianist/composer

• 1913 ~ Grandpa (Louis Marshall) Jones, Country Music Hall of Famer, Grand Ole Opry, singer

• 1914 ~ Fayard Nicholas, American tap dancer, one-half of The Nicholas Brothers and actor (The Five Heartbeats)

• 1923 ~ Robert Craft, American conductor and writer

• 1935 ~ Jerry Orbach, American singer and actor for the musical theater

• 1937 ~ Wanda Jackson, Singer, songwriter

• 1939 ~ Jay Siegel, Singer with The Tokens

• 1939 ~ All the Things You Are was recorded by the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra on the Victor label. Jack Leonard was the featured vocalist.

• 1945 ~ Ric Lee, Drummer with Ten Years After

• 1950 ~ Tom Petty, Singer with The Traveling Wilburys

• 1951 ~ Al Greenwood, Keyboards with Foreigner

• 1955 ~ “Day-O. Day-ay-ay-ay-o!” One of the most popular of the Harry Belafonte hits was recorded for RCA Victor. Day-O didn’t make it to the pop charts for over a year, until January of 1957, after its name had been changed to The Banana Boat Song (Day-O).

• 1958 ~ Mark King, Bass, singer with Level 42

• 1958 ~ Ivo Pogorelić, Croatian pianist (1978 Casagrande winner)

• 1962 ~ With Halloween just around the corner, we remember that Bobby “Boris” Picket and the Crypt Kickers reached the top of the charts this day (for two weeks) with The Monster Mash. And someone, somewhere, has resurrected it every Halloween since.

This piece is now in Piano Maestro in the Halloween section and there is sheet music, if you are interested.

• 1962 ~ The musical, Mr. President, written by Irving Berlin, opened on Broadway. Mr. President ran for 265 performances.

• 1965 ~ The Beatles received a gold record for the single, Yesterday. This song marked the first time a cello was used in a pop hit.

• 2000 ~ Li Yundi, an 18-year-old virtuoso from China, has won Poland’s Frederic Chopin piano competition, becoming one of the youngest players to capture the prestigious international prize. Read the whole story

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

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