August 6, 2019 ~ Daily Listening Assignment

 

Today’s piece is from a TV show my son used to love to watch: Inspector Gadget. The show followed the adventures of a powerful but dimwitted cyborg police inspector named Gadget as he investigates the criminal schemes of Dr. Claw and his organization, MAD, as they fruitlessly attempt to stop him. However, neither side was aware that it is Gadget’s niece, Penny, and her dog, Brain, who are truly responsible for thwarting MAD.

 

Now, for just the theme

One of my favorite piano duet (I have the sheet music!)

For guitar

 

Did you know… Inspector Gadget was inspired by Edvard Grieg’s piece “In the Hall of the Mountain King”, July 19th Daily Listening Assignment.

Can you spot the differences?

 

 

 

 

July 9, Daily Listening Assignment

 

Today’s piece is based on a collection of tales known as the One Thousand and One Nights or Arabian Nights.

The story, which was written many hundreds of years ago, tells of a Persian king who married a young girl every night. Every morning he would send his new wife to have her head chopped off. He had already killed 3000 women in this way.

When Scheherazade heard about this, she wanted to spend the night with him. She spent all night telling him a story. At the end of the night, she stopped the story at an exciting moment, like a modern-day soap opera.

The next night she finished the story and began another one, which she again stopped when it was dawn. The king had to wait another night to hear the rest of the story. Scheherazade kept this up for 1001 nights. By then, the king had fallen in love with Scheherazade and he let her live.

Rimsky-Korsakov’s best-known work is Scheherazade, an orchestral piece which describes in music the stories told by Scheherazade.

The work consists of four movements:

The Sea and Sinbad’s Ship

The Kalandar Prince

The Young Prince and The Young Princess

Festival at Baghdad. The Sea. The Ship Breaks against a Cliff Surmounted by a Bronze Horseman

Today, we’re focusing on The Young Prince and The Young Princess which can be found in Piano Pronto Movement 4

 

 

Piano duet

Orchestra

Flute ensemble

 

Gene Kelly dancing with a cartoon partner

 

 

The entire work

 

July 5, 2019 ~ Daily Listening Assignment

 

 

“Morning Mood” is part of Edvard Grieg’s Peer Gynt, Op. 23 was written in 1875.

The melody uses the pentatonic (five note) scale, lending itself to beginning piano books.

 

 

Orchestra:

 

Music box:

Cartoon:

 

Flash mob(!!)

Morning Mood is available in Piano Maestro, Piano Pronto Prelude (as Morning Theme) and other books.

July 3, 2019 ~ Daily Listening Assignment

 

 

toccata-d-minor

 

Johann Sebastian Bach’s towering monument of organ music, with its deep sense of foreboding, will forever be associated with Halloween.

Get a free copy of the sheet music at IMSLP or borrow a copy from the O’Connor Music Studio.  I have this arranged for organ, piano, duet, 2-piano, simplified…

It’s also available in Piano Maestro, Piano Pronto Encore and Coda

If you want this in a book with other Bach transcriptions, amazon has this: Toccata and Fugue in D Minor and the Other Bach Transcriptions for Solo Piano, arranged by Ferruccio Busoni.

Here, Virgil Fox performs it on his Allen Digital Touring Organ.

 

Diane Bish plays the Massey Memorial Organ at the Chautauqua Institution and talks about this instrument.

 

Animated organ:

Glass harmonica

Accordion

Cartoon:

 

June 7, 2019 ~ Daily Listening Assignment

 

Today, we’ll be listening to the end of the William Tell Overture by Gioachino Rossini.  This piece, originally the overture to an opera, has been arranged for piano and is in several method books, including Piano Pronto Movements 1 and 2.  It’s also in Bastien Book 4 and Piano Maestro.
The original story

Maybe your grandparents watched the original Lone Ranger

Or you saw the newer Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp

Here’s the entire William Tell Overture played by an orchestra

Piano Solo

Franz Liszt made a really hard version for piano solo. See if you can follow along!

Piano Duet (1 piano, 4 hands)

Piano Duet arranged by Louis Moreau Gottschalk

Piano Duo (2 pianos, 8 hands)

Piano Quartet (4 pianos, 16 hands)

For pipe organ

For synthesizer

And then things get nuts with cartoons. Lots of cartoons used this music. Here are Mickey Mouse and friends

And Spike Jones

Handbells…

Poor Rossini – I think he’d have a fit if he knew how is music was being used.

Have a nice day!

Had This Been a Leap Year

Leap-Year-2016

. 1792 ~ Gioachino Rossini, Italian composer
Read quotes by and about Rossini
More information about Rossini

. 1898 ~ Wladimir Rudolfovich Vogel, Russian-born Swiss composer

. 1904 ~ Jimmy Dorsey, American clarinetist, bandleader and saxophonist

. 1916 ~ Dinah (Frances Rose) Shore, Emmy Award-winning singer and entertainer

. 1932 ~ Bing Crosby and the Mills Brothers teamed up to record Shine for Brunswick Records.

. 1936 ~ Fanny Brice brought her little girl character “Baby Snooks” to radio on “The Ziegfeld Follies of the Air” on CBS Radio. Miss Brice presented the character and later sang My Man on the program. She was 44 at the time, and was known as America’s “Funny Girl” long before Barbra Streisand brought her even greater fame and notoriety nearly 30 years later.

. 1964 ~ The United States was in the grip of Beatlemania! I Want to Hold Your Hand, by the lads from Liverpool, was in its 5th week at #1 on the pop charts. It stayed there until March 21, when it was replaced by She Loves You, which was replaced by Can’t Buy Me Love, which was finally replaced by Hello Dolly, by Louis Armstrong, on May 9, 1964. 14 straight weeks of #1 music by The Beatles!

About Cab Calloway

Since I’ve done the Nicholas Brothers and Busby Berkeley, it’s time for Cab Calloway, another old movie favorite of mine.

I think the first time I ever came across anything related to Calloway was in the late 1960s when I was watching That Girl on TV – Ann’s father (Lew Parker) sang Minnie the Moocher for a talent show.  The song stuck in my head.  I wish I could find a video of that performance.

“Minnie the Moocher” is a jazz song first recorded in 1931 by Cab Calloway and His Orchestra, selling over a million copies. “Minnie the Moocher” is most famous for its nonsensical ad-libbed (“scat”) lyrics (for example, “Hi De Hi De Hi De Hi”).

In performances, Calloway would have the audience participate by repeating each scat phrase in a form of call and response. Eventually, Calloway’s phrases would become so long and complex that the audience would laugh at their own failed attempts to repeat them.

“Minnie the Moocher” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.

 

Lots of others have sung this song, as well including Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie in “Jeeves and Wooster”.

 

 

and the Three Mo’ Tenors performed it in 2001

 

 

Calloway appeared in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers and sang a shortened version “Minnie The Moocher” in the film, in the original style of big band.

 

Cabell “Cab” Calloway III (December 25, 1907 – November 18, 1994) was an American jazz singer and bandleader. He was strongly associated with the Cotton Club in Harlem, New York City, where he was a regular performer.

Calloway was a master of energetic scat singing and led one of the United States’ most popular big bands from the start of the 1930s through to the late 1940s. Calloway’s band featured performers including trumpeters Dizzy Gillespie and Adolphus “Doc” Cheatham, saxophonists Ben Webster and Leon “Chu” Berry, New Orleans guitar ace Danny Barker, and bassist Milt Hinton. Calloway continued to perform until his death in 1994 at the age of 86.

An old Paramount short film of Cab Calloway singing many of his hits.

 

 

“The Old Man of The Mountain” is non-stop Cab from beginning to end. He appears first as an owl, singing the title song. The words have been changed for the cartoon, in which the Old Man is a villain. In the original song, the Old Man is a benevolent character. Next we see Cab as the Old Man himself, rotoscoped and singing, “You Gotta Hi-De-Hi,” followed by “The Scat Song.”

The cartoon begins with live footage of Cab and his Orchestra playing around with the tune of Minnie the Moocher while Cab scats mildly and grins at the camera. Whereas Cab may have been caught by surprise when they used live footage of him in the earlier cartoon, “Minnie the Moocher”, this time he is ready. He and his band are in dress white uniforms, Cab’s hair is slicked back, and he pays attention to the camera. (The drummer, Leroy Maxey, is still playing with his drumsticks, though!)

Of the three cartoons starring Cab Calloway, this one has the least interesting and least surreal plot, and the animation is the crudest. Never-the-less, the very early live footage of Cab is a treasure, and this cartoon showcases his music from beginning to end, featuring three of his songs. He does some of his most remarkable ever scat singing in this version of The Scat Song.

In all of the Fleisher cartoons, Cab’s characters are set in caves with menacing and ominous background illustrations: skeletons, skulls, ghosts, leering faces, and gambling, alcohol and drug paraphernalia. People have claimed that the Fleischers were unaware of the drug references in Cab’s songs (for example, “kicking the gong around” meaning “smoking opium”), but the imagery in the animations suggests otherwise.

 

 

Cab’s scat singing, dancing, comedic personality and flashy elegance had made him a star and a million-selling recording artist. He continued to perform right up until his death in 1994 at the age of 88.

Gunther Schuller sums up Calloway’s brilliance as an entertainer: “People still remember Cab Calloway as a dancer and vaudevillian with his wonderful white tuxedos and all of that — and, as a great, great showman.”