Tuesday, May 8

The Music Meme


Farrago (see my blogroll) requested that I do the music meme, wherein you choose seven songs that have meaning for you - or that you like. I only knew one of his choices, since his music favorites antedate my listening pleasures.



As a young girl of six, my mother decided I should learn to play the piano, and put me in weekly lessons. My piano teacher was a shrewd woman who knew how to get young children to play classical pieces; she offered me the opportunity to learn any popular piece I wanted, as long as I would promise to learn and play (well) three classical pieces to every one popular song. It seemed like a fair trade-off to me. Little did I know at the time that she was providing me with the basis for a love of classical music that would last a lifetime.



I also love jazz, and I think that the artist in me appreciates jazz as a musical art form. It is fairly easy for me to imagine colors, lines and pulses when I am listening to jazz - so I view it as "musical art." Yesterday I heard a jazz version on the car radio of some Beatles pieces, and I truly love them. Back in the late 60's and early 70's, when covers of Beatles songs were being done by all sorts of musicians, I managed to fool my mom, whose opinion of the Beatles was low, to say the least. I had bought an album of Beatles music done in symphonic style and I played it for my mom, without telling her who or what it was. She liked it very much, and she was surprised when I told her it was the Beatles' compositions. I took great pleasure in getting her to admit (finally) that perhaps they did know a little something about music - or at least- melody. Don't let me fool you, though, I can wail "I Want to Hold Your Hand" with the original Beatles record and enjoy every minute of it!


One album that I have always loved is by the composer Ferde Grofe; the Grand Canyon Suite. Listenening to that music, one can easily imagine riding down into the canyon on a donkey, which I have never done and wouldn't, but I enjoy imagining it. Some parts of the music evoke the grandeur of the canyon, and others lead you to envision the sunrises and sunsets and preparation for the nighttime. If you want to know more about Grofe (whose name ought to have an accent over the last 'e' but I don't know how to do it), go here:




and go here to learn more about the Grand Canyon Suite:



Russian composers have always held a special fascination for me; Rachmaninoff, Tschaikovsky, and Rimsky-Korsakov stir inner fires and evoke awe. I won't list particular pieces, because almost anything by these men is a joy for me.

Dvorak and Debussy are two additional favorites, and you owe it to yourself to listen to some of their works if you are not already familiar with them. At this point, I fear that most of you are no longer reading. Either the post is too long or too boring for you. There are many other composers and many types of music I enjoy, but that is grist for another day. The rhythm and blues alone would take a whole post! Farrago, I hope this is sort of what you meant, and that I haven't strayed too far from the original meme.

20 comments:

Mamacita said...

I can't wait to meet you someday. Your tastes and mine are so much alike! We were destined to be friends.

The New World Symphony is one of my favorites, and if you tell me you also love Bolero, I'm going to think I'm in a Twilight Zone episode called "Perfection."

Mamacita said...

I almost forgot. . . . Hello from Michele's blog.

mar said...

I followed your first link but it isn't working, it is
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferde_Grofe, I will check out his music!!(for the accent, first press the accent -you won't see anything- and then the letter, then you will see the accent!)
Very interesting post, kenju, I didn't get bored and read the whole thing, lol!

Blitz Krieg said...

Obviously my tastes lean toward classic rock, but I also love classical music. I got the chance to see the Cleveland Orchestra when I was growing up and the power of it really moved me.

Mom had this album from the late 50's I think and I recently got it on CD. The sound is unbelievable.

Farrago said...

Don't get me wrong... I love classical music. I wanted to include Liszt's "Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2," and Gershwin's "Rhapsody In Blue," (which Irb had already covered).

My admiration for the Beatles falls just shy of "fanatic."

And, truth be told, in Germany that Cheap Trick cassette did get swapped out for a collection of Big Band tunes on cassette! Irb limited me to 7 songs, and those swam up first.

kenju said...

Mamacita, Bolero is one of the best pieces ever! I've been listening to that since college. And the New World is in my collection too, and I have always loved it. It would be so great to meet you!!

brendalove@gmail.com said...

Judy, I have been dipping my toes into jazz lately.

utenzi said...

Dvorak is the only one I've listened to very much of the classical--I do love a lot of Beatles music and I Just Want to Hold Your Hand is certainly one of their best.

Bob-kat said...

Great music meme. My father is responsible for my taste in classical music but I must say that I love all sorts of music.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

This was wonderfuyl Judy...And I too LOVE Rachmaninoff and Tchiakovsky...and many many other and Mendelsohn, Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Brahms, Bach...Og the list does go on....And I too am a Jazz lover...a different era of Jazz....not so much what they call "Jazz" today....I bet you are deeply grateful to your Mom for the bargain she made with you....the kive of Music is certainly a lifelong "affair" isn't it? (lol)

Thumper said...

Grand Canyon Sweet! (thusly as it is known to me ;) ) I haven't listened to that in *years* and now I desperately want to.

:::wanders off to see if I have it on CD:::

Biff Spiffy said...

That's one thing I don't have but always wanted, is a good collection of classical CDs. My music is all rock, but I like the classical stations around here for the occasional 'find' - I channel surf whenever they play opera or squeaky sleepy music. Big fan of Mozart and the Russians.

Thanks for the visit and the wishes!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Thanks so much Judy...Griffith Observatory is pretty far away from me..BUT the winds are very very strong today...(I was just out on my deck...) And these weather conditions---VERY HOT, VERY DRY & VERY HIGH WINDS---are the most dangerous conditions for everyone here who lives in any hills where there is brush, etc---all the way to the Ocean...!
Thanks my dear, for your concern....I just hope the Piromaniacs are not out and about today...!

Cris said...

This was fun to read, I did not know you played the piano!

sage said...

this is the second music meme I've read back to back and they're as different as night and day! But I know more of your music than I did of the other one!

OldHorsetailSnake said...

So, I guess "May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose" is not on your hits list. Scientists say this is too bad.

Jay said...

How wonderful to have that love instilled in you as a child.

rosemary said...

me too...I like music.

Diane Mandy said...

Wow. You have such diverse musical taste!

tiff said...

Oh shoot - I tagged you for this same thing, not knowing you'd done it already.

Silly me. Feel free to ignore.

Also - hope you're feeling better from the fall. Ouchie.