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CLASSICAL  January 2005

CLASSICAL January 2005

Subject:

Re: Classical Ring Tones - A Taxonomy

From:

Rick Mabry <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 26 Jan 2005 20:15:50 -0600

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (58 lines)

>And getting back to rap...for ten points, what composer wrote a piece for
>rapper and orchestra?

That would be Johann Sebastian Bach.  But he didn't do it intentionally.

I'll explain, but it is really just a way to unburden myself.  You can
safely skip this message.  In fact, it would be wise.

(The subject line should actually be "Bad Rap on Bach".)

It is sheerly a coincidence, no, a *confluence* of events that led to
this terrible event...

First: I happened to initiate all this by asking on this list, not too
seriously, if anyone had yet recorded a "Classical Rap".

Second: around the same time, last week, I happened to listen to a
recently acquired disk of the Emerson Quartet, "The Art of the Fugue."
So the two things were already flitting about in my head.  There seemed
to be no connection.  Little did I know.

Third, and most importantly: this past Saturday evening, my wife and
I watched "Saturday Night Live" (one of our antidotes to the news).
The musical guest (and I use the term most improperly) was the rap star,
Ludacris.  Now I have to admit, I cannot stand rap.  I don't listen much
to lyrics (of anything), so it isn't that.  It isn't the fact that there
isn't a dime's worth of melody (unless it is stolen from some rock tune),
much less counterpoint or tonal variety.  I simply hate the repetitive
rhythms.  (I'm not a musician, I'm a drummer, you see.) So I am no longer
open-minded about the genre.  I hate it.  Well, I sat and seethed and
cursed about how impossible it was that anyone would want to hear this
c'rap, how stupid that this "artist" should be on a show so popular, how
such a performer could possibly be successful, etc.  But I listened ---
I studied it.  I tried hard to understand, really I did.  Ultimately, I
could only ridicule it.  And mock it.  That, it turns out, was not a
good idea.

Fourth: I went to bed.  Late.

Fifth: Within twenty minutes, approximately, I woke up, no, I was AWAKENED
by what I realized had been a musical thread running continuously in my
brain.  Am I dreaming?  This sounds so real!  No, I could hum along, I
could hear it all so clearly.  I sat up, waking my wife and I explained
to her what I was hearing (to her laughter): it was this stinking rapper's
tune superimposed on a fugue! It might not have been an exact fugue from
BWV 1080 (or maybe it was, I'm not sure), but it was still a mother
fugue-ing fugue! It was perfectly synchronized and even made sense.
After all, the rap has no damned key, so it couldn't be discordant!  And
it turns out, I realized, that much of rap IS a fugue, a crude call and
answer.

We shall someday hear a bad rap on Bach, I have foretold it. I hope it
isn't soon, as it took two days to get the lousy thing out of my head!
And you, poor listreaders, may now be cursed.  For if you have heard and
know the sound of rap, then the next time you hear a fugue of JSB, well
...  I warned you not to read this!

Rick

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