British Light Music

Discussion in 'The Golden Era' started by Artifex, Jan 24, 2019.

  1. vitanola

    vitanola I'll Lock Up

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    Louis Katzman and Murray Kellner both contributed to the genre: .





    And then back to Shilkret and a unique take on a famous 20th century piece:

     
  2. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Reginald Forsythe was another one who, like Raymond Scott, bridged the gap between jazz and Light Music.

     
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  3. Artifex

    Artifex Familiar Face

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    A few other works from composers already mentioned:

    The man responsible for In Party Mood, wrote other, lesser-known pieces, like:
    Jack Strachey (Composer)
    Jay Wilbur (Conductor)
    and the New Concert Orchestra​
    Theatreland
    [1940][1946]:


    Sidney Torch was a composer as well as an orchestra leader (and a fine organist, to boot!)
    Sidney Torch (Composer, conductor)
    and his own orchestra​
    On a Spring Note
    [1952][1952]


    A well known piece - but a remarkably ingenious approach to the opening glissando, using an air-raid siren, of all things! A long piece skilfully crammed into one side of a 78:
    George Gershwin (Composer)
    Quentin Maclean (Organist)
    at the Trocadero, Elephant & Castle​
    Rhapsody in Blue
    [1924][1930]


    It is interesting to note that Maclean and Torch were colleagues, and worked closely together. I wonder who influenced whom.
     
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  4. vitanola

    vitanola I'll Lock Up

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    That is a beautiful piece of music. Really first rate!
     
  5. Artifex

    Artifex Familiar Face

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    Nottingham, GB
    While figuratively perambulating around the internet (as one does), it struck me that piano-roll arrangements of BLM are less common than I intuitively imagined. I can think of a few reasons for that.
    • Historical timing: Light music peaked in public visibility well after the popularisation of the gramophone and wireless sets.
    • Musical style and tone: BLM depends heavily on tonal variation to make complex harmonies easier to mentally separate-out. It also makes contrasts between pizzicato and legato playing. That doesn't work very well on a simple piano. (Although some marches are fine)
    • Target audience: Piano rolls were often used as accompaniment for informal sing-songs. Instrumental music clearly doesn't suit that use-case.
    • Modern-day bias: perhaps the rolls are out there, but have never been posted about online. Perhaps Google (et al) hides them for mysterious reasons.
    Any idea which reason is the most significant?
    (I am sure there are others I haven't thought of.)
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2019
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  6. Artifex

    Artifex Familiar Face

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    Those with a curiosity towards music theory, and a healthy sense of humour, may be delighted, enlightened and amused by:

    Alex Ball's Utterly Spiffing Guide to Light Music

    A short video series in the true 'chap' spirit of parodying and honouring past styles at one and the same time. Quite splendid, I say!
     
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  7. Artifex

    Artifex Familiar Face

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    Nottingham, GB
    (Apologies for the now triple post)

    I came across this recording of Clive Richardson's London Fantasia, from 1944:



    It illustrates the city during WWII, and contains several musical references to other works. The problem is, I can't put a name to most of them!

    At 1:39, there's a theme that sounds a lot like "Who will buy my sweet red ro-oses" (from Oliver!) - but that musical came out in 1960, well after this composition! Do they have a common ancestor?

    Then, at 1:51 there's a line from "I saw three ships come sailing in", followed by bells reminiscent of Westminster quarters.

    There are also sounds of steam locomotives, air-raid sirens and (I think) fire engines. Bits of it sound like the Warsaw concerto (hardly surprising) - but I'm sure I'm missing something. So much of the phrasing seems familiar.

    Any thoughts?
     
  8. British comedians Morecambe & Wise made "The Stripper" into one of their most memorable skits.

     
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  9. tmal

    tmal One of the Regulars

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    Re: Captain Kangaroo. I never knew that song had a name. But I recognized it instantly! To this day I remember a demonstration on Captain why triangles are so strong. That is how I remember. And I'm an engineer too!
     
  10. Artifex

    Artifex Familiar Face

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    Not just funny, but an impressive bit of production to boot. Who said you shouldn't play with your food?

    Come to consider it, there seem to be a good few light compositions on the topic of rail travel. Besides Puffing Billy, I can think of:
    • 20th Century Express (Trevor Duncan)
    • Coronation Scot (Vivian Ellis)
    • The Flying Scotsman (Sidney Torch)
    • Orient Express (Gerhard Mohr)
    • Melody on the Move (Clive Richardson) *
    • Railroad Rhythm (Billy Mayerl)

    As far as I know, Mr. L. Anderson didn't come up with anything along those lines. I wonder why not. It would have been quite in-character.

    * Arguably...
     
  11. Haversack

    Haversack One Too Many

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    Clipperton Island
    Other light music, (albeit not British), regarding train travel:

    • op. 281 (Johann Strauss II)
    • (Hector Villa-Lobos)
    • (Robin, Whiting, & Harling)
     
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