Classical Music/old music (piano)


QUESTION: I heard a piece of classical music in our music class, I don't know what it was called, I thought it would be rubbish to be honest with you, I am trying to find out what it was called. What can I tell you about it, well it makes you dizzy when you listen to it, it sounds at points a little out of tune, but it was supposed to be like that I think and its relly old I think it was played  even before my grandma wat born.


age 13.

ANSWER: Was it these one of these three?

These are by Charles Ives, one of the great early 20th century composers. This was a strange experiment of his, writing for two pianos that each were in tune with themselves but out of tune with each other (by a quarter tone, like playing in the cracks between notes).

The broader story of the late 1800s into (and throughout) the 1900s is that a LOT of composers were experimenting with all kinds of things. Ives was not an oddball, though he was a bit of a pioneer.

After listening to these a lot, they will sort of start to sound "normal" to you. It takes a lot of listenings, though!

David Froom

[an error occurred while processing this directive]---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: thank you so much for your time Mr Froom, it was none of those pieces, however, I do know what you mean about the music becoming part of your acceptance, I didnít think I would like any of that sort of music to be honest with you but I like a lot of the popular classical stuff, I have all sorts of music on my IPod-  "by the beautiful blue danube." follows one of my boy bands lol. the piece I'm looking for starts slowly but has very fast sections where the pianist  goes up the scale quickly almost making you dizzy and the ending is very dramatic (well for me it was.) and it finishes with this cheeky- didn't I do well bit, however that may be just my interpretation . I normally write the details down in case we get homework on it, but Mark Mansfield tried to tie my plates  to the back of my chair, annoying as usual and I whacked him with my ruler and got sent to the isolation room, he didn't get punished at all!  

The piece is very famous because the teacher said it was. baroqo or something like that was on the CD cover, the cover had those men on who had hair like girls and wore uniforms, you know like the old people who fired cannons and were on sailing ships, but I can't be dead sure as I was protesting my innocence at the time. When I start back at school in September I could ask my music teacher, but she will give me a long lecture on how important it is to listen in class, itís hard to listen when I have to sit in front of immature boys.

ANSWER: I have daughters (the youngest is 14), so I know what you are going through with annoying boys... I hope I wasn't one of those boys when I was in school, but I probably was (thankfully, I don't remember).

There are simply too many works of music for me to be able to help you. Baroque would have meant anything from about 1600 to about 1750, so that's 150 years of music!! You description of men wearing wigs and fancy coats simply says they were dressed as was the custom of the time. Even if I were to guess that this might have been one of the late Baroque's three most famous composers (Bach, Handel, Vivaldi), just between the three of them they have thousands of works of music!!

I think, in September, if you approach your teacher and tell her that you really want to hear that piece of music again, but haven't been able to find it, saying maybe you wrote it down incorrectly, or maybe you don't know how to find it, she will likely be happy to tell you. She might not even remember getting mad at you -- and if she does, you could quickly apologize, saying you shouldn't have gotten so mad at the boy behind you who was harassing you. (Though I agree, he deserved a whack with your ruler).

There is a joke I know about someone getting in trouble for fighting, who said, "it all started when he hit me back." Um...

David Froom

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you so much for your advice, my best friend Kate has some possible leads, she has some notes from that class we think, but nothing Baroque, unfortunately, she underlined Hun Rhap2 Fran list, but I think she was more interested in Jason Thomas than furthering my music collection at the time. I will ask Miss, even if she knows she will make me hum it out, I will apologise to her, I shouldn't have hit that boy with my ruler, I should have used something else lol. Miss is pleased I am listening to classical music so I can get away with a bit, I think she thought whacking a boy with a ruler was a little more than a bit perhaps, she said if we hit every boy who did something stupid, we then would be like the stupid boys.

I am amazed some of the stuff I am listening to is 400 years old, some of the hymns we sing in church are from that period, I'm wondering if we will be listening to the same music and singing the same hymns in another 400 years. Will anyone in 400 years be listening to the popular music Kate and I listen to now I wonder?          

Thank you so much for your help, advice and time, if I find some cool music I will let you know.

Miss Sarah Clark.

Well, Hun Rhap2 Fran list translates to musicians as:

Franz Liszt, Hungarian Rhapsody #2

Here is a Youtube video:

There are a lot of performances of this out there, but I chose this one because it includes a picture of Liszt. He was born early 1800s, died in the 1890s. He was probably the first "rock star" of classical music. He made his fame as maybe the best pianist who ever lived. He wrote a lot of his music, especially early on, for him to perform. It didn't hurt that he looked like a rock star: tall, thin, elegant, very handsome with beautiful hair.

He was the first musical performer (there was no "pop" music at that time) who actually had women swooning over him (they actually fainted when he walked on stage, or during his performances, or if he happened to glance out at them, or if, afterwards, he touched them on the arm). He actually had ladies fight over gloves he "accidentally" would leave on the stage, and had a long string, scandalously, of girl friends (and one-night stands), and a bunch of children out of wedlock (one of his out-of-wedlock daughters became famous as the wife of the famous conductor, Hans von Bulow; she then got more famous when she tossed Bulow over for the famous composer Richard Wagner). You could read about Liszt and Wagner and Bulow and this daughter (Cosima) on Wikipedia. It is a pretty cool story, though pretty close to being R rated...

Hope you enjoy this music -- and hope that it is the one you were looking for.

Classical Music

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David Froom


Classical Music,Modern Classical Music Composition


College Professor, Composer

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