[rumori] classical mashups on NPR

From: DJ WeirdKnobNow (djbrokenwindowATyahoo.com)
Date: Wed Jul 31 2002 - 16:56:22 PDT

On the US' National Public Radio (NPR), I noticed that
during their classical hour (9am-10am PST) they have a
game called their "Piano Puzzler". A resident
piano-composer-talent plays a short peice on piano
where two songs are merged/layered together.

In the case of today, a famous part of Mussorgsky's
"Pictures At An Exhibition" was merged into the
American folk tune "She'll Be Coming Around the

Victor Borge's big joke in his piano concerts was to
play 'Claire De Lune' by Debussy and start merging in
'Happy Birthday'. He mixed Happy Birthday with lots
of tunes, but Claire De Lune was funniest because it
was so somber compared to the ditsy melody of Happy

What is so cool about these examples is that they are
so specifically about identifying two melodies playing
at the same time; the core of interest in mashups.

The NPR show really makes it seem fun to manipulate
popular/well-known music by means of
contrasting/comparing the music when it is layered
together. At the same time, they credit the
pianist/composer who is doing the merging and pointing
out how their skill is involved merely in the
selection of which song to make dominate the other at
any given point.

In the show, they break down which parts actually hint
at which of the original melodies and talk about how
music works. It made me appreciate the elegances of
music's inner workings in the same way that I do for
when pop music recordings are layered well.

I would say that this is different than the effect of
a 'medley'-type of music-manipulation.

DJ BrokenWindow

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