Some amusing things I've run across...

In Donald J. Grout's History of Western Music:

-Ives's borrowing of well-known songs and hymns for material in his own work does so "for their power to add punch to the message." Add punch? Musical quotations in Ives's music is a hugely important compositional idiom, a basis for the "Americanism" in his writing. Grout makes it sound like he tossed in a few familiar tunes like one would sprinkle herbs in soup.

-He uses the word "hillbilly" twice in his paragraph-long synopsis of the origin of country music. Really? Hillbilly? Is that a musical term?

In Robert P. Morgan's Twentieth-Century Music:

-Evidently, Harry Partch was a hobo for six years. That's right, a hobo. And he used some hobo writings in compositions after his hobo period.

-Finally, this:
Those two men are Ernst Bloch and his pupil Roger Sessions, two composers of the Twentieth Century. This picture appears in the book with no explanation as to why these two guys appear to be digging a grave with pickaxes.


Becca said…
Well, pickaxes are much more efficient for loosening and breaking through that much dirt to dig a grave, rather than relying on shovels alone.

Beyond that, I got nothing.
Suze said…
but why are they digging at all? that's what i don't get. i mean, they were composers. not grave-diggers...
pamigelsrud said…
Bah ha ha ha ha ha!!! That is HILARIOUS!!!
annalu alulu said…
I think mrs becca was being silly. That is quite hilarious, suze. especially nice that you noticed and shared it with us.

my husband has a computer language book with a picture of the author on the back cover, and the author looks almost identical to Chris Farley in Tommy Boy. Every time i see it I laugh. I especially like to read the description of the book in Tommy's "voice." I should scan it for folks.

Anyway, you're so funny.

Suze said…
i know becca was being silly :)

maybe they were amateur archeologists?

re-creating the trenches of World War I?

planting a huge tree?

i smell a contest...
Anonymous said…
Maybe composing is related to decomposing?

Suze said…
Jenn Hacker said…
Maybe they were getting ready to bury Grout's book like so much rubbish?
Becca said…
I admit, looking at that picture, I heard Monty Python's "Decomposing Composers" in my head.

Hmm. What are they doing?

Digging a new well?

Burying a rival?

Mining for gold?

Looking for China?

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