Hills Not Alive with the Sound of Music, but Muffled Rap Plays in Distance

The sound of muffled rap music can sometimes be heard in the hills of Austria

AUSTRIA- Tourists were perplexed yesterday as they visited the hills of Salzburg and heard no music. There was complete silence when they arrived.

“I thought there was supposed to be music here,” said George, a perplexed tourist. “Julie Andrews said ‘The hills are alive with the sound of music’, and I don’t hear any music.”

But after a few minutes they heard the sound of muffled rap music.

The tourists began to connect the lyrics to the rolling hills of the landscape as Chamillionaire’s Ridin’ played. They noticed the lyrics “They see me rollin’, they hatin’,”symbolized the rolling hills making music for tourists who did not seem to appreciate it.

“I suppose that was the music we were supposed to hear,” said George, “but I can’t be sure.”

They made more connections to the landscape as Vanilla Ice’s Ice Ice Baby played next. They heard another call from the hills to “Stop collaborate and listen.” So they continued to listen to the music, as if the hills were telling them to.

As Coolio’s Gangsta Paradise began to play, the tourists could not connect any more lyrics to the landscape and went back to their hotels disappointed.


Boston Significantly Drops Holiday Loitering by Playing “Christmas Shoes”

Boston Harbor Hotel

Boston, MA- When city officials started playing music near the Boston Harbor for the holiday season, they had no idea the effect it could have.

Whenever Newsong’s Christmas Shoes played, loiterers began to leave the area. City officials noticed this trend and played the song whenever they saw loiterers. As they put this practice into effect, loitering became almost non-existent.

A man, upon hearing the song for the first time, began to weep openly. “This song is just  depressing and it shouldn’t belong in the Christmas repertoire,” he said. “Why do you write Christmas songs about people dying? Why?” He was never seen near the harbor again, as he jaywalked across Atlantic Avenue and was hospitalized after being hit by a vehicle.

There was also a significant decrease in tourists dumping tea in the harbor.

Since the city started playing Christmas Shoes, loitering has dropped significantly in the area. City officials are now considering selections to play outside of the holiday season, such as I would walk 500 miles, Rebecca Black’s Friday, and selections from Justin Bieber.

Local DJ Arrested for Playing Marathon of Wham’s “Last Christmas” in Valencia Mall

Shoppers rush to finish last minute holiday shopping at Westfield Valencia Mall

Valencia, CA- Shoppers at Westfield Valencia Mall were going about their last minute Christmas shopping when they heard  Wham’s Last Christmas play twice.

Then it played again.

And again.

As the song continued to repeat, security guards had to restrain several shoppers as they began knocking over perfume displays in Macy’s and throwing dishes at speakers. Several 911 calls were made after the song played for the 10th time. Twenty incidents of road rage were reported in the area during the time of the incident.

One shopper remarked that it was worse than Black Friday of 2004, when he observed two male shoppers get into a fist fight over Hot Wheels cars at Walmart while others placed bets.

Mall security checked the sound room and found no sign of Scott Beardsley, the DJ in charge of the mall’s sound system. The music was playing from a remote location.

Investigators found that the marathon began after Scott’s ex-girlfriend entered the mall. They broke up around the holidays last year. When police finally found Scott after several hours, he remarked that his ex-girlfriend “got what was coming to her”.

Scott was arrested and is now being sued for emotional distress by several shoppers.

Ongoing Performance of 4’33” in Abandoned Church Generates Revenue for Small Town

14367782995_610f1f2cd9_bPhoto credit: SpiderMonkey’s Photos via Foter.com / CC BY/caption]

Barre, VT-  If no one is there to hear 4’33’’, is it really played? That’s what city officials recently discussed when deciding whether or not to tear down the former meeting place of Bethlehem Lutheran Church. 

John Bates, a local music professor at Goddard College, voiced his opinion when he heard the building being  discussed. He knew a grand piano was sitting inside.

“I could not let them get away with this,” said John. “They could not just tear down a building when clearly there is music being made there every day: John Cage’s 4’33”.”

John Cage’s 4’33” is a piece in which the instrumentalist sits at their instrument for 4 minutes and 33 seconds in silence. The “music” then is the ambiance of the concert hall.

Musicologists disagree as to whether the performance in Barre is a legitimate performance, as no one is seated at the piano. But Professor Bates is convinced that this indeed a legitimate performance.

Professor Bates proposed a solution to the problem, in that the city sell tickets to anyone who would like to visit and watch the performances. Also, students of Goddard College who visit the building would fulfill the concert attendance requirement for the Music Appreciation course.

Bates convinced city officials to put his plan into action, and since then the town has raised enough from the concerts to get out of a deficit.

Despite the church being near an apartment complex, residents have not complained of noise.


Music Student Found Living in Practice Rooms

November 22, 2016

UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON- Campus security guard Jim Nelson was startled one night when he heard ominous music while on night watch near the music building.

 “I thought I was a goner,” he said. “You know something bad is about to happen when you hear music like that. It always happens in the movies.”
 Jim braced himself, hand ready on his taser. He found the practice rooms unlocked and held his taser ahead. At the end of the hallway, he found the student Michael Young playing Rachmaninoff on the Steinway.
 “I recognized Michael and asked him what he was doing there so late.”
 When Jim saw a sleeping bag in the corner and a trash can full of empty coffee cups, he realized what was happening. Michael was living in the practice rooms. As Jim was talking to Michael, a light came on in another room where a student had just woken up.
 “It’s just easier for me to stay here instead of walking all the way back to the dorms,” said Michael, a piano performance major. “That’s the only way I can get my 5 hours of practice in. That plus 4 cups of coffee.”

  While a lounge is in the works for the practice rooms, music faculty plan to add dorm rooms to the music building in the near future.

Five Pieces for Election Day

As many of you have already voted, you’re probably needing some music right now to meet you where you are. For many, it was a difficult decision, for others, not so difficult. No matter your opinion of the candidates, there is a piece for you. These 5 pieces will help you get through today and help you face whatever comes next.


1. Oh Canada

If you are seriously considering moving to Canada, this is for you. Imagine yourself in Canada watching hockey and eating pancakes with real maple syrup as you listen and prepare yourself for the move. This piece will take you there.

2. Verdi’s Dies Irae (Day of Wrath)

This is for you if you believe America is doomed and judgment day is coming shortly because of who was elected. The piece comes from Verdi’s Requiem and speaks of all the earth being judged and destroyed.

3. Chopin’s Etude Op. 10 No. 3 “Sadness”

This piece, nicknamed “sadness”, is for you if you are simply sad about who lost. This has a slightly more positive mood than the last piece.

4. Orff’s O Fortuna This piece goes along the lines somewhat of #2. If you think everything has gone wrong in this election, this piece is for you. It speaks of fate being unmerciful.

5. Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5

To end on a positive note (listen to the end), this piece is commonly thought of as fate knocking at the door (dun dun dun DUN part), but in the end you gain victory over fate (22:00). This piece is for you if you believe whoever wins, it might be bad for a little while, but America will emerge victorious in the end.


Mahler Symphony No. 2 mvmt 4 – A short yet significant movement

If you’ve been following along with the last few posts, we’ve been looking at Mahler’s 2nd Symphony, which tells a story of a character searching for the meaning of life and what happens next. We now come to the 4th movement, where the character reaches some conclusions which will be expanded upon in the finale. Beethoven’s 9th symphony was the first symphony to feature singing. Following in the tradition of Beethoven, Mahler incorporates singing in this and the final movement.

The lyrics sung in this movement are from a poem featured in the collection Des Knaben Wunderhorn (The Boy’s Magic Horn). It is originally in German, but thanks to the Internet it is easy to find a translation, and you can follow each line below as you listen:

47:12- O little red rose

48:30- Man lies in greatest need! Man lies in greatest pain!

48:59- How I would rather be in heaven

50:11- There came I upon a broad path

50:33- When came a little angel and wanted to turn me away

50:53- Ah no! I would not let myself be turned away!

51:10- I am from God and shall return to God!

51:20- The loving God (51:27)- will grant me a little light

51:35-Which will light me into that eternal blissful (51:58)- life!

Stay tuned for the epic finale and more great battle music 🙂



Mahler Symphony No. 2 – The struggle begins to get very real

In our continuation of looking at Mahler’s second symphony, we will explore the second and third movements. These middle movements are kind of an interlude as the character of this story pauses to reflect on his life (see the last post for an introduction). Movement 5 (the last movement) will return us to the present moment. Here’s a look at what might be going on in the 2nd and 3rd movements.

Movement 2

24:40- This movement is of a happier and lighter mood as the character recalls the memories of his youth. Hear his regret or sadness as he recalls these memories at 29:19.

Movement 3

35:33- This movement starts out ominously as the character is being driven to despair. He begins to question his beliefs and begins to have inner conflict. The lighter moments may be times when the character is remembering good times, but then he fails to see the meaning of it all. After 42:00 it especially becomes ominous as the character struggles trying to resolve these issues. But hope is waiting for him in the coming movements.

Pause at 47:11 before the soloist comes in, and come back next time to hear the epic resolution to this story.


Mahler 2 Mvmt 1- More than just great battle music

We will now begin to explore Mahler’s 2nd Symphony, (known to music nerds as Mahler 2) which is nicknamed “Resurrection”. The first movement introduces the themes that set up for the final movement of the symphony, which is epic, but let’s take one movement at a time.

Mahler wrote a program to accompany this symphony, but could not settle on a suitable story that could express all that is in the work. But for this first movement, in one of his programs he describes a scene of someone facing death and asking the questions to discern the meaning of life (deep questions):

“What is life and what is death? Will we live on eternally? Is it all an empty dream or do our life and death have a meaning?”

From the opening notes you can hear this conflict and impending doom as the character ponders these questions. Parts of this movement resemble a funeral march (aka ominous music in marching tempo). Hear this march at 2:51, 10:00, 14:00, 17:00, and 21:00. Because of these parts this movement would make epic battle music IMO.

One particular theme of note occurs at 15:04, which is really important in this piece, occurring later in the final movement. This is the Dies Irae theme (or Judgement Day theme), which comes from the Middle Ages. The words describe a judgment day scene in which all souls are judged at the end of the world. The character of the story may be contemplating a final judgment as he reflects on his own life and what happens next.

Mahler called for a pause at the end of this movement (23:38), as the middle movements are of a different character. These middle movements are a reflection of the life that this character has lived, and the last movement tells what happens to him in the end. But you’ll have to wait a few posts to find out what happens. 🙂

So pause at 23:38 (unless you’re ready to handle the rest) and next time we’ll look at what happens in the second movement as the character reflects on his life.


A Small Introduction to a Big Symphony

Gustav-Mahler-Kohut” by E. Bieber – Kohut, Adolph (1900) “Gustav Mahler” in Berühmte israelitische Männer und Frauen in der Kulturgeschichte der Menschheit (Volume 1 ed.), Leipzig, Germany: Druck und Verlag von A. H. Payne, pp. p. 143 Retrieved on 15 July 2009.. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.

This next symphony we’re gonna look at will blow you away into next week with its brilliant climaxes and crescendos that could only come from the one and only Gustav Mahler. His symphonies are so epic, even he was blown away by them. When referring to the final movement of this symphony, he wrote:

“The increasing tension, working up to the final climax, is so tremendous that I don’t know myself, now that it is over, how I ever came to write it.”
(21st century translation: DUDE this finale I wrote is so epic I can’t even)

I do not even know where to begin so I will let this guy introduce Mahler:

As with any great masterpiece, you cannot take it all in in a short time. It’s like eating a delicious meal, you can’t stuff an entire meal into you mouth at once, you have to savor every bite or you won’t enjoy it. That’s why I’m gonna break it up over a series of posts. This piece really is hard to take in all in one sitting, after all, Mahler didn’t know the meaning of brevity (this lasts and hour and a half). You have to take time to get to know the piece and learn about it. In a world with 3 minute songs and 140 character tweets, you can lose attention quickly. But seriously, take the time to listen to and learn the background of this piece.

This symphony is nicknamed “Resurrection” because of the theme of life after death. We’ll look at Mahler’s intentions for the piece as well as the text he uses in the last two movements. And also, IMO parts of this symphony would make sweet battle music so I’ll draw attention to those parts in the next few posts.

As in the video, remember ROI (return on investment). If you take the time to listen to this piece and learn about it, you’ll get something out of it. This piece is well worth the time.