It’s really not as revolutionary as it sounds. Anyone who’s fingered an instrument (and c’mon, who hasn’t wanted to give an instrument the finger) knows about the chromatic scale, the one with all the sharps and flats and even musical idiots know this little ditty-
Re- a drop of golden sun
Mi- a name i call myself
Fa- a long long way to run
So- a needle pulling thread
La- a note to follow so
Te- a drink with jam and bread
That will bring us back to doh!
Now in the original lyrics they use contractions but that would never do for Julie Andrews
- Why is the alphabet in that order? Is it because of that song? The guy who wrote that song wrote everything.
And Ben Stein-
- Bueller? Bueller?
Because the fingering is easier, I only need the middle one.
Arnold Schoenberg is reviled and despised not just because he’s a Jewish degenerate, but because he ditched that Mary Poppins 7 note musical image for atonality which he hated being associated with and actually never used, favoring instead the twelve-tone technique which is equally revolutionary but should in no way be confused with the former (meaning atonality, but in English there is no word for ‘middler’ being betwixt as it is between “Mary Poppins 7 note” and “twelve-tone technique”).
I hope I’ve made myself perfectly opaque, a black hole butcher of language.
If you have followed me this far down the rabbit hole, in brief the Art Music “Establishment” had been in violation of Hepatonic scaling for centuries and Schoenberg just made it explicit. For his pains he received reveiws like this-
(T)he self-gratification of an individual who sits in his studio and invents rules according to which he then writes down his notes.
To which his reply was “Ernst Krenek wishes for only whores as listeners.”
And so, like Jazz and “Modern” art, Schoenberg abandoned popularity and conventional norms, not that he wasn’t capable of composing Late Romantic music like this-
Or even use mildly revolutionary inspirations like Hemingway–
the moon keeps pace with them and draws their gaze.
The moon moves along above tall oak trees,
there is no wisp of cloud to obscure the radiance
to which the black, jagged tips reach up.
A woman’s voice speaks:
“I am carrying a child, and not by you.
I am walking here with you in a state of sin.
I have offended grievously against myself.
I despaired of happiness,
and yet I still felt a grievous longing
for life’s fullness, for a mother’s joys
“and duties; and so I sinned,
and so I yielded, shuddering, my sex
to the embrace of a stranger,
and even thought myself blessed.
Now life has taken its revenge,
and I have met you, met you.”
She walks on, stumbling.
She looks up; the moon keeps pace.
Her dark gaze drowns in light.
A man’s voice speaks:
“Do not let the child you have conceived
be a burden on your soul.
Look, how brightly the universe shines!
Splendour falls on everything around,
you are voyaging with me on a cold sea,
but there is the glow of an inner warmth
from you in me, from me in you.
That warmth will transfigure the stranger’s child,
and you bear it me, begot by me.
You have transfused me with splendour,
you have made a child of me.”
He puts an arm about her strong hips.
Their breath embraces in the air.
Two people walk on through the high, bright night.
The woman scratched the dog’s ears. In the distance he could see the smoke from the train. The coffee was still too hot. He would have to speak.
The dog grinned. The woman scratched. The dog’s tail wagged.
“It will be here soon.”
Suddenly the dog got up, scratched it’s neck vigorously, then laid down and rolled on it’s back. The woman leaned over to rub it’s tummy. He stared off into the distant mountains.
The dog’s left hind leg twitched. With a loud noise the train came into the station and ground to a halt. The dog didn’t care until the woman stood up abruptly.
He turned away and whistled for his dog. As they left the station it growled at the English Major. When he told me this story he said-
“Do you want fries with that?”
So much more entertaining than my inner Faulkner–
The cool mist settled in the hollows of the night as the idiot stood by the fence contemplating (as well as his child-like mind could) the bovine somnolence that stood before him, serenely dreaming lactative 4 stomach dreams of endless fields of daisies, yes daisies for that was her name- Daisy, bright as the summer sun, long slow munching of grass and partially digested grass, methane producing, global warming Daisy. She smelled of the earth and as he approached her side, careful not to disturb her gentle ‘earth gifts’, he could feel the heat of her fermentive power, the transformation of cool clay, the wetness of spring floods, and the greenness, the awesome greenness of the whole valley.
Gently he pushed her and she collapsed, even now unconscious, the pastures of her youth playing in her mind as the idiot re-crossed the boundary between what was her and her kind’s alone, back to the mundane reality that waited for him, back to his own kind and their cruel taunts.
As the sun rose the mist fled. Daisy, startled, rose to her feet and resumed her life as if nothing had happened. The idiot, wracked by guilt, finished his undergraduate degree in english literature, not only never forgetting his youthful indiscretions but in fact REVELING in them as he said to me-
“Do you want fries with that?”
Or my inner Steinbeck–
I been thinkin’ about Okies. About how Okie use’ta mean ya was from Oklahoma and now it means you’re scum who’ll vote for the most ign’rant greedy people on the face of the earth. Livin’ like pigs while 85 people are wealthier than 50% of the world put t’gether. B’lievin’ that your god allows ya to keep wimmin barefoot and pregnant like slaves…
Well, men are sorta – well, they’re sorta jerks. Thinking they can rape the land, and poison the sky and the water and it all just brings Jesus and Judgment Day closer thinkin’ they’re part of the elect and will be raptured and not realizin’ that they’re the ones that will be judged.
I’ve been thinkin’ about us too and how much bigger 3.5 Billion is than 85 and I been wonderin’ if we all got together and yelled louder…
Oh Tommy, the NSA is already spying on yer every move. They’ll call ya a terrerist and if the DEA and FBI don’t bring in their paramilitary SWAT teams, ICE will bust ya for bringing your iPhone into a theater!
They’ll get me anyway. It ain’t that big. The whole world ain’t that big. There ain’t room enough for you an’ me, for their kind an’ my kind, for rich and poor, for thieves and honest men. For hunger and fat.
Tommy, you’re not calling for revolution.
No Ma, not that, except in the small things. I’ll buy Compact Flourescents and LEDs. I’ll make sure my tires are properly inflated and drive less often. I’ll stop watching and reading the Versailles Villagers and I’ll be scornful, disdainful, and downright rude to the Wall Street Masters of the Universe.
They seem to resent that.
How’m I gonna know ya Tom.
If they strike me down I shall become more powerful than they can possibly imagine. I’ll be everywhere. In every fight so poor people can eat. In every Occupy they can gas and bulldoze. In every inconvenient question at a press conference or Town Hall.
I don’t understand it Tom.
Me neither Ma, but just somethin’ I been thinkin’ about.
Oh, I should have warned you, spoilers!
For the present, it matters more to me if people understand my older works … They are the natural forerunners of my later works, and only those who understand and comprehend these will be able to gain an understanding of the later works that goes beyond a fashionable bare minimum. I do not attach so much importance to being a musical bogey-man as to being a natural continuer of properly-understood good old tradition!
Soon enough you get tired of painting the same fence.
Obligatories, News, and Blogs below.