Musicological Musings with a smattering of Miscellanea

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Summer Plans for MMM!

Well, just as the guys over at Dial M are taking a vacation, I'm thinking it is high time I got back to blogging! Fortunately, Ralph Locke and Brent Reidy are filling the vacancy at Dial M.

Upon my graduation from college, a wise mentor of mine counseled me to "listen to as much music as possible." This has stayed with me over the past decade, but I have failed to heed it. So, this summer, I plan to rectify that. I'd love to say I could do a new piece every day, but that may not be realistic (we musicologists have to read too and I find that I cannot do both at the same time). Real listening is a time investment for me. So, I'm going to aim for at least twice a week (let's hope this goes better than my exercise goals...).

In the meantime, remember this? For those of you who have been dying to know the answers, here they are:

1. O Lord, My God, I take refuge in you

"O Sing unto the Lord" by Phyllis E. Zimmerman. Ok, so it was a loooooooooong shot. A really loooooooooooooooooooong shot.

2. Mit Staunen sieht das Wunderwerk HINT: 18th-c

I was surprised this one had no takers! Haydn, Die Schöpfung (No. 4 for soprano solo and chorus)

3. De profundis clamavi ad te...(hint: it is from the 20th-c, and relevant to my dissertation work)

Like I said, the sacred music texts were a little unfair. But, this would be from Bernstein's Mass.

4. Da die Hirten ihre Herde

Mark got this one! Schoenberg's Friede auf Erden, Op. 13

5. We met in the quiet of the meadow

Another obscurity. A song called "The Other Side of the Wood" by a former lawyer-turned folk singer-now Unitarian minister named Fred Small.

6. My life goes on in endless song HINT: new age/Celtic

Enya, "How Can I Keep From Singing?" I was hoping someone would recognize the words of the hymn.

7. Adonai, Adonai... Lo gavah libi

I gave Scott half-credit for this one since he guessed Bernstein's Kaddish Symphony. It was from the third mvt of Chichester Psalms.

8. Funny day, looking for laughter and finding it there

Again, this one went to Mark: Joni Mitchell's "I Don't Where I Stand" from the Clouds album.

9. Give me one reason to stay here and I'll turn right back around.

My friend "the Unhipster" identified Tracy Chapman's "Gimme one Reason"
10. I have spent nights with matches and knives

This one went to Svenn: Indigo Girls, "Blood and Fire"

11. Can you hear the drums... HINT: the title of the song is the next word.

I thought this one would be one of the first to go, but no dice. Dan B. finally got it: ABBA, "Fernando."

12. An old cowboy went riding out one dark and windy day HINT: country classic!

Another surprise, although I suppose an old cowboy riding on a dark and windy day isn't exactly the most unique musical experience. Johnny Cash, "Ghost Riders in the Sky"

13. Half the people are stoned
Phil, my brother in Bernstein, got this one...the famous lines written by Paul Simon and given to Lenny which he used in Mass.
14. Empty spaces, what are we living for HINT: classic rock

Queen, "The Show Must Go On"

15. No more carefree laughter HINT: same performer(s) as another already guessed item on this list

ABBA, "Knowing Me, Knowing You"

16. I cannot ask you when exactly you plan to leave (you won't know the performer, but if you get the composer, extra bonus points!!)

Really tough one but not as obscure as No. 1. Stephen Paulus, Songs of Love and Longing "From This World"

17. Hello, darkness, my old friend

Unhipster knew this one: Simon and Garfunkel, "The Sound of Silence"

18. The sky may be starless... HINT: jazz standard, popular artist

Diana Krall, "Love Letters"

19. Let us be lovers, we'll marry our fortunes together

Again, the Unhipster: Simon and Garfunkel, "America"

20. Won't you please let me go HINT: assoc. with Little Miss Sunshine

New Order, "Age of Consent." I must apologize. I think the song was used with the movie Marie Antoinette, NOT Little Miss Sunshine.

21. I've an unrest inside me HINT: showtune

Dan B. should get the top prize for correctly guessing Blitzstein's "I Wish it So," sung by Dawn Upshaw on the album of the same name.

22. Oh, play me some... HINT: classic 80s country

Alright. So I'm the only one who listens to Alabama? ("Mountain Music")

23. Goodnight my angel HINT: leave these questions for another day...

Billy Joel, "Lullaby" aka "Goodnight My Angel"

24. Barbare! Non, sans toi je ne puis vivre HINT: opera "reformer"

This one went to Deetie: Gluck's Alceste. If my students read this blog, which they do not (at least to my knowledge), they would have guessed that one...I hope.

25. Where have all the good men gone (it is for the gym, OK?)

Svenn came through with Bonnie Tyler's "I Need a Hero"



JohnMD1022 said...

Hello Rebecca:

I ran across your musical quiz, and entry 12 struck me:

Over 200 groups, orchestras and individuals have recorded "Ghost Riders in the Sky" (a.k.a., GRITS). It was written by Stan Jones in 1948 and apparently first recorded in 1949, some 30 years before Johnny Cash's version.

I don't claim to be an expert, but do do hope to put up a site of versions and links in the near future.

If the subject holds any interest for you, please feel free to email me at


Rebecca said...

Hi John,

Thanks for your comment and information regarding "GRITS." I was aware that Cash's version was not the original, but since the point of the meme was to guess what was on my iPod, the correct answer is Johnny Cash. But no one even guessed the song...never mind the artist!

Dan B. said...

woohoo! top prize!

I think I'd like your iPod.

christopher jette said...

listening to music or otherwise. This comment about listening jumped at me. I would first point out that I probably don't listen to "music" every day. But I would then point out that I try to listen every day. By listen I mean a very directed effort to pay attention to the audio material that is occuring and to think in depth or to simply observe very revrently (think wondering at the awe of the universe here). It us undoubtably important to listen to music, but I would argue that it is more important to simply listen in whatever is the mose meanigful and apparent way. I have toyed with the idea of the art of listening as something to write about for a long time, possibly this will encourage me to put some of my ideas into words and sounds. After all, is not composing simply a means of suggesting a way to hear?

Rebecca said...

Hi Chris,
Thanks for your thoughts. I like your idea that composition is a means of suggesting what to hear.

It is interesting that you refer to it as the "art" of listening. I have tried to impress this upon my students, by explaining hearing as a passive experience, and listening as an active one. Certainly a first time experience with 4'33 gets them thinking about that.

As a musicologist, my need to listen is two-fold: 1) the act of listening (and yes, this would include meaningful listening to multiple different sound environments) and 2) learning repertoire (and here is where it does come down to accumulation of certain types of sound).

I look forward to that post! :-)

Sammee said...

Hi there, I'm actually trying to blog more now, too. How are you doing?

Sammee :)