Friday, August 7, 2015

The wicked 'can can' music

That damn song was the only reason I passed my periodic table tests in school. - YouTube comment
(Many of us have heard this music, but not recognised that it is part of the classical oeuvre)

We listened to French composer Jacques Offenbach's soulful Barcarolle in the last post. This time, we listen to his composition that is widely popular, great fun and also irritating. I have added some YouTube comments for this music, that appear in italics.

1. Pull out Mp3 player. 2. Select this song. 3. pull out weapons 4. continue to go on a murderous rampage.

Jacques wanted to make quick money and his creditors were chasing him. He produced an operetta (a short and funny theatrical play for music and songs), and one of the musical pieces he composed became wildly popular.

The musical piece was called 'Infernal Galop' but is widely and wrongly referred to as 'can can', after the risque dance form performed mostly by women.

Anyone else feels like running in circles, dancing like a retard ?

In fact, many associate the 'can can' dance form with this musical piece. Whereas Offenbach wrote it for the operetta. (He made money, and shocked many).

Most people enjoy this music for its fun element. You must have heard it on Tom and Jerry and other cartoon shows, in films, advertisements and television shows.

The music either signifies Offenbach's irreverence and joy de vivre, or nothing more than the need to entertain and make some money.

It has what can be called the 'stuck-in-your-head' quality. It doesn't leave your mind easily. You can dance to it crazily, march to it's rhythm, or even repeatedly poke someone while it plays.
It gives joy and can be irritating.

Humans of all ages can dance to it, sway heads, head-bang, or shut their ears in irritation. What a wicked musical quality!

Last minute shoppers, please stand for your national anthem.

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