Saturday, December 29, 2007

Ode to the tax man

Ode to the tax man

Ode to the tax man by Rob Hood©5-21-2004
With apologies to Cole Porter, I present my parody of "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered".




























NO LONGER........



Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Hickory Dickory Dock

Hickory Dickory Dock by Rob Hood©2005

Hickory Dickory Dock

The house began to rock

The music played

All through the glade

Hickory Dickory Dock

Hickory Dickory Dock

I have a hole in my sock

I don't sew

afraid I'll cut my toe.

Hickory Dickory Dock

Hickory Dickory Dock

I bought myself some stock

The price went down

I began to frown

Hickory Dickory Dock

Hickory Dickory Dock

My wife brought herself a frock

She gained some weight

Wasting money's her fate

Hickory Dickory Dock

Hickory Dickory Dock

My brother is a doc

When you get ill

he gives you a pill

Hickory Dickory Dock

Hickory Dickory Dock

The farmer bought a cock

It laid the hen

again and again

Hickory Dickory Dock

Hickory Dickory Dock

I put my ring in hock

to get some money

for a gift to my honey

Hickory Dickory Dock

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The sherriff of my town

The sherriff of my town by Rob Hood©2004

He wore a cowboy hat

and in a holster

was his gat.

He dressed in

the finest leather of the land

He was strong and bold

and at times really cold

A rootin tootin shootin man.

On his chest was a star.

He kept the law

Evil ones didn't

get too far.

He had a gold tooth

and he drank vermouth

from a jar

he kept hid

from his deputy Sid

beneath the middle

of the bar.

When midnight called

you might find him sprawled

with his feet upon the wall

He'd be nice to you

ask how you do

before telling his stories tall.

The madam was his pal

so he always slept with the best

I can't recall what it took

for a gal to pass

his self initiated test.

She had the credentials

and all the essentials

to be the best chef in town

but that was a time

when women and work

were words not

bandied around.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The street where you live

The street where you live by Rob Hood©2003

I have often trod down this street before

and my feet are bloody when I get to

your door

I often wonder what I do this for

as I wander through the minefield

to your house

People collapse and die

that don't bother me

For there's nowhere else on earth

that I would rather be

My therapist wonders

when I'll see

it's not safe on the street

where you live

And oh the towering feeling

when my friends blow up

before my eyes

yes it's a towering feeling

that no sadist or masochist

can disguise

They have pulled me out

to my great distain

Has my love for you

been all in vain?

So as time flies by

They won't care if I

can't be there on the street

where you live

Monday, December 3, 2007

The farmer in the dell

The farmer in the dell by Rob Hood©2003

The farmer in the dell

had an itch

he couldn't quell

It was way up

in the middle of his back

He tried to reach it

but he didn't have the knack.

He'd back against

the intersection of two walls

but he was very clumsy

and would experience falls.

Finally one day

he met a young lass

who scratched him tenderly

without any sass.

And so a relationship

came to be.

She is his better half

all his friends agree.

Some people marry

for love or money.

When you think

of their reason

it sure seems funny!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

A Child's visit to the dentist

A Child's visit to the dentist by Rob Hood©12-1-2007

I'm in the dentist's chair

He's got me in his snare

I'm about to feel really ill

I'm here against my will

When Mommy said where

I was going

my tears began aflowing

Whenever I think about

that guy

it always makes me cry

He looks into my mouth

with glee

searching for cavitires

he wants to see

He loves to use his drill

and my cavities

he will fill

Days like this

I wish I'd slept through

because they always

make me blue

Friday, November 30, 2007

Ode to a beautiful day

Ode to a beautiful day by Rob Hood©11-30-2007

Life is splendid

dont you think

I take my pleasure

from neither drugs

nor drink

unless you include what

comes from the sink

Tomorrow morning

when I awake

What a lovely sound

I'll make

I will sing a spirited song

that will make my day

stream along

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Winston Churchill Quotes

1. We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.

2. There is no such thing as a good tax.

3. Some see private enterprise as a predatory target to be shot, others as a cow to be milked, but few are those who see it as a sturdy horse pulling the wagon.

4. The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.

5. We contend that for a nation to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.

6. An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile—hoping it will eat him last.

7. The problems of victory are more agreeable than the problems of defeat, but they are no less difficult.

8. From now on, ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I shall not put.

9. A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.

10. Nancy Astor: “Sir, if you were my husband, I would give you poison.”
Churchill: “If I were your husband I would take it.”

11. A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.

12. Once in a while you will stumble upon the truth but most of us manage to pick ourselves up and hurry along as if nothing had happened.

13. If you are going to go through hell, keep going.

14. It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations.

15. You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.

6. If you have ten thousand regulations, you destroy all respect for the law.

17. You can always count on Americans to do the right thing—after they’ve tried everything else.

18. History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.

19. The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.

20. I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the ordeal of meeting me is another matter.

21. The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is.

22. A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.

23. To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.

24. Politics is the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month and next year. And to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn’t happen.

25. Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy.

The Philosophy of Money

  • "Money is not the most important thing in the world. Love is. Fortunately, I love money."
    (Jackie Mason)

  • "In God we trust. All others must pay cash."
    (American Saying)

  • "Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons."
    (Woody Allen)

  • "Sex is like money; only too much is enough."
    (John Updike)

  • "If you owe the bank $100 that's your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that's the bank's problem"
    (JP Getty)

  • "It doesn't matter if you're black or white... the only color that really matters is green."
    (Family Guy)

  • "The only way not to think about money... is to have a great deal of it."
    (Edith Wharton)

  • "If you want to know what God thinks about money, just look at the people He gives it to."
    (Old Irish saying)

  • "Be rich to yourself... and poor to your friends."
  • "If you would know the value of money, go and try to borrow some."
    (Benjamin Franklin)

  • "Bart, with $10000, we'd be millionaires! We could buy all kinds of useful things like... love!"
    (Homer Simpson)

  • "The easiest way for your children to learn about money is for you not to have any."
    (Katharine Whitehorn)

  • "Finance is the art of passing money from hand to hand until it finally disappears."
    (Robert W. Sarnoff)

  • "All I ask is the chance to prove that money can't make me happy."
    (Spike Milligan)

  • "What's the use of happiness? It can't buy you money."
    (Henry Youngman)
  • Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like"
    (Will Smith)

  • "If God only gave me a clear sign... like making a large deposit in my name at a swiss bank."
    (Woody Allen)

  • "I was so poor growing up ... if I wasn't a boy ...I'd have nothing to play with"
    (Rodney Dangerfield)

  • "He who marries for love without money has good nights and sorry days."

  • "Between work and family, I'm really not spending enough quality time with my money"

  • "The difference between a divorce and a legal separation is that a legal separation gives a husband time to hide his money"
    (Johnny Carson)

  • "A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don't need it"
    (Bob Hope)
  • "Whoever said money can't buy happiness simply didn't know where to go shopping"
    (Bo Derek)

  • "When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is"
    (Oscar Wilde)

  • "A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore"
    (Yogi Berra)

  • "Every day I get up and look through the Forbes list of the richest people in America. If I'm not there, I go to work."
    (Robert Orben)

  • "Always borrow money from a pessimist... he doesn't expect to be paid back"

  • "If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments."
    (Earl Wilson)

  • "Don't tell me where your priorities are. Show me where you spend your money and I'll tell you what they are."
    (James W. Frick)

  • "Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune."
    (Jim Rohn)

Great quotes

H. L. Mencken

"It is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man."

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Plodding along

Plodding along by Rob Hood© 11-21-2007

When I was born

I continued my quest

to go down the

right path

and finally pass the test

but I doubt that

I will ever come

to a stop

to reach Nirvana

and get to the top

I may need

to forever travel

to fall off my bike

into the gravel

to get up

and start anew

looking about

may just have to do

some may say

that life has a purpose

and if you think really hard

a reason will surface

but I have been unable

to think of that reason

and to me each life

is but a season

in the nonending

years in which we dwell

we try to keep

things interesting

so life's not a hell

when I die

I will return

in another body

to continue my sojourn

I plod along

to each of life's beats

along the pavement

and down the streets

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Poor pitiful me

Poor pitiful me by Rob Hood© 11-14-07

My computer is on the fritz

and I am in the pits

How can I have much joy

until I completely

format my toy

I ferverently hate

those hackers

who made me

lose my crackers

Why need they be so mean?

my enjoyment had been

so keen

My computers

slowly dying

and I'm sitting here

and crying

so backup

I must do

and my files

are quite a few

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


1. Two antennas met on a roof, fell in love and got married. The ceremony wasn't much, but the reception was excellent.
2. A jumper cable walks into a bar. The bartender says, "I'll serve you, but don't start anything."
3. Two peanuts walk into a bar, and one was a salted.
4. A dyslexic man walks into a bra.
5. A man walks into a bar with a slab of asphalt under his arm and says: "A beer please, and one for the road."

7. "Doc, I can't stop singing 'The Green, Green Grass of Home!'" "That sounds like Tom Jones Syndrome." "Is it common?" Well, "It's Not Unusual."

9. An invisible man marries an invisible woman. The kids were nothing to look at either.

10. Deja Moo: The feeling that you've heard this bull before.
11. I went to buy some camouflage trousers the other day, but I couldn't find any.
13. I went to a seafood disco last week...and pulled a mussel.
14. What do you call a fish with no eyes? A fsh.
15. Two fish swim into a concrete wall. The one turns to the other and says "Dam!"
16. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too.
17. A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After about an hour, the manager came out of the office and asked them to disperse. "But why?" they asked, as they moved off. "Because", he said, "I can't stand chess-nuts boasting in an open foyer."
18. A woman has twins and gives them up for adoption. One of them goes to a family in Egypt and is named "Ahmal." The other goes to a family in Spain; they name him "Juan." Years later, Juan sends a picture of himself to his birth mother. Upon receiving the picture, she tells her husband that she wishes she also had a picture of Ahmal. Her husband responds,"They're twins! If you've seen Juan, you've seen Ahmal!"
19. Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail, and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him...(Oh, man, this is so bad, it's good).......................................................
........A super calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.
20. And finally, there was the person who sent twenty different puns to his friends, with the hope that at least ten of the puns would make them laugh.
No pun in ten did.

At First Bite

At first bite by Rob Hood©11-7-07

I drink blood, spake Vlad

but knowing that

need not make you sad

For what you get

with just one bite

is life eternal

if you stay out of the light

You'll no longer

need a car

to leave from here

and go very far

Just move above

into the sky

above mountains and rivers

you can fly

you can travel

the world at will

without a passport

Now that's a thrill!

and here's a way

to spend a day

go to a multiscreen

late one night

and stay

Your pleasures soon

will multiply

so come on baby

give it a try

Monday, November 5, 2007

Add to any service

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Historic Jingles-1952-Adlai E Stevenson

Music That I Like-Lou Christie - Lightin' Strikes

(Lou Christie and Twyla Herbert)

Listen to me, baby, you gotta understand
You're old enough to know the makings of a man
Listen to me, baby, it's hard to settle down
Am I asking too much for you to stick around

Every boy wants a girl
He can trust to the very end
Baby, that's you
Won't you wait but 'til then

When I see lips beggin' to be kissed (stop)
I can't stop (stop)
I can't stop myself
(Stop, stop)

Lightning is striking again
Lightning is striking again

Nature's takin' over my one-track mind
Believe it or not, you're in my heart all the time
All the girls are sayin' that you'll end up a fool
For the time being, baby, live by my rules

When I settle down
I want one baby on my mind
Forgive and forget
And I'll make up for all lost time

If she's put together fine
And she's readin' my mind (stop)
I can't stop (stop)
I can't stop myself
(Stop, stop)

Lightning is striking again
Lightning is striking again
And again and again and again

[Instrumental Interlude]

Lightning is striking again
Lightning is striking again

There's a chapel in the pines
Waiting for us around the bend
Picture in your mind
Love forever, but 'til then

If she gives me a sign
That she wants to make time (stop)
I can't stop (stop)
I can't stop myself
(Stop, stop)

Lightning is striking again
Lightning is striking again
And again and again and again
Lightning is striking again
And again and again and again

Saturday, November 3, 2007

My Genesis

My Genesis by Rob Hood©2007

Another evening another morning

a new day

I was formed

from a lump of clay

The Old Man in the sky

set out to bake a pie

The denizens of His abode

were set to dine

on pie ala mode

but within that throng

was one who would

not go along

he was quite a rebel

known by many

as the little devil

he said "please Boss

change your plan

and today for me

make a man"

so that's why I'm

here today

yes it's me

my name is Ray.

Friday, November 2, 2007

An idea popped up today

An idea popped up today by Rob Hood©11-2-07

A lightbulb went off in my head

after walking down paths that lead

to places where I decided to go

and now it was a time to grow

That lightbulb set

my head aglow

My mind seemed released

moving to and fro

and many thoughts

began to flow

On this earth

my body sits

in a place

with lengths

and widths

but my mind above arises

in a world of

fun and prizes

As I see lights

of various hues

brightly glowing

I love those views

Thoughts about the Web

Thoughts about the Web by Rob Hood©11-2-07

The router sat upon the table

sending signals that would enable

other computers to connect

to get a view that's correct.

It's amazing that a signal wireless

works with ease and seems quite tireless.

My rss reader is quite keen

It aquires feeds, before unseen

I enjoy my blogs quite a bit

I can now publish from where I sit

and I might add to a Wiki

writing anything

They are not picky

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Links to my other sites

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Music that I like-Pachelbel-Canon in D Major

Pachelbel's Canon

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Pachelbel's Canon (also known as Canon in D major, or, more formally, Canon and Gigue in D major for three Violins and Basso Continuo (Kanon und Gigue in D-Dur für drei Violinen und Basso Continuo)) is the most famous piece of music by Johann Pachelbel. It was written in or around 1680, during the Baroque period, as a piece of chamber music for three violins and basso continuo, but has since been arranged for a wide variety of ensembles. The Canon was originally paired with a gigue in the same key, although this composition is rarely performed or recorded today. It is well known for its chord progression, which has become one of the most used in popular music.[citation needed]

The piece is commonly played at weddings and is frequently present on miscellaneous classical music compilation CDs, along with other famous Baroque pieces such as Air on the G String by J. S. Bach, (BWV 1068). A non-original viola pizzicato part is also commonly added (in a string orchestra or quartet setting) when a harpsichord player is not used to improvise harmonies over the bass line. Comedian Rob Paravonian jokes in his Pachelbel Rant [1] that the Canon makes Pachelbel the original one-hit wonder.



[edit] Structure

The first 9 bars of the Canon in D: the violins play a three-voice canon over the ground bass which provides the harmonic structure. Colors are used above to differentiate and highlight the individual canonic entries.
The first 9 bars of the Canon in D: the violins play a three-voice canon over the ground bass which provides the harmonic structure. Colors are used above to differentiate and highlight the individual canonic entries.

The Canon in D is a strict three-part melodic canon based, both harmonically and structurally, on a two-measure (or -bar) ground bass:

Ground bass of Pachelbel's canon

The same two-bar bass line and harmonic sequence is repeated over and over, about 30 times in total. The chords of this sequence are: D major (tonic), A major (dominant), B minor (tonic parallel or submediant — the relative minor tonic), F♯ minor (dominant parallel or mediant — the relative minor dominant), G major (subdominant), D major (tonic), G major (subdominant), and A major (dominant). This sequence (or rather, close imitations of it) appears elsewhere in the classical body of work. Handel used it for the main theme and all variations thereof throughout the second movement of his Organ Concerto No. 11 in G minor, HWV 310. Mozart employed it for a passage in Die Zauberflöte (1791), at the moment where the Three Youths first appear. He may have learned the sequence from Haydn, who had used it in the minuet of his string quartet Opus 50 No. 2, composed in 1785. Neither Handel's, nor Haydn's, nor Mozart's passage is an exact harmonic match to Pachelbel's, the latter two both deviating in the last two bars, and may in fact have arisen more prosaically from one of the more obvious harmonisations of a descending major scale. For parallels in popular music, see below.

The actual canon is played over the ground bass by the violins. In the beginning, the first violin plays the first two bars of the canon's melody. At this point, the second violin enters with the beginning of the melody, whilst the first violin continues with the next two bars of the canon. Then the third violin commences the canon, whilst the second violin plays the third and fourth bars and the first violin continues with the fifth and sixth. The three violin parts then follow one another at two bars' distance until the end of the piece. The canon becomes increasingly dense towards the middle of the piece as the note values become shorter (first in the first violin, then in the second, and finally in the third violin). Afterwards, the piece gradually returns to a less complex structure as the note values lengthen once more. There are some 28 repetitions of the ground bass in total. The canon is relatively simple and does not make use of any advanced counterpoint devices such as inversion, augmentation, diminution, etc.

It is often seen to be a set of variations over a ground bass or chord progression, like various composers' variations on La Folia (many of which also date from the Baroque period), whereas it is actually a true canon at the unison over a ground bass, as can be seen above. In this regard it is similar to the 13th century round Sumer Is Icumen In.

[edit] Modern adaptations

"Canon Rock," an arrangement based loosely on Pachelbel's Canon in D has been viewed over 30 million times on YouTube.
"Canon Rock," an arrangement based loosely on Pachelbel's Canon in D has been viewed over 30 million times on YouTube.

One of the all-time top ten most watched videos on YouTube is guitar, which has been viewed over 30 million times.[1] Posted online in December 2005, it consists of a rock music version of Pachelbel's Canon performed on electric guitar by a young man wearing a baseball cap. Since the guitarist's face cannot be seen and he is named only as funtwo in the video, there was speculation about his identity during the first half of 2006. The guitarist has since been named as Jeong-Hyun Lim, a 23-year old from South Korea who had taught himself to play. The arrangement used in the video was written by the Taiwanese guitarist JerryC and is called "Canon Rock". Jeong-Hyun Lim's version of the song has received widespread media coverage.[2][3][4]

The popularity of this video has in itself spawned hundreds of imitators, which eventually led to the creation of an Ultimate Canon Rock video featuring a compilation of the best interpretations.

Comedian Rob Paravonian has a routine where he performs several popular rock songs spanning several genres that all follow the same progression in mock criticism of unoriginal songwriting. The video has become a YouTube hit.

[edit] Media

Canon in D (Pachelbel's Canon) (arrangement for solo piano)
Performed by Lee Galloway, Note that this arrangement is not exactly a canon like the original composition.
A version in canon
The canon played in canon throughout.

Music that I like-Beethoven-Fur Elise

Für Elise

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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"Für Elise" (German for "For Elise") is the popular name of the "Bagatelle in A minor", WoO 59, a piece of music for solo piano by Ludwig van Beethoven, written approximately in 1810.

Beethoven scholars are not entirely certain who "Elise" was. The most reasonable theory is that Beethoven originally titled his work "Für Therese", Therese being Therese Malfatti von Rohrenbach zu Dezza (1792-1851), whom Beethoven intended to marry in 1810. However, she declined Beethoven's proposal. In 1816 Therese Malfatti, who was the daughter of the Viennese merchant Jacob Malfatti von Rohrenbach (1769-1829), married the Austrian nobleman and state official Wilhelm von Droßdik (1771-1859). When the work was published in 1865, the discoverer of the piece Ludwig Nohl mistranscribed the title as "Für Elise". The autograph is lost.[1]

[edit] The music

The piece begins 3/8 with a right-hand theme accompanied by arpeggios in the left hand; the harmonies used are A minor and E major. The next section maintains the same texture, but broadens the chord progression to include C major and G major. A lighter section follows, written in the key of F major, then a few bars in C major. The first section returns without alteration; next, the piece moves into an agitated theme set over a pedal point on A. After a gauntlet of arpeggios, the main theme returns, and the piece quietly ends in its starting key of A minor, with an Authentic Cadence.

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ This theory is spelled out in Max Unger, translated by Theodore Baker, "Beethoven and Therese von Malfatti," The Musical Quarterly 11, no. 1 (1925): 63-72.

[edit] External links

Music that I like-Beethoven-Piano Sonata No. 14 "Moonlight" Sonata"

Piano Sonata No. 14 (Beethoven)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp minor "Quasi una fantasia", Op. 27, No. 2, by Ludwig van Beethoven, is popularly known as the "Moonlight" Sonata. The work was completed in 1801[1] and dedicated to his pupil, 17-year-old Countess Giulietta Guicciardi,[2] with whom Beethoven was, or had been in love.[3] The name "Moonlight" Sonata derives from a 1832 description of the first movement by poet Ludwig Rellstab, who compared it to moonlight shining upon Lake Lucerne.[4][1]

Beethoven included the phrase "Quasi una fantasia" (Italian: Like a fantasy) in the title because the sonata does not follow the traditional sonata pattern where the first movement is in regular sonata form and where the movements are arranged in a fast-slow-fast sequence.



[edit] Form

The sonata has three movements:

  1. Adagio sostenuto
  2. Allegretto
  3. Presto agitato

The first movement is written in a kind of truncated sonata form. A melody that Hector Berlioz called a "lamentation" is played (mostly by the right hand) against an accompanying ostinato triplet rhythm. The movement is also played pianissimo or "very quietly", and the loudest it gets is mezzo-forte or "moderately loud". The movement has made a powerful impression on many listeners; for instance, Berlioz wrote that it "is one of those poems that human language does not know how to qualify." The work was very popular in Beethoven's day, to the point of exasperating the composer, who remarked to Czerny "Surely I've written better things."[5]

The second movement is a relatively conventional minuet and trio; a moment of relative calm written in D-flat major. This key signature is enharmonically equivalent to C-sharp major, that is, the tonic major for the work as a whole. The slightly odd sound of the first eight bars seems to be the result of the minuet starting in the "wrong" key; i.e. the dominant key of A-flat major. The music settles into D-flat only in the second phrase, bars 5-10.

The stormy final movement, in sonata form, is the weightiest of the three, reflecting an experiment of Beethoven's (also carried out in the companion sonata, Opus 27 no. 1 and later on in Opus 101) placement of the most important movement of the sonata last. The writing has many fast arpeggios and strongly accented notes, and an effective performance demands flamboyant and skillful playing.

Of the final movement, Charles Rosen has written "it is the most unbridled in its representation of emotion. Even today, two hundred years later, its ferocity is astonishing."

The musical dynamic that predominates in the third movement is in fact piano. It seems that Beethoven's heavy use of sforzando notes, together with just a few strategically located fortissimo passages, creates the sense of a very powerful sound in spite of the overall dynamic.

[edit] Beethoven's pedal mark

At the opening of the work, Beethoven included a written direction that the sustain pedal should be depressed for the entire duration of the first movement. The Italian reads: "Si deve suonare tutto questo pezzo delicatissimamente e senza sordino" ("The entire piece [meaning movement] must be played as delicately as possible and without dampers."). The modern piano has a much longer sustain time than the instruments of Beethoven's day. Therefore, his instruction cannot be followed by pianists playing modern instruments without creating an unpleasantly dissonant sound. See also piano history and musical performance, and Mute (music) for discussion of the associated terminology in notation, and details of the mechanisms involved.

One option for dealing with this problem is to perform the work on a restored or replicated piano of the kind Beethoven knew. Proponents of historically informed performance using such pianos have found it feasible to perform the work respecting Beethoven's original direction.

For performance on the modern piano, most performers today try to achieve an effect similar to what Beethoven asked for using pedal changes only where necessary to avoid excessive dissonance. For instance, the Ricordi edition of the score posted at the external link given below does include pedal marks throughout the first movement. These are the work of a 20th century editor, meant to facilitate performance on a modern instrument. "Half pedaling"—a technique involving a partial depression of the damper pedal—is also often used to simulate the shorter sustain of the early nineteenth century pedal. Charles Rosen (reference below) suggests both half-pedaling and changing the pedal a fraction of a second late.

[edit] Audio samples

[edit] Citations

  1. ^ a b (1988) Album notes for Piano Sonatas Nos. 8, 14 and 23 by Jenő Jandó. Naxos Records (8550045).
  2. ^ Matthews, Max Wade (2002). The encyclopedia of Music, 335.
  3. ^ Morris, Edmund (2005). Beethoven: The Universal Composer. HarperCollins, 93-94. ISBN 0060759747.
  4. ^ Beethoven, Ludwig van (2004). Beethoven: The Man and the Artist, as Revealed in His Own Words. 1st World Publishing, 47. ISBN 1595401490.
  5. ^ Life of Beethoven, Thayer, ed. Elliot Forbes, Princeton 1967

[edit] References

  • Charles Rosen (2002). Beethoven's Piano Sonatas: A Short Companion. Yale University Press. 0300090706.

[edit] External links

[edit] Scores

Music that I like-Beethoven Symphony No. 5

Symphony No. 5 (Beethoven)

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The coversheet to Beethoven's 5th Symphony. The dedication to Prince Lobkowitz and Count Rasumovsky is visible.
The coversheet to Beethoven's 5th Symphony. The dedication to Prince Lobkowitz and Count Rasumovsky is visible.

Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67 was written in 1804–08. This symphony is one of the most popular and well-known compositions in all of European classical music, and one of the most often-played symphonies.[1] It comprises four movements: an opening sonata allegro, an andante, and a fast scherzo which leads attacca to the finale. First performed in Vienna's Theater an der Wien in 1808, the work achieved its prodigious reputation soon afterwards. E.T.A. Hoffmann described the symphony as "one of the most important works of the time".

It begins by stating a distinctive four-note "short-short-short-long" motif twice: (listen )

The symphony, and the four-note opening motif in particular, are well known worldwide, with the motif appearing frequently in popular culture, from disco to rock and roll, to appearances in film and television.



[edit] History

[edit] Composition

Beethoven in 1804, the year he began work on the Fifth Symphony.  Detail of a portrait by W.J. Mähler
Beethoven in 1804, the year he began work on the Fifth Symphony. Detail of a portrait by W.J. Mähler

The Fifth Symphony is notable for the amount of time it spent in gestation. The first sketches date from 1804, following the completion of the Third Symphony.[2]. However, Beethoven repeatedly interrupted his work on the Fifth to prepare other compositions, including the first version of Fidelio, the Appassionata piano sonata, the three Razumovsky string quartets, the Violin Concerto, the Fourth Piano Concerto, and the Fourth Symphony. The final preparation of the Fifth Symphony, which took place in 1807-1808, was carried out in parallel with the Sixth Symphony, which premiered at the same concert.

Beethoven was in his mid-thirties during this time; his personal life was troubled by increasing deafness.[3] In the world at large, the period was marked by the Napoleonic Wars, political turmoil in Austria, and the occupation of Vienna by Napoleon's troops in 1805.

[edit] Premiere

The Fifth Symphony was premiered on December 22, 1808 at a mammoth concert at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna consisting entirely of Beethoven premieres, and directed by Beethoven himself.[4] The performance took more than four hours. The two symphonies appeared on the program named in the reverse of the order by which we know them today: the Fifth was numbered No. 6, and the Sixth appeared as No. 5.[5] The program was as follows:

Beethoven dedicated the symphony to two of his patrons, Prince Franz Joseph von Lobkowitz and Count Rasumovsky. The dedication appeared in the first printed edition of April 1809.

[edit] Reception and influence

There was little critical response to the premiere performance, which took place under adverse conditions. The orchestra did not play well—with only one rehearsal before the concert—and at one point, following a mistake by one of the performers in the Choral Fantasy, Beethoven had to stop the music and start again.[6] The auditorium was extremely cold and the audience was exhausted by the length of the program. However, a year and a half later, another performance resulted in a rapturous review by E.T.A. Hoffmann in the Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung. He described the music with dramatic imagery:

Radiant beams shoot through the deep night of this region, and we become aware of gigantic shadows which, rocking back and forth, close in on us and destroy all within us except the pain of endless longing—a longing in which every pleasure that rose up amid jubilant tones sinks and succumbs. Only through this pain, which, while consuming but not destroying love, hope, and joy, tries to burst our breasts with a full-voiced general cry from all the passions, do we live on and are captivated beholders of the spirits.[7]

The symphony soon acquired its status as a central item in the repertoire. As an emblem of classical music, as it were, the Fifth was played in the inaugural concerts of the New York Philharmonic on December 7, 1842, and the National Symphony Orchestra on November 2, 1931. Groundbreaking both in terms of its technical and emotional impact, the Fifth has had a large influence on composers and music critics,[8] and inspired work by such composers as Brahms, Tchaikovsky (his 4th Symphony in particular),[9] Bruckner, Mahler, and Hector Berlioz.[10] The Fifth stands with the Third Symphony and Ninth Symphony as the most revolutionary of Beethoven's compositions.

[edit] Instrumentation

The symphony is scored for piccolo (fourth movement only), 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets in B flat and C, 2 bassoons, contrabassoon (fourth movement only), 2 horns in E flat and C, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones (alto, tenor, and bass, fourth movement only), timpani and strings.

[edit] Form

The work is in four movements:

[edit] First movement

The first movement opens with the four-note motif discussed below, one of the most famous in western music. There is considerable debate among conductors as to the manner of playing the four opening bars. Some conductors take it in strict allegro tempo; others take the liberty of a weighty treatment, playing the motif in a much slower and more stately tempo; yet others take the motif molto ritardando (a pronounced slowing through each four-note phrase), arguing that the fermata over the fourth note justifies this.[11]

The first movement is in the traditional sonata form that Beethoven inherited from his classical predecessors, Haydn and Mozart (in which the main ideas that are introduced in the first few pages undergo elaborate development through many keys, with a dramatic return to the opening section—the recapitulation—about three-quarters of the way through). It starts out with two dramatic fortissimo phrases, the famous motif, commanding the listener's attention. Following the first four bars, Beethoven uses imitations and sequences to expand the theme, these pithy imitations tumbling over each other with such rhythmic regularity that they appear to form a single, flowing melody. Shortly after, a very short fortissimo bridge, played by the horns, takes place before a second theme is introduced. This second theme is in E flat major, the relative major, and it is more lyrical, written piano and featuring the four-note motif in the string accompaniment. The codetta is again based on the four-note motif. The development section follows, using modulation, sequences and imitation, and including the bridge. After the recapitulation, there is a brief solo passage for oboe in quasi-improvisatory style, and the movement ends with a massive coda.

[edit] Second movement

The second movement, in A flat major, is a lyrical work in double variation form, which means that two themes are presented and varied in alternation. Following the variations there is a long coda.

The movement opens with an announcement of its theme, a melody in unison by violas and cellos, with accompaniment by the double basses. A second theme soon follows, with a harmony provided by clarinets, bassoons, violins, with a triplet arpeggio in the violas and bass. A variation of the first theme reasserts itself. This is followed up by a third theme, thirty-second notes in the violas and cellos with a counterphrase running in the flute, oboe and bassoon. Following an interlude, the whole orchestra participates in a fortissimo, leading to a series of crescendos, and a coda to close the movement.[12]

[edit] Third movement

The third movement is in ternary form, consisting of a scherzo and trio. It follows the traditional mold of Classical-era symphonic third movements, containing in sequence the main scherzo, a contrasting trio section, a return of the scherzo, and a coda. (For further discussion of this form, see "Textual questions", below.)

The movement returns to the opening key of C minor and begins with the following theme, played by the cellos and double basses: (listen )

The 19th century musicologist Gustav Nottebohm first pointed out that this theme has the same sequence of pitches (though in a different key and range) as the opening theme of the final movement of Mozart's famous Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K. 550. Here is Mozart's theme: (listen )

(The derivation emerges more clearly if one listens first to Mozart's theme, then Mozart's theme transposed to Beethoven's key and range, then Beethoven's theme, thus: listen .)

While such resemblances sometimes occur by accident, this is unlikely to be so in the present case. Nottebohm discovered the resemblance when he examined a sketchbook used by Beethoven in composing the Fifth Symphony: here, 29 measures of Mozart's finale appear, copied out by Beethoven.[13]

The opening theme is answered by a contrasting theme played by the winds, and this sequence is repeated. Then the horns loudly announce the main theme of the movement, and the music proceeds from there.

The trio section is in C major and is written in a contrapuntal texture. When the scherzo returns for the final time, it is performed by the strings pizzicato and very quietly.

"The scherzo offers contrasts that are somewhat similar to those of the slow movement in that they derive from extreme difference in character between scherzo and trio ... The Scherzo then contrasts this figure with the famous 'motto' (3 + 1) from the first movement, which gradually takes command of the whole movement." [14]

[edit] Fourth movement

The triumphant and exhilarating finale begins without interruption after the scherzo. It is written in an unusual variant of sonata form: at the end of the development section, the music halts on a dominant cadence, played fortissimo, and the music continues after a pause with a quiet reprise of the "horn theme" of the scherzo movement. The recapitulation is then introduced by a crescendo coming out of the last bars of the interpolated scherzo section, just as the same music was introduced at the opening of the movement. The interruption of the finale with material from the scherzo was pioneered by Haydn, who had done the same in his Symphony No. 46 in B, from 1772. It is not known whether Beethoven was familiar with this work.

The Fifth Symphony finale includes a very long coda, in which the main themes of the movement are played in temporally compressed form. Towards the end the tempo is increased to presto. The symphony ends with 29 bars of C major chords, played fortissimo. Charles Rosen, in The Classical Style[15] suggests that this ending reflects Beethoven's sense of Classical proportions: the "unbelievably long" pure C major cadence is needed "to ground the extreme tension of [this] immense work."

[edit] Lore

A great deal has been written about the Fifth Symphony in books, scholarly articles, and program notes for live and recorded performances. This section summarizes some themes that commonly appear in this material.

[edit] Fate motif

The initial motif of the symphony has sometimes been credited with symbolic significance as a representation of Fate knocking at the door. This idea comes from Beethoven's secretary and factotum Anton Schindler, who wrote, many years after Beethoven's death:

The composer himself provided the key to these depths when one day, in this author's presence, he pointed to the beginning of the first movement and expressed in these words the fundamental idea of his work: "Thus Fate knocks at the door!"[16]

Schindler's testimony concerning any point of Beethoven's life is disparaged by experts (he is believed to have forged entries in Beethoven's conversation books).[17] Moreover, it is often commented that Schindler offered a highly romanticized view of the composer. Thus, although we cannot know whether Schindler actually fabricated this quotation, it seems a strong possibility.

There is another tale concerning the same motif; the version given here is from Antony Hopkins's description of the symphony (see References below). Karl Czerny (Beethoven's pupil, who premiered the "Emperor" Concerto) claimed that "the little pattern of notes had come to [Beethoven] from a yellow-hammer's song, heard as he walked in the Prater-park in Vienna." Hopkins further remarks that "given the choice between a yellow-hammer and Fate-at-the-door the public has preferred the more dramatic myth, though Czerny's account is too unlikely to have been invented."

Evaluations of these interpretations tend to be skeptical. "The popular legend that Beethoven intended this grand exordium of the symphony to suggest 'Fate Knocking at the gate' is apocryphal; Beethoven's pupil, Ferdinand Ries, was really author of this would-be poetic exegesis, which Beethoven received very sarcastically when Ries imparted it to him."[11] Elizabeth Schwarm Glesner remarks that "Beethoven had been known to say nearly anything to relieve himself of questioning pests"; this might be taken to impugn both tales.[18]

[edit] Beethoven's choice of key

The key of the Fifth Symphony, C minor, is commonly regarded as a special key for Beethoven, specifically a "stormy, heroic tonality".[19] Beethoven wrote a number of works in C minor whose character is broadly similar to that of the Fifth Symphony. Writer Charles Rosen says, "Beethoven in C minor has come to symbolize his artistic character. In every case, it reveals Beethoven as Hero. C minor does not show Beethoven at his most subtle, but it does give him to us in his most extroverted form, where he seems to be most impatient of any compromise".[20]

[edit] Repetition of the opening motif throughout the symphony

It is commonly asserted that the opening four-note rhythmic motif (short-short-short-long; see above) is repeated throughout the symphony, unifying it. According to Web, "it is a rhythmic pattern (dit-dit-dit-dot*) that makes its appearance in each of the other three movements and thus contributes to the overall unity of the symphony" (Doug Briscoe, [1]); "a single motif that unifies the entire work" (Peter Gutmann, [2]); "the key motif of the entire symphony" ([3]) ; "the rhythm of the famous opening figure ... recurs at crucial points in later movements" (Richard Bratby, [4]). The New Grove encyclopedia cautiously endorses this view, reporting that "[t]he famous opening motif is to be heard in almost every bar of the first movement – and, allowing for modifications, in the other movements."[21]

There are several passages in the symphony that have led to this view. The one most commonly noted occurs in the third movement, where the horns play the following solo in which the short-short-short-long pattern occurs repeatedly:

In the second movement, an accompanying line plays a similar rhythm (listen ):

In the finale, Doug Briscoe (cited above) suggests that the motif may be heard in the piccolo part, presumably meaning the following passage (listen ):

Later, in the coda of the finale, the bass instruments repeatedly play the following (listen )::

On the other hand, there are commentators who are unimpressed with these resemblances and consider them to be accidental. Antony Hopkins, [22] discussing the theme in the scherzo, says "no musician with an ounce of feeling could confuse [the two rhythms]", explaining that the scherzo rhythm begins on a strong musical beat whereas the first-movement theme begins on a weak one. Donald Francis Tovey[23] pours scorn on the idea that a rhythmic motif unifies the symphony: "This profound discovery was supposed to reveal an unsuspected unity in the work, but it does not seem to have been carried far enough." Applied consistently, he continues, the same approach would lead to the conclusion that many other works by Beethoven are also "unified" with this symphony, as the motif appears in the "Appassionata" piano sonata, the Fourth Piano Concerto (listen ), and in the String Quartet, Op. 74. Tovey concludes, "the simple truth is that Beethoven could not do without just such purely rhythmic figures at this stage of his art."

To Tovey's objection can be added the prominence of the short-short-short-long rhythmic figure in earlier works by Beethoven's older Classical contemporaries Haydn and Mozart. To give just two examples, it is found in Haydn's "Miracle" Symphony, No. 96) ((listen ) and in Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 25, K. 503 ((listen ). Such examples show that "short-short-short-long" rhythms were a regular part of the musical language of the composers of Beethoven's day.

It seems likely that whether or not Beethoven deliberately, or unconsciously, wove a single rhythmic motif through the Fifth Symphony will (in Hopkins's words) "remain eternally open to debate."

[edit] Trombones and piccolos

While it is commonly stated that the last movement of Beethoven's Fifth is the first time the trombone and the piccolo were used in a concert symphony, it is not true. The Swedish composer Joachim Nicholas Eggert specified trombones for his Symphony in E-flat major written in 1807[24], and examples of earlier symphonies with a part for piccolo abound, including Michael Haydn's Symphony no. 19 in C major composed in August 1773.

[edit] Textual questions

[edit] Third movement repeat

In the autograph score (that is, the original version from Beethoven's hand), the third movement contains a repeat mark: when the scherzo and trio sections have both been played through, the performers are directed to return to the very beginning and play these two sections again. Then comes a third rendering of the scherzo, this time notated differently for pizzicato strings and transitioning directly to the finale (see description above). Most modern printed editions of the score do not render this repeat mark; and indeed most performances of the symphony render the movement as ABA' (where A = scherzo, B = trio, and A' = modified scherzo), in contrast to the ABABA' of the autograph score.

The repeat mark in the autograph is unlikely to be simply an error on the composer's part. The ABABA' scheme for scherzi appears elsewhere in Beethoven, in the Bagatelle for solo piano, Op. 33, No. 7 (1802), and in the Fourth, Sixth, and Seventh Symphonies. However, it is possible that for the Fifth Symphony Beethoven originally preferred ABABA', but changed his mind in the course of publication in favor of ABA'.

Since Beethoven's day, published editions of the symphony have always printed ABA'. However, in 1978 an edition specifying ABABA' was prepared by Peter Gülke and published by Peters. In 1999, yet another edition by Jonathan Del Mar was published by Bärenreiter[25] which advocates a return to ABA'. In the accompanying book of commentary,[26] Del Mar defends in depth the view that ABA' represents Beethoven's final intention; in other words, that conventional wisdom was right all along.

In concert performances, ABA' prevailed until fairly recent times. However, since the appearance of the Gülke edition conductors have felt more free to exercise their own choice. The conductor Caroline Brown, in notes to her recorded ABABA' performance with the Hanover Band (Nimbus Records, #5007), writes:

Re-establishing the repeat certainly alters the structural emphasis normally apparent in this Symphony. It makes the scherzo less of a transitional make-weight, and, by allowing the listener more time to become involved with the main thematic motif of the scherzo, the side-ways step into the bridge passage leading to the finale seems all the more unexpected and extraordinary in its intensity.

Performances with ABABA' seems to be particularly favored by conductors who specialize in authentic performance (that is, using instruments of the kind employed in Beethoven's day). These include Brown, as well as Christopher Hogwood, John Eliot Gardiner, and Nikolaus Harnoncourt. ABABA' performances on modern instruments have also been recorded by the Tonhalle Orchester Zurich under David Zinman and by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under Claudio Abbado.

[edit] Reassigning bassoon notes to the horns

In the first movement, the passage that introduces the second subject of the exposition is assigned by Beethoven as a solo to the pair of horns.


At this location, the theme is played in the key of E flat major. When the same theme is repeated later on in the recapitulation section, it is given in the key of C major. As Antony Hopkins (references below) notes, "this ... presented a problem to Beethoven, for the horns [of his day], severely limited in the notes they could actually play before the invention of valves, were unable to play the phrase in the 'new' key of C major. Beethoven therefore had to give the theme to a pair of bassoons, who, high in their compass, were bound to seem a less than adequate substitute. In modern performances the heroic implications of the original thought are regarded as more worthy of preservation than the secondary matter of scoring; the phrase is invariably played by horns, to whose mechanical abilities it can now safely be trusted."

In fact, since Hopkins wrote this passage (1981), conductors have experimented with preserving Beethoven's original scoring for bassoons. This can be heard on the performance conducted by Caroline Brown mentioned in the preceding section, as well as in a recent recording by Simon Rattle with the Vienna Philharmonic. Although horns capable of playing the passage in C major were developed not long after the premiere of the Fifth Symphony (according to this source, 1814), it is not known whether Beethoven would have wanted to substitute modern horns, or keep the bassoons, in the crucial passage.

[edit] Media

The following performance of the Fifth Symphony is by the Fulda Symphonic Orchestra (Fuldaer Symphonisches Orchester) under the direction of Simon Schindler. The recording is from a concert of March 10, 2000, performed in the Orangerie in Fulda, Germany.

[edit] Notes and references

  1. ^ Schauffler, Robert Haven. Beethoven: The Man Who Freed Music. Doubleday, Doran, & Company. Garden City, New York. 1933; pg 211
  2. ^ Hopkins, Antony. The Nine Symphonies of Beethoven. Scolar Press, 1977. ISBN 1-85928-246-6.
  3. ^ Beethoven's deafness
  4. ^ Kinderman, William. Beethoven. University of California Press. Berkeley, Los Angeles. 1995. ISBN 0-520-08796-8; pg 122
  5. ^ Parsons, Anthony. Symphonic birth-pangs of the trombone
  6. ^ Landon, H.C. Robbins. Beethoven: His Life, Work, and World. Thames and Hudson. New York City. 1992; pg 149
  7. ^ Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung, July 1810
  8. ^ Moss, Charles K. Ludwig van Beethoven: A Musical Titan.
  9. ^ Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67 by Richard Freed
  10. ^ Rushton, Julian. The Music of Berlioz; pg 244
  11. ^ a b Scherman, Thomas K, and Louis Biancolli. The Beethoven Companion. Double & Company. Garden City, New York. 1973; p. 570
  12. ^ Scherman, Thomas K, and Louis Biancolli. The Beethoven Companion. Double & Company. Garden City, New York. 1973; pg 572
  13. ^ Nottebohm, Gustav (1887) Zweite Beethoviana. Leipzig: C. F. Peters, p. 531.
  14. ^ Lockwood, Lewis. Beethoven: The Music and the Life. W.W. Norton & Company. New York. ISBN 0-393-05081-5; pg 223
  15. ^ Rosen, Charles (1997) The Classical Style, 2nd ed. New York: Norton, p. 72
  16. ^ Jolly, Constance. Beethoven as I Knew Him; London: Faber and Faber, 1966; as translated from Schindler's 'Biographie von Ludwig van Beethoven', 1860
  17. ^ Cooper, Barry. The Beethoven Compendium, Ann Arbor, MI: Borders Press, 1991, ISBN 0-681-07558-9.; pg 52
  18. ^ Classical Music Pages. Ludwig van Beethoven - Symphony No.5, Op.67
  19. ^ Wyatt, Henry. Mason Gross Presents - Program Notes: 14 June 2003. Mason Gross School of Arts.
  20. ^ Rosen, Charles. Beethoven's Piano Sonatas: A Short Companion. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002, p. 134
  21. ^ "Ludwig van Beethoven." Grove Online Encyclopedia. online (subscription required).
  22. ^ Hopkins, Antony. The Nine Symphonies of Beethoven. Scolar Press, 1977. ISBN 1-85928-246-6.
  23. ^ Tovey, Donald Francis (1935) Essays in Musical Analysis, Volume 1: Symphonies. London: Oxford University Press.
  24. ^ Kallai, Avishai. Revert to Eggert. Retrieved on 2006-04-28.
  25. ^ Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C minor, edited by Jonathan Del Mar. Kassel: Bärenreiter (1999)
  26. ^ Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C minor; Critical Commentary, edited by Jonathan Del Mar. Kassel: Bärenreiter (1999)

[edit] Editions

  • The edition by Jonathan Del Mar mentioned above was published as follows: Ludwig van Beethoven. Symphonies 1–9. Urtext. Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1996–2000
  • An inexpensive version of the score has been issued by Dover Publications. This is a 1989 reprint of an old edition (Braunschweig: Henry Litolff, no date). Reference: Symphonies Nos. 5, 6, and 7 in Full Score (Ludwig van Beethoven). New York: Dover Publications. ISBN 0-486-26034-8.

[edit] External links