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Did Beethoven Invent Ragtime?
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Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 32, op. 111, 2nd movement

A couple of commenters have pointed out how Beethoven sounded like Scott Joplin playing ragtime about 75 years early for a few minutes in his last piano sonata, written in 1821-1822. This part (from 15:29 on) sounds like a good score for a Buster Keaton silent movie:

As far as I can tell, this is not a jazzed up arrangement. This is what Beethoven composed 195+ years ago.

Another precursor piece is Chopin’s Mazurka in A Minor Op.17 No.4 from the early 1830s, which sounds like something Sam would noodle while Rick is trying to drink Ilsa out of his mind in Casablanca:

In particular, the part from 1:00 to 1:08 is superb mid-20th Century American piano bar jazz.

I don’t really know what the implications of this are, other than that Beethoven and Chopin were titans.

 
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  1. I’ve always thought the bit from 2:35 to 3:00 sounds maybe 40 years ahead of its time (written in 1908) but I don’t know jazz well enough to say for sure.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  2. Yes. Ragtime was invented by a deaf man. Coincidence?

    BTW, the full sonata is one of the greatest pieces of piano music ever written, although the first half is not too remarkable, and it gets better the more often you listen to it. The best part comes after the ragtime. Do listen to the full thing if you do not know it yet.

  3. P.S. Rubinstein does not play the Beethoven sonata very ragtime-y. Claudio Arrau and as far as I can tell most other players make this point much more clearly.

    • Replies: @narrenspeise
  4. Anon[304] • Disclaimer says:

    Biggest personality in cinema.

    • Replies: @SunBakedSuburb
  5. @larry lurker

    The science fiction direction of Western classical music is an odd thing. Looking back, it seems obvious but had anybody noticed it before Stanley Kubrick was doing the post-production on 2001 and he observed how well the music he was playing as a temporary stopgap worked?

  6. Here’s the full last Beethoven piano sonata:

  7. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @Steve Sailer

    His use of Ligeti’s Lux Aeterna in particular was brilliant. The moon bus flying over desolation, on its way to the monolith as this plays – hard to top.

    • Agree: Anonym
    • Replies: @Anonym
  8. Anon[246] • Disclaimer says:

    And Mozart.

    Yuja Wang’s performance of this in an encore at a concert is famous, but I believe that this arrangement, or something similar to it, was first done by a Ethan Uslan.

    Here Uslan ragtimes a Chopin Nocturne:

  9. I have heard this unironically used as evidence for the proposition that Beethoven was black.

  10. Anonym says:

    From wikipedia:

    According to a family friend, the young Joplin was serious and ambitious, studying music and playing the piano after school. While a few local teachers aided him, he received most of his music education from Julius Weiss, a German-born American Jewish music professor who had immigrated to Texas in the late 1860s and was employed as music tutor to a prominent local business family.[12] Weiss, as described by San Diego Jewish World writer Eric George Tauber, “was no stranger to [receiving] race hatred… As a German Jew, he was often slapped and called a “Christ-killer.”[13] Nevertheless, Weiss had studied music at university in Germany and was listed in town records as a Professor of music. Impressed by Joplin’s talent, and realizing his family’s dire straits, Weiss taught him free of charge. He tutored the 11-year-old Joplin until the boy was 16, during which time Weiss introduced him to folk and classical music, including opera. Weiss helped Joplin appreciate music as an “art as well as an entertainment,”[14] and helped his mother acquire a used piano. According to Weiss’ wife, Lottie, Joplin never forgot Weiss. In his later years, after achieving fame as a composer, Joplin sent his former teacher “…gifts of money when he was old and ill,” until Weiss died.[12] At the age of 16, Joplin performed in a vocal quartet with three other boys in and around Texarkana, also playing piano. In addition he taught guitar and mandolin.[14]

    If you read wikipedia it was of course annuddah shoah, but the lineage of ragtime from Beethoven to Joplin is explicable. Credit where it is due, Joplin had musical genius without any AA at all.

    The magical Maple Leaf Rag, repopularized by the great film The Sting.

    • Replies: @Trevor H.
  11. Anonym says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    His take on A Clockwork Orange, not just Ludwig Van but the whole lot was inspired. I love Kubrick’s approach of perfection in cinema.

  12. @Anonym

    I recently watched A Clockwork Orange for the first time in about 40 years, and then ended up watching it three times in a week. It’s close to the most entertaining movie ever for somebody like me (e.g., Burgess fan). On the other hand, part of the entertainment value comes from the completely irresponsible amount of rape scenes in the movie. I counted seven completed or attempted rape scenes in Kubrick’s movie. Since then, you can’t get away with that, which is, on the whole, for the good.

  13. Didn’t Billy Joel brag that when he was six, he upset his piano teacher turning Mozart or Bach into rock music?

    He’s brilliant you know, just ask him.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
  14. @narrenspeise

    (My comments are now obsolete resp. confusing as video in text has been changed)

  15. @Steve Sailer

    Ugliest rape scene I ever saw in a flick was Irreversible. Took place in France. That movie was 2002. Not exactly the #metoo-era, but pretty damned violent. We were protecting Muslims post 9/11 because they’re peace-loving. Shocked I was, it was a Muslim dude, raping a White French chick in France. After the rape part was done he kicked and beat the shit out of her. Ugly man, UGLY. Clockwork Orange had nothing on this scene.

    Second worst rape scene I ever saw was my divorce settlement. Why is divorce expensive? Because it’s worth it.

    • Replies: @prosa123
    , @Anon
  16. Anonymous[263] • Disclaimer says:

    Ragtime? Where is the oom-pah oom-pah? The syncopated melody? It just sounds like exaggerated swung eighths.

    Not ragtime either:

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  17. Hodag says:

    Is the Ragtime feel due to how sped up modern classical (yeah I know) music is? There are studies out there that virtuosity is so prized nowadays that everyone has just sped up everything. Music scores from the 1950s just sound so melodramatic and smaltzy nowadays – go watch The Searchers.

    One of my Pandora channels is the above mentioned Yuja Wang and she plays like a triphammer, like a classically trained Lemmy.

  18. Anonymous[263] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    That was supposed to start at 25:01.

  19. kihowi says:

    The “who invented it first”game is a pretty stupid game to play because you can always find someone earlier who was the real inventor and the other guys were total copycat lame-os. Internet people think those kinds of debates are awfully clever.

    What is beyond doubt, is that even if blacks created all of jazz out of nothing, they wouldn’t have gotten anywhere without white instruments, white musical notation, white electricity, white microphones, white phonographs, white radio, etc, etc.

    “We made this but only because we had the luck to be in a place where there weren’t too many of us” doesn’t seem like something to be proud of.

    • Agree: Kylie, Mr. Rational
  20. Cortes says:

    Van was the big ‘wig way beyond just ragtime.

    Respec’ even unto the name…

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luther_Vandross

  21. I’m not sure why this is even controversial. Jazz is entirely within the Western musical tradition, albeit a late blossom and not the finest example thereof. It’s just the playing around with accidentals in a format where the time element depends less on metrical rhythm than on the resolution of complex chords. Jazz is to canonical music what impressionism is to oil painting. That is to say, it started out being very much a savant’s music inasmuch as it catered to the tastes of an elite group who understood enough about musicology to want to be ironic about it, to test the boundaries of how a musical structure could be maintained without the regularities of key. In the same way, impression sought to dematerialize both the subject and the painterly craft into a flurry of ingenious brushstrokes that were always on the verge of flying apart, yet still managed to coalesce into an image.

    They are both terminal developments in their respective fields. Once you’ve reached the point of conscious, destructive irony, there is no further you can go. The critics were right in heralding each of them as the death of art. But, even though they began as the crassest form of elite snobbery, ordinary people found that an impressionist painting could add a decorative element to a room that was pleasant to live with, just as jazz makes remarkably good background music. Their early association with the avant garde meant that status signalling would always be a part of their appeal, and many more people affected to like them than actually did. The glassy-eyed trance of the jazz aficionado, the irritating aloofness of the impressionist art collector, betray what is really at work in these forms. They are the necessary palliatives for the ennui of a late, urban existence; they are art for overstressed nerves.

    That much cannot be questioned. What should be questioned, but strangely isn’t, is the thoroughly insane notion that Black people had anything in particular to do with this. Jazz is not “Black music” any more than fried chicken is “soul food.” The myth that Blacks created or perfected Jazz is just a way for modern people to add virtue signalling to the status signalling of old. Now not only do they get to pretend to be classy and sophisticated, but broadminded and righteous to boot, and all for no greater cost than popping a Miles Davis CD into the dashboard of their BMWs. The craven neediness of these people knows no bounds. Gaping nincompoops who could never hope to explain what an augmented 6th is, now arrogate to themselves, on the basis of their musical selection, the title of savior of the world. For the maintenance of their cosmopolitan vision they simply assert, on no factual basis whatsoever, the claim that Africans were instrumental in developing the very music that relaxes the tensions of their own addled minds, that lives only on the artificial soil of their own world-cities, and that is incomprehensible without the antecedents of their own unique culture. A more fantastical notion would not be tolerated in the meanest farce, and yet this is what the modern man not only calls “reality” but endows with the loftiest of moral purpose. The African idol will be worshiped at all costs.

  22. MEH 0910 says:

    Vocal Beethoven Seventh in Zardoz

    Zardoz (1974) – The end (Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony)

    Zardoz is a 1974 science fiction/fantasy film written, produced, and directed by John Boorman.
    It ends in a wordless sequence of images accompanied by the sombre second movement (allegretto) of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony. Zed and Consuella, dressed in matching green suits and having fallen in love, then sit next to each other in the cave-like stone head and age in time-lapse. A baby boy appears, matures and leaves his parents. The couple eventually decompose into skeletons and finally nothing remains in the space but painted hand-prints on the wall and Zed’s Webley-Fosbery revolver. (Wikipedia)

    • Replies: @SunBakedSuburb
  23. MEH 0910 says:

    The Fall Opening Titles (HD)

    The Fall-Symphony no.7 movement 2(FULL VERSION)

  24. Of course, people like Joplin, Jelly Roll Morton and Duke Ellington were all classically trained. They certainly could have heard these pieces and been influenced by bits they enjoyed.

    Either that or Beethoven stole it from the Ibo tribe.

    • Replies: @Marat
  25. Would this be cultural appropriation now? Some Disney animators got together in the 1960s and created a Dixieland jazz band called The Firehouse Five Plus Two. My father, a trombone player, was a fan. One time on the way home with me from a Dodger game, he stopped into a bar where they were playing. It was my first time in a bar.

    At home, he would put on one of their albums and play along. It was pretty funny. Here is one song I remember well:

    • Replies: @MBlanc46
  26. Lin says:

    Franz Liszt was probably the first classical pianist/composer with a groupie(mostly upper class women) which travelled with him from town to town.
    And he was also the first one to trigger a diplomatic furore between Russia and the Vatican that the latter refused to recognise his marriage to the Polish/Russian princess Caroline who eloped with him.

  27. OT: Meanwhile, in Mexifornia:

    Sewage from Mexico spill flows north into California waters

    In contrast, Germany had a chocolate spill.

    • LOL: Mr. Rational
  28. It illustrates that if Beethoven or Chopin were alive in the late 20th Century, they would have appreciated the contribution of jazz musicians to music innovation. Jazz is an innovation of which Black Americans can be rightly proud since it was mostly their contribution. Mathematics and physics, not so much, despite the images in google search for American inventors.

  29. Carol says:
    @Hodag

    The phrasing is slightly shuffled, a dotted-eighths or triplet feel that jazz historians claimed was based on the the clip-clop of horses pulling wagons or something. You usually don’t hear that swinging feel til the blues era.

    You have to wonder if that was written in the music or is just interpretation. It also possibly could have been passed down from the composer’s students?

    • Replies: @baythoven
  30. Mencken writing about Jazz in 1934:

    “The music interested me most, for one often heard, even from good musicians, that jazz is not to be sniffed at – that there is really something in it. But, what precisely? I can find nothing in what is currently offered. Its melodies all run to a pattern, and that pattern is crude and childish. Its rhythms are almost as bad; what is good in them is as old as Johann Sebastian Bach, and what is new is simply an elaphantine hop, skip and jump….

    “My guess is that jazz remains popular, not because of any virtue (even to arthropod ears) in its melodies, harmonies and instrumentation, not even in its rhythm, but simply to its monotonous beat. No matter what syncopations may be attempted in the upper parts, the drum and bull-fiddle bang along like metronomes, and that is the thing that apparently soothes and delights the customers. It is music reduced to its baldest elements, and hence music that they can follow. It might be made just as well by a machine, and some day, I suppose, the experiment of so making it will be tried.”

    That last paragraph could be about rap.

    • Replies: @anonymous
    , @Anonymous
  31. @Hodag

    They play Beethoven etc. faster these days usually because they try to be truer to the original score (and the composer’s presumed wishes), and so they often use smaller orchestras (which automatically accelerates the music) and often try to be faster as well. It all originates with the Early Music Revival movement, which started to play Baroque and later Classical and even Romantic composers using original instruments and smaller orchestras (i.e. how it was during the actual periods).

    • Replies: @jb
    , @Lars Porsena
  32. Anon[246] • Disclaimer says:

    Super long and detailed Woodwardesque expose of the intersectional antisemitic clusterfuck Women’s March organization at Tablet Magazine:

    https://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/276694/is-the-womens-march-melting-down

    At the end of January, according to multiple sources, there was an official debriefing at Mallory’s apartment. In attendance were Mallory, Evvie Harmon, Breanne Butler, Vanessa Wruble, Cassady Fendlay, Carmen Perez and Linda Sarsour. They should have been basking in the afterglow of their massive success, but—according to Harmon—the air was thick with conflict. “We sat in that room for hours,” Harmon told Tablet recently. “Tamika told us that the problem was that there were five white women in the room and only three women of color, and that she didn’t trust white women. Especially white women from the South. At that point, I kind of tuned out because I was so used to hearing this type of talk from Tamika. But then I noticed the energy in the room changed. I suddenly realized that Tamika and Carmen were facing Vanessa, who was sitting on a couch, and berating her—but it wasn’t about her being white. It was about her being Jewish. ‘Your people this, your people that.’ I was raised in the South and the language that was used is language that I’m very used to hearing in rural South Carolina. Just instead of against black people, against Jewish people. They even said to her ‘your people hold all the wealth.’ You could hear a pin drop. It was awful.”

    Includes some juicy financial and legal shenanegans.

  33. anon[349] • Disclaimer says:

    Isn’t it wild to find another kind of music hidden in one of the classics? For instance, Len’s 1999 hit “Steal My Sunshine” is built around a sample from “More, More, More” by the Andrea True Connection. Amazing.

    Re: ragtime: purists might argue that Beethoven’s isn’t proper ragtime, since it swings too much. (Who says you can’t learn something from youtube comments?) Since this line of argument leads one to say that this isn’t better than this, I think we can safely ignore the expert opinion.

  34. @Clive Beaconsfield

    Yes, of course. Beethoven was the third member of the great black trio that is completed by the black writer Augustine and the black emperor Septimius Severus.
    How could it be otherwise? After all, blacks were always better at composed music rather than improvisation – just like they have always been better at swimming and cycling rather than team sports and sprinting etc.

  35. dearieme says:

    I don’t think it’s news that ragtime and a great deal of jazz is firmly within the western musical tradition. I assume that the exception is the influence of the blues on jazz. The blues may come partly from Scottish folk music via the Appalachians but I assume has a dominant African contribution. Open to correction – much as I enjoy music, technically I’m a duffer.

    In case of doubt: I think Joplin’s music is quite lovely. If you don’t know it listen to his Solace. Magic!

    • Replies: @dearieme
  36. @Steve Sailer

    That’s interesting. Are you saying that Kubrick hadn’t planned on using the music he used beforehand while filming the scenes? Had he been intending to use a conventional score? Was he having one written up and did anyone outside his circle ever see the movie with the score written for the movie? Just curious; I’ve seen all his movies now but have read little about them.

    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
  37. @Steve Sailer

    “The science fiction direction of Western classical music’
    … and one of the 20th century’s foremost implementers of sci-fi visions – Wernher von Braun – started out as a pupil of classical composer Darius Milhaud.
    I don’t find it weird at all, though. Music and speculative idealism go hand in hand, just as some physics comes across as decidedly meta before getting engineered into being.

  38. Kylie says:

    Well, obviously, Beethoven and Chopin were black.

    • LOL: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @Autochthon
    , @peterike
  39. George says:

    Note the term syncopation:

    The rag was a modification of the march made popular by John Philip Sousa, with additional polyrhythms coming from African music.[7] It was usually written in 2/4 or 4/4 time with a predominant left-hand pattern of bass notes on strong beats (beats 1 and 3) and chords on weak beats (beat 2 and 4) accompanying a syncopated melody in the right hand. According to some sources the name “ragtime” may come from the “ragged or syncopated rhythm” of the right hand.[2] A rag written in 3/4 time is a “ragtime waltz.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ragtime#Musical_form

    Search on: Beethoven Syncopation. But syncopation alone does not define ragtime.

    Schiff: Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No.32 – Pre-Echo Of A Boogie-Woogie

    “I don’t really know what the implications of this are, other than that Beethoven and Chopin were titans.”

    Hey you!!! Scott Joplin was the most titanic kind of titan, an American titan. Joplin’s piano roll sales exceeded Beethoven+Chopin by a factor of at least 10. I know what you are going to say but sheet music sales are so 1850s and don’t count for crap. The Maple Leaf Rag is what announced the start of the American century.

  40. jb says:
    @reiner Tor

    There is a serious case to be made that we moderns play a lot of classical music much, much too fast (twice the intended speed actually), due to a misunderstanding about how the original metronome markings were meant to be interpreted. It’s hard to see how this could have happened, but one explanation I’ve heard is that metronomes fell out of fashion during the Romantic period (too mechanical!), and when they started being used again nobody remembered the way they had been used before, and everybody started doing it wrong. While I don’t have the background to really evaluate this argument, I do have to say that at the slower tempo a lot of 17th and 18th century piano music — Czerny studies for example — not only stops being insanely difficult, it becomes a lot more musical as well.

  41. For some time musical scholars have traced out possible lines of influence from Liszt to ragtime, usually with the New Orleans-born pianist Louis Moreau Gottschalk as intermediary. Of course the suggestion is that somehow Liszt heard some “American Negro” folk music somehow and interpolated it into his music. (Thus the white man steals creativity from the black, as usual).

    http://ittzes.bohemragtime.com/english/2nd.htm

    Also worth noting that Scott Joplin was heavily influenced by his teacher Julius Weiss, of German Jewish ancestry. Weiss taught Joplin plenty of serious European classical music, so it is probably fair to say that ragtime was a kind of amalgamation of classical and black American musical elements.

  42. @Steve Sailer

    WTH?

    Are you into rape scenes? You need to go take a mental shower.

  43. Rye says:

    I don’t think that ragtime and jazz are artistically significant, just degenerate simplified forms of what came before. However, I do think that there was a distinctive sound to late 19th/early 20th century American popular music, a sort of infantile, upbeat sound that is generally associated with negro music. I was surprised to hear that type of a tune in the main theme of the last movement of Beethoven’s 5 piano concerto, it is plausible that the popular pedestrian piano tunes of early 20th century America derive from a few of Beethoven’s eccentric scherzos.
    The Third movement starts at about 30:30

  44. @Hodag

    I know what you mean and it bugs me. Playing fast is fine, but if you can’t hear the notes at that speed then slow down. The music winds up being a big jumble of sound.

    The Maple Leaf Rag is a perfect example of this. Yes, it should move quickly, but there’s a lot happening in there that will just get lost if it goes at top speed.

  45. @Kylie

    Ahem! They were African-Europeans…er…persons of colour.

    You, of course, remain merely white.

    • LOL: Mr. Rational
  46. @Clive Beaconsfield

    Are Blacks getting to Soviet Union levels of appropriation, or have they already exceeded them?

  47. Here is Sir Andras Schiff being INCREDIBLY snooty about the comparison of this section of music to jazz. Do note that it’s Americans and the English who are most keen about the comparison…it seems so obvious that section of music is jazzy.

    My single favorite bit of late Beethoven is the fugue from the opus 101 sonata — one of the most exciting sections of music. It’s about two minutes, and the final notes consist in part of repeated strikes on a chord that incorporates the newest lowest key of the -still in development- keyboards of the time, in fact the ONLY low key added to the piano in Beethoven’s lifetime. This recording by Richard Goode is the only that I’ve come across which emphasizes Beethoven’s celebration of the new key…the final notes sounding apocalyptic.

    The section in question, lasting about two minutes, is at 16:16, the developtment of the last movement. Whole sonata is worth a listen.

    • Replies: @baythoven
  48. J1234 says:

    Did Beethoven Invent Ragtime?

    No. The question should be posed more like: “Did Beethoven have elements of ragtime in one of his pieces years before ragtime was recognized as a genre.” Then the answer would be yes. With music, however, there’s always a cultural context, as well as a matter of causality and influence.

    As I mentioned in a comment from yesterday, Henry Ford erroneously assigned jazz to Jewish roots (to one degree or another.) This wasn’t just because of Jewish promoters or record producers, but because Ford actually believed there was some musical influence. He said:

    Many people have wondered whence come the waves upon waves of musical slush that invade decent homes and set the young people of this generation imitating the drivel of morons. Popular music is a Jewish monopoly. Jazz is a Jewish creation. The mush, slush, the sly suggestion, the abandoned sensuousness of sliding notes, are of Jewish origin.

    I’m guessing he was referring to some klezmer bands or something. Could Joplin or James P. Johnson have been influenced by a movement from Beethoven? Anything’s possible I guess, but too many other components would still be missing.

  49. What isn’t remarked upon enough is Beethoven’s ability to churn out consistently works that feel as different from each other as any two people. The clearest example is the 5th and 6th symphony, which sound really different despite being composed at the same time. You know the sort of cosmic eeriness that pervades the first movement of the 9th? Had Beethoven lived he would NOT have repeated that.

  50. Bryan says: • Website

    I wrote a somewhat technical post on this particular variation:

    https://themusicsalon.blogspot.com/2013/05/it-dont-mean-thing-if-it-aint-got-that.html

    The thing is that if a pianist has ragtime in his ears, it might affect the interpretation of this piece. However, there are lots of pianists that play it with less of a ragtime feel. Try Sokolov for example.

  51. Interesting. Which brings up another question: With the so-called “Tristan Chord” did Wagner invent atonality?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  52. @Rye

    ” Just degenerate simplified forms”

    Nope it is your brain which has taken on a “degenerate” form, enabling you to come up with such utter garbage, and then voice it as “fact”, when actual “fact” is that Jazz is an advanced form of historical musical creations.
    Highly advanced musical talent did not end with the passing of LVB, JSB or WAM.
    These “facts” coming from a life-long jazz performer, and someone who has also engaged in the so-called “serious” study of past musical acomplishments namely the study of classical flute performance in conservatory over the course of four years with an excellent “Abschluss”.

    Your situation being that of an unmusical, unartistic, neophyte, who is not endowed with the capacity to descern the melodic progression of an improvised Jazz solo.

    AJM “Mensa” qualified since 1973, airborne trained uS army vet, and pro Jazz musician.

    • Troll: Mr. Rational
  53. syonredux says:
    @Steve Sailer

    The science fiction direction of Western classical music is an odd thing. Looking back, it seems obvious but had anybody noticed it before Stanley Kubrick was doing the post-production on 2001 and he observed how well the music he was playing as a temporary stopgap worked?

    Wagner and science fiction make a pretty good combo:

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin
  54. baythoven says:
    @Carol

    “You have to wonder if that was written in the music or is just interpretation.”

    It is quite precisely written that way in the score. A very jazzy effect is the only valid interpretation of that variation. Even the variation previous to it should be a bit jazzy. There’s no secret style to be passed on. Any performance that is not jazzy would be draining all the life and vigor, all the sense, from it.

    Incidentally, I don’t admire that Arrau performance. I find his rendition of the variation in question, sloppy.

  55. Beethoven indeed invented ragtime. Nobody before him wrote anything like Op. 111 or the syncopated second theme of Op. 126, No. 4 — which is a hilarious satire of Rossini’s William Tell Overture. Beethoven resented Rossini’s financial success (he retired at age 36!) because Rossini essentially aped Beethoven’s heroic middle-period style (Beethoven’s most popular period including the 5th symphony and 5th piano concerto, the symphonic Razumovsky quartets, and the Appassionato, Waldstein, and Kreutzer sonatas). Beethoven never achieved the financial success of Rossini, nowhere close; he scrabbled for pfennigs to his last days.

    The finale of an early piano sonata from 1798, Beethoven’s Op 10, No. 3, closes with 11 bars of lite cool jazz piano-bar noodling, beginning with vamping syncopated chords that yield to a strutting syncopated theme in the left hand as aerobatic chromatic scales tumble up above, then waft gently back to earth on a nearly silent low D. The piano sonata was Beethoven’s composition laboratory, his playground, where he could indulge his most radical inspirations.

  56. @Intelligent Dasein

    Quite intelligent and factual observations, however regarding the “augmented 6th”, it would be more to the point in elaborating upon the “augmented” 5th, the one singular tone which is not new to the music world through the advent of Jazz, however it is the one tone which lends Jazz it’s “Jazzy” sound, specifically in “modern” Jazz or “Be-bop”. Parker loved it, the “augmented 5th.

    The “augmented 6th or “flat fifth” as they labeled it in the forties having become quite common and unspectacular.

    AJM

  57. Did you see this one Steve?

    https://www.hoover.org/research/rise-new-old-left

    The Rise Of The New Old Left
    by Victor Davis Hanson
    Friday, December 7, 2018

    Image credit: istock

    In the 1960s, campus radicals were branded the New Left. The media saw the mélange of radicals like Bill Ayers, David Delinger, Jane Fonda, Allen Ginsberg, Abbie Hoffman, Herbert Marcuse, Jerry Rubin—as well as hippies, the Black Panthers, the gay liberation movement, La Raza, women’s liberation, draft resistance, and the anti-Vietnam War and new ecology movements—as a new counter-culture, quite different from the narrower “Old” unionists, Trotskyites, Comintern orthodox communists, and Stalinists of the 1930s-1950s.

    Sixties radicals claimed their enemies were not just the old corporate bosses and greedy bankers, but rather the entire “Establishment”. The new targeted status quo was supposedly a racist, sexist, homophobic, nativist, and white cohort. By 1968, the “Man” was ritually accused of war-mongering, polluting, and exploiting—as well as just being “repressed”, “irrelevant”, “boring”, “square”, “uptight”, and “out-of-it”.

    Sixties radicals saw even the Old Left, with its folk-song protest music, loyalty to Moscow, support for world communist revolutions, and never-ending labor strikes, hopelessly puritanical and dreary. For their part, these old, class-struggle Leftists, who came of age in tougher times, were not so interested in New Left trademark agendas and indulgences of a pampered boomer generation like abortion, LSD and marijuana, sustainable living, identity politics, rock music, free speech, and back to nature living.

    Instead, Depression-era warriors remained wedded to the doctrines of Karl Marx, and were convinced that “class” transcended all other concerns of race and gender, and that all revolutionary movements had to be tightly controlled, organized, and centralized. If hippies found the Old Left boring and too straight in their conventional lifestyles, dress and manners, Old Leftists found hippies spoiled, smelly, unserious, addled, and preoccupied.

    There were overlaps, of course.

  58. anonymous[308] • Disclaimer says:
    @Futurethirdworlder

    the real key to understanding 20th century pop music: all pop music is dance music

  59. peterike says:
    @Kylie

    Well, obviously, Beethoven and Chopin were black.

    And gay and Jewish too.

  60. baythoven says:
    @Gurney Halleck

    I LOVE that movement that you are singling out, the final movement of Op. 101. I think of it in much the same way as the first movement of Op. 106. The 101 is more contained and concise, the 106 more explosive and expansive, but they are both so full of joy and with wonderful fugal development sections. And the “joy” of these movements is something quite special. There are passages that feel like Christmas, or like the grace of God, as though the musical elements are gifts from heaven.

    I have to ration my piano playing these days. (I’m in my 60’s, some arthritis and tendency to repetitive strain injury.) What I find myself playing the most, what gives me the greatest pleasure is Beethoven:
    Op. 81 – all
    Op. 101 – all
    Op. 106 – first and third movts.
    Op. 110 – all, excepting the scherzo

  61. anonymity says:

    OT: Steve, you need to start a thread about this as it’s related to what you talked about in another thread yesterday. Catty pink pussyhats are having their cat fights, it’s too good:

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/12/womens-march-anti-semitism-identity-politics/

    According to the report, several of the women who now formally lead the Women’s March met for the first time in November 2016 in New York City. At that meeting, two of them, Carmen Perez and Tamika Mallory, “allegedly first asserted that Jewish people bore a special collective responsibility as exploiters of black and brown people — and even, according to a close secondhand source, claimed that Jews were proven to have been leaders of the American slave trade.”

    Meanwhile, former Women’s March co-chair Evvie Harmon told Tablet that a meeting of the group’s leadership after the successful January 2017 March on Washington quickly turned in a similar direction:

    Tamika told us that the problem was that there were five white women in the room and only three women of color, and that she didn’t trust white women. Especially white women from the South. At that point, I kind of tuned out because I was so used to hearing this type of talk from Tamika. . . . I suddenly realized that Tamika and Carmen were facing Vanessa [Wruble, another co-chair], who was sitting on a couch, and berating her — but it wasn’t about her being white. It was about her being Jewish. “Your people this, your people that.” I was raised in the South and the language that was used is language that I’m very used to hearing in rural South Carolina. Just instead of against black people, against Jewish people. They even said to her “your people hold all the wealth.” You could hear a pin drop. It was awful.”

  62. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/04/style/pansexual-daughter-transgender-parenting.html?fallback=0&recId=1EJNs4PZqIR96V36uX1Egr2Mdvk&lock

    THE SWEET SPOT

    My 15-Year-Old Daughter Told Me She’s Pansexual and Dating a Transgender Boy. I’m Struggling.
    A mother wonders how to support the child she doesn’t entirely understand.

    Dear Sugars,

    I’m the mother of an amazing teenage daughter. Our relationship is close, but recently things have gotten complicated. She came out to us as pansexual when she was 11. I was concerned about her labeling herself at such a young age and being bullied. She met a transgender child in summer camp, then a few others, and helped them through some tough times. I was proud of her for her compassion and did not restrict her friendships, though she wasn’t allowed to sleep over at anyone’s house.

    Fast forward to age 15. After several heterosexual relationships and a few girl crushes, she wants to date a transgender boy. My older Latina mother, who lives with us, disapproves. I also feel uncomfortable. She goes to a small private school where she would be labeled by some, although there are friends who would understand. I’ve told her we need to meet the person and if her behavior starts to be affected adversely we would react accordingly. Our daughter feels it’s unfair that she has more restrictions placed on her dating than her brother.

    I know it’s her life, but I don’t like her hanging out with these kids, some of whom don’t go to her school. A few are really odd in appearance and seem to focus very narrowly on gender issues. I worry that I’m being shallow and judgmental but want to do what’s best. How much of this is experimental teenage stuff and how much is who she is? What should I do to support her? My mother thinks I am crazy to “allow” her new relationship, but I don’t want to lose my daughter’s trust.

    Mother of a Free Spirit

    • Replies: @anon
  63. Marat says:

    A month ago, there was a YouTube with actual footage from that 1938 Benny Goodman Carnegie Hall concert overlaid with most of the soloist performances, but it seems to have been removed. (Every single foot in the house was tapping like mad.) Here’s a nice alternative video of that same “Sing Sing Sing” performance in its entirety (from which the epic 96-measure Jess Stacy solo is cut), with other contemporaneous NYC footage:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUbgwADLFPM

    Harry James on trumpet, Jess Stacy piano, Gene Krupa drums. Speaking of noodling, according to legend, the tune had been a BG band warmup/noodling favorite and they slowly fleshed it out over a long time before its being deemed performance-worthy.

    Here’s Harry James in 1965 doing his thing (although the clarinetist comes close to stealing the show):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvBXKCFiZnI&start_radio=1&list=RDYvBXKCFiZnI

  64. Yeah, and Chopin also invented bossa nova:

    If this is how you do your job of writing about things of which you are ignorant, no wonder you have to beg for funds.

    • Troll: Futurethirdworlder
  65. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/13/science/neanderthals-humans-brains-skulls.html?action=click&module=Well&pgtype=Homepage&section=Science

    People who sign up for genetic testing from companies like 23andMe can find out how much of their DNA comes from Neanderthals. For those whose ancestry lies outside Africa, that number usually falls somewhere between 1 percent and 2 percent.

    Scientists are still a long way from understanding what inheriting a Neanderthal gene means to people. Some Neanderthal genes may be helpful — improving our defenses against infections, for example — but other bits may leave carriers slightly more prone to certain diseases.

    On Thursday, a team of scientists revealed that two pieces of Neanderthal DNA may have another effect: They may change the shape of our brains.

    The study, published in the journal Current Biology, wasn’t designed to determine how Neanderthal genes influence thought — if they do so at all. Instead, the value of the research lies in its unprecedented glimpse into the genetic changes influencing the evolution of the human brain.

    “This study is surely a milestone,” said Emiliano Bruner, a paleoanthropologist researcher at Spain’s National Research Center on Human Evolution, who was not involved in the research.

    Neanderthals and modern humans are evolutionary cousins whose ancestors diverged about 530,000 years ago, possibly somewhere in Africa. Neanderthals left Africa long before modern humans, and their bones were found across Europe, the Near East, and even Siberia.

    Before they disappeared about 40,000 years ago, Neanderthals left behind signs of sophistication: spears used to hunt big game, for instance, and jewelry made of shells and eagle talons.

    Yet scientists still wonder just how much like us these cousins were. Did they speak a full-blown language? Did they think in symbols?

  66. prosa123 says:
    @Jim Christian

    The rapist in Irreversible is known only as La Tenia and is not portrayed as a Muslim. The actor who played him is Italian.

    • Replies: @syonredux
    , @syonredux
  67. @Anonym

    See also this utterly brilliant juxtaposition of outrageous behavior and a stately Bach adagio:

    BTW Barry Lyndon is possibly my favourite Kubrick movie. It is much underrated.

    • Replies: @syonredux
  68. @reiner Tor

    No example? Here is a great one.

    Personally I’m a big fan of the revival stuff, it really brings the music to life and the small ensembles sound better for early baroque stuff. But most of all because they tend to use actual harpsichord instead of piano, which sounds way better playing the music that was written for it.

    Here is something that I could swear in places almost sounds like he’s trying to invent Electric Dance Music. Harpsichord in all it’s glory.

    • Replies: @Anonym
  69. I’ll leave the analysis to others. but I have been to quite a few classical concerts where the performers come back out and do Scott Joplin or some other rag for their little quickie encore. This odd phenomenon has long been a running joke between me and my wife.

  70. anon[932] • Disclaimer says:
    @IQ Realist

    Dear Sugars,

    I’m the mother of an amazing teenage daughter. Our relationship is close, but recently things have gotten complicated.

    everyone is so amazing these days and parents and their children need to have close (suffocating?) relationships

  71. Anybody who causes me to listen to Arrau do Beethoven and Rubenstein do Chopin is aces in my book.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  72. syonredux says:
    @Simon Tugmutton

    BTW Barry Lyndon is possibly my favourite Kubrick movie. It is much underrated.

    Beautiful photography (every scene was a painting). Plus, it captures the era in a way that films seldom do….

    • Replies: @Simon Tugmutton
  73. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/13/opinion/robots-trump-country-jobs.html

    Opinion
    The Robots Have Descended on Trump Country
    They are leaving many ‘casualties of history’ in their wake.

    Image
    A man and a robot working together, but for how much longer?CreditCreditTy Wright/Bloomberg
    The growing use of work robots and the deployment of artificial intelligence have been most disruptive in just those areas of the country that provided President Trump with crucial margins of support in 2016.

    [MORE]

    In a paper that was published earlier this year, “Robots and Jobs: Evidence from U.S. Labor Markets,” Daron Acemoglu and Pascual Restrepo, economists at M.I.T. and Boston University, demonstrate that the Midwest and sections of the South have far higher ratios of robots to population than other regions of the United States.

    They calculate the job losses resulting from the addition of one robot in a “commuting zone.” Their bottom line: “one more robot in a commuting zone reduces employment by about six workers.”

    These job losses are concentrated

    in blue collar occupations such as machinists, assemblers, material handlers and welders. Workers in these occupations engage in tasks that are being automated by industrial robots, so it is natural for them to experience the bulk of the displacement effect created by this technology.

    The adverse effects of automation fall disproportionately on the voters who cast most of their ballots for Trump in 2016: White men, much more than women and whites without college degrees.

    Donald Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax cut has increased incentives to replace workers with robots, contradicting his campaign promise to restore well-paying manufacturing jobs in the nation’s heartland.

    The Trump tax bill permits “U.S. corporations to expense their capital investment, through 2022. So, if a U.S. corporation buys a robot for $100 thousand, it can deduct the $100 thousand immediately to calculate its U.S. taxable income, rather than recover the $100 thousand over the life of the robot, as under prior law,” Steven M. Rosenthal, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute and a specialist in tax policy, wrote me by email.

    I have addressed the impact of robotics on Trump voters in previous columns, but today I want to explore these developments in greater detail as tools to gather and analyze information have improved.

    One of the most striking developments in recent decades is the ongoing decline in work force participation among men, from 88.7 percent in July, 1947 to 68.7 percent in September, 2010, according to the Federal Reserve.

    This drop in participation has been sharpest for men without college degrees.

    In an email, David Autor, who is also an economist at M.I.T., explained the situation:

    We find that automation displaces employment and reduces labor’s share of value-added in the industries in which it originates. In the case of employment, these own-industry losses are reversed by indirect gains in customer industries and induced increases in aggregate demand.

    Overall, according to Autor,

    employment is growing steadily, and its growth in terms of number of jobs has not been discernibly dented by technological progress. But the sum of wage payments to workers is growing more slowly than economic value-added, so labor’s share of the pie of net earnings is falling. This doesn’t mean that wages are falling. It means that they are not growing in lock step with value-added.

    Automation and productivity improvements, Autor wrote,

    tend to grow the economic pie in aggregate while simultaneously considerably diminishing some slices and yet expanding others’ dramatically. Most new workplace technologies displace some worker tasks and entire jobs, devalue certain skills, and disrupt livelihoods. This is individually and socially costly and politically disruptive.

    E.P. Thompson, author of the classic work of British history, “The Making of the English Working Class,” described the brutality of economic transformation during the Industrial Revolution in Britain:

    The experience of immiseration came upon them in a hundred different forms; for the field laborer, the loss of his common rights and the vestiges of village democracy; for the artisan, the loss of his craftsman’s status; for the weaver, the loss of livelihood and of independence; for the child, the loss of work and play in the home; for many groups of workers whose real earnings improved, the loss of security, leisure and the deterioration of the urban environment.

    While there are parallels between conditions of workers during industrialization in England and during the deindustrialization of regions of this country now, one big difference stands out from a political vantage point: In England, workers turned sharply to the left while here they have moved sharply to the right.

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    Autor identified a contemporary source of discontent. He noted that even if automation creates “an opportunity for every citizen to gain in theory,” that

    will almost never happen without forceful social policy and tax policy that spreads the gains and buffers the individual losses. Absent those policies (which the U.S. has little of in general, and even less so today than in earlier decades), losses will tend to be highly concentrated among displaced workers and in communities in which legacy employers are located.

    The major concern for the labor market in the United States, Autor wrote,

    is not the number of jobs per se, but the decline in labor’s share of value-added and, even more urgently, the steep falls in earnings among less-educated workers, which certainly have a technological origin.

    Acemoglu and Restrepo worry that the robot-related dislocations in automated industries will harm, and thus inflame, the discontent of key voters, even as jobs are created elsewhere. In their January paper, “Artificial Intelligence, Automation and Work,” they write:

    Last but not least, the development and adoption of productivity-enhancing AI technologies cannot be taken for granted. If we do not find a way of creating shared prosperity from the productivity gains generated by AI, there is a danger that the political reaction to these new technologies may slow down or even completely stop their adoption and development. This underscores the importance of studying the distributional implications of AI, the political economy reactions to it, and the design of new and improved institutions for creating more broadly shared gains from these new technologies.

    Acemoglu and Restrepo agree with Autor that

    greater use of robots in a commuting zone is likely to generate benefits for the rest of the U.S. economy by reducing the prices of tradable goods now produced using robots and by creating shared capital gains.

    But Acemoglu and Restrepo contend that even after calculating “these positive spillovers across commuting zones,” there are still “uniformly negative aggregate effects.”

    Their calculations suggest that

    one more robot per thousand workers reduces aggregate employment-to-population ratio by about 0.2 percentage points or, equivalently, one new robot reduces employment by about 3.3 workers and wages by about 0.37 percent (as opposed to 0.37 percentage points and 0.71 percent, respectively, without trade).

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    An Amazon fulfillment center in Carteret, N.J.
    Credit
    Demetrius Freeman for The New York Times

    Image
    An Amazon fulfillment center in Carteret, N.J. CreditDemetrius Freeman for The New York Times
    I asked Acemoglu whether these findings challenge the economic argument that technological advance is almost always beneficial. He replied:

    It does challenge the conventional wisdom to some degree. But this conventional wisdom is really up for challenge. The view that technological change always and everywhere benefits most groups is completely devoid of historical context. This isn’t what has happened in history, this isn’t what has happened in the early 20th century.

    He cited key developments in the late 1890s and early 1990s:

    During mechanization of agriculture, we have also experienced rapid creation of new jobs and tasks in industry, both for production workers and for clerical workers. If it weren’t for these other changes, many of them technological and social in nature, mechanization of agriculture would have created much more hardship (and today we tend to forget how much hardship it did create in the first place).

    Acemoglu, Restrepo and Autor are not alone in exploring the economic and political consequences of robotics and artificial intelligence.

    Jeffrey Sachs, a professor of economics at Columbia, has a parallel take, writing by email:

    Until now, automation (robotics, machines more generally, smart systems) has mostly replaced activities that require brawn (agriculture, mining, lifting, warehousing) repetitive physical activity (assembly line, cutting/sowing), basic data management (ledgers, various logistics), while being complementary with complex management, human judgment, highly contextual activities.

    The demographic group most hindered by the rise of automation, Sachs wrote, “has been the proverbial white male with less than a college degree and living in rural and semirural areas.”

    Sachs believes that

    the next wave of job losses will be in basic business services (wholesale and retail trade, warehousing and transport) which will mean another hit for workers with relatively lower educational attainment.

    In terms of incomes, according to Sachs, “automation (including AI) will raise overall output but lower the earnings of some or even all workers, while raising the returns to many forms of capital.”

    Without the adoption of redistributive tax and spending policies, he argued,

    the old, the skilled, and the rich (who will make intergenerational transfers within families to their own children) will benefit at the expense of the young, the less skilled, and the poor. All of this seems to be underway.

    Jason Furman, a professor of economics at Harvard’s Kennedy School who served as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers in the Obama administration, writing with Robert Seamans, a professor of management at N.Y.U., has a broader view of the positive and negative effects of automation and artificial intelligence.

    In their June 2018 paper, “A.I and the Economy,” Furman and Seamans argue that, from a theoretical perspective, innovation has four effects on labor markets.

    The first is that “automation can directly displace labor in the affected sector.” Second is that “automation can create new jobs in new areas.” The authors note that “job losses at brick-and mortar department stores were more than made up for by new opportunities at fulfillment and call centers.” The third effect is that “higher incomes increase demand for jobs throughout the economy, including in ways that are not directly linked to technology. For example, the share of workers in leisure and hospitality in the United States has steadily trended upward as household incomes have risen, enabling people to afford more restaurants and travel.” And the fourth effect is that “technology may replace specific tasks rather than entire jobs — leaving substantial room for human employment in jobs that will be changed by worker’s having a new tool at their disposal.”

    Both the upside and the downside of artificial intelligence, Furman and Seamans point out, have “the potential to dramatically change the economy,” adding that

    On the one hand, the potential for increased productivity growth is welcome given the decades-long slowing in productivity growth in the United States and other advanced economies. On the other hand, the potential for AI-induced labor disruptions could potentially exacerbate existing problems in the labor force, including the decades-long decline in male labor force participation rate.

    The 2017 Trump tax cut not only boosted incentives for corporations to replace workers with robots, it has also created incentives for American companies to move production overseas, even as it directed resources toward “opportunity zones” in what the Trump administration defines as “neglected and underserved communities” — incidentally providing a bounty of lucrative grants, guarantees and breaks for real estate developers.

    While Trump is clearly attuned to the political power of white working class anger — in 2016 he ignited a blue-collar insurgency and mobilized white men in particular — his campaign rhetoric is also expedient. He is also highly attuned to the agenda of the Republican Party he leads, not to mention the corporate establishment and its antipathy to corporate taxation. And it goes without saying that the tax cut was enormously beneficial to Trump and to his family — by conservative estimates he will personally save from $11 to $15 million annually and his estate will reap millions.

    The reality for the voters who believed in Trump is not so bright. Take two counties, Alger and Ontonagon, both on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, which voted overwhelmingly for Trump in 2016 (57-37 and 60-34). Two years later, their respective unemployment rates are 8.4 and 9.4 percent, compared with the low national rate of 3.7 percent. These two counties have median household incomes of $41,270 and $35,038, far below the national median, which is $61,372.

    On Monday, the Daily Mining Gazette in next door Houghton County, Mich., reported that the “opioid crisis has hit the Ontonagon County region hard” with “one of the highest opioid-related hospitalization rates in Michigan.”

    Andrew K. Shotwell, a local attorney, told the County Board that opioid use is increasing and that “Ontonagon in the top 10 for that in the state of Michigan.” The Gazette reported that prescriptions “rose from 65.6 per 100 people in the county in 2009 to 113 in 2016, more than the number of people.”

    E.P. Thompson, looking at 19th century England, put the plight of similarly technologically displaced people best:

    Their crafts and traditions may have been dying. Their hostility to the new industrialism may have been backward looking. Their communitarian ideals may have been fantasies. Their insurrectionary conspiracies may have been foolhardy. But they lived through these times of acute social disturbance, and we did not. Their aspirations were valid in terms of their own experience.

    Ontonagon County is at an extreme, but at the extreme, it illuminates the bleak dislocation much of Trump country has suffered.

    From 2000 to 2017, the county population plummeted from 7,818 to 5,881. Young people are leaving in droves: 36.4 percent of the population is 65 or older, more than twice the national average, which is 15.6 percent. 12.6 percent of county residents are under 18, compared with 22.6 percent nationally.

    Per capita retail sales, a measure of economic vitality, were $7,550 last year in the county, according to the census, compared with $13,443 nationally.

    These are men and women, to quote E.P. Thompson again, who “lived through these times of acute social disturbance.” If, Thompson continued, “they were casualties of history, they remain, condemned in their own lives, as casualties.”

    Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, professors at M.I.T. with a specialization in the economics of automation, are conducting a research project on “digital technologies and their impact on the earnings prospects of American workers.” They report that some of the news

    is clearly bad. The median American household earns less than it did fifteen years ago, labor’s share of national income peaked in the early 1980s and has been falling pretty steadily since then, long-term unemployment has emerged as a vexing problem, and start-ups are creating many fewer jobs than they used to.

    Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne of the Oxford Martin Program on the Impacts of Future Technology in Britain have estimated that about 47 percent of total employment in the United States is susceptible to computerization. They note that “wages and educational attainment exhibit a strong negative relationship with an occupation’s probability of computerization.” In addition, Frey and Osborne write that

    high-skilled workers have moved down the occupational ladder, taking on jobs traditionally performed by low-skilled workers, pushing low-skilled workers even further down the occupational ladder and, to some extent, even out of the labor force.

    In a separate study, Frey and Thor Berger, also of the Oxford Martin School, have found that “the bulk of low-skilled and low-income workers are now for the first time susceptible to computerization” adding that “workers with extraordinary social and creative skills will still remain in the work force in 2030.”

    Trump is convinced that he has extraordinary skills, boasting last month: “I have a gut, and my gut tells me more sometimes than anybody else’s brain can ever tell me.” At a moment like this, do voters want to be governed by a president who, as his first secretary of state publicly pointed out, is “undisciplined” and “doesn’t like to read” — and that was after calling him a “moron” behind closed doors?

    I would argue that we have been warned — the situation that obtains in the country today has to be grasped with the head as much as with the gut.

    I invite you to follow me on Twitter, @Edsall.

    Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook, Twitter (@NYTopinion) and Instagram.

    Thomas B. Edsall has been a contributor to The Times Opinion section since 2011. His column on strategic and demographic trends in American politics appears every Thursday. He previously covered politics for The Washington Post. @edsall

    • Replies: @Olorin
  74. syonredux says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Forbidden Planet has an interesting score…..atonal and disturbingly alien…..

  75. Anonymous[354] • Disclaimer says:
    @Futurethirdworlder

    From what I recall Adorno was scathing re: jazz, so that’s an interesting cross-partisan connection. I wonder what Edward Said thought about the ostentatious NYC jazz poseurs a la “Whiplash”– probably not his favorites for musical-intellectual camerarderie, I’d bet

    • Replies: @syonredux
  76. Anonym says:
    @Steve Sailer

    I haven’t read anything by Burgess. Is he something like a PKD? I remember a closeted gay Jewish kid in class was obsessed with the book (not on a reading list or anything). I think he was Mischlinge though.

    The CO soundtrack is a great one to study/work to. The greatest soundtrack in the world for that purpose is the Blade Runner soundtrack, which is not exactly #metoo compatible. But women are not exactly known for aligning what they say and what they want or fantasize about. 50 shades of #metoo anyone?

    The DEHR soundtrack is great, as is the game. No rape scenes though.

    Hey, maybe they’ll do a remake of The Accused with a POC cast. No doubt they’ll just change the Jodie Foster role, can’t be keepin’ it too real, yo.

  77. @syonredux

    Agreed, except that every frame is a painting!

  78. Anonym says:
    @Lars Porsena

    Ah, my favorite instrument. I like Portal’s reimagined Bach. A classic game.

    And Baroque music in general, I love that too.

    • Replies: @Lars Porsena
  79. Olorin says:

    I don’t see why not. After all, Papa Bach invented shredding.

    Then there’s my perennial fave for the younger set:

    • Replies: @Lars Porsena
  80. @Fred Boynton

    Are you saying that Kubrick hadn’t planned on using the music he used beforehand while filming the scenes? Had he been intending to use a conventional score?

    Very much so, and it was recently released.

  81. Olorin says:
    @IQ Realist

    Looks like the Kenny Brockelsteins at the NYT are losing hope for a Dem base winning Dem power back in 2020.

    All hail our new robot overlords!

    FWIW, there is plenty of work to do at the microbusiness level. Not all employment is top-down. But we have to get in place the programs that will remove crushing tax and regulatory disincentives for bottom-up self- and family/community employment.

  82. @Intelligent Dasein

    I hate jazz myself, but the only musical genius I ever knew loved it, and for all of the reasons you set out for us. And your analogy with impressionism is spot on.

    As is your comment about jazz and blacks; or, rather, about those who insist that blacks had anything creative to do with the stuff.

  83. Trevor H. says:
    @Anonym

    What are you even talking about. I see Jews getting slapped all the time, just for being Jewish.

  84. syonredux says:
    @Anonymous

    From what I recall Adorno was scathing re: jazz,

    “The aim of jazz is the mechanical reproduction of a regressive moment, a castration symbolism. ‘Give up your masculinity, let yourself be castrated,’ the eunuchlike sound of the jazz band both mocks and proclaims, ‘and you will be rewarded, accepted into a fraternity which shares the mystery of impotence with you, a mystery revealed at the moment of the initiation rite.”

    “Jazz is the false liquidation of art — instead of utopia becoming reality it disappears from the picture.”

    Let’s just say that SJW academics find Adorno’s views on Jazz problematic……

  85. @Anon

    Friedkin, like Francis Ford Coppola, had a magnificent run in the 1970s: The French Connection (1971), The Exorcist (1973), Sorcerer (1977). I would also include his extremely creepy murder mystery, Cruising (1980), because of its seventies feel. His To Live and Die in LA (1985) is one of my eighties favorites. And you’re right, he’s got a big personality. No one does visceral on film quite like Friedkin in his prime.

  86. Two of Eric Carmen’s biggest hits are lifted from Rachmaninov, and Billy Joel lifted at least one from Beethoven.

  87. @Steve Sailer

    One viewing of A Clockwork Orange (1971) was enough for me, though I got a kick out of Malcolm McDowell’s performance. For some reason, mainly because of its beauty, I can watch Barry Lyndon (1975) over and over again. Some people equate watching that film to paint drying.

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin
  88. @Rye

    I don’t think that ragtime and jazz are artistically significant, just degenerate simplified forms of what came before.

    I agree. Listen to any of a half-dozen Beethoven symphonies or the better-known Wagner preludes or one of Debussy’s piano compositions and then listen to something like Brubeck’s “Take Five.” You’ll immediately recognize a huge step down in quality. The latter will sound repetitious and dull to discerning ears.

    • Disagree: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
  89. @Anonym

    Now that is some electronic harpsichord music for sure. Interesting.

  90. @Intelligent Dasein

    You’re completely wrong asserting that black musicians/composers had nothing to do with the development of jazz. Carlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Duke Ellington had a complete grasp of and mastery of the harmonic complexities in jazz music.

    Blues, an essential elemtent in jazz, is mostly from black culture. The rhythms of jazz, the swing feel, are also essentially from African culture.

    • Replies: @anon
  91. @MEH 0910

    Thank God for the seventies, because only that era could’ve have given us Zardoz (1974). If I meet someone who knows of and loves this glorious film I know I’m with kindred. John Boorman is an incredibly interesting filmmaker: Point Blank (1967), Deliverance (1972), the deeply flawed but visually splendid Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977), Excalibur (1981), and the Irish gangster biopic The General (1998), to name a few.

  92. @syonredux

    The genius of Wagner is that you can set him to pretty much anything.

    War Movies? Apocalypse Now

    Fantasy films? Excalibur

    Cartoons? Rango and Bugs Bunny

    Romantic comedies? Father of the Bride

    Historical films? Terence Malick’s The New World

    Science Fiction? Alien Covenant

    I once read that while Hitler famously claimed he was motivated to form the Third Reich after seeing Wagner’s Rienzi, Theodore Herzl also claimed he was motivated to form a Jewish state in Palestine after seeing the same opera.

    • Replies: @syonredux
    , @Anon
  93. @SunBakedSuburb

    For some reason, mainly because of its beauty, I can watch Barry Lyndon (1975) over and over again. Some people equate watching that film to paint drying.

    It’s a wonderful and unappreciated film. I’m with you: I’d much rather watch (again) Barry Lyndon than A Clockwork Orange.

  94. @Pincher Martin

    The latter will sound repetitious and dull to discerning ears.

    Only if you are in a mood to be challenged.  I find that very repetitious, dull New Age music makes good cover sound for blocking out extraneous noise in noisy environments when I need to concentrate.  Music which required discernment would be a distraction as bad as the noise I was trying to block out.  And sometimes you just want something light and fun.

  95. Ben Kurtz says: • Website

    Also, Mozart invented Shostakovich. Look up Mozart’s Dissonance Quartet, K.465.

  96. @Olorin

    Fantastic on both videos. Have you seen these?

  97. Marat says:
    @Martin Davies

    Although younger than DE and JRM, Oscar Peterson had incredible classical foundation. He often lapsed back and forth between jazz and classical while noodling. Art Tatum was his jazz piano idol, but classical music was his home base:

    One can’t help but feeling the joy Oscar has while playing (kinda like Louis A) – sometimes he scats too – here’s a great example:

    • Replies: @Authenticjazzman
  98. @Jim Christian

    Make fun all you want, but Root Beer Rag is a great song.

  99. syonredux says:
    @Pincher Martin

    The genius of Wagner is that you can set him to pretty much anything.

    War Movies? Apocalypse Now

    Fantasy films? Excalibur

    Cartoons? Rango and Bugs Bunny

    Romantic comedies? Father of the Bride

    Historical films? Terence Malick’s The New World

    Science Fiction? Alien Covenant

    Excalibur was my first exposure to Wagner. Saw it on cable (PG cut) when I was 10. It blew my mind:

  100. @Prester John

    Von Trier’s “Melancholia” uses Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde prelude for its sci-fi/outer space feel.

  101. Anon[190] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jim Christian

    I saw that scene in Irreversible and thought it ridiculous and hammy.

  102. syonredux says:
    @prosa123

    The rapist in Irreversible is known only as La Tenia and is not portrayed as a Muslim. The actor who played him is Italian.

    His character is some kind of homosexual weirdo….he hangs out at a gay BSM bar called The Rectum….

  103. syonredux says:
    @prosa123

    The rapist in Irreversible is known only as La Tenia and is not portrayed as a Muslim. The actor who played him is Italian.

    His character is some kind of homosexual weirdo….he hangs out at a gay BDSM bar called The Rectum….

  104. MBlanc46 says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    They were big favorites of mine when I was in jr high.

  105. Dasein, Mencken and Adorno all being on the same team unfortunately doesn’t make them right, but I’d rather relisten to some great jazz than be provoked into defending what needs no defense.
    Authenticjazzman put it succinctly:
    “Actual “fact” is that Jazz is an advanced form of historical musical creations.”

  106. anon[349] • Disclaimer says:
    @Hark hark the snark

    The blues is just old Scotch folk songs

    Swing is also British

    (probably)

  107. Anonym says:
    @Anonym

    At 16.45 it takes you into the David Frum theme song.

  108. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @Pincher Martin

    The genius of Wagner is that you can set him to pretty much anything.

    No. Too heavy. Its use in comedy is almost always ironic.

  109. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:

    Invention in the arts is tricky. There have been lots of inventions without influence.

    It is the instance of invention that is influential that really matters.

    If it can be proven that Joplin knew Beethoven, we can credit Beethoven. If not, Beethoven did ragtimey stuff first but without consequence. So, it doesn’t count.

    There are many cases like this in cinema. Someone will such-and-such did something first, but then someone comes up with an earlier example. But if the earlier one went unnoticed and had no influence, it doesn’t really count except in the most technical sense.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  110. @Anon

    Okay but Beethoven was the most famous composer of all time and this was his final piano sonata, and Joplin studied piano for five years with a piano teacher from Germany.

    But how much did Joplin invent ragtime? Or were lots of people playing it and Joplin was just the most sophisticated, best trained ragtime composer?

  111. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:


    But how much did Joplin invent ragtime? Or were lots of people playing it and Joplin was just the most sophisticated, best trained ragtime composer?

    It surely had something to do with HBD. Blacks got some jiggly-wiggly thing about them that makes them more improvisational and ‘syncopational’. Blacks are naturally playful and jivey. Their advantage in basketball isn’t merely physical but ‘musical’ and ‘rhythmic’. The feinting-moves come naturally to them because they had to run from big animals.

    Much of black music is like ‘playing ball’ with white music. Like Harlem Globetrotters.
    Or, White music was the straight man(the Abbott) to the black jester(Costello). Much of Jewish culture is that way too. Both black music and Jewish comedy grew in relation — admiring, appreciative, hostile, mocking, contemptuous, etc — to whites. Without straight white society, Marx Brothers comedy lose their bite. And this is why there is no ‘black music’ in black African societies. It’s just blackness upon blackness. And this is also why rap is less interesting though very popular. It’s just blacks being black-black.

    Ragtime drew much inspiration from white music of the times but at the same time pranked it in a way both mocking and gentle. Ragtime goes to places unimagined or ignored by white musicians, and yet, much of the sensibility of white music is retained.

    Ragtime deviates from white musical tradition and yet its sentiments are not entirely divorced from earlier tunes such as Andes:

    Now, black jivey-ness doesn’t necessarily lead to something like ragtime. After all, black jivey-ness led to different musical forms in Latin America in association with Spanish or Portuguese influences.

    Still, when I hear white American 19th piano works, I can imagine how something like ragtime could develop from them from the jivey fingers of a black guy. A kind of exacting and punctual Protestant elementalism with some rhythm added to it. Ragtime is playful but still remains within the perimeters of form. True improvisatory wizardly took off with Jazz.
    Ragtime may be to the Negro Spiritual what Jazz is to Gospel. In Ragtime and Negro Spiritual, there is emergence of black sensibility but still in a direct connection with white expressions. It’s with later forms that blacks totally veer off into truly independent forms of musical expression without much regard for white sensibility or culture(though even Jazz always drew inspiration from white music).

  112. @Anon

    I don’t even know where to start regarding your plethora of totally erroneous and absurd, bullshit theories, so okay here goes : Myself having been born in Detroit Michigan into a family of music and art lovers ( my uncle a marvelous piano man and vocalist who actually toured with Benny Goodman, the “King of swing”) I had been exposed to Jazz/Blues by our saintly (black) housekeeper Katherine, at the tender age of approx nine, ( she would tune in the balck radio stations while pushing a broom through the house), and began with flute lessons at that point in time, adding Saxophone approx three years later, and classical flute studies in conservatory in Europe dacades later, so considering myself as a voice of authority and experiences, I am labeling you as a dumbass shittalker who has no clue as to the nature or depth of Jazz music.
    Your random usage of the expression “Jivey” exposing you as someone who has no fucking clue as to what he is blathering about : Jive or “Jivey” does not in any context pertain to the examples whioch you have listed : “Jivey fingers of a black guy” Just what the fuck does “Jivey fingers” mean anyway? Myself a Jazz player (winds) with fifty-plus years behind me, I have never encounterd anyone who has employed such a rediculous expression as “Jivey fingers” in the Jazz context, namely while engaging in the action of performing Jazz there is no room whatsoever for “Jivey fingers” as the art-form itself requires exacting and precise finger control.
    I could go on and on with repudiations of your crazy viewpoints, but I am already exausted from simply these few words.
    AJM

    • Replies: @Anon
  113. @Anon

    Take it from this Detroit born professional Jazz player of fifty-plus years : You have no clue as to what you are blathering about.
    Regarding the expression ” Jivey ” : The actual meaning is light years away from your misconseption thereof.

    AJM

    • Replies: @Anon
  114. Today or tomorrow being his, LVB’s 248 Geburtstag.
    The church records show that he was baptized on the 17th, however his birthday is unknown, some folks think it was the 16th.

    I know nobody will believe me so I will not relate the events of myself having spent several days, and overnights, at his birth-house in Bonn , back in anno 1970.

    AJM

  115. @Marat

    Tatum and my humble self having two things in common : Both of us being Jazz players, and both of us being born on 13 Oct.

    AJM

  116. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @Authenticjazzman

    Myself having been born in Detroit Michigan into a family of music and art lovers ( my uncle a marvelous piano man and vocalist who actually toured with Benny Goodman, the “King of swing”) I had been exposed to Jazz/Blues by our saintly (black) housekeeper Katherine, at the tender age of approx nine, ( she would tune in the balck radio stations while pushing a broom through the house), and Myself having been born in Detroit Michigan into a family of music and art lovers ( my uncle a marvelous piano man and vocalist who actually toured with Benny Goodman, the “King of swing”) I had been exposed to Jazz/Blues by our saintly (black) housekeeper Katherine, at the tender age of approx nine, ( she would tune in the balck radio stations while pushing a broom through the house), and began with flute lessons at that point in time, adding Saxophone approx three years later, and classical flute studies in conservatory in Europe dacades later, so considering myself as a voice of authority and experiences, I am labeling you as a dumbass shittalker who has no clue as to the nature or depth of Jazz music., I am labeling you as a dumbass shittalker who has no clue as to the nature or depth of Jazz music.

    ROTFL. You know but don’t know. You know through the mind but not through instinct. The fact that you think you know more because your uncle played jazz makes it all sound so pedantic. And to add some authentic flavor, you say a saintly Magic Negress introduced you to jazz on some old dusty radio. That’s right out of some Hollywood movie. “I grew up special because I imbibed natural wisdom from a mammy-woman.” LOL. And her name was ‘Kathernine’ too. Well, how dignified. A black maid named ‘Katherine’. That sho is a first. And you weren’t just nine, but oh, the tender age of nine. This white boy who was sheltered and privileged done learn about soulful music from a Negress who be mopping the floor. He done learned from the salt of the earth and shi*. LOL. Go write a script for Hollywood. “White Bread White Boy Soul-Saved by Katherine, the Dignified Mammy Who Done Teach the Love of Jazz.”

    and began with flute lessons at that point in time, adding Saxophone approx three years later, and classical flute studies in conservatory in Europe dacades later, so considering myself as a voice of authority and experiences, I am labeling you as a dumbass shittalker who has no clue as to the nature or depth of Jazz music.,

    The fact that you have to lay out the resume of academic credentials shows you have no real musical sense. There are tons of music majors all over the world, and they may know more about music in the academic and intellectual sense, but the essence of music is instinct.
    And you don’t know jackshit. Sure, you heard 1000x the Jazz I did. If someone were to ask me what early Jazz was like, I’d say ‘cheesecake’ by Louis Armstrong. You know more facts and details, but you don’t know the essence of the Negro nature that made such music, and I’m telling you that in HBD terminology, it’s ‘jivey’ or ‘oogity’. And I don’t mean it as an insult. Without the jivey nature, blacks would have been eaten by lions and hyenas.

    You see, jazz was invented to be enjoyed, not studied academically and intellectualized and canonized… and certainly not to be invoked pompously by some white-bread white guy trying to burnish his credentials as ‘hip’ and sophisticated.
    Sure, some of it is so ingenious and brilliant that it is deserving of serious attention. But still, the essence of jazz is like loony tunes. It’s ruined if you get TOO serious. Essence of jazz is irreverence and playfulness, but you are treating it like it’s some gospel music from da lawd.

    You need to learn some jiveyness before you fully appreciate jazz.

    • Replies: @Authenticjazzman
  117. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @Authenticjazzman

    Take it from this Detroit born professional Jazz player of fifty-plus years : You have no clue as to what you are blathering about.
    Regarding the expression ” Jivey ” : The actual meaning is light years away from your misconseption thereof.

    Detroit born professional Jazz player of fifty-plus years

    That is so un-jivey. Jazz is about confidence. You show insecurity by having to brandish your credentials by mentioning you were Detroit-born, worked professionally, and not just for 50 yrs but 50-plus yrs. With such lameness, you should turn to polka. Write a tune called ‘Lame Detroit white boy polka’.

  118. @Anon

    ” You have no real musical sense”

    Yeah sure, and of course the thousands of audience participants I have performed in front of, over the last fifty-plus years, should now regret and nullify their applause and satisfaction for my musical efforts, because some internet musical ” expert” says that they were stupid and unmusical as displayed by their enthusiastic reception of my musical offerings.

    “You don’t know the essence of Negro nature”

    Yeah you got it, and I am sure the black musician friend I shared an appartment with for several years, a drummer who toured with John Coltrane and Chet Baker, would agree with your remark about me not “Knowing the nature” of the Negro, and then my black singer girlfriend back in the sixties, she would also agree with you that I did not “know” the nature of the Negro.

    “You need to learn some “Jiveyness before you fully appreciate Jazz”.

    You apparently do not know that “Jiveyness” was and still is in the Jazz world a detested trait and considered totally un-Jazzy and undesireable , whereas you in your total ignorance of the field of this music view it to be some kind of positive trait.

    You simply do not know what you are talking about, and I no longer wish to communicate with you, period.

    AJM

  119. MEH 0910 says:
    @Steve Sailer

    ScoreKeeper’s Book Report Confronts Rejection – TORN MUSIC: REJECTED FILM SCORES!!

    What if Stanley Kubrick had used Alex North’s rejected score for 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968)? What if Alfred Hitchcock had never stained his relationship with Bernard Herrmann by throwing his score for TORN CURTAIN (1966) into the trash? What if Gabriel Yared’s year long effort composing the music for TROY (2004) wasn’t tossed out and replaced by James Horner in a mere two weeks?

    TORN MUSIC: REJECTED FILM SCORES, A SELECTED HISTORY by Gergely Hubai has accepted the Herculean task of chronicling a selected history of more than three hundred individual films whose original scores were rejected and replaced by another composer. Having done his due diligence, Hubai’s well-scripted words have turned rumors, urban legends and industry myths into historical fact by relying upon the testimony of the folks involved in the rejection in question.

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