Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Carry a Tune Week

From the AMS list I am informed that this week is Carry a Tune Week, as sponsored by American Music Preservation.com. "How can I celebrate Carry a Tune Week?" you ask. By performing or playing a favorite American tune in class or at home. These tunes can come from six (and only six!) categories: Patriotic, Folk, Religious, Popular, Classical, and Film Music. I guess Jazz fits in the Popular category, though then why do Patriotic and Religious get their own categories? Oops, got distracted. This week is chosen to be near the birthday of William Billings, and started after the September 11, 2001 tragedy. So pick your tune and sing it loud. I'm going to pick a patriotic religious folk song, "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," just to point out the silliness of the categories. Then I will sing Ben Folds' "Army" because I just bought it and am very intrigued by it. And sometimes you just need to drop the F-bomb.

2 comments:

Roger said...

The categories don't seem so silly to me. They cover most types of American music. Maybe Jazz should have its own category but hardly any jazz tunes were selected in previous years. Naturally some tunes will not fit in just one category. I think most people would classify "Battle Hymn of the Republic" as a patriotic song. I assume you were joking about what category to put it in. Which version of the Battle Hymn do you prefer?

Scott Spiegelberg said...

I was somewhat joking, but the categories seem inconsistent. Patriotic, Folk and Religious describe the text topic, Classical and Popular describe the musical content (Folk could also fit in this topos), and Film Music describes neither. Film Music describes the purpose for originally composing the music, not the style of music or text. And the opportunities for overlap are too much. In fact, my tongue-in-cheek example (sorry, no favorite version) has been found in movies as well.