October contest song announced!

Posted: 10/2/2005 4:58:16 AM
unclechristo

From: Leicester, UK

Joined: 9/23/2005

for those not familiar with this tune - over here bat & glove would refer to cricket :-) - here is a midifile link I found to the tune

http://www.geocities.com/EnchantedForest/Cottage/3192/Ballgame.html

Posted: 10/2/2005 5:19:29 AM
Charlie D

From: England

Joined: 2/28/2005

Why are all the songs so cheesy?! I would never want to play this song. Ever! Oh Well. I like being forced to play things that I never would otherwise.

Thanks!
Posted: 10/2/2005 6:31:34 AM
unclechristo

From: Leicester, UK

Joined: 9/23/2005

of course the song of the moment in the UK about cricket is Jerusalem (Music Parry, words Blake) - sung by the crowd before each game in the recent victorious ashes series against Australia.
I wonder if that is copyright?
Posted: 10/2/2005 10:02:03 AM
Jason

From: Sammamish, Washington

Joined: 2/13/2005

Sorry you don't like the song choice Charlie. If you stick with us this month, I'll try to pick something in the classical arena for November. I think everyone is expecting a Christmas song for December, and the January choice is almost too obvious :)

This page has another MIDI file and the lyrics to "Take me out to the ballgame"

http://www.niehs.nih.gov/kids/lyrics/ballgame.htm
Posted: 10/2/2005 2:03:44 PM
Jeff S

From: N.E. Ohio

Joined: 2/14/2005

"Take Me Out To The Ballgame" may be a bit "cheesy", but so is much of the popular music of the late 19th and early 20th centuries that is in the public domain, at least to our "modern" taste. Besides, were the "Star Spangled Banner", "Oh Canada", and "Amazing Grace" really that "cheesy"?

It's also an appropriate piece for this time of the year, at least for us in the U.S. True, it's not quite fair for those outside the U.S. We often forget that there are other cultures and traditions in other countries, but not out of any malice.

Jason attempts to be magnanimous when making his choice of songs for the contest, choosing pieces with relatively simple melody lines and that are easy to learn. This is so as many people as possible have the opportunity to participate. Many of the classical pieces in the public domain are long, rather complicated, and are better with accompanyment, not making them conducive to being learned and somewhat mastered in only a couple of weeks. We are not all professional musicians or child prodigies.
Posted: 10/3/2005 7:11:47 AM
HarmonicaSteve

From: Portland, Oregon

Joined: 8/8/2005

I agree fully with the last comment. Charlie,
you truly are amazing for your years. For any
ammount of years. The rest of us who have not
been granted admission to Mensa, actually enjoy
playing Americana like "Take Me Out to The Ball
Game" and "Oh Susannah" and such. The choice for
contest song could not make me happier, as it is
one of the first songs I attampted to play on my
first, home-made theremin. Those types of songs
are embedded in our memories and as such. make
excellent practice songs.

Love to All !!

Steven
Posted: 10/3/2005 9:19:53 AM
Jason

From: Sammamish, Washington

Joined: 2/13/2005

I really appreciate everyone's comments so far - including Charlie's!! Your thoughts and feedback are very important to helping us make these contests better and better. Keep them coming! And while I may intervene on rare occassions to put out flame wars if they get out of hand, I want everyone to feel like this is a place they can speak their mind openly and honestly.

Note to previous winners - your prizes are [i]finally[/i] going out this week. I apologize for the long delay. We've received a gracious gift from a reader who wishes to remain anonymous (despite my begging to thank this person VERY MUCH in public :) that will allow us to hold these contests & support them with prizes for a long time down the road.
Posted: 10/3/2005 12:25:54 PM
DiggyDog

From: Jax, FL

Joined: 2/14/2005

Cheesy or not. It seems like it will be a little challenging to stay on key.

I can't wait to try my hand at it.
Posted: 10/3/2005 1:25:04 PM
Charlie D

From: England

Joined: 2/28/2005

Thanks Jason. And thanks to the anonymous benefactor!

I have discovered that this ballgame song can actually be as hard as you want it to be. If you try playing it really fast, or in different parts then it can become REALLY challenging! Fast theremining almost always sounds ridiculous though- especially when you're playing a song like 'Take me out to the Ballgame'!

It's a laugh, and good fun.
Posted: 10/3/2005 8:53:19 PM
kkissinger

From: Kansas City, Mo.

Joined: 8/23/2005

The octave jump at the beginning is pretty challenging... miss the second note then it is difficult to get back in tune... particularly with the rapid passage that follows the octave jump (that is, up an octave, down a third)... and add to it all some accents and phrasing. Not only does the melody jump around... then at the "one-two-three strikes..." section one must hold a perfectly steady pitch while cleanly articulating the repetition with the volume hand.

If that is not enough, the song is in 3/4 time -- a rhythm that demands that the thereminist play with enough energy that listeners will find toe-tapping irresistable.

Bartok and Mahler (to name a couple of composers) used simple folk melodies upon which to build monumental works... perhaps the next major work for theremin will use simple melodies in creative ways.

To stretch one's technique and imagination is a worthy endeavor... think I'll work on that octave jump :)

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