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> Pondering This Old Music, Why listen?
YoYo
post Nov 27 2003, 09:20 PM
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I love listening to the recordings here on the Dismuke site, especially the earlier tunes. biggrin.gif

I listen to the older popular music for a different reason than I listen to today's popular music.

I listen to the older music to experience "life is good", for example the later half of Eilenberg's Mill In the Forest: it says to me, "wonderful, yippee!"

But I listen to today's music to experience "a momentary escape". I include as part of the popular music the material that accompanies movies and video games. This music's purpose seems to be to shutdown my thoughts, escape, and thus make it "more enjoyable" to be drawn into the world created by the movie or game. And how about the "smooth jazz" music that is advertised to smooth the rough edges of your day--rather than help you experience the glory that is your day?

Perhaps the older music helped people see the good in their lives, and today's music helps people avoid the bad in their lives.

I'd love to hear anyone's thoughts.

Here's to your good listening. smile.gif
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jackerman
post Jan 21 2004, 01:28 AM
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That's an interesting concept YoYo. I listen to this kind of music for pretty much the same reasons. It takes me back to a time when things were a little easier and simpler (or so it seems to me). I was born in 1938, so never experienced the 20s and 30s. but Dismuke's collection takes me back to that time. The music is so much more relaxing and has some real class (Again, IMHO).

I would have loved to have lived in that era, if only to be present at places like the Greystone Ballroom in Detroit or the Roosevelt Hotel in New York where those wonderful bands performed.

John
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LadyNostalgiaBuf...
post Jan 22 2004, 03:01 PM
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I was born in 1973 so I grew up listening to '80s music, but for as far back as I can remember, I was fascinated with old stuff. When I was younger, I couldn't find many radio stations that played anything much earlier than the '50s. Today, at 30, I like all types of music from all eras (except for metal, of course, because I can't even call that music). I have especially grown to appreciate extremely old music. I not only like old music from the '20s, '30s, and '40s (what fun tunes!), I find it interesting to listen to stuff from the 1910s and earlier -- the era of early recorded sound when some of the music was played on cylinders -- and some of this was from the 1890s! That's right, the 19th century when people still drove around in horse and buggies and fashionable women and girls wore high-button shoes! I am positively surprised to hear some of it sounding so crystal clear (well, as clear as these old recordings can sound, depending on how well they were taken care of). It takes a certain ear for extremely old music, and sadly, not many people are into it. All I can say is... thank goodness for Dismuke and his message board, website, and radio station! biggrin.gif
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Swangirl
post Feb 4 2004, 08:07 PM
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Hi, guys! I just started listening this week so I'm a very new newbie. This place is just too good to be true. I've been searching for a station like this for YEARS. biggrin.gif

YoYo, you raise a good question. I first came in contact with this musical era when I watched some Woody Allen movies, namely "Hannah and Her Sisters" and "Annie Hall." Long after the movies were over, I'd be humming tunes from these movies and wondering how I could get my mits on this music! It ignited a love that only grows stronger over time.

I think I share some of your notion that one motivation for liking this music is what emotions it evokes. Instead of angst, violence, anger and hostility, this music shares hope, longing, joy, upbeat humor and at times, romance. I can listen to Radio Dismuke while I'm working here out of my apartment (I telecommute) and it lifts my spirits.

I also think it evokes ideas of a simpler time when life (or so it seemed) was much less complex. Certainly I wouldn't over-idealize the era. There were problems just as there are now. But I think people had a feeling of a more common identity in the 30s especially. The Great Depression broke down a lot of walls in that everybody (well ALMOSt everybody) had it rough.

Being a keen student of the era (although I'm only 35), I have read account after account of those who lived through it as thinking they didn't think of themselves as poor because everybody else was in the same boat. I think much of the music reflects this attitude. People wanted to forget their cares and dream a little.

On a simpler level, I think this music lightens the heart and makes you smile. That may sound goofy but that's my quick answer.

Thank you, Radio Dismuke, for being a great haven!
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howdydave
post Feb 24 2004, 01:50 AM
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Howdy!

About the only things I listen to on my Internet-radio are music of this era and OTR!

I figure that either I was born about 50 years too late...

or

In a previous existance I was either trampled to death in a Charlston competition or died of exaustion in a dance marathon! blink.gif

Guess I'm just stuck in a time warp, eh?


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Swangirl
post Mar 4 2004, 04:44 PM
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[COLOR=purple]Well, Dave...that's quite something to consider. If you were indeed trampled during a Charleston contest, did you have shoe marks all over your face when you were born? tongue.gif

Seriously, I feel that way, too, at times. My husand is 10 years younger than me and I think he considers my affinity for this music a little strange. He never teases me about it but he's so into this era's music (except for some early U2 and REM) that he doesn't understand it.

Nice to hear from a fellow Dismuker!

T.R.
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YoYo
post Mar 15 2004, 08:39 PM
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Wow, It's been several months since I posted my first post. I have returned, as YoYo's are designed to, and enjoyed reading everyones' posts. smile.gif

If you haven't already found it, Dismuke has 3 fantastic recordings of pieces by Richard Eilenberg on the Hit of the Week page, scroll down to "EXTRA". Hit of the Week

Together they capture what I love in "old" music. They say to me, "Let's do something grand!"

I've been collecting sheet music by composers c. 1900, mostly from ebay, and these three recordings have helped me actually interpret the music.

The first tune Petersburg Sleigh Ride is a Galop. I hadn't heard any old recordings of galops so I figured that they were performed at a more of a trot tempo, but if you listen, zoooom! That thing goes like crazy and makes it frantic fun. Don't ballroom dancers do Galops these days? Are galops always played super fast?

The second is The Nightinggale and the Frog a solo for piccolo. I suppose these virtuoso pieces warped into jazz solos over the years. I much prefer this composer-written solo music, like this one. What I learned from this recording was how to interpret all these old music instructions that baffled me. Listen to it and you'll hear that the tempo highly fluctuates. The piccolo starts sloooow, then picks up, faster, faster... then everyone is zooming along, and the pattern repeats. I listened, and thought, "Oh, that's what is meant by starting a phrase "un poco rit."!!! A classical musician would just get slow and stay slow. I believe the musicians had standard ways of playing and much was "just understood" among them. Doesn't all this "rubato" sound cheerful? I'm amazed.

The third is a bouncy march. Gosh, I have to hold on to my chair to keep myself from marching around the room. smile.gif What I learned from this recording was, "Oh, so that's what a recording bass sounds like." I had heard years ago that a tuba had been redesigned for early recordings. It was called a "recording bass", go figure. Its bell was curved forward to aim directly at the recording device. I think you can hear the tuba prominently because of that design.

Later,
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gregoryagogo
post Aug 11 2004, 08:18 PM
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I definately use the 1920's - 1940's music to escape. I'm not reliving the music of my youth, for the music of my youth sucked being from the 1970's and all!

I listened to swing when it wasn't cool! I always hated the music of my era! That damn rock'n roll will be the death of me!

Always feeling out of place, my musical experience has been drifting backward in time from the swing era.

Escape? YES!! Cutting music programs and emphasizing sports is taking it's toll on music today. Popular music from the '30's and 40's is more musically interesting than today.

Gregory


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SondraFinchley
post Aug 29 2004, 05:09 AM
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Hello-

Ive been listening to this site on and off for almost a year now, and I am always thankful that it exists. I thought I would check in on the forum and finally sign up- so I knew i wasnt the only "weirdo" out there who finds this music and era so fascinating ( I get looks at work when I listen to Radio Dismuke!). So this is my first post.

I suppose I started getting into the music side a long time ago, probably in high school ( im only 27) with the "forced" showing of The Great Gatsby (even though I had already read the book) and sure its from 1970- whatever but I thought the dresses were neat and the whole orchestral arrangement of popular music even better. Then in the summers I would go to estate sales with my aunt in the Midwest and I started coming across old piano book covers and I ended up buying quite a few that caught my fancy- intricate and colorful covers in that Deco-y style- even though I cant play piano, I intend to one day frame these and hang them in my future home. Well that of course got me more curious about what the sound of the era was like, though it wasnt until last fall that I went online wondering if there wasnt a website that had the music- what luck!

I agree with the "time-travel" theory though- I adore history and slowly but surely my fondness for probably about 1880-1938 has developed through reading the literature and the history books and standing transfixed at museum displays. Music just enhances the experience and enhances your knowledge of the time. Especially for WW1 and the 1920s, music was an extremely important part of expression and change. Im not so sure music today is that as much.

I tend to go in waves listening to this music depending on what mood/era I feel like on any given day smile.gif, but Im so thrilled that this resource exists so that I can listen to the music when im in the mood.
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Ian House
post Aug 29 2004, 06:25 AM
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Hey Sondra!

Welcome to the board. Your "weirdo"ness is quite welcome here... I am looking forward to your future posts. ... My favorite Jazz Age movie produced in the 70's is Paper Moon with Ryan and Tatum O'Neal. I think they did an exceptional job at creating the depression era atmosphere -better than most attempts in the 70s. Have you ever seen it?

Again, welcome to Dismuke, a curious land of sheet music, raccoon coats, bakelite and Art Deco skyscrapers!

Ian


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gregoryagogo
post Aug 30 2004, 08:20 PM
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Yeah, Music of today sucks!

G


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dismuke
post Feb 2 2005, 04:59 AM
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I am afraid that I have some very sad news. Last night I learned that YoYo, the message board member who started this thread and contributed two postings to it, passed away last May.

YoYo's real name was Adam Burford and, as you can tell from his postings, he was a very enthusiastic fan of music from the early 1900s era.

Adam was a musician and he used a software program that enables arrangers to bring orchestral compositions to life using nothing but a computer. Adam used that software program and antique sheet music to bring back to life wonderful tunes from 100 years ago that have largely been forgotten. Adam posted many of his recordings to a website that is still active at: http://www.burfordgallopade.com Take a listen to them sometime. If you like my website, you will probably like his.

What makes my discovery about Adam all the more difficult is the fact that I later found a web log entry posted by a friend of his indicating that Adam's death was a suicide. He died less than two months after his second posting in this thread - and only a few weeks after he put up some additional postings helping people out with technical issues with the website, something that I don't always have the time to do.

I never had the honor of meeting Adam. He and I exchanged one or two emails a few years ago due to the fact that he and I were seeking information on the same song and had stumbled across each other. Adam got back in contact with me in November of 2003 when I had put up a request on my website for information about some music. After that we had an on and off correspondence until a few weeks before he died. The correspondence quickly turned to our mutual love for early 1900s music with him sending me .midi sound files and me sending him sound files of records from my collection. He asked me if I would be interested in perhaps adding another aspect to my website of featuring digitally generated orchestrations based on late 1800s /early 1900s sheet music. I thought it was an absolutely incredible idea - but I asked him why on earth he would need me for something like that. I told him that I felt such a project deserved and most certainly could support its own website - but if he liked, I was willing to create a separate section on my site for such a purpose and give him complete editorial control over it.

The correspondence very briefly turned to other issues before settling back to music related topics. In response to some advise I gave him regarding a certain career-related situation he found himself in and his frustration with the state of modern culture, he wrote back:

"What you said to me in your last email makes sense, and was inspirational. So here's your reward... I fished around and found some software to make some decent sound files of turn-of-the-century orchestra arrangements.

Anona Intermezzo, Vivian Grey, 1903 and

Happy Hearts Galop, T.H. Rollinson, 1888.

[Above links go to the mp3 files that Adam made for me]

I think that Happy Hearts was a standard piece of music used at weekly dances.

I found a picture on the Internet of a cover to the Anona sheet music. Anona appears to have been one of those graceful Indian beauties that once roamed the imagination of music publishers....

Hope you like the tunes. Making them was a labor of love, learning new software, new music technology, and refining musical results."


Until today, I had forgotten all about those two mp3 files that he gave me. I have never been one much into crying - but when I just now listened to his two wonderful, lighthearted and happy recordings of music that is so full of life...well, let's just say it was very difficult and it still is when I think about them. Please take a listen to them. Both are very beautiful - and to the best of my knowledge, he never made those particular recordings public. I will always treasure them.

About a month after he sent me the recordings, he mentioned in an email that he had put up his website which he was going to include a link to in resumes and seek employment in music.

Our last exchange came in April when I logged onto this forum and noticed his name listed under the "Today's Birthday's" section. I sent him a brief email wishing him a Happy Birthday stating that I had just had one myself. The last email I received from him on April 18 said:

Thank you for the birthday greeting, and Happy Birthday to you too Dismuke. For my birthday I attended a Music Industry conference and got interviewed for a dream job. This could be good year. Hope your Birthday goes well.

Last night I learned that he killed himself three weeks or so later.

I never made any attempt to contact him after that last email - and, in all this time, I did not think it at all strange that he never attempted to contact me. That's just the way email correspondences go. He and I had never met and we lived at opposite ends of the country, he in Minnesota and I in Texas. I have had a lot of very interesting email correspondences with people that last a little while, come to an end and perhaps start back up again after a year or two or, in some cases, even longer than that.

Any time someone ends his life in such a manner is sad and tragic. But why am I so worked up about the passing of someone I never even met and with whom I had merely exchanged some emails? I guess part of it is because it was very obvious to me, even through email, that Adam would have been a very interesting and fun person to know plus the fact that we both shared certain common interests and values. But part of it was because I felt that there was a certain common cultural bond between us.

I have a pretty dim view of today's popular culture - though not as dim as Adam's was based on what he wrote. My take on a great deal of today's popular culture is that it has about as much substance, style and soul as an empty Styrofoam cup. In other words, that which I do not find downright offensive I consider to be, at best, boring, bland and sterile - most especially in the area of aesthetics I enjoy most, music. The popular culture and music of the early 1900s provides such a refreshing contrast to today's dullness and trashiness, which is one of the reasons I love it so much. Adam's passion for that music was very similar to mine - and, in today's world, there are not too many people, I am afraid, who share that passion. I have always thought of myself as living in my own unique private little subculture - and I think everyone should have a similar attitude about their lives. Once in a while I run across people who "fit in" with my little subculture - and I always regard such people as special. Adam struck me as someone who might very well have "fit in" with it for reasons beyond just the mere fact that we happened to enjoy the same music.

There is a discussion board thread discussing his passing at: http://northernsounds.com/forum/archive/in...hp/t-21057.html One of the postings is by someone who had an opportunity to meet him at the same Music Industry conference Adam mentioned in his last email to me and his description is consistent with what I imagined he might have been like:

"I had the good pleasure of meeting Adam at the MENC show in Minneapolis last month. Adam seemed like a child in a candy store with all the musical instruments and gear around him. He had a great time at the show dancing on a MIDI keyboard mat and making it sound wonderful. I also remember his kind and gentle spirit. He spoke of his dreams and shared some of the ideas he had about technology and music."

What a sad, tragic waste.

My thoughts on the issue of suicide have always been the same since I read a comment about the subject when I was a kid. I cannot remember who wrote it. Basically, the context of the remarks was the mention of a 16 year old who killed himself in either the 1910s or 1920s. The author then commented that, if the boy had lived, he would now be in his 80s - and then asked if that 80 something year old would have had much emotion for or even remember whatever it was that was so terrible as to drive a young boy to suicide. That pretty much put the whole subject of suicide in perspective for me.

I obviously have no way of knowing what circumstances those who might read this will someday find themselves in. But for goodness sakes, if things become so terrible that you feel a temptation to go down a similar path - please don't do it. You will be snuffing out something that is so wonderfully unique and totally irreplaceable. You might not be in a frame of mind at the moment to fully appreciate that which is about to be snuffed out - but that does not mean that it is any less precious and, above all, your feelings ARE temporary and WILL pass. And there are more people out there who appreciate that which would be snuffed out than you will ever know. Think of Adam, the two charming postings he put up in this thread and the upbeat, joyous music files he made and remember what an awful and tragic waste of a truly grand and wonderful spirit his death was.
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Ian House
post Feb 2 2005, 08:15 AM
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Dismuke,

Your sentiments here, so well expressed, serve as a wonderful tribute to Adam. Of course, like many others, I only knew him as the contributing member, YoYo ... so it's nice that you are able to share a little more insight into his "real-life" persona. It sounds like he was quite a creative and fun-loving individual.

I consider the internet to be one of the most powerful inventions ever devised. Its ability to join people together of like interests is simply revolutionary. Before its development, I spent a lifetime in my own private little subculture -as you say- surviving my generation's culture with great disdain and embarrassment. Perhaps that is why the loss of a fellow Dismuker is just sooo hard to accept; We all know how long it took to make such friendships. In my own personal case, it was four decades.

Like everyone, I enjoy my close friendships with people in the "real world"... and to remain social, I need to wallow in the muck of today's degraded culture, forced to dance in the filth and laugh at the vulgarity. It's the only channel that's available. But somehow, it always feels like I'm an actor playing a role. Some of my most relaxed and natural conversations occur on the other side of this keyboard with my electronic penpals, the people who truly seem to share my values. But, I admit, I still wonder if it's a healthy thing to have so many electronic friends -especially when I start to consider them as my "best" friends...?

I sure hope that Adam's torment didn't shadow him for too many years... but then, how tragic it would be indeed to realize that it was a short-lived anguish. I trust that he is in a more peaceful place.

And it's so nice to have the two mp3 files as a keepsake. They so beautifully serve as a fitting homage.


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dmpl70
post Feb 2 2005, 06:05 PM
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Why would anyone listen to this old, out dated, stale, square, nerdy music? Because its beautiful, sophisticated, complex, absolutely charming and purely American. That's why. If more younger people could get turned on this music, life would be sooo much better. I'm 41.
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YoYoSister
post Feb 2 2005, 07:47 PM
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Hello --

Adam Burford is my brother. Thank you so much for your words of appreciation for his spirit and his genius. I miss him every day. I just wanted to
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