Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Octave of Christmas Part 2

My little niece Barbara was playing her one-note piano and she was playing "Joy To the World." And it reminded me of something that has amazed me in the past. I should have thought of it a few days ago when I was reflecting on the Octave of Christmas.

"Joy To the World" is just one descending octave! Listen to it on this great square old Robert Shaw recording, up above. You know me, I love square old recordings, and Robert Shaw.

It is amazing what a little rhythm can do to just one octave.

Another classic example of octaves in music:

The great pas de deux from "The Nutcracker."

That was Tchaikovsky's last ballet, who knew that? I was thinking this Christmas season how enchanting it still is. The opening theme of the great pas de deux, it is just one plain old octave, descending. Tchaikovsky knew what to do with it. That is genius.

Tomorrow or the next day I will deal with octaves going up. I have two examples all ready to go.

It is a nice game to play with yourself when you are standing in a bank line or dropping off to sleep.

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