Sunday, March 21, 2021

Musical birthdays

Today is the birthday of two great composers, Johann Sebastian Bach and Modest Mussorgsky.  They had very different styles but one thing they had in common is their influence on 1960s and 1970s rock. First Bach, where Procol Harum basically ripped off Air on the G String for Whiter Shade of Pale:

Next Mussorgsky, where Emerson Lake and Palmer did an excellent reprieve of Pictures At The Exhibition:


Beans said...

Saw an interesting NOVA program on PBS in the 70's that dealt with Bach's influence on Rock and Roll.

Besides just straight up using his musical scores, the artistry and mastery of Bach's methodology is what has shaped Western music since. Mozart, Beethoven, Jazz, Rock-n-Roll, old-school Country, all use musical forms that Bach codified.

All because he was screwed by a patron.


Seems he had a contract to write X number of pieces, but the patron was being stingy with the cash, which was bad since Bach was, well, as prolific in swiving his wife as he was in writing music. So, in order to fulfill the contract he wrote a whole series of instructional pieces of music that takes a newbie and teaches the whole of Western Musical Theory and Scales...

Kinda neat, no?

libertyman said...

Just back from the great state of Maine. Went skiing at Sugarloaf.

Great musical post, I admired Emerson Lake and Palmer since the days at Orono. Amazing talent.

Kurt said...


Reprieve != Reprise

But I agree, the rock versions are very nice.


Ritchie said...

For some time I've had the thought that Emerson, Lake & Palmer played what Mussorgsky had in his head.

Ed Bonderenka said...

I did not know that about Whiter Shade. Huh.

Unknown said...

And where would every old horror movie be without the Toccata and Fugue in c minor???