Thursday, August 28, 2008

08.28.08 - An auspicious day for an overture?

After all the excitement of the 2008 Olympics, commencing in Beijing on
08.08.08, and at a similarly numbered evening hour (8:08), I'm launching this new forum a score (musical pun intended) of days later, hoping to take advantage of various numerological elements to speed us on our exploration of the wonders and mysteries of music. As there are eight basic notes in both Western music and Indian music (the latter my specialty), we have at least two solo 8's, and a third in compound (28), in today's date--I hope this marks an auspicious beginning of discussions to come. But enough for now of numbers.

Harking back to the Olympics, there have been numerous fascinating musical aspects of this global celebration to discuss, beginning with the spectacular opening ceremony and 2008 drummers playing in astonishingly precise synchronisation on the allegedly ancient fou drum (of which more later); the performance of the fetching young singer,
nine-year-old Lin Miaoke, who was subsequently discovered, as VOA reported, to be "lip-synching" her great anthem for the world to the haunting voice of another girl, seven-year-old Yang Peiui, who was perceived by Chinese officials to have "a chubby face and crooked teeth";.and finally, the widely published accusation that the renditions of the individual national anthems, as played by the Olympic musical ensemble at the presentation of each Gold Medal, were plagiarized from the distinctive orchestral arrangements of an American musician, Peter Breiner, and recorded (and hence widely available) on a major international CD label, Naxos. While I'll not attempt today a more extensive blog post today on these subjects, I will close with the first of many general questions pertaining to music that I hope to pose, and discuss with others in this space--the journalistic whats, wheres, whens, hows, and whys:

Why does every nation have a national anthem? How, and when and where, did the genre originate; and what is its significance?

More to come. . . .