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Humor in Music? to the point of laughter? without visual aids? (Read 1331 times)

Offline themeandvariation

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To me, it is most rare that music by itself (without words or visuals!) is downright funny.
I would be curious to hear from others on this theme.  And perhaps some consider that laughter (not playfulness!) is not compatible with the experience of listening to music..
I am guessing that  if humor in music does 'work' - that one tenet in it's construction is that it plays off of and subverts our expectation of what follows a traditional 'set-up' - in the most ridiculous way.
 Mozart's 'a musical joke' perhaps falls under this category…
(Please, no mention of Peter Schickele).

I will also submit (in defiance of all reason) my attempt:
https://soundcloud.com/upinsmoke-4/skipping-the-philosophers-stone


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Offline dcstudio

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Re: Humor in Music? to the point of laughter? without visual aids?
«Reply #1 on: August 19, 2015, 09:34:18 PM »

strange music...lol   up in smoke?   are you a Cheech and Chong fan?

think I am seeing a pattern here.

Offline schumaniac

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Re: Humor in Music? to the point of laughter? without visual aids?
«Reply #2 on: August 19, 2015, 09:48:44 PM »
the 2nd movement of Beethoven's op. 31 no. 3 sonata, with its unexpected key change. It might not make you laugh, but it will most probably make you smile. "oh, Beethoven..."


Offline roncesvalles

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Re: Humor in Music? to the point of laughter? without visual aids?
«Reply #3 on: August 19, 2015, 10:00:29 PM »
Humor in music is hard.   It's easy to be downright zany, but difficult to be humorous in more refined ways.   The most common musical humor is probably subtle mockery of figures or styles, like the little pop figuration by Busoni in his Sonatina ad usum infantis (just into section V: Polonaise un poco ceremonioso).  My favorite type of musical humor, though, is the grotesque, with its sinister undertones, but my comedy of choice is dark and dry.   My appreciation of Shostakovich is mostly along those lines, and, to some extent, Alkan.     

Offline themeandvariation

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Re: Humor in Music? to the point of laughter? without visual aids?
«Reply #4 on: August 19, 2015, 10:10:22 PM »
@ Schumaniac: i'll have to check that quartet out!.. A smile definitely counts!

dc…  ;D
glad thought thought it funny.

No,  i'm afraid, it is not a Cheech and Chong reference … That would be easier to swallow. It more stems from my fear of Everything going up in smoke.. along the lines of Marshall Mcluhan and the deconstructionists..  Though i am by nature an optimist  ;D 
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Offline themeandvariation

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Re: Humor in Music? to the point of laughter? without visual aids?
«Reply #5 on: August 19, 2015, 11:26:07 PM »
my apologies, but i needed to remove the my posted link - as it takes too long to get to the joke -
taxing the listeners patience.. and mine!  ;D
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Offline josh93248

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Re: Humor in Music? to the point of laughter? without visual aids?
«Reply #6 on: August 20, 2015, 05:09:09 AM »
I think humour can be found in music, I often find it funny when I hear a particularly "Beethovenian" moment in a piece by him and I just kind of chuckle to myself. Also I think Mozart had a good sense of humour in a lot of what he wrote, I can't really think of that much else but this is an interesting topic theme, can you give any examples you can think of by other composers?
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Offline themeandvariation

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Re: Humor in Music? to the point of laughter? without visual aids?
«Reply #7 on: August 20, 2015, 05:32:52 AM »
@Josh
I find Beethoven humorous at times as well, perhaps even mischievous  ;D
Also Prokofiev - i find ..um…funny in a sardonic way… I like a lot  of his music..
 
A 12 tone piece is usually one never associates with humor, but Stravinsky wrote a gently humorous one called 'the owl and the pussy' for unaccompanied (mezzo?) soprano.. The melody is so disarming , that one practically walks away whistling it..  

There was a recording i heard some time back of the JP Sousa 'band'.. Something from the very early 1900's.. It wasn't the music he is now known for - the marches-  but a wonderful collection of jazz pieces he wrote - quite early on in the mov't. There were people from many  traditions (and ethnicities ) , from various parts of the country - assembled to play in his band.. Many influences can be heard - mixing all together.. It sounded like were having such a fun time - silly - but very catchy.. sometimes it sounded like wild chatter from some exotic jungle.. I tried to find a link.. No luck yet.
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