Thanksgiving Is Ruined

The Personal is Political. The Political is Personal.

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May 12, 2008
Did somebody say tonalitarianism?
                                                                        (five interventions in the (mis)use)

from the NY Philharmonic's Carter Brey, in Strings magazine's "Letter from North Korea"/"Pyongang Diary":
[M]usic director Lorin Maazel strides onstage and gives principal percussionist Christopher Lamb the cue for a snare drum roll, and we are on our way with the DPRK national anthem. . . .

As soon as the last C major chord has been cut off, Maazel cues another drum roll and we launch into the "Star Spangled Banner," this arrangement in B♭   major. Because the first note is an F♯   [given as F-natural in magazine's print version, and here -- ??], the pedant in me realizes that the order of the two anthems has produced a perfect, if unplanned, secondary    dominant sequence. All musicians have inane passing thoughts such as these at moments of stress.

from the treatise Harmony, chapter 16, "Secondary Dominants," by Walter Piston, who first used the term "secondary dominant":
Far from weakening the tonality, the secondary dominants can be a distinct aid in strengthening it.

If we imagine a tonal center, supported on either hand by subdominant and dominant, it is easy to see that if these two important tonal degrees are in turn supported by their respective dominants the whole tonal edifice is made stronger thereby.

This is essentially the scheme used by Beethoven in the opening measures of his first symphony.

from the Korean Central News Agency of DPRK:
The WPK has also linked the efforts for the maintenance of the Juche character with the struggle for strengthening solidarity and unity in the worldwide socialist movement.

It has striven to strengthen international solidarity and unity in conformity with the nature of the socialist movement, strictly rejecting the placing of Juche character against internationalism.

from Piston's chapter 18, "Problems in Harmonic Analysis":
The idea of a secondary dominant applied to a secondary tonic, creating as it were a miniature tonal region of its own within the larger context of a surrounding tonality, is analogous on a smaller scale to a modulation in a modulating piece.

from On the Juche Idea:

If the revolution and construction are to be carried out as required by the Juche idea, Chajusong must be maintained and realized in Party and state activities.

The leader laid down the principles of Juche in ideology, independence in politics, self-sufficiency in the economy, and self-reliance in defense as the principles of realizing Chajusong. The principles of Juche, independence, self-sufficiency and self-reliant defense are the guiding principles of realizing Chajusong in the spheres of ideology, politics, the economy and defense.

(all emphases supplied)


(blame the above vague, tongue-in-cheek "connections" in part on our reading the following a couple weeks ago while waiting in line for Bartok tickets)

The STONES V. BEATLES dialectic, then, was actually Lennon/McCartney's industrial Sovietology vs. Mick and Keith's agrarian Maoism, a direct reflection of the intra-Commie ideological conflict of the time. The inability of the revolutionary superpowers to find common ground spelled Communism's inevitable dissolution in the face of imperialism, with the absorption of Russia as a new Third World, and China's embrace of exploitive capitalist/imperialist tactics. . . .

If you think of underground music as occupying the space of a Cuba or Venezuela, and Sony/WEA/et al. representing the USA, the situation seems to still echo the larger conflict.

from Ian Svenonius' very awesome "Beatles vs. Stones: The Exhumation of the Schism" (.pdf), in The Psychic  Soviet