Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Know Your Bugs Bunny Music

The Brattle Theatre in Harvard Square is hosting the Bugs Bunny Film Festival this week. Many of the Looney Tunes cartoons included musical references, and you can bone up on this with the library's help.

The All Bugs Revue includes the classic "What's Opera, Doc," which uses Wagner's operas as its basis, and has been analyzed in this article:

Jaszoltowski, Saskia. "Warum Wagner? Musikalische Grenzüberschreitungen in (Zeichentrick-)Filmen." Archiv für Musikwissenschaft 69.2 (2012): 154-64.

Now you may be thinking you don't need to know German to enjoy Wagner, but its hard to read a German article without being fluent in the language. Fortunately, our databases can help you out. This article is in the International Index to Music Periodicals Full Text, on of our many databases that includes a translation function. The computer-generated translation is choppy compared to what a knowledgeable human would do, but it's good enough to understand the author's intent.

The All Bugs Revue also has an example of a gag that was repeated in several of the Looney Tunes cartoons, where a character hooks up dynamite to a piano key and presents a foe with sheet music with that particularly note. The song is always "Those Endearing Young Charms." Whether you want to find out what the song sounds like without the ensuing explosion or want to stage your own similar gag (and the library takes no responsibility for your criminal actions), we have the score for the traditional Irish song, whose complete title is "Believe Me, If All Those Endearing Young Charms." As one example, it is in The Big Book of Irish Songs (MP1744 .B54 2003)

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