Chestnuts roasting in A Flat
November 30, 2012 1:44 PM   Subscribe

The Music Theory Song presented in a festive melody. (SLYT)
posted by binturong (18 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
I have always resisted learning Music Theory for fear that it would just reveal to me how much of the pop music I like is really obvious tricks. That Axis Of Awesome song about the 4 chords that underlie all sorts of emotionally-manipulative tunes has made it impossible not to hear them everywhere.

But it turns out I had nothing to worry about. The mass of nerdalicious terminology in your link has convinced me that Music Theory is just the band-camp version of 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 2:01 PM on November 30, 2012 [3 favorites]

I had been avoiding that video like the plague since all of my professional colleagues/musician friends have been posting it to Facebook over and over, not to mention that this type of thing is usually just in fun but highly inaccurate...BUT, I finally gave it a listen and that is pretty darn good. Oh, and completely accurate with humor in all the right places.
posted by TinWhistle at 2:11 PM on November 30, 2012

Not sure why the poster used the title "Chestnuts roasting in A flat", since, well, it's in C, not A-flat.....
posted by TinWhistle at 2:13 PM on November 30, 2012

Learning music theory won't harm your appreciation of music, it will multiply it! Like the universe, music consists of mathematical patterns being repeated and broken. It's a beautiful thing
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:14 PM on November 30, 2012 [10 favorites]

It had me at "meet the Flintstones."
posted by The World Famous at 2:24 PM on November 30, 2012 [5 favorites]

Not sure why the poster used the title "Chestnuts roasting in A flat"...

It's written in C. Perhaps the OP was kidding about the pitch accuracy of the singer (sings about as well as Arthur Godfrey and Garrison Keilor).

Heard that fine, mellow song sooo many times, many ways, never noticed how complex the harmonies are ... maybe owing to Torme's infatuation with jazz?
posted by Twang at 2:40 PM on November 30, 2012

This led me to this rather inspiring music professor, messing about with The Mickey Mouse Song
posted by Augenblick at 3:23 PM on November 30, 2012 [5 favorites]

A little pitchy, especially given the topic. On the plus side, no autotune.
posted by gregor-e at 3:25 PM on November 30, 2012

I seldom Laugh Out Loud, but this was the funniest two minutes of my week. OK, maybe I should get out more...
posted by kozad at 4:37 PM on November 30, 2012

As someone who is playing a jazz gig at a holiday party at this very moment I appreciate this.
posted by sourwookie at 5:17 PM on November 30, 2012

Since this is an analysis of "The Christmas Song," I think I'll plug in my favorite story about the song, when some oblivious carolers were talked into signing the song to its author, Mel Torme, in the Farmer's Market in Los Angeles:

As the choir reached the last chorus or two of the song, Mel got to his feet and made a little gesture that meant, "Let me sing one chorus solo." The carolers — all still apparently unaware they were in the presence of one of the world's great singers — looked a bit uncomfortable. I'd bet at least a couple were thinking, "Oh, no...the little fat guy wants to sing."

But they stopped and the little fat guy started to sing...and, of course, out came this beautiful, melodic, perfectly-on-pitch voice. The look on the face of the singer I'd briefed was amazed at first...then properly impressed.


Mel chuckled. He realized that these four young folks hadn't the velvet-foggiest notion who he was, above and beyond the fact that he'd worked on that classic carol. "Well," he said. "I've actually made a few records in my day..."

"Really?" the other man asked. "How many?"

Tormé smiled and said, "Ninety."

posted by Bunny Ultramod at 6:45 PM on November 30, 2012 [11 favorites]

That story is badass, Bunny.
posted by Doleful Creature at 7:02 PM on November 30, 2012

The Mickey Mouse video reminds me of Tom Lehrer's Clementine.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 7:04 PM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

"Descending scale to a minor third..."

BZZZZZZT! E is the MAJOR third of C.

/studied it in school once
posted by tspae at 7:58 PM on November 30, 2012

tspae: "BZZZZZZT! E is the MAJOR third of C."

Yes, but the chord in question is Em7... Which is Minor. And the third chord of the key of C.
posted by benzo8 at 9:14 PM on November 30, 2012

tsapae, I think he was referring to that melodic phrase ending in "e - g - e", i.e going up and down a minor third.
posted by MattMangels at 9:16 PM on November 30, 2012

My dad would've been so proud he paid for all that music education just so I'd "get" this.

And also, for those of you just taking Music Appreciation 100, remember: It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a Mozart.
posted by NorthernLite at 7:38 PM on December 1, 2012

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