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Published on Jan 26, 2012
Comment from the presentation: “A recent carol that is immensely popular is ‘The Carol of the Drum,’ written in America in 1941 by Harry Simeone, Katherine K. Davis, and Henry Onorati, and often called ‘The Little Drummer Boy.’ In it, a drummer boy, very poor, wants to bring a gift to show his large feeling for the new born child. Having nothing material to give, he asks the infant: ‘Can I play for you on my drum?’ In a lecture, Eli Siegel commented on the title ‘Carol of the Drum.’ He said it showed a new point in the idea of a carol, which, like song itself accents the melodious, continuous, while the drum accents the discontinuous. These two stand for rest and motion, and that title, he said, ‘is an attempt to get opposites closer.’ We hear this happening throughout the carol. The melody, sung by the sopranos and altos, is sweetly continuous—while the end of each line becomes gently percussive: ‘Pa rum pa pum pum pum.’ Meanwhile, the tenors and basses keep up the percussion, which both interrupts the continuity and also enhances it. In the opening measures, is there something critical in those slightly explosive sounds, something pointed? And is it in behalf of our waking up, not being complacent? Are we aching to have something narrow, grudging, selfish in us broken up, interrupted? The desire in this young boy to join himself with his instrument, a drum, in order to praise a great happening in the world, is sensible and lovely.” Conducted by Barbara Allen Piano: Edward Green Videographer: Robert Murphy http://www.aestheticrealism.org http://www.barbaraallen.org http://www.edgreenmusic.org http://aestheticrealismtheatreco.org http://lynetteabel.org