Feb 2, 2016

Classical Music is All Around Us

by Marsha Ward

Folks who follow me on Facebook know I sometimes have music playing in my head, like the several days last week, when Maurice Ravel's "Bolero" kept up its incessant repetition with the tattoo of snare drums and the whine of saxophones.

It began quite innocently. I clicked on a video link to a piece by The Piano Guys, and I was lost on YouTube for several hours.

I eventually ended up obsessed with the 1984 Winter Olympic Gold Medal Ice Dancing Free Skate performance of Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, which has never--in my humble opinion--been surpassed in its beauty and grace (I saw the performance live on television back in the day). The piece was performed to a re-arrangement of "Bolero," which runs for some 15-odd minutes in the original. Since the limit of the ice dancing free skate in the Olympics is four minutes, something had to be done, so the pair had the musical piece re-orchestrated especially for their routine.

Watch the performance here.

I can go on and on, about why Torvill and Dean started out on their knees, swaying to the hypnotic music, and other factoids about that classic performance, but I won't. Suffice it to say that for several days afterward, I couldn't get the music to leave me alone. It played and played and played, like the proverbial broken record (which if you're too young to remember vinyl, you won't understand anyway), but in its entirety each time, not stuck repeating one phrase over and over. You can catch my running commentary about the misery of the music, beginning here on my Facebook Timeline.  (I like the video [shown above] in the comments better than the original one I cited in the post. No commentary, just pure enjoyment of the dance.)

You all realize what a risk I'm running of that music embedding itself for several days again, all so I can share with you, don't you?

Believe it or not, all the above was a prelude to the point I really want to mention today. Yeah. I do get snagged on a theme, don't I.

Have you noticed lately how a lot of ads on television feature classical music as their background?

I have, since I'm such a music nut.

The classical music usage caught my attention with the Infinity commercial showing cars gliding smoothly over the snow through an obstacle course and went on to encompass an ATT ad, a commercial for the Ultra HD Vizio television screen, a Cadillac Escalade ad, an Intel commercial, an Audi automobile ad, and ended up--so far--with the Dyson V6 vacuum cleaner commercial featuring the naughty dog.

And you thought classical music on television was confined to old cartoons!

Nope. It's everywhere. Watch an ad tonight and see if you don't catch one or two of those commercial efforts.

**I do apologize for missing my assigned day for posting, but hope you will forgive my absence with this little offering.**


  1. I came to classical music via Hooked on Classics and Barry Manilow lol

    1. Those certainly were great ways to learn about classical music, Terry. Thanks.


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