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Crepitation Rag


Keith O. Edwards

 Genre: Swing

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Just in time for St. Valentine's Day, I have a wacky Halloween number. (Funny how I get the two days confused.)

This took me about 32 hours to write, and I had complained at the Classical Archives Forum that it took me eight hours to work out the syncopation of the first strain -- which lasts a mere 28 seconds. A young symphonist there was incredulous that I was so slow at creating music. "That's easy for you to say," I shot back. "You're just imitating Beethoven. I'm imitating Ricky Ricardo!" (He of course had no idea of what I was talking about.)

Attention school band directors! The score and parts for this piece are available for a nominal fee at my page at SibeliusMusic where you can watch the notes go by as the music plays.

The artwork is an engraving by Gustave Doré (1833-83) which depicts a party in a suburb of Hell.
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Song Stats
Hits: 4313
Comments: 9
Fans: 3
Plays: 386
Downloads: 172
Votes: 8
Uploaded: Feb 01, 2006 - 09:21:16 AM
Last Updated: Jul 15, 2006 - 10:09:27 PM Last Played: Mar 22, 2019 - 11:33:26 PM
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Sibelius 3
drakonis said 4799 days ago (February 1st, 2006)
Hell for Comedians
7 levels of hand buzzers, whoopie cushions and rubber chickens... As we
descend, suburb by suburb, from Amityville, past CruellaDeVille, all the
way to the bottom of the pit, Vaudeville... with the audience writhing in
tortured horror at the silliness. Ahem. Anyway, I loved the off-kilter
syncopation as the music lurches and wobbles along. Orchestration was
enjoyable (I'd have reduced the frequency of the recurring whistle a little
though, just used it a couple of times.) And of course I A-Doré the
artwork. Made me smirk all morning.
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dreadmon said 4798 days ago (February 1st, 2006)
wholly original
this is a delightful piece of work - a demented arrangement and some of the oddest colors I've heard in a ragtime piece. It's downright progressive in spots - this would be a hoot played by a small ensemble. I can hear all of what you were going for - some of the mix here is uneven and the whole thing could come WAY up - but for me, that doesn't detract from the delightful and decadent nature of this little gem. There's a bit of Danny Elfman from "Nightmare Before Christmas" floating around in there (maybe an influence?), but you make it wholly your own through all of its twists and turns.
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echoroom said 4797 days ago (February 3rd, 2006)
dunno what to make of this - it starts off like the scooby-doo music, and then turns into a nightmare at the fairground.

Quite unlike anything I've heard at MJs before, andmade me want to bounch around the room.

Great man - you should be working for Hannah barbara.
Check out my latest song called Light Sleeper
said 4777 days ago (February 23rd, 2006)
rag it
this is another great piece Mr. Edwards. I like the
arrangement, the drums were great. Great to see some
people here are still having fun with music. I must play this
on my fretless bass :). Very cool piece.

nyakki said 4773 days ago (February 27th, 2006)
The OMG award
This is, hands down, the winner of nyakki's OMG award.

Originality through the roof. The concept is solid and you pulled it off
very well. But it wasn't so off the wall that originality overshadowed the
enjoyment of the song.

Nicely done.

Check out my latest song called I Just Want To Tell You (It Ain't Love)
Keith O. Edwards said 4772 days ago (February 28th, 2006)
The OMG award
Naaaah! Naaaah! You guys need to realize that everything I'm doing is merely a pale imitation of Fletcher Henderson (orchestration), Chick Webb (drums), Eubie Blake and all the other great originals of American music. Search on the 'net for a MIDI version of James P. Johnson's Jungle Drums to hear the genuine article. I have fun working-out the syncopation and bizarre harmony, but I'm light-years beneath the level of those guys.

My hero, W. P. English (1867-1916?), was an itinerant tuba player in circus bands throughout the American Midwest, and I'm generally mimicking his novelty number, Instantaneous Rag (which is curiously available at iTunes). Listen to that, and then tell me if you think I'm doing anything original. Long before ring modulators and oscillators were developed, circus bands all had an assortment of whistles and sirens to be used during the clown acts. This was carried to an extreme by Spike Jones & His City Slickers. (Jones fired revolvers as part of the music.)

As hard as I try, I know I'll never be able to approach the level of the "screwy" arrangements of Raymond Scott (1908-1994). I'd become confused and disoriented trying to think-up so many notes. Scott was also the father of electronic music -- the late Robert Moog studied with him. He was so advanced that it's possible he was an alien from another dimension.

Music Education time: Why do we refer to a song or a tune as a "number"? It's because circus musicians all carried a thick binder of sheet music with each piece numbered in a specific order. When the band director would call for the next piece of music to be played, he'd shout out its number in the book. Karl L. King's great march Barnum & Bailey's Favorite was number 555 in the book.
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Monkaton said 4752 days ago (March 19th, 2006)
This is one of the best songs I've heard here, or any where. I like all
your influences, although I admit I don't know the tuba player.
Henderson and Scott though are favorites of mine. Great stuff.
Excellent orchestration.
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bronco said 4747 days ago (March 25th, 2006)
Loved It
Sometimes when I hear songs like this I wonder why I bother writing
my simple little songs. I guess we are each inspired by our influences
and should be happy with what we have and not what we don't but this
piece really made me feel insignificant while admiring what you have
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rfwilmut said 4540 days ago (October 18th, 2006)
Great fun
Nice one, Keith, I enjoyed it. Could I make one slight comment - on both
this and 'Afraid of the Dark' you've clipped the end, which slightly spoils
the effect - it's worth letting the reverberation die away.
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Genre Info
Swing music, also known as swing jazz, is a form of jazz music that developed during the 1920s and solidified as a distinctive style during the 1930s in the United States. Swing is distinguished primarily by a strong rhythm section, usually including

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