TBT: A Little Derb’ll Do Ya: Haydn’s “Derbyshire Marches”

The blog of late has been focusing more and more on culture, specifically music.  That makes sense because I am, after all, a music teacher, and am increasingly moving away from teaching social studies.  That’s never been truer than this year, where I am teaching, among other things, a detailed Music Appreciation course covering the major works and stylistic periods of Western music.

This focus is also a result of a desire to move away from the constant flux of politics.  More and more, I’m coming to believe that the best way to improve our lot is to focus on creating culture and building our communities.  Decentralized, localized bulwarks against progressivism offer one peaceful form in which like-minded conservatives and traditionalists can continue to live freely—at least to some extent—and happily.

So in casting about for a TBT post this week, I stumbled upon this one from 16 December 2019, “A Little Derb’ll Do Ya: Haydn’s ‘Derbyshire Marches.’”  My Music Appreciation students and I have been discussing Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven, and have listened to a number of their works this week in class.

Joseph Haydn lived a remarkable, long, and successful life.  He grew up poor, and his early musical experiences involved hearing and singing the folk tunes of his native Austria.  He spent his childhood singing in a church, but was turned out when his voice changed.  He then made ends meet teaching music lessons and taking side gigs, slowly teaching himself how to compose.

His fortunes changed at 29 when he joined the Hungarian Esterházy family as their Kappelmeister, writing and composing a mind-boggling amount of pieces (at one point, the family staged two operas a week in their personal theatre in Hungary, all of which required Haydn’s pen and conductor’s baton).  But the position—difficult as it was—made Haydn wealthy and secure.

Even in spite of his workload and an unhappy marriage, Haydn maintained a positive attitude, and adopted an optimistic, humorous outlook on life.  It shows in his compositions, which are light-hearted, whimsical, joyous—and fun.

With that, here is 2019’s “A Little Derb’ll Do Ya: Haydn’s ‘Derbyshire Marches’“:

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Giving Tuesday

It’s that time of year where every vaguely commercial enterprise capitalizes on the the post-Thanksgiving Christmas season build-up to beg for your hard-earned dollars.  We’ve had Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday (is there a “Tithing Sunday” in there, too?).  Now it’s “Giving Tuesday,” the day designated for giving money to this or that charitable organization or dubious non-profit.

Prepare to have your inbox deluged with solicitations from various (and variably worthy) 501(c)(3)s, playing on the cheerfulness and generosity of Christmas in the hopes that you’ll pony up $25 or $50.  They’ll all claim they’re worthy causes—but how do you know?

Instead of running the risk of giving your merry moola to some Left-leaning charity, let me advise you on where to donate.  As much I’d love for you to support my blog (which, of course, I encourage you to do), here are some of bloggers, creators, and institutions that could really use your support:

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Law and Order?

It’s an election year, in case you’d missed that point, and our man Trump is up for reelection.  Trump is not doing well in the polls at the moment, but George H. W. Bush was similarly down against Michael Dukakis at this point in 1988, and won in a blowout victory.  Of course, Dukakis was an exceptionally feeble and excessively nerdy politician, and Lee Atwater’s Willie Horton ad was a gutsy, effective attack on Dukakis’s program of weekend release for prisoners.

1988 was also a very different America.  Even 2016 seems like another world.  Trump’s election was the paradigm shift of our age, spawning four years of constant resistance from progressives and neocons alike.  Joe Biden, like Hillary Clinton before him, enjoys the full support of the media and the institutions; even in his advancing senility, they are determined to drag him into the White House, where he will serve as a dull-witted, mentally-diminished puppet for every crazy Left-wing policy ever concocted in the faculty lounge of a women’s studies department.

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Conservative Girls are Prettier

Way back in 2001, good ol’ John “The Derb” Derbyshire wrote a column for National Review called “Hillary’s Style Crash.”  That was back in the days before NR kicked Derb to the curb for writing his controversial piece for Taki’s MagThe Talk: Nonblack Version,” in which Derb dropped some unpleasant nuggets of wisdom.  That piece went up during the first round of the past decade’s worth of race riots, back before most of us realized it was mostly ginned up controversy.

Regardless, while I don’t agree with Derb’s race realism overall, he does offer up some remarkably insightful commentary.  His weekly podcast is often the highlight of my Saturday mornings, and he comes across as an intellectually curious, gentle man who sincerely cares about his adopted country.  His best commentary involves cultural matters, and that 2001 piece offers up a great insight:  conservative girls are prettier, but progressive girls are easier.

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Lessons from the Riots

A bit H/T today to photog at Orion’s Cold Fire, whose blogging and re-reporting on the riots have helped me keep abreast of events amid my illness.  I’ve linked to several of his posts throughout as reference.

One thing that’s struck me about the rioting is the utter lack of response from authorities in large cities.  It seems that the prudent response should have been, from the moment the first brick flew through the window of a Wendy’s, an overwhelming yet restrained show of force.  Make some arrests, crack some skulls judiciously when warranted, and send the clear signal that rioting is not allowed.

Instead, blue cities are completely kowtowing to the rioters.  Minneapolis’s City Council voted—ludicrously!—to disband the Minneapolis Police Department.  The mayor of Minneapolis—a radical Leftist—has washed his hands of the looting, essentially endorsing it.  In Massachusetts, the Attorney General has justified rioting as a positive good, saying, “Yes, America is burning, but that’s how forests grow.

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The Spectator Turns 10,000

The British libertarian magazine The Spectator reached its 10,000th issue.  It is the only magazine ever to reach this milestone.  It began life as a newspaper in July 1828, becoming a magazine “more than 100 years” later, although it was apparently always a weekly.

Throughout its history, The Spectator took radical positions for the times.  They supported the expansion of the franchise in Britain in 1832, and supported the Union in the American Civil War at a time when many Britons were concerned about the impact of cotton shortages on the British textile industry than they were about slavery (correctly or not, The Spectator cast the American Civil War in moral terms).

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Lazy Sunday XLIII: Music, Part II – More Music

Well, it had to come at some point—the end to my glorious Christmas Break.  Sure, sure, summer break is great, but two weeks off at Christmas is just the right amount of time to recharge the batteries.  Plus, it’s not 100 degrees outside, and we get to celebrate the Birth of Jesus!

I wrote a great deal about music in the last quarter of 2019, and I’m kicking off 2020 focused intensely on the performing arts:  I’m going to be in a play this weekend.  That personal detail is somewhat important for the blog, as after today my focus (other than work during the day) will be almost entirely on that production.  As such, posts may be shorter than usual, or a bit delayed in getting up.

Regardless, in keeping with the fine arts, I thought I’d feature three recent pieces I wrote about music.  Enjoy!

  • Milo on Romantic Music” – Readers are probably exhausted of reading about this post, but Milo’s analysis of Romantic music, while certainly contentious, is fascinating.  He might play the role of a melodramatic, catty queen online, but he possesses deep erudition on a variety of topics.  This post was one of “2019’s Top Five Posts” thanks to Milo’s sharing of it.
  • A Little Derb’ll Do Ya: Haydn’s ‘Derbyshire Marches’” – Saturday mornings just aren’t the same with Radio Derb‘s opening music, Haydn’s “Derbyshire March No. 2.”  Nothing makes you feel more sophisticated about pouring coffee in your underwear than the strains of Haydn’s jaunty little march.
  • O Little Town of Bethlehem and the Pressures of Songwriting” – This morning I’ll finally be back to my little Free Will Baptist Church to play piano.  I’m also struggling to remember a huge amount of naturalistic dialogue for the aforementioned play.  The juxtaposition of returning to church piano playing and the pressure of conjuring up untold mental energies in a short span of time made this post a logical choice.  The music for “O Little Town of Bethlehem” was composed in great haste, and completed mere hours before it was performed.  My instincts (and experience) tell me that the play will, much to the director’s chagrin, unfold the same way—incompetence giving way to brilliance the night of the show.

Well, there you have it!  Happy New Year to one and all.  Back to work!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

SubscribeStar Saturday: End-of-Decade Reflections; Age and Class

Today’s post is a SubscribeStar Saturday exclusive.  To read the full post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.  For a full rundown of everything your subscription gets, click here.

Today’s post is a bit of a counterpoint to yesterday’s Trumpian triumphalism—not a repudiation of my own points, but a mild qualifier.  Yesterday’s post discussed the hard numbers behind the Trump economy, and the enormous gains in the S&P 500.

I argued that, unlike the “sugar high” years of the Obama Fed—when stock prices soared, but wages remained low and unemployment high—the growth we’re currently enjoying more accurately reflects the reality on the ground.  Americans are benefiting in their 401(k)s and their IRAs, to be sure, but they’re also enjoying higher wages, and more of us are working than at any point in our history since 1969.

All of that is true, and good.  But as I wrote yesterday’s post, I couldn’t escape the nagging feeling that something is still off.  There remains a real disconnect between the prosperity we see both in reality and on paper, and the sense that there is a lack of prosperity.

Since popular politics is a matter of emotions and feeling far more than it is about reasoned discourse, addressing that enduring sense of economic disparity and privation is critical.  My foolish but troubled generation, which came of age and fought for jobs during the Great Recession, perceives that gap profoundly—with potentially major consequences for the future of the United States and the West.

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SubscribeStar Saturday: Kabuki Theatre

Today’s post is a SubscribeStar Saturday exclusive.  To read the full post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.  For a full rundown of everything your subscription gets, click here.

This coming January, two theatrical events will occur:  I’m playing the role of “Brett,” the father of a drug-addicted son, in a play one of my former students wrote called Catching Icarus (the hook:  both acts take place in a Waffle House in South Carolina); and the Senate trial against President Trump will (allegedly) begin.

From the rehearsals I’ve been to so far, I can say that acting is difficult—and I get to spend most of the first act in a booth drinking coffee.  It takes a special kind of conviction (or delusion) to invest in a role, to become another person.

For congressional Democrats, they sure seem right at home on the political stage.  They are masters of the kabuki theatre of outrage.

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