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December 15, 2003

Variations on a theme ...

The music from The Lord of the Rings trilogy has made tremendous inroads into the collective psychies of those of us who listen to a certain commercial Classical music radio station here in the UK. Barely a couple of hours go by without something from this film, or from that other ongoing saga, Harry Potter. Both have some really good music in them and I hope that it continues to be popular, our age has produced little else of really lasting beauty.

I must, however, sympathise with Lynn S in her piece entitled "Christmas canon" regarding the highjacking of some well known classical music by all in sundry to provide a theme or tune on which they then reconstruct something they can claim as their own. I can well remember playing a tape (in those days a rarity in a car!) while driving a group of Sea Scouts to a meeting. On it was Bach's D Minor Toccata and Fugue, which was instantly recognised by one of the boys - as the theme from Rollerball. He thought it actually sounded better on an organ than it had in the film! As I have never seen the film, I cannot comment - presumably it was played on a synthesizer or something similar for the film.

The problem is, of course, that the great composers of yesteryear are no longer protected by the copyright laws. Ergo, their music is up for grabs in the minds of some. WARNING! Some of this music is held by Trusts which DO have the copyright protection!

Still, I guess the fact that their work is being used in this way is an acknowledgement of their genius. Now I shall return to listening to the wonderful Cantique du Jean Racine, courtesy of Gabriel Faure.

Posted by The Gray Monk at December 15, 2003 11:35 PM