Friday, May 14, 2010

MUSEUM OF OBSOLETE INSTRUMENTS: THE XYLOPHONE

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This whole album sounds like cartoon chase music.

The xylophone is yet another ancient instrument that has sadly fallen into obscurity. Because, y'know, you're only "cool" if you play the electric guitar. Which is a great instrument! But, as I've written before, our musical vocabulary - and, hence, a variety of moods and styles - is stunted if only a few sounds are permitted. So let's get uncool:

Apart from it's early use in classical music, "the xylophone was frequently used by early jazz bands in the 1920s and 1930s. It was also a very popular instrument in
vaudeville." I admit I only bought this album because it contains a version of Gershon Kingsly's "Popcorn," and the title "Shake - American" looked intriguing (it's a version of Ray Charles' "What'd I Say") but I ended up liking the whole thing. The "classical" stuff is sometimes backed by a sleazy electric organ-led lounge combo, not a chamber music group. Everything's played at a frantic energy level as Eingorn pounds away with machine gun-like precision.

Michael Eingorn

4 comments:

Red Bol said...

great one ... I love the xylophone dearly

Anonymous said...

This is not the kind of xylophone most of us are familiar. This is a four-row "strohfidel," which is played similar to the cimbalom.
Here is a video of this kinf of xylophone http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irP5ph86GXQ&feature=related

And here is what most of us think about xylophones http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=od6Mq66xvCc&feature=related

Mr Fab said...

Thanks anon, that Roman Lankios guy (the first guy) is great! I checked out his site - he even does some of the same songs that Michael Einhorn does.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Mr Fab !
Good clear records. Enjoyed much.
Since you collect unusual musics, here is another interesting thing, though not xylophones. It is exclusively a Russian invention - horn capella. Visit this Rus site:
http://www.horncapella.ru/
Unfortunately the eng. version is not ready yet, but hopefully you will manage. There are examples of music and video. And a lot of mp3 tracks of this horn capella can be downloaded (one by one) from another site:
http://music.tonnel.ru/index.php?l=music&alb=54477 (all info is written in Rus though, but let you try, be a pathfinder there)
Supr