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Taco Bell's Cannon

Discussion in 'Tilted Art, Photography, Music & Literature' started by Street Pattern, Dec 25, 2013.

  1. Street Pattern

    Street Pattern Very Tilted Donor

    I'm no musical scholar, or even musician, but I'd venture to guess that there is no classical piece which attracts as much admiration and derision as Pachelbel's Canon.

    (Note: TFP autolinks the word c-a-n-o-n in this posting to a site where you can buy cameras with that brand name -- just ignore that.)

    The Canon (not technically a "canon" as played today, but that's a detail) was written before 1700 by a German Baroque composer named Johann Pachelbel. It was popularized in the 20th century, at least partly by the movie Ordinary People. It is often played during weddings and church services.

    Musicians, and people who consider themselves sophisticated about music, loathe the Canon. Here's one very expressive excerpt from a blog posting:
    From a musician's standpoint, the most annoying thing about the Canon is the intensely positive reaction it elicits from most audiences. Why should something this easy to play be greeted with such enthusiasm -- when much more difficult or creative pieces get nothing but a bored shrug?

    Item: any classical music radio station that puts the Canon on the air gets an immediate wave of calls from delighted listeners demanding to know the name of the piece.

    Item: at a huge student loan processing phone bank in North Carolina, the music-on-hold consisted of the Canon on endless repeat. No one ever complained -- indeed, about every tenth caller wants to know what that wonderful music is.

    In short, the Canon is catchy. It has just the right combination of notes, at just the right speed, to ignite some pleasure center in the human brain. If you haven't been taught to be scornful of it, you like it.

    Another interesting commentary, mentioned in the blog post quoted above, is Blues Travelers' song "Hook". The lyrics bemoan the way trite, catchy, insincere songs (with musical "hooks") get people's attention and make money, unlike more honest or artistically meaningful ones.

    But the song itself is set to the exact same chord progression as Pachelbel's Canon, and guess what? It's catchy, and it became the band's best known song.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2013
    • Like Like x 2
  2. DamnitAll

    DamnitAll Wait... what? Donor

    Location:
    Central MD


    I'm no cellist, but nobody says it better than Rob.

    Interestingly, I loved it at age 6. No more.
     
    • Like Like x 6
  3. Street Pattern

    Street Pattern Very Tilted Donor

    Like I said, I'm not a musician. But I thought of myself as fairly sophisticated.

    I used to sneer at the Canon with almost as much gusto as Rob Paravonian does in that video.

    But this tune is like a key that fits perfectly into a certain keyhole in one's brain.

    Eventually I came to realize that to deny the Canon's appeal is akin to denying one's sexuality.

    From my new perspective, it's the sneering derision which is false and tacky, not the instinctive appreciation.

    So -- I admit this for the very first time to anyone -- I put it on my iPod.

    Just as one of a thousand different wildly varied songs and tunes, of course, but still.

    The Me of ten years ago would be appalled and embarrassed.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2013
    • Like Like x 1
  4. grumpyolddude

    grumpyolddude Very Tilted Donor

    Buddy Holly, Ray Davies, every great blues man ever... if you use a fourth chord, you better have a damned good reason. Set the click track at the precise heartrate of the mood you are trying to generate. Get in the rhythmic groove and let it flow.

    Many of the most boring pieces to play, especially to rehearse effectively, are so monotonous and simple that you have to fight to stay focused. But when you unleash them on the audience, they go nuts. Those are also the same songs that have you reaching to crank up the volume on 60's on 6 or 70's on 7 when you're six hours into a 14 hour drive.

    Ultimately, music is math with a heartbeat. In math, the simplest, most direct path to the solution is called "elegant." And so it is in music. You can admire a musician manically racing up and down a keyboard or fretboard, but let "That'll Be the Day" or "All Day and All of the Night" come on the radio, and you can't help but get carried away.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  5. hamsterball

    hamsterball Seeking New Outlets

    We have a friend who had to play the bass line for the Canon many years ago and complained that it was completely monotonous. Then she pointed out that the tune was used many years ago in a McDonalds' commercial. Since then, I can't hear the Canon without hearing the jingle and it cracks me up every time....
     
  6. Street Pattern

    Street Pattern Very Tilted Donor

    I've already liked and sigquoted it, but I should also say that this is wise and well-informed comment is by far my favorite of all the posts I've ever seen on TFP.
     
  7. DamnitAll

    DamnitAll Wait... what? Donor

    Location:
    Central MD
    Heard it playing in an antique store downtown with my parents yesterday afternoon. My mom joked about it and I cringed. My parents get it.
     
  8. DamnitAll

    DamnitAll Wait... what? Donor

    Location:
    Central MD
    Now I'm watching Carl Sagan talk about bacteria, viruses, DNA and brains, which is awesome...

    Except that the background soundtrack is Pachelbel's fucking Canon.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  9. DamnitAll

    DamnitAll Wait... what? Donor

    Location:
    Central MD
    This episode—yup, it's a marathon—is using Shostakovich. HUGE improvement.
     
  10. Fremen

    Fremen Allright, who stole my mustache? Donor

    Location:
    E. Texas
    • Like Like x 1
  11. spindles

    spindles Very Tilted

    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    I remember seeing an interview with the guitarist from Deep Purple and he said many people say to him that Smoke on the Water is pretty simple. His come back was about as simple as the 'dun dun dun dunnnn' of Beethoven's 5th. Just because a piece is simple doesn't make it bad, nor complicated == excellent.

    Just enjoy what you like to listen to.
     
  12. DamnitAll

    DamnitAll Wait... what? Donor

    Location:
    Central MD
    Relevant:

    [​IMG]
     
  13. DamnitAll

    DamnitAll Wait... what? Donor

    Location:
    Central MD
    • Like Like x 2
  14. Chris Noyb

    Chris Noyb Get in, buckle up, hang on, & don't criticize. Donor

    Location:
    Large City, TX
    I'm married to a classically trained music major. One of our neighbors is a classically trained music major who used to be in a high school rock band, and dabbled in bands in college. We've discussed the 'monotony' of SOTW, and Zepplin's Kashmere (that song drives my wife crazy after about a minute!). Our neighbor always refers to Beethoven's Fith as the most popular and most monotomous classical music piece ever written.
     
  15. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member Donor

    Location:
    Toronto
    It makes people happy.

    A couple of literary equivalents:

    • William Carlos Williams' "Red Wheelbarrow"
    • Robert Frost's "Road Not Taken"

    These aren't complex in form, but some would argue that that's their strength.

    Simple, yes. Bad, no.

    Unendingly interesting, fascinating, moving? It depends on the reader.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  16. snowy

    snowy so kawaii Staff Member Donor

    Because of this thread, I had to go get some Taco Bell. No joke.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  17. Chris Noyb

    Chris Noyb Get in, buckle up, hang on, & don't criticize. Donor

    Location:
    Large City, TX
    Do you have Taco Cabana where you live? It's not much more than TB, and for the price the food is pretty good. The cheese enchilada platter is my fave, the pollo en flambada (rotissiere chicken) is really good, & the fresh flour torillas are great.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2014
  18. snowy

    snowy so kawaii Staff Member Donor

    Nope. Looks like it's a Texas thing. We do have Taco Time: Taco Time - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    There is a spot inside of me that only Taco Bell can hit.
     
  19. flat5

    flat5 Vertical

    Location:
    Amsterdam, NL
    Pachelbel’s Canon video

    No one from The Netherlands in this so boring sentimental dribble.
    Maybe because it's a small country :)
    I'd like to think it's because no one there wanted to be involved in this project.
     
  20. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member Donor

    Location:
    Toronto