Thursday, July 3, 2014

George Gershwin in #TheGoodWife

I thought I was very clever for recognizing the Gershwin song "Someone to Watch Over Me" played in the background of "The Good Wife" episode "A Few Words":

Until I noticed that the song title was listed in the captions. That song was from the Broadway show "Oh, Kay!" where title character was played by British actress Gertrude Lawrence:

 who was played by Julie Andrews in a biopic "Star!"

Gertrude Lawrence also starred in the Kurt Weill and Ira Gershwin musical "Lady in the Dark";  however, when "Lady in the Dark" was adapted for screen, Ginger Rogers was recast in title role:

which apparently annoyed many people, allegedly including the film's director, according to Roger's possibly biased biography.

If this weren't a stream of consciousness post I'd say it's ott ...but Blossom Dearie also sang "Someone to Watch Over Me:

Kids who grew up in 1970s would remember Blossom Dearie as voice of sad ice skater in School House Rock Figure 8 video:

which of course sounds sad and haunting b/c of all the minor chords and inverted major chords as illustrated by a "Far Side" cartoon:

and explained by Bing Futch on his May 01, 2010 post "Chord Voicings - 'Figure Eight'":

"A basic 1-3-5 or 1-b3-5 chord is going to have the root note on the bottom, the middle note in the middle and the fifth at the end or top. Using different chord voicings can change the fundamental sound of a chord, even though it uses the same notes, by rearranging the order of the notes. For example, changing the order of notes so that the third is on the bottom, acting as the bass or root - it becomes a first inversion.

So, a C major chord: C - E - G would become E - C - G.
Now, make the fifth the bottom or root note, and you have a second inversion.
G - C - E"
The socialists over at the UK Guardian have, of course, decided that perceiving minor chords as sad is all part of learned societal conditioning vs intrinsic perceptions and probably a result of racist sexist ethnocentric capitalist imperialism:

"Our emotional reactions to keys are informed by our cultural preconceptions. The Western musical canon has always attached sentiment and gravity to minor keys, so we are preconditioned to indulge those notes with more emotion and sensibility. Interestingly, Asian and African music is generally opposed to this." 
Because socialists are humorless horrible people, I suspect the Guardian would also suggest that perceiving the universal symbol for shower stalls as a "Dr. Who" Dalek killer robot is also a result of racist sexist British imperialist conditioning:

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