[Dixielandjazz] Cartoon Music

Stan Brager sbrager at socal.rr.com
Wed Jan 17 21:21:54 PST 2007


You're getting close to seeing the legitimacy of Raymond Scott's music for
its own sake. I'm glad that we're able to move this thread along.

Steve, you seem to be saying that of all the people whose music was adapted
for use in motion pictures, Raymond Scott is the only one who you think
wrote "cartoon music". You do this on the basis of Carl Stallings who had a
particular fondness for the music of Raymond Scott and that others have also
who were introduced to Scott's music through Stallings' cartoons.  You say
this even though people like Benny Goodman, John Kirby, Buddy Cole, Billy
May, Bert Ambrose, Artie Shaw and others all recorded their versions of
Scott's music. "Twilight In Turkey", for a particular example was recorded
by Red Nichols, Bert Ambrose, Stuff Smith, Artie Shaw, Oscar Aleman, Tommy
Dorsey's Clambake 7, Isham Jones, Nat Gonella and a few more.

Is this guilt by association?

Steve, I grew up with the music of Raymond Scott in my ears although I
didn't know it at the time. I was too young. Later, when I saw Loony Tunes
cartoons in the El Portal theater in North Hollywood, I heard those some of
those same themes and, like so many others associated them with the music of
the cartoons.

I soon learned that those themes were merely tokens taken from some
excellent jazz recordings and were written by Raymond Scott. There was a
greater significance to "Powerouse" played by the Raymond Scott Sextette
than the cartoon adaptations of Carl Stallings.

Yes, I still enjoy watching a Loony Tunes cartoon and listening to the
music. But it's just incidental music used to carry the story of the
cartoon. It lacks the solos of Dave Wade on trumpet, Dave Harris on tenor,
Pete Pumiglio on clarinet and the drumming of John Williams. I still think
of the music as jazz.


By the way, by definition Fantasia, Snow White, Who Framed Roger Rabbit,
Cars, Steamboat Wily, etc are all animated movies or cartoons. Length
doesn't matter. If the images are drawn, they are cartoons. A "short" by def
inition is a movie which is not as long as the full-length film. Therefore,
many cartoons, travel films, soundies, etc are all shorts.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Steve Barbone" <barbonestreet at earthlink.net>
To: "Stan Brager" <sbrager at socal.rr.com>; <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Wednesday, January 17, 2007 6:47 PM
Subject: Re: [Dixielandjazz] Cartoon Music

> on 1/17/07 6:59 PM, Stan Brager at sbrager at socal.rr.com wrote:
> > Steve;
> >
> > You know how I hate to disagree with you. But I only do it when I
> > that you're wrong... as in this case.
> That's fine, disagree all you want. This would be a dull world if we all
> agreed with each other. I respect your disagreement.
> >
> > You state:
> >
> > "... Scott's Music applies to many cartoons whereas the others apply to
> > carton, or a snippet of music to one cartoon."
> >
> > I respond:
> >
> > Scott wrote did not write with cartoons in mind - many of these snippets
> > which were used were written for jazz. It was only Carl Stallings who
> > applied these snippets to some of his cartoons. Just as
> > of Beethoven's 9th was used in several movies (Clockwork Orange, Die
> > and other Beethoven works have also been used in many pictures, we don't
> > look at the Beethoven's works as "movie music."
> But we are not talking about movies, and/or movie music. That part is
> totally irrelevant. The fact that Carl Stallings applied Scott's music to
> his cartoons seems to indicate that Stallings thought it was cartoon
> And Stallings, as a cartoon music composer/director, was an acknowledged
> genius of cartoon music.
> BUT EVEN SO, CONSIDER THIS OPINION (excerpted): "Raymond Scott is BEST
> (emphasis mine) for the many novelty tunes particularly 'Powerehouse'
> featured two contrasting themes adapted by Carl Stallings for use in
> Tunes cartoon soundtracks. . ."  Ken Dryden. All Music Guide.
> >
> > If we look harder, we can find many pieces of classical music which have
> > been used many times in many movies.
> Irrelevant. (But I do agree with you)
> >
> > You state:
> >
> > "... Opera in its "original" form is not cartoon music."
> >
> > I respond:
> >
> > That's exactly my point, Scott's music in its "original" form is not
> > music either.
> I can agree with that, but Scott's music became cartoon  music as soon as
> the master, Carl Stallings adapted it.
> >
> > You state:
> >
> > "IMO Fantasia was not a cartoon. It was the third in a Disney series of
> > Animated full length films. it contained many innovations such as the
use of
> > stereophonic sound. I would categorize it as an "Animated Musical", not
as a
> > cartoon. Maybe splitting hairs, but a Fantasia is a "musical work" and a
> > great way to introduce kids to classical music. Just as cartoon music
was a
> > great way to introduce kids to jazz."
> >
> > I respond:
> >
> > While Fantasia was a full-length film, it was also a cartoon. I thought
> > dancing hippos and Mickey Mouse's antics were truly funny. So did
> > of Americans. If you want to call it an "animated musical", then it's
> > a type of cartoon. Using the same criteria you cite, I could also call
> > Stallings cartoons "animated musicals". We'd be splitting hairs if I
> > Fantasia a "musical cartoon."
> I disagree. They are differentiated by the industry that produces both.
> Cartoons are thought of as "short". Fantasia and/or Snow White were full
> length and described as Animated Movies. Disagree all you want but that is
> how they were/are described by the film industry and most people. You
> check the written history of Fantasia. That's why I supplied the below
> website in the original post. There is a lot more thought in film history,
> similar to what's on that site, concerning what Fantasia was, or was not.
> BTW, by its definition, "Fantasia" means "musical forms" which is a pretty
> good clue as to what its intent was.
> http://www.encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Fantasia+(film)
> > The point is that we have to look at Raymond Scott and his music in
light of
> > their original form and not how someone took his music and applied it to
> > certain collage we call "cartoons". Therefore, Mozart, Beethoven,
> > Tchaikovsky, Scott, etc. must be regarded as composers for the intent
> > form of their original work.
> I don't know about that. Why can't we look at it any way we wish? There is
> lot of cartoon music out there, regardless of what the original intent
> Almost like a genre. And Scott wrote a lot of "novelty" tunes. Most of us
> have a pretty good idea of what cartoon music is. Jazzy, not Classical.
> if we saw a cartoon with Scott's music, adapted by Stallings, and didn't
> know it was Scott's music, we'd call it cartoon music.  Perhaps the
> is also true. If we see a Stalling's cartoon and think the music is great,
> we might say it is Scott's even if it wasn't. Either way, though, it is
> still cartoon music.
> > By the way, Steve, I heard Scott's music used in a commercial for Visa
> > other day. Let's not get started on this...
> I hear you Stan. After all, the original cartoon music thread was extended
> from Portena, to Scott, and now almost to Movies. Amazing how quickly most
> threads get away from the original point, which was that IMO Portena
> cartoon music.
> What is Cartoon Music? We should have asked Louis Armstrong. :-) VBG.
> Cheers,
> Steve Barbone

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