John Stump 1944-2006

May 28, 2018 at 8:03 pm (interesting, music) (, )

Whilst scanning  back through old posts, I found Adagio Cantabile with a rock tempo feel … describing a parody piece of music, designed to be unplayable, by John Stump.  However on following the links, it turns out that the Wikipedia page describing the work was deleted, with the deletion log effectively concluding:

Delete There is absolutely nothing to suggest this classical music spoof is notable enough for inclusion in an international encyclopedia.

Knowing what I know of music, human nature, parody and general good fun (and also some of what is included in said international encyclopedia), I couldn’t disagree more!  There are countless classrooms around the world with this piece of music on a poster on the wall and many a music student will know of it.  For that reason alone it should be included and a little of its history ought to be recorded.

Thankfully, where Wikipedia fails, a nephew of John Stump comes to the rescue.  You can read about the mischievous composer here on Greg’s Lost in the Clouds blog:

He had worked in the field of “music engraving” for most of his life, beginning in 1967, and I remember looking with fascination at his “music typewriter” in his office in my grandmother’s garage, so it didn’t surprise me that Uncle John would have created something like this fake musical piece.

Turns out he wrote two other satirical pieces, all three of which are preserved on the web site of  Bryan Higgins.  Here you can find:

Along with two other works in a similar vein by others:

(the rest of Bryan’s collection is worth a browse too – a bit of an eclectic collection)

Greg and Bryan, thank you for going where Wikipedia appears not to have the collective imagine to tread.  The Internet is a better place for it.

Kevin

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Adagio Cantabile with a rock tempo feel …

August 20, 2010 at 1:54 pm (music, odds) (, )

So reads the first of many performance directions for John Stump‘s Faeries Aire and Death Waltz.

If you’ve never seen this piece of music, claimed to have been ‘arranged by accident’, then you should take a minute out to study it.  Claimed to be unplayable, but even so there is a version on YouTube.  If nothing else, the build up is entertaining in its own right.

Look out for the other musical directions ‘release the penguins’, ‘cool timpani with small fan’, ‘add bicycle’, ‘remove valve’ and as it reaches its conclusion, ‘gradually slide from 12-bar blues to a more vivaldi like cadenza’.

Quite impressive.  Full score (courtesy of wikipedia) attached.

Kevin.

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