The Musical Side of Abraham Lincoln

Mike_Fallon2by Mike Fallon

“I have always thought ‘Dixie’ one of the best tunes I have ever heard.”
~Abraham Lincoln~ (April 10, 1865 — five days before his death)

It may seem ironic that the song “Dixie”, the rallying anthem of the Confederate South, would be one of President Abraham Lincoln’s favorite songs if not THE favorite. He even had it played at some of his political rallies. “Dixie” was composed by a northern songwriter named Dan Emmett for blackface minstrel shows in 1859, and it had become a popular song before the American Civil War in the 1860s.

It was during the Civil War that this song was adopted as a de facto anthem of the Confederate States of America. However, the Civil War never dimmed Lincoln’s love for the song “Dixie”, and he even had it played at the announcement of General Robert E. Lee’s surrender. With the war over in April 1865, he believed it was important to bring the song back to our national songbook in order to heal the nation. When the war ended, Lincoln is reported to have said, That tune is now federal property, and it is good to show the rebels that, with us in power, they will be free to hear it again. Lincoln had asked that “Dixie” be played at his last public address from the White House. Unfortunately, he didn’t live to see that happen.

Here is a rousing rendition of “Dixie” filled with loads of Civil War images. “Dixie is also known as “I Wish I Was in Dixie”, “Dixie Land”, “I Wish I Was in Dixie Land”, “Dixie’s Land”, “Confederate Anthem”, and other titles.
(The artist of the music in this video is the 2nd South Carolina String Band.) (6:05)

Abraham Lincoln didn’t play an instrument unless you count the harmonica. He did carry a Hohner harmonica in his pocket. Why, even Honest Abe Lincoln wasn’t above playing a tune or two on the harmonica when the occasion demanded, as Carl Sandburg related in his book Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years. As far as trying to sing, Lincoln’s voice could hardly carry a tune, so he would usually let others do the singing.

There was a musical side of Abraham Lincoln as president (1861-1865) that had a great passion for the musical arts. He enjoyed all sorts of music including rousing minstrel songs (“Dixie”), sentimental ballads, nonsense songs, patriotic tunes, and military band music. And, in his exuberance, and despite his lack of voice, he would even join in the singing himself at the right opportunities. He also loved musical theater and opera, and he attended productions whenever he could.

He regularly had music performed at the White House, most notably by the Marine Band where military music became an integral part of life at the White House. Lincoln also welcomed talented young musicians to the White House to perform such as the 9-year-old Venezuelan piano prodigy Teresa Carreño in 1863.

Music was a tonic for Lincoln’s melancholy moods and loneliness, much of it brought on by the heavy burdens and strains of being President of the United States during the darkest days of the Civil War. Lincoln was very much an emotional man and he showed his emotion whenever music was performed for him. During the Civil War, music was a release for him, and it also lifted his spirits when he needed it most. Lincoln was criticized for attending the opera so frequently while the war was ongoing. But going to the opera was the escape or change Lincoln needed at times or as he put it “The truth is I must have a change of some sort, or die.”

A Sampling of Lincoln’s Favorite Songs
(You can listen to samples of these songs using the playlist in the right sidebar.)
*** If you don’t see a right sidebar then click on the date above Mike Fallon’s head.
(or you can click HERE to get the right sidebar.)

President Abraham Lincoln loved listening to popular music of the time. Of course, since there were no recordings, it had to be performed live for him, usually in shows he attended or even at the White House.

Lincoln loved comic or nonsense songs. One particular favorite of his was “Blue Tail Fly”, also called “The Blue Tailed Fly” or “Jimmy Crack Corn.” This is thought to be a blackface minstrel song, first performed in the 1840s. It’s not clear who wrote this song. Lincoln called it “that buzzing song” which he likely tried to play on his harmonica. This song has an abolitionist attitude and it reflects the hostility of slave towards master in Southern plantation society.

Lincoln loved sentimental ballads and that included Irish and Scottish ballads. One of his favorites was “Annie Laurie” an old Scottish love ballad.

“Aura Lee”, also called “Aura Lea”by W. W. Fosdick (words) and George R. Poulton (music) is an American Civil War song about a maiden. If the tune sounds familiar it’s because it is used in the Elvis Presley song “Love Me Tender.”

Stephen Foster was a 19th century American songwriter known as the “father of American music”. Lincoln enjoyed many of his songs and ballads. The Stephen Foster songs presented in the playlist here are: “Gentle Annie,” “Hard Times Come Again No More,” “That’s What’s the Matter,” and “We Are Coming Father Abraam.” “We Are Coming Father Abraam” comes from a poem “We Are Coming, Father Abra’am 300,000 More,” written by James S. Gibbons and set to music by Foster. The poem and music came in response to a call by Abraham Lincoln on July 1, 1862 for volunteers to fight the American Civil War.

Another Civil War song enjoyed by Lincoln was “I’ll Be a Sergeant” credited to an unknown H.A.W.

As president, Lincoln also had a great love of opera especially grand opera. Lincoln even had Friedrich von Flotow’s opera Martha presented at his second inauguration in 1865. One of his favorite pieces of music, “The Soldiers’ Chorus” was from Charles Gounod’s opera Faust. Just a week before he was assassinated, he attended a performance of Mozart’s The Magic Flute.

“Battle Cry of Freedom”, written by George F. Root, was another piece inspired by Lincoln’s call for Union volunteers in 1862.

“Battle Hymn of the Republic” by Julia Ward Howe, P. Wilhousky & Traditional was a marching song of the Northern army during the Civil War. It is said that President Abraham Lincoln was so moved by the song, he wept when he heard it.

“Listen to the Mocking Bird” was one of the most popular ballads during the Civil War. With its moderately lively melody, it was used as marching music. This song relates the story of a singer dreaming of his sweetheart, now dead and buried, and a mockingbird, whose song the couple once enjoyed, now singing over her grave.
Abraham Lincoln was especially fond of this song, saying, “It is as sincere as the laughter of a little girl at play.”
(The artist of the music in this video is Tom Roush.) (3:38)


A big favorite of Lincoln was American composer and virtuoso pianist Louis Moreau Gottschalk. Gottschalk was a Southerner by birth, born in New Orleans, but surprisingly, a supporter of the Union side during the Civil War.
Lincoln enjoyed one of his most famous pieces “The Union (Fantasy on Patriotic Airs).” The beginning of the piece starts off with a virtuosic and dazzling piano showpiece before calming down and launching into familiar American patriotic tunes we all know.

Here is
“The Union (Fantasy on Patriotic Airs)”
by Louis Moreau Gottschalk
(The pianist in this video is Paul Bisaccia.) (7:51)


As mentioned earlier, Abraham Lincoln was a passionate lover of opera. During his four years as president he saw at least thirty opera productions in Washington with an occasional production in New York City. One of his favorite operas during this period was Martha by Friedrich von Flotow. In this opera there is a very beautiful aria “Ach so fromm,” where the male romantic lead, Lionel, sings a love song to the title character, Martha.
(The vocalist in this video is German operatic tenor, Jonas Kaufmann.) (3:25)


Thanks for visiting my blog and my 4th post.

Mike Fallon


Blog Post 4 — “The Musical Side of Abraham Lincoln” — November 28, 2013 (Revised July 16, 2017) (this Blog Post 4) (The Musical Nose Blog RSS Feed) (The Musical Nose website)

Click The Musical Nose Blog Posts to see the current listing of all blog posts.

Your comments or suggestions concerning this blog are greatly appreciated.

Mike Fallon

To learn more about who Mike Fallon is… click “So Who is Mike Fallon?

Add to Google   

Classical Music to Calm, Relax, and Refresh You

Mike_Fallon2by Mike Fallon

When I talk about classical music, I am not talking just about a particular music period (1750 to 1820) called “Classical.” I am talking about the whole of classical music as defined in Wikipedia: “Classical music is art music produced or rooted in the traditions of Western music (both liturgical and secular). It encompasses a broad period from roughly the 11th century to the present day.”

I believe there is a magic about classical music in that it has the power to affect us in a visceral way by stimulating our subconscious inner feelings. It can make you feel more spontaneous, more romantic, and more spiritually alive in this world. It can even ignite a passion in you (dare I say) to make love more passionately.

Classical music can augment and enhance the beauty and majesty of the world around us (natural and manmade). With an iPod or smartphone you can take your music anywhere to experience that.

Listen to Ferde Grofé’s Grand Canyon Suite while experiencing the wonders of the Grand Canyon.

Grand Canyon Suite: On The Trail
music clip

Listen to the initial fanfare of Richard Strauss’ Also sprach Zarathustra while watching a dramatic sunrise.

Also sprach Zarathustra: I. Einleitung
music clip

Listen to Gustav Holst’s The Planets while gazing up at the heavens.

The Planets: VII. Neptune, the Mystic
music clip

I spent nearly four years gazing up at the sky when I was a weather observer in the U.S. Air Force. It could be a lonely and mundane job. However, while I listened to all types of music while doing this job, it was classical music, especially the glorious music of W.A. Mozart, that actually made me look forward to going to work each day.

Classical music can lift you up, improve your quality of life, and even help your mundane existence on this earth to become more noble and sublime.

The classical music I present to you below has a kind of tranquil, peaceful, and sublime quality to it. At times it is very pensive. This is music that can envelop you with a calm serenity. It can turn your anger or frustration into calmness. It can help your mind to relax and alleviate stress, tension, and anxiety. It can refresh your spirit with hope, joy, and courage.
In short, this is “Classical Music to Calm, Relax, and Refresh You.”


Wachet Auf! (Sleepers Awake!) J.S. Bach BWV 140  (1731)
and BWV 645  (1748)

Johann Sebastian Bach

Sian Fenn, flute
Craig Lake, guitar

Now try to follow me on this:
Here we have a flute and guitar transcription of Bach’s organ transcription BWV 645 (the first of 6 chorale preludes) of the 4th movement (of 7 cantata movements) tenor chorale of his cantata Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 140, also known as Sleepers Wake (or more popularly known as Sleepers Awake). There are also transcriptions for other instruments and for orchestra. Whew!

At the 1964 Democratic National Convention a short film biography of Lyndon Johnson was presented using an orchestrated version of this music as a backdrop. I thought that the solemnity and beauty of this music was perfect for that.


Concerto for Flute, Harp, and Orchestra in C major, K. 299,
II. Andantino

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Anna Komarova, flute
Alisa Sadikova, harp
The Symphony orchestra of the Rimsky-Korsakov St. Petersburg State Conservatory Music, conducted by Arkady Steinlucht

There is a scene in the movie Amadeus (1984) where Salieri is “hearing” in his head the music he sees on several “original” manuscripts of Mozart. The first piece he “swoons” over is this Concerto for Flute, Harp, and Orchestra.
Click here— Salieri's Epiphany to watch this scene.

Written when Mozart was staying in Paris in 1778, this is the only piece of music that Mozart wrote that contains the harp. This music is absolutely “heavenly” and having the harp makes it more so.

The flute performance in the video is breathtaking. As for the harp, I was stunned that such a little girl, her fingers barely reaching all the harp strings, could play so beautifully and with such command.


Romance for Violin and Orchestra No. 2 in F major, Op. 50  (1798)

Ludwig Van Beethoven

Renaud Capuçon, violin
Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, conducted by Kurt Masur

According to Wikipedia:
This piece is “one of two such compositions by Beethoven, the other being Romance No. 1 in G major, Op. 40. It was written in 1798, four years before the first romance, and was published 1805, two years later than the first. Hence, this piece was designated as Beethoven’s second romance. It is one of Beethoven’s most popular works.”

This is my favorite Beethoven composition. This was written in 1798 in his mid years before he had written any of his symphonies and before the start of his “Middle” or “Heroic” period. This piece is still firmly rooted in the “Classical” era style of Mozart and Haydn, but there are hints in this piece of the Beethoven to be where it almost seems he is about launch into that famous four-note motif of his 5th Symphony.


Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21, II. Larghetto (excerpt)  (1830)

Frédéric Chopin

Daniel Barenboim, piano
Berliner Philharmoniker, conducted by Asher Fisch

Chopin is known primarily as a composer for the piano and when he write larger works such as his two piano concertos it is the piano which dominates with the orchestra largely relegated to the role of accompaniment. But that soft peaceful accompaniment along with the delicate piano in the Larghetto really works and it evokes dreamlike feelings of love and tenderness.

Indeed this second movement was inspired by love. According to Wikipedia: “Chopin confessed in a letter, that the second movement had been inspired by his secret passion for a younger singer at the Warsaw Conservatory, with whom he had fallen in love and dreamed of for six months without once speaking to her.”


Parsifal: Good Friday Music  (1882)

Richard Wagner

Dresden Staatskapelle Ochestra, conducted by Giuseppe Sinopoli

This is the orchestral version of the “Good Friday Music” from Wanger’s Parsifal. Parsifal is an opera in three acts. The “Good Friday Music” accompanies the second half of Act 3 scene 1. The Prelude to Act 1 of Parsifal is frequently performed in conjunction with this.

Back when I was 16 years old, I received a small reel to reel tape recorder for Christmas which I used to record music off the radio. I was a typical teenage and I loved all kinds of pop/rock (top 40) music and built up quite a collection of tapes. I also recorded classical music and one day at a friend’s house I recorded some beautiful dreamy pensive music which I had never heard before. But I didn’t get the name of that music or who wrote it. None of my friends or family knew this music either. So for the rest of my teen years that music remained a mystery for me.

Not until I was in college (in my twenties) studying Richard Wagner did I finally find out what that mysterious music was — Parsifal: Prelude to Act 1 and Good Friday Music from Act 3 by Wagner.

So here you have the music from the second half of that tape – Parsifal: “Good Friday Music.”


Pavane, Op. 50  (1887)

Gabriel Fauré

Krakowska Młoda Filharmonia (Young Krakow Philharmonic), conducted by Tomasz Chmiel

Here is a young orchestra from Krakow, Poland with a beautiful performance of Fauré’s “Pavane”. This was originally a piano piece.

There was a time when TV stations in the United States were NOT on the air 24/7/365!
I miss those days.

Back in the 1970s, when I was in my twenties, I had a weeknight ritual where I would watch The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson from 11:30 pm to 1:00 am and then watch The Tomorrow Show with Tom Synder from 1:00 am to 2:00 am on KRON Channel 4, San Francisco.

What I really looked forward to watching began at 2:00 am. That was when Channel 4 began their sign-off for the broadcast day. That began with a video showing scenes of ducks, birds, a farm silo, squirrels, waterfalls, babbling brooks, flowers, trees, ocean views, a school house, fishing boats, and a lighthouse all to the music of Gabriel Faure’s “Pavane”. That would be followed by “The Star-Spangled Banner” and that was it for the broadcast day.

I so loved watching and listening to the “Pavane” every night. It was so soothing to experience just before bedtime. “Pavane” is the perfect example of how classical music and nature can go so well together.

Now that video (from the 1980s when Channel 4 signed off at 3:00AM) is on YouTube. But it is a poor VHS tape quality.
Click here: KRON Station Sign-Off if you would like to watch it.


Symphony No. 9 in E minor, From the New World, Op. 95, II. Largo  (1893)

Antonín Dvořák

Wiener Philharmoniker, conducted by Herbert von Karajan

If you think that this symphony has an American feel to it then you would be right. “From the New World” refers to the influence Native American music and the African-American spirituals had on the creation of this symphony by Dvořák. It was popularly known as the New World Symphony. Commissioned by the New York Philharmonic, Czech composer Antonín Dvořák composed this in 1893 while he was the director of the National Conservatory of Music of America from 1892 to 1895.

I first heard the “Largo” as a “pop” version on an album called Symphonies for the Seventies – Waldo De Los Rios where you had “Classics with a Beat”. The idea for this album was that maybe the masses would be more into classical music if an up-tempo pop beat was added to the “classics”. Well it was a horrible idea to begin with and the music produced was atrocious. But it did make me want to check out how the “original” classics sounded (without the beat).

And so I discovered the “real” Dvořák Symphony No. 9 while I was stationed with the U.S. Air Force in England (from 1969 to 1972). I fell in love with this symphony — especially the “Largo.”. Its music really did remind me of America and why I love this country (the New World) so much.


Suite bergamasque: “Clair de Lune”  (1905)

Claude Debussy

Marnie Laird of Brooklyn Duo, piano

“Clair de lune” is the third and most famous movement of the four movements of Suite bergamasque by Claude Debussy, a piano depiction of a Paul Verlaine poem. Debussy began composing the suite in 1890 at age 28, but he did not finish or publish it until 1905. The suite has been orchestrated by many composers.

As a child, I grew up listening to classical music by Mozart and Tchaikovsky. And which composer would probably come in third on my childhood listening list? That would probably be Debussy (even ahead of Bach and Beethoven!). That is because my step father loved Impressionist music with such composers as Debussy and Ravel.

One classical album that was played a lot in our household had a big moon on the album cover. Of course the moon represented “Clair de lune” the ever popular piece by Debussy. So I heard “Clair de lune” plenty over the years. Yes I know it’s an overplayed “warhorse” but I never tired of listening to it. What I listen for now are different performance interpretations of it. I especially love the Marnie Laird performance in this video! I like to also hear different transcriptions of it for various instruments. But whatever, I love the piece and it still moves me.


Suite from Much Ado about Nothing, Op.11, III. Garden Scene  (1918)

Erich Wolfgang Korngold

Lin He, violin
Lina Morita, piano
(LSU School of Music Recital Hall)

Erich Wolfgang Korngold was an American composer of Austro-Hungarian birth.

Like Mozart, Korngold was a child prodigy. At the age of 9 he was even called a musical genius by Gustav Mahler for some of the music he had written and performed. At the age of 11 he composed a ballet which became a sensation when performed at the Vienna Court Opera in 1910. By the age of 20 he became a veteran theater composer. So it was no surprise that he would become a major film composer during the 20th century.

At age 20 he was invited to write incidental music to Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing. Included in this is the beautiful violin suite “The Scene in the Garden” or “Garden Scene” as an idyllic slow waltz.


Symphony No. 2 in D-flat major, Opus 30, the “Romantic” — “Interlochen theme”  (1930)


Interlochen Arts Camp,
conducted by Jeffrey Kimpton

My son Kevin is a music major at the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music in Stockton, CA where he is in his junior year. I attended a concert there recently where I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Howard Hanson was the first dean of that conservatory back in 1919. He was only 22! At that time the conservatory was called the Conservatory of Fine Arts and the university was called College of the Pacific.

Hanson wrote his Symphony No. 2, the “Romantic” in 1930 for the 50th anniversary of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. This is a symphony in three movements. The “lyrical, haunting second theme” of the first movement has become known as the “Interlochen theme.” It is called this because it is used as the closing music at all concerts at the Interlochen Center for the Arts.

Although Jerry Goldsmith wrote the complete score for the movie Alien, it was Hanson’s “Interlochen theme.” that was used during the closing credits of the movie. Hanson was not happy about that but he decided not to fight it in court.


Grand Canyon Suite – IV. Sunset  (1931)

Ferde Grofé

New York Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Leonard Bernstein

The Grand Canyon Suite has five movements so when Ferde Grofé composed this between 1929 and 1931 he initially titled it “Five Pictures of the Grand Canyon.”

The most famous and popular movement seems to be “On the Trail” which I love, but the most emotional, romantic, and passion filled movement for me is “Sunset.”


“Spiegel im Spiegel” (“Mirror in Mirror”)  (1978)

Arvo Pärt

Tasmin Little, violin
Martin Roscoe, piano

Here is an example of “minimal” music with a most “minimal” piece from Estonian composer Arvo Pärt.

The structure of the piece is quite simple with the piano playing slow patterns of three notes with an occasional deep bass note as the melodic voice of the violin plays and holds long notes overhead. The result is a beautiful spellbinding musical experience that is also very relaxing.

What classical music pieces would you recommend to calm, relax, and refresh?
Feel free to leave comments.

Thanks for visiting my blog and my 3rd post.

Mike Fallon


Blog Post 3 — “Classical Music to Calm, Relax, and Refresh You” — November 18, 2013 (Revised July 16, 2017) (this Blog Post 3) (The Musical Nose Blog RSS Feed) (The Musical Nose website)

Click The Musical Nose Blog Posts to see the current listing of all blog posts.

Your comments or suggestions concerning this blog are greatly appreciated.

Mike Fallon

To learn more about who Mike Fallon is… click “So Who is Mike Fallon?

Add to Google   

Classical and Film Music to Give You the Shivers

Mike_Fallon2by Mike Fallon

The Renaissance Era

During the Renaissance Era, William Congreve wrote the play “The Mourning Bride”, which has the famous quote “Music has charms to soothe the savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.” This quote expressed the belief and practice that music can console many a woe. Often misquoted with the word “beast” The term “breast” refers to the terminology of that time, where the breast held the emotions and soul of man (or woman).


Such is the power of music to calm and console you, lift your mood, soothe your spirit, inspire you, warm your heart, and give you feelings of hope, peace and tranquillity.

On the other hand —


Music can also do the opposite and take you to the darker side of fear, dread and despair. It can shock and scare the bejesus out of you, and oh yes, it can give you the shivers.

And thus with Halloween almost upon us I come to the subject of scary classical and film music to give you the shivers.

I believe that as you age the threshold for what constitutes scary music changes for you.

Peter and the Wolf

As a child, I would often listen to Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf with each character in the story having a particular instrument and a musical theme. For Peter it was string instruments. I felt happy and contented whenever Peter’s theme played.

Peter and the Wolf (Peter)
music clip

For the Wolf it was french horns with its dark and foreboding theme that gave me the shivers.

Peter and the Wolf (the Wolf)
music clip

Twilight Zone

When I got older it was the Twilight Zone TV show theme written by avant-garde composer Marius Constant that gave me the shivers as I watched and waited for another eerie episode to begin.

Nightmare at 20,000 Feet

The Season 5 episode “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” with the monster on the airplane wing (accompanied by very frightening music) definitely weirded me out.

Twilight Zone Theme
music clip

Now that I have matured (that being debatable) into an adult and become somewhat jaded, my threshold for what constitutes scary music has changed and evolved. It now takes a much stronger dose of musical scariness to give me the shivers



In honor of Halloween, it’s time to dust off some old and some relatively new music that can conjure up that eerie and scary side of Halloween with its all-round horror. So here are my picks of some music (with video) that can do just that. Maybe some of them will give you the shivers.


The Famous Shower Scene From “Psycho”

Composer Bernard Herrmann composed and recorded the entire soundtrack to Psycho using only string instruments. This included the terrifying shower scene with its use of screeching violins, The shower scene music was an original all-strings piece by Herrmann entitled “The Murder.”


Jaws Music Video (John Williams)

Composer John Williams wrote the soundtrack to Jaws. The main theme for Jaws revolves around a simple alternating pattern of two bass notes identified as “E and F” or “F and F#.” This created a feeling of suspense and a fear of approaching danger (of the shark). For Williams this was meant to represent the shark as an “unstoppable force” of “mindless and instinctive attacks.”


Krzysztof Penderecki – Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima
Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
conducted by Krzysztof Urbański

This was composed by Penderecki in 1960 and dedicated it to the victims of Hiroshima. Scored for 52 string instruments, with screeching violins and some percussive effects, you have over 9 minutes of one of the most terrifying and scary pieces of music ever composed, of any genre.


Nosferatu, Eine Symphonie Des Grauens (1922) – Movie
(translated as Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror)

Originally released in 1922 as Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens, director F.W. Murnau’s chilling and eerie adaption of Stoker’s Dracula is a silent masterpiece of terror which to this day is the most striking and frightening portrayal of the legend. Here is the movie trailer for this silent movie.
This music fits right in for Halloween — very spooky and eerily atmospheric!


George Crumb: “Vox Balaenae” (Voice of the Whale) for 3 masked players:
Mimi Stillman, flute, Arlen Hlusko, cello, Amy Yang, piano

Inspired by the singing of the humpbacked whale, the performance requires that each of the three players wear a black half-mask while the stage is lit in a deep blue color. This has amplified flute and human voice where the flutist sings into flute while playing it. Just right for Halloween, this is bizarre and spookingly eerie music.


Krzysztof Penderecki: Concerto for Cello and Orchestra No. 1 (First part)

Here is another piece from Penderecki with its dark, brooding and chaotic strings. Try blasting this anxiety inducing music from your house on Halloween night and you may be scaring off the trick or treaters.



Béla Bartók “Out of Doors” Suite (part 1 of 2)

For the first 90 seconds the piano is getting quite a workout with this piano bang fest. If you want to let out all your frustrations (and scare off your family) then this is the piece (with plenty of discordant chords) to learn on your piano.


Insidious Theme

“The farther you travel, the darker it gets.” This is the theme to the horror movie Insidious. Dark, mysterious and creepy to the max!  Here is some perfectly spooky music for Halloween.



Dark Music – Witch Factory

The repeating arpeggiated piano in this theme music will remind you of the original Halloween movie theme. With the “factory” sound effects and all — this is bewitchingly wicked music for Halloween.



Igor Stravinsky – The Rite of Spring – Dances of the Young Girls, Mock Abduction [Charles Mackerras]

“The Rite of Spring” was Stravinsky’s third ballet. However, this was not a ballet like Tchaikovsky’ “Swan Lake” with pleasant music amid beautiful scenery. No this was music that seemed brutal to the point of vulgarity. The dancing mirrored this music in being rough, sharp and angular, lacking the grace and charm of classical ballet dancing.

The audience at the Paris premiere on May 29, 1913 didn’t know that this ballet would be so different from the ballets they were accustomed to. Many in the audience were stunned by the music and the dancing and a small scale riot broke out during the performance. As the riot ensued, two factions in the audience attacked each other, then the orchestra, which kept playing under a hail of vegetables and other objects. Forty people were forcibly ejected. The music you hear on this video was music that was played during the start of the riot which was near the beginning of the production.


Now if all these pieces are a bit too heavy and scary for you youngsters out there then here I give you…
Bambi – Quail Gets Shot

In the movie Bambi, besides the harrowing scene where Bambi’s mom is shot and killed by the hunters, there is another traumatizing moment in Bambi. Watch this scene to see what that is and listen to the impending, foreboding music of three notes that repeat and build in intensity and speed until there is a sudden climax. The building tension of the music makes you feel dread that something bad is going to happen.


Thanks for visiting my blog and my 2nd post.

Mike Fallon


Blog Post 2 — “Classical and Film Music to Give You the Shivers” — October 28, 2013 (Revised July 16, 2017) (this Blog Post 2) (The Musical Nose Blog RSS Feed) (The Musical Nose website)

Click The Musical Nose Blog Posts to see the current listing of all blog posts.

Your comments or suggestions concerning this blog are greatly appreciated.

Mike Fallon

To learn more about who Mike Fallon is… click “So Who is Mike Fallon?

Add to Google   

Fear, Trepidation, and Starting My Own Blog

Mike_Fallon2by Mike Fallon

Hello.  I am Mike Fallon. I have a website called The Musical Nose. swirlnotesnose
After some careful thought and long deliberation I have decided to start my own blog.
And this so happens to be my first official blog post.

As you can see, the URL for this blog is which is a subdomain of The Musical Nose ( You can also use which will also take you to my blog.

This is to be a music blog with an emphasis on Cattle Herding Songs — Just Kidding!!! (Although there may be some great cattle herding songs out there waiting for us to discover. Maybe I will explore that.)

I will mostly write about and explore things related to classical music (My favorite genre). Although I do love jazz and popular music as well and those and other genres may be discussed in some future blog posts.

What this blog will not be is highbrow or intellectual. That is just not me. I am a plain-spoken person. I like to express my opinions, ideas and beliefs in a simple and honest way.

This blog may not always be grammatically pretty and perfect. Its grammar and structure may be a nightmare for English teachers and copy editors! I remember back in grade school days when my graded writing assignments would often come back covered with red-worded (bad) comments from the teacher.

red-worded comments

Also, out of ignorance, I may be violating blogging etiquette rules. Are there blogging etiquette police out there?

So doing this blog is something totally new for me and I have a lot to learn about the art of blogging.  So bear with me as I sort out and figure out what the heck I’m doing. Although I’m not totally sure of the exact direction this blog will always take, it will definitely be music oriented which is my passion.

Now getting back to the subject of this first blog post —

Fear and Trepidation Fear and Trepidation
I initially posted a shorter version of this my first blog (with the title “Welcome to My Blog”). That was when my fear and trepidation concerning this blog began to set in.  Do I really know what Im doing?  What am I getting myself into?  Do I have what it takes to put out well-constructed, articulate, knowledgeable and interesting blog posts on a consistent basis? Will anyone even care or be interested in reading my blog posts?

This fear and trepidation came to a head a couple of days ago as I was reading through several posts from the Tom Service classical music blog at The Guardian.

Tom Service Classical Music Blog

Wow, what a great blog! I am absolutely blown away about how beautifully crafted his music blog is!
However, I felt totally intimidated dissonant by his impressive and articulate writing style along with his expertise in classical music.  This feeling caused me to un-post my first blog while my inner voice was telling me “I’ll never be able to do this!”  That reminds me that Beethoven’s reaction (whispered to a friend), when listening to a concert of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 24, was “We shall never be able to do anything like that!”  How presumptuous of me to compare my situation to Beethoven’s!

I recently came across a comment by a Tara B (a photographer) from June 5, 2010 responding to an article about blogging advice. She wrote: “Thanks for the advice! I’ve been blogging consistently for about a month and have thus far acquired no subscribers. But I’m trying to remember patience is involved there somewhere! Some times I feel like I’m talking to no one, and my beautiful images are there for nothing! But I’m trying not to get discouraged!”

Tara’s comments moved me. I share her sentiments.

Last night I attended the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music 135th Anniversary Concert.  The program consisted of Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini, Op. 43 and Beethoven’ Symphony No. 9, Op. 125.  My son Kevin is in the orchestra as a flute player.  He also is a music major at UOP.

It was a wonderful concert. I especially enjoyed the Rhapsody… which the “18th Variation” of that was featured in the movie Somewhere in Time. I  came away from the concert feeling invigorated and energized from that glorious music.

I especially love classical music, but I am also a very active listener of many genres of music and have been profoundly moved to every degree of emotion because of the power of music.  This power of music has me wanting to continue to do my blog now.  I know I am a long way from being like Tom Service but what the heck.

Well this expanded first blog is re-posted now and I hope I have the patience to stick it out for the long haul. I believe that preparation plus patience plus persistence yields reward.

Ironically, until recently, the word “blog” was one of those words (along with “viral“) that I despised and I would cringe every time I heard it… dissonant

…like listening to an extremely dissonant music chord. I still wish there was a better word for what I’m doing here. But like any acquired taste the word “blog” is starting to grow on me. However, I still cringe whenever I hear “It went viral.” Now maybe I would have a change of tune if my blog and website were to go viral.

As you can see from my header I like clouds. Like music, clouds can convey a range of moods and emotions — from sweet puffy white innocent cumulus clouds on a sunny day…

puffy clouds    thunderstorm

…to menacing dark towering cumulonimbus clouds reaching high into the atmosphere during a powerful thunderstorm. Well there’s a music blog subject in the waiting.

Well this blog is a new journey you and I are embarking on — and it’s going to be a fun and exciting journey of musical discovery and adventure.

So stay tuned to see where this blog takes us.  And if you get a chance, check out my website —  Your comments are always welcome too.


P.S. My next post should show up on Monday, October 28, 2013, the Halloween edition.

My niece Christine just sent me a comment – “Good for you! Happy blogging!”
Thanks Christine. I appreciate that.

Mike Fallon


Blog Post 1 — “Fear, Trepidation, and Starting My Own Blog” — October 20, 2013 (this Blog Post 1) (The Musical Nose Blog RSS Feed) (The Musical Nose website)

Click The Musical Nose Blog Posts to see the current listing of all blog posts.

Your comments or suggestions concerning this blog are greatly appreciated.

Mike Fallon

To learn more about who Mike Fallon is… click “So Who is Mike Fallon?

Add to Google