For as long as I can remember, the musical score -- provided that it's any good -- has for me often been the most memorable part of the old TV shows and movies I grew up with. Case in point: I may have forgotten some of the plots and characters from DuckTales, but I could always hum the show's chase music* with perfect accuracy.
Nine times out of eight, the only way to hear this music is by actually watching the show, and then the score is cluttered by sound effects and dialogue. Like Scrooge and his money bin, the companies that "own" the archived works of television composers tend to lock up and viciously guard their acquisitions despite having no intention of doing anything with them.
It's always a rare and beautiful thing then when some of this music manages to escape the corporate vault, as in the case of Ron Jones' magnificent score for DuckTales. What you are listening to now is a ten-minute sampler featured many years ago on Ron's promotional website. The file vanished from the web shortly thereafter when some attorneys stepped in and deemed it illegal for the Ron's music to reach human ears.
As you can see, someone has finally remedied that by uploading the track to Youtube.
*the chase music appears in the video at the 1:44 mark, by the way.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Dear Mr. Emperor Hsuan-tsung,
I am writing to inform you that the T’ang dynasty is going collapse by the year 907 CE. As the military class obtains more power in the form of fan-chen, you will see more armies taking greater license and acting with more disregard for imperial prerogative. Under these conditions, your military commissioners are going to inevitably stage a coup. One such commissioner named An Lushan is going to lead a rebellion of 200,000 men against your dynasty in the year 756, permanently compromising the stability of the T’ang. Another named Chu-Wen is actually going to assassinate a T’ang emperor. Unless you want an autonomous faction of professional killers undermining your authority and waging insurrection, I recommend cutting back on the military regions and focusing your attention on maintaining food supplies in the North -- we don't want any hungry peasants staging revolts, am I right?
I hope you take this letter seriously. The future of the T’ang dynasty is at stake!
From the scribe of Chancellor Han Xiu:
The emperor thanks you for your interest in his glorious reign. Here at the Imperial Palace we do our best to keep all our subjects content and subservient. Your questions and comments are therefore very important to us and will be taken into consideration accordingly. Please note that we ask all our subjects to hail the emperor in writing as Xuanzong, as we prefer Pinyin romanization to Wade-Giles.
Chancellor Han Xiu