What's that clown music?

are you sure you’re not also referring to Galop from the Comedians Suite op. 26 by Dmitri Kabalevsky? (you can hear a short clip if you scroll down to its listing on this page).

No, it isn’t.

The “Toccata and Fugue in D minor” has a connection to Halloween by it’s spooky sound and by the use of it to score the many villianous-phantom-organ-playing guys. It’s almost cliche’ now, well, I guess it is cliche’. James Mason as Captain Nemo played it on board his Nautilaus (a pipe-oragn on a submarine!). The Phantom of the Opera played it in one of those movies (I think). Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate in “The Great Race” played it on his player-pipe-organ as a spoof of movie-villians.
The 1930’s “Dracula” starring Bela Lugosi used Tsaikovski’s “Swan Lake” as it’s eerie score.

That may be so, but many people think of “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor” as “The Dracula Pipe Organ Music”. I know, because I was always the one who had to tell friends what the real title was. It might be better to call it “The Old Horror Movie Pipe Organ Music”, but for some reason it often seems to have a mental association with Dracula/vampires. (Perhaps it was used in one of the other old vampire films?) And not only people I know, either – I just checked a certain mp3 sharing service and found many copies of the piece with some reference to “Dracula” in the file name.

I always associated it with Dr. Frankenstein noodling around on the organ while waiting for Igor to come back with a load of brains.

I’m funny how? Funny like a clown? I amuse you? I make you laugh? I’m here to f*ckin’ amuse you?

I usually prefer to put on some Barry White when I’m noodling around on my organ.

Unless you mean how their shoes sometimes squeak, I’ve never heard of clown music…maybe I’m blessed? :slight_smile:

Could you mean the well-known circus music instead? It’s often played as a duet on piano, and it has a like a Ragtime sound to it. Too bad no one set it to words! :wink: Again, we must wonder how it became associated with the circus!

As a clue to those who know tinker around on the ivories, the duet optional part of this piece is played entirely on the ebonies!

The (the better-known) solo part goes like this:

Starting one octave above “Middle C” with: ping ping ping pa ping-ping-ping,
Next, mimic one octave below “Middle C”: Ping Ping Ping Pa Ping-Ping-Ping,
Next, stay in the same octave: Ping-Ping-Ping,
Next, mimic up one octave above “Middle C”: ping-ping-ping,
Then end in current octave, playing: ping ping ping ba bump-bump-bump!
(The last set of notes can be split to start in a treble octave and end in bass.)

Ah, yes! Like nails to a chalkboard…

  • Jinx

Haha. I was just working this tune out in my head in tonic solfa on the way to the bus stop yesterday. It’s

doh’ ti ta ti ta la lo so fi so
la lo so la so fi fa mi ri mi
so re re di re so re re di re
ti do di re ri mi fa fi so si la ti la so (and repeat…)

Yes I am a music nerd…

bolding mine

“Many people think…”

is not an excuse for ignorance.

People who name MP3 files are not under any obligation to be accurate I suspect.

Sorry, if my answer was pedantic. Yes, I agree, the above-mentioned fugue is often associated with all things horror. I was trying to get a little more detailed into the names of specific compositions and where they were used, not just report where people think they were used. I thought that was in the spirit of the OP.

By the way, I’m really keen on the idea that clowns and horror movies seem to just flow together don’t they?

I have checked my horror movie archives and have not yet found Bach’s Toccata used in a movie with Dracula in it. I’ll check further.

If you don’t mind the hijack, what’s the music that’s played during plate spinning routines. C’mon, you know it. It’s kind of hectic and fast and, well, plate spinny.

I used to know it years ago and I think it has the word sword in the title, but I’ve long since forgotten it.

Aha! found another one…

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1941)
soundtrack includes: Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor

Khachaturian’s “Sabre Dance”

I’m sorry, but I don’t see where the ignorance comes in. I didn’t claim the piece appeared in any particular vampire film, much less the Lugosi version of Dracula. I only know that people have sometimes asked in my presence what “that Dracula pipe organ music is”, hummed it a bit, and I’ve been able to identify it as “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor”. As best as I can tell, when people refer to “The Dracula Pipe Organ Music” they always mean “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor”. I don’t know why this is, but I thought somone out there in SDMB readerland might think the same thing and be interested in knowing what the piece is actually called.

You almost have it – it’s Aram Khachaturian’s “Sabre Dance”, from the Gayane ballet.

I’ll just throw this one out there since it’s the only other famous but often unidentified musical piece I can name: “Here Comes the Bride” is the bridal chorus from Wagner’s opera Lohengrin. In the opera it actually comes immediately after the wedding, when the couple is being escorted to the bridal chamber, not when Elsa is walking down the aisle. (The wedding itself doesn’t actually appear in the opera.)

Given how things work out for Elsa and Lohengrin it seems like kind of an unlucky choice for a real wedding, but somehow it became traditional.

You’re right, Lamia, you did not say that it was Dracula music, only that it was thought of as Dracula music, I was just trying to be detail oriented :smiley:
Another one: The solem, somber music played during graduation exercises is “Pomp and Circumstance” by Elgar.

Please people!

It goes

Dunt Dunt digga-digga dunt dunt da-dunt
Dunt Dunt digga-digga dunt dunt da-dunt
Dunt! digga dunt dunt Dunt! digga dunt dunt
digga-digga digga-digga digga-digga dunt dunt

Parp! Parp!
whhhheeeeooooowoooooooooaaaaaaaap!

Sorry, this thread simply wouldn’t be complete without a clown air horn and a swanee whistle.

And the Benny Hill theme? “Yakety-Sax”. Come to think of it, doesn’t this theme incorporate a bit of “Entry of the Gladiators” in its bridge section?

The Monty Python music is John Phillip Sousa’s “The Liberty Bell.”

…my little contribution…

I recall it as

Doop doop doobie doobie doop doop doo-doop
Doop doop doobie doobie doop doop doo-doop
Doop! doobie doo-doop Doop! doobie doo-doop
Doobie doobie doobie doobie doobie doobie doo-doop