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The bathetic cornet trope in British TV comedies

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  • The bathetic cornet trope in British TV comedies

    Now how's that for a topic title? Surely I deserve a Nobel Prize. (Failing that, please donate me a 10 shilling postal order.)

    Anyway, who knows what I mean? In TV comedies in the 1960s (and maybe 1970s), after a situation of bathos had reached its moment of anti-climax, you'd often get a 5 note piece of cornet music on the soundtrack: Wa, Wa, Wa, Wa ... WAAAAAAAAAAH. No, sorry, I can't do the musical notation, and you probably couldn't read it either. And I can't find an example off-hand.

    The other musical trope I remember is a corny mock-mournful piece of violin being played while somebody told a sob story - always the same piece. Anybody know what I mean?

  • #2
    Hancock and Steptoe come to mind.

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    • #3
      You're right! It would take some trawling to find an example on YouTube, though.

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      • #4
        English variety theatre, music halls, vaudeville and burlesque theatre come to my mind.

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        • #5
          The sad tune on violin is "Hearts & Flowers" isn't it?
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6D37-qOGCI

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          • garth
            garth commented
            Editing a comment
            Seems it is, but I never knew that. Well done!

        • #6
          This too, for visuals.

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          • #7
            I think your thinking of the carry ons . They were particurley well none for tropes . Ans some childrens shows like Rentaghost .

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            • #8
              Slightly off-topic now, I learned recently the name of the tune commonly played on circus programmes (at least in the 1960s) and also associated in my mind with fairgrounds (all the fun of the fair).



              Sorry about that fellow's rude name, but I know there are plenty of people here who like filth.

              You may have noticed that the tune is quoted in what is known as the Benny Hill tune:



              Of course, the theme is called Yakety Sax and was composed by Boots Randolph, seen here:


              Last edited by garth; 21st April 2019, 12:16 AM.

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              • #9
                Originally posted by garth View Post
                Slightly off-topic now, I learned recently that the name of the tune commonly played on circus programmes (at least in the 1960s) and also associated in my mind with fairgrounds (all the fun of the fair).

                And, that music was originally composed for a specific purpose. It was only to be played in the case of an emergency, to alert the employees/performers to commence an orderly evacuation, without causing the audience to panic.

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                • garth
                  garth commented
                  Editing a comment
                  ?! I've checked the date and it isn't April the First. Please explain the context and origin of this. I can't find anything after a brief google.

              • #10
                Originally posted by arthur linden-jones View Post

                And, that music was originally composed for a specific purpose. It was only to be played in the case of an emergency, to alert the employees/performers to commence an orderly evacuation, without causing the audience to panic.
                D4mn ! My bad. Entry of the Gladiators was not the "emergency" evacuation music, it was John Phillip Sousa's Start and Stripes Forever. Apopollylogies

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                • #11
                  Originally posted by arthur linden-jones View Post

                  D4mn ! My bad. Entry of the Gladiators was not the "emergency" evacuation music, it was John Phillip Sousa's Start and Stripes Forever. Apopollylogies
                  I see. No supper for you tonight.

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                • #12
                  In a thread a few months ago, Gerald Lovell enlightened us with the title and composer of the "trapeze music" from just about every circus that you've ever seen. Listen to this clip... and after a few bars of very quiet stuff, the main theme comes out loud and clear and you'll recognise it straight away.

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                  • #13
                    Originally posted by StoneAgeMan View Post
                    In a thread a few months ago, Gerald Lovell enlightened us with the title and composer of the "trapeze music" from just about every circus that you've ever seen. Listen to this clip... and after a few bars of very quiet stuff, the main theme comes out loud and clear and you'll recognise it straight away.
                    Sobre las Olas (Over the waves) often mistakenly thought to be a Strauss waltz but written by Mexican Juventina Rosas. Performed by any number of singers as The Loveliest Night of the Year.

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                    • #14
                      https://www.britmovie.co.uk/forum/li...0352#post70352

                      Best riposte I've seen in a long time.

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                      • #15
                        Yes, that "Entry of the Gladiators" tune. Now, imagine putting comic lyrics to it and getting two men to dress up as women and sing them. Well, I'm sure the Two Ronnies did it, but I can't find that particular sketch on YouTube. A lot of stuff is getting taken down from YouTube, of course, because of copyright issues.

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