I have no proof of this, but five seasons of summer stock spent performing authentic 19th century melodrama on a dry-docked paddle-wheeler in Marietta, OH - complete with caped and mustachioed villains, stalwart but naive heros and fair and  innocent heroines - leads me to postulate that this musical shorthand may predate the silent screen. It very well could have been part of the musical vernacular of staged melodrama that naturally migrated to the repertoire of silent film accompanists, many of whom had also played for productions of Uncle Tom's Cabin and the like. Great music for Simon Legree!


Chuck Howell, CA
Collection Leader
Special Collections in Mass Media & Culture
Hornbake Library North, RM 3210
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742

phone - 301-314-0401
fax - 301-314-2634
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From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [[log in to unmask]] on behalf of DAVID BURNHAM [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Tuesday, November 04, 2014 11:25 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [ARSCLIST] Fw: [ARSCLIST] What is the source of this typical Halloween-type musical phrase?

On Tuesday, November 4, 2014 11:21 AM, DAVID BURNHAM <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

No, that's, "dadadum dadadum dadadum dum dum, dadadum dadadum dadadum dum dum, etc.


On Tuesday, November 4, 2014 7:19 AM, Loftus Becker <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Sounds like the William Tell Overture to me.

> On Nov 4, 2014, at 1:26 AM, DAVID BURNHAM <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I was just recently talking about that theme and where it came from but nobody in the converstion had any idea. Another familiar theme is the chase theme that's always used, (ahem), I'll sing it for you:
> daddladlum, daddladum, daddladdladdladdladdladdladlum, daddladlum, daddladum, daddladdladdladdladdladdladlum....etc. Does anyone recognize it?
> db