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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Song of the Week! 18 March 2017

The wait is finally over and the genre color spectrum is now complete in the Taiko firmware scenario! It's also time for us to close this special feature circle with a Classic pick...

 An American in Paris (パリのアメリカ人) Gershwin
Allx3 (125)x4 (175)x6 (303)x8 (463)
 Taiko 3DS 1

Believe it or not, it's still possible to find years-old Classic arrangements that are exclusively playable on a single (yet modern-era) Taiko game... It also makes the perfect occasion for us to introduce another world-wide famous composer that has been sporadically appearing in Taiko games in general!

An American in Paris is an excerpt of the score written for the 1928 jazz-inspired musical poem of the same name by George Jacob Gershwin (September 26, 1898 – July 11, 1937), one of the XX century's most prominent composers/pianists from America. The opus's roots are set in Gershwin's late-20ies foreign musical experiences, as the original idea for the song came to him during his first trip to Paris, in 1926. While Gershwin traveled to the France capital in order to study/share musical opinions with French composer Maurice Ravel, he had to cut his studies short as Ravel himself claimed that he couldn't teach him anything, forwarding instead an invitation to receive private lessons with French composer and conductor Juliette Nadia Boulanger. Before returning in America, however, Gershwin wanted to thank the French couple who hosted him during his stay -Robert and Mabel Shirmer- by sending a musical fragment he created in the same year called Very Parisienne, a "rhapsodic ballet" -as described by Gershwin himself- that was later on picked up as the basis for the creation of An American in Paris when the American composer was commissioned by the New York Symphony Orchestra conductor Walter Damrosch.

The complete musical poem was finished in 1928 and premiered on December 13th of the same year, with Gershwin managing to complete the orchestration of the piece less than four weeks before its premiere. An American in Paris is made of five parts, with section A featuring an Allegretto grazioso movement (the one featured in the Taiko no Tatsujin cover) followed by a Subito con brio and section B developed, in that order, with Andante ma con ritmo deciso, Allegro and Moderato con grazia passages, each performed with a prominently wide variety of air instruments such as flutes, clarinets, trombones, hornets, tubas and so on. In the American magazine Musical America, Gershwin himself explained the motif that guided the creation of the opus:

"My purpose here is to portray the impressions of an American visitor in Paris as he strolls about the city, listens to the various street noises, and absorbs the French atmosphere."

In popular culture, An American in Paris's movements have been featured in several kinds of media, most prominently in the 1951 MGM musical movie by the same name that managed to win that year's Oscar for best picture! The opus has also reached some degrees of popularity it in Japan after being featured in the NHK's TV show Musical Fantasy Yume (音楽ファンタジー・ゆめ).

Despite these modern-days accolades, the abridged Taiko cover of An American in Paris's Allegretto grazioso movement is only available in one title to date, featuring a lightweight note count for the Oni mode's compound cluster-heavy notechart and some charting tropes that have been popular for the eldest Classic covers in the series such as the long drumroll/final big note closure (watch out for the last note's x6 scrolling speed enhancement, though!).


Thanks for joining us for the conclusion of our latest branch of Song of the Week themed periods! However, if your Classic song itch hasn't been satisfied yet, try coming back to our humble blog tomorrow...

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