Weekend Trivia -- Sunday

midnightsmum (Z4, ON)June 3, 2012

Happy Sunday Morning, All. It is grey and rainy here!! Had my usual lie in, now on to my day, but first - Trivia!!

A talented British musician died last November - Celia Sheen. While you probably don't recognize her name, her music might strike a chord. While mostly noted as a violin player, she had other musical talents and played another instrument, known to artists as varied Led Zepplin and the Beach Boys. Hmmm, this might be another 'too easy for you lot', question or I may need lots of clues. Let's see how you do to start!!

Nancy.

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thinman(Z5 MI)

Hmmmm. Might I have seen this instrument played on an episode of The Big Bang Theory?

TM

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 10:29AM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Uhoh. Don't watch Big Bang Theory. One instrument came to mind for no reason whatsoever other than that it would be unexpected, but is still a string instrument. Of course if strike a chord is a clue, I will need to change my guess. :)

Cynthia, who is off to buy some mulch for her pathetic new garden bed where the dogs will probably trample everything as they chase squirrels from the bird feeders up the holly tree. Forgot about that adventure they love on a daily basis. Darn! Seemed like the perfect spot yesterday. :(

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 11:10AM
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midnightsmum (Z4, ON)

Well, well TM - should have realized you were a big fan of the Sheldon!! So am I, but I didn't remember him playing it, even though I remember that episode!! And here I had a clue all picked out for you: it was originally designed as a 'proximity sensor', during the Russian civil war.
Ms. Sheen played it for the theme song of one of my favourite British detective shows - Midsomer Murders. Is any of this helping, Cyn??

Nancy.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 12:26PM
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thinman(Z5 MI)

That clue would have definitely worked for me, Nancy.

TM

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 1:19PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Oh, I love Midsomer Murders. Too bad it airs on Friday nights. Should pay better attention to the theme songs...now had you asked about the themes to the old Westerns tv shows, I would have nailed it!

Proximity sensors during a civil war, huh? I was leaning toward more heavenly instruments. Will ask Chuck when he comes back from his trek with the pups.

Cynthia

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 2:12PM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

Not getting any idea even with the clues. I am a fan of The Big Bang Theory. Way too close to the reality of our three geeky kids. Will have to do some memory searching for that episode.

Never heard of Midsomer Murders. Is it a cable show?

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 3:04PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Here, Midsomer Murders is on one of our PBS channels- 8:00 Friday nights which is perfect because Chuck has a Friday night meeting every week, so I start my weekend with an English murder mystery. :)

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 5:36PM
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midnightsmum (Z4, ON)

OK, Bobbie - think one of the Beach Boys greatest hits!

Nancy - who now has the sun out, and is feeling the good vibes!!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 5:51PM
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midnightsmum (Z4, ON)

OK, more references, which may or may not help!! While not widely used in classical music performances, the instrument found great success in many motion pictures, notably, Spellbound, The Red House, The Lost Weekend (all three of which were written by Miklos Rozsa, the composer who pioneered the use of the instrument in Hollywood scores), The Spiral Staircase, Rocketship X-M, The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Thing (From Another World), The Ten Commandments (the 1956 DeMille film). More recent appearances in film scores include Monster House, Ed Wood and The Machinist(both featuring Lydia Kavina). The DVDs for Ed Wood, Bartleby and The Day the Earth Stood Still and Spellbound (Criterion Collection) include short features on this instrument. Robby Virus, the founder and player of the band Project:Pimento, was featured on the soundtrack to the movie Hellboy (2004).

Nancy.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 6:34PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Okay, if not the harp (and that was definitely NOT played in Good Vibrations), I have no idea. You stumped me this week!

Cynthia

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 6:52PM
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midnightsmum (Z4, ON)

Maybe a picture would help??

Nancy.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 8:03PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

I've been under the weather so haven't been on the forum for awhile, still feeling kind of peely wally so it's lots of couch time until things sort themselves out.
I know what the instrument you're looking for, I think it starts with a "T". It's a thingy you wave your hands over but don't touch.
I'm a big fan of Midsomer Murders and was curious about what made that unusual sound in the theme song so looked it up but darn I can't remember what it's called.

Annette

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 8:14PM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

Another one stumped. Oh, I remember that scene but have no idea what the instrument is called. I thought it was something that Seldon made.

Sadly, our PBS channels do not carry Midsomer Murders. I also enjoy a good English mystery series.

Hope you feel better soon, Annette.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 12:37AM
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thinman(Z5 MI)

I think it's correct to say that part of the answer is there.

TM

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 7:08AM
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midnightsmum (Z4, ON)

Well, I'm always surprised when I stump some of you!! TM had it and I believe that Annette was on her way - I was looking for Theremin.

The theremin, originally known as the therphone/etherphone, thereminophone or termenvox/thereminvox is an early electronic musical instrument controlled without discernible physical contact from the player. It is named after its Russian inventor, Professor Leon Theremin, who patented the device in 1928. The controlling section usually consists of two metal antennas which sense the position of the player's hands and control oscillators for frequency with one hand, and amplitude (volume) with the other, so it can be played without being touched. The electric signals from the theremin are amplified and sent to a loudspeaker. Theremin granted commercial production rights to RCA, but since it was released immediately after the Stock Crash, it never achieved commercial success.

In 1938, Theremin left the United States, though the circumstances related to his departure are in dispute. Many accounts claim he was taken from his New York City apartment by KGB agents,taken back to the Soviet Union and made to work in a sharashka laboratory prison camp at Magadan, Siberia. He reappeared 30 years later. In his 2000 biography of the inventor, Theremin: Ether Music and Espionage, Albert Glinsky suggested the Russian had fled to escape crushing personal debts, and was then caught up in Stalin's political purges. In any case, Theremin did not return to the United States until 1991.
A Moog Theremin kit.

The theremin is rare among musical instruments in that it is played without physical contact. The musician stands in front of the instrument and moves his or her hands in the proximity of two metal antennas. The distance from one antenna determines frequency (pitch), and the distance from the other controls amplitude (volume). Most frequently, the right hand controls the pitch and the left controls the volume, although some performers reverse this arrangement. Some low-cost theremins use a conventional, knob operated volume control and have only the pitch antenna. While commonly called antennas, they are not used for receiving or broadcasting radio frequency, but act as plates in a capacitor.

The Beach Boys actually used a similar device, called a Tannerin in "Good Vibrations" - funny, I thought vibes would give the away! Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin used a variation of the theremin (minus the loop) during performances of "Whole Lotta Love" and "No Quarter" throughout the performance history of Led Zeppelin. Brian Jones of The Rolling Stones also used the instrument on the group's 1967 albums "Between the Buttons" and "Their Satanic Majesties Request".

So, for TM, who got it in one:

Annette, here's one for the 'T': - hope your feeling better soon.

Thanks to all for playing!! Hope to 'see' you next week. Bobbie, here is an online link - you can watch episodes here, for free - http://www.free-tv-video-online.me/internet/

Nancy.

Here is a link that might be useful: Theme from Midsomer Murders

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 9:50AM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

Thanks for the interesting question, Nancy. There is always something new to learn. Also for the link. I found one listing in our library but not clear which season the DVD set shows. Requested it anyway.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 4:44PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Well, how cool is that?! I never would have gotten it.

Bobbie, hope you enjoy the series. It moves around a bit on our station, so sometimes I have to search and sometimes they bump it altogether!

Thanks for the fun and the link to the theme, Nancy.

Cynthia

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 6:54PM
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thinman(Z5 MI)

Thanks for the stars, Nancy. Being a fan of both The Beach Boys and The Big Bang Theory, this one just clicked with me. Hey, Beach Boys and Big Bang: BB and BB. What a co-inky-dink.

Fun trivia.

TM

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 7:59PM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

Today I watched a DVD of a behind the scenes documentary of Midsomer Murders and saw the theremin being played with a short explanation about its origin and use. It certainly adds to the eerienest of the theme.

Midsomer Murders looks like an interesting series, too bad it hasn't run on any of our PBS stations. This was the only DVD in our library about the series. I will look for Caroline Graham's novels.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 3:19PM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

I was wrong. I'm finding lots of DVDs of the series, all listed under Caroline Graham rather than under the series name. How odd.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 3:50PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

That is odd. I am going to add Graham to my summer reading list. Let us know how you enjoy the dvds!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 5:52PM
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