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Music Discuss specific tunes, the writing of tunes, other questions, concerns, etc. related specifically to the music or music books.

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Old 11-30-2009, 05:25 AM   #1
classicbagpipes
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Default 6/8 Steamboat from the Nutcracker Ballet

As the holidays roll around, I have to ask this question. We play the little 6/8 tune Steamboat. I have noticed the same exact tune as part of Tschicovsky's (sp) Nutcracker ballet score.
Anyone know who borrowed from whom on this one? Most know the story of Green Hills from Rossini, but this is another "pipe" tune taken from the classics?
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Old 11-30-2009, 08:07 AM   #2
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Default Re: 6/8 Steamboat from the Nutcracker Ballet

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Originally Posted by classicbagpipes View Post
is this another "pipe" tune taken from the classics?
Probably........
There are loads of melodies from classic composers used in other instruments and arrangements going around.
It continually amazes me when prople do not recognise a composers work other than a TV theme or advert.
Ride of the valkyries by Richard Wagner is a classic example being used in many many war movies (Appocolypse Now springs to mind)........
Incidentaly the definition of a true intelectual is a person who can listen to Rossinis William Tell Overture without thinking of the Lone Ranger
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Old 11-30-2009, 10:38 AM   #3
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Default Re: 6/8 Steamboat from the Nutcracker Ballet

to say nothing of pipe tunes lifted by classical composers.

most notably, Handel (of 'Messiah' fame..) who lifted numerous Italian & Sicilian zampogna/ciaramella melodies.

my votes in favor of the pipe tune coming after the Tchaik, however.
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Old 12-01-2009, 12:05 AM   #4
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Default Re: 6/8 Steamboat from the Nutcracker Ballet

Not to de-rail the thread....

I think it's also known as The Hills of Caithness

Perhaps Hills of... was taken from the classics and Steamboat is the plagiarized version ?

Or vice-versa.

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Old 12-01-2009, 10:42 AM   #5
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Default Re: 6/8 Steamboat from the Nutcracker Ballet

While not commenting on these particular tunes, it was very common for classical composers to use common everyday folk tunes as a base melody for their classical pieces. They then would develop those themes into the melody or phrases that became the masterpieces. Composers also used many early religious themes (i.e. gregorian chant) as theme material. They did this so the the "folk" would recognize and have a connection to the music. With bagpipe music being folk music, a lot of the themes are recognized as familar to other older folk genres, as well as to the themes of classical music.
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Old 12-13-2009, 10:10 AM   #6
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Default Re: 6/8 Steamboat from the Nutcracker Ballet

I'm just curious: was the production where you heard "Steamboat" (which I know as "Steamboat Quickstep," but it's clearly the same tune) a production of the normal "Nutcracker," or was it the version by the Mark Morris Dance Group, "A Hard Nut"? I just saw that yesterday and I also noticed the use of Steamboat Quickstep, but I'm wondering if it's from the original Tchaikovsky score, or if it's something the Mark Morris guys threw in, which is just the sort of thing they'd do.
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Old 12-13-2009, 01:18 PM   #7
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Default Re: 6/8 Steamboat from the Nutcracker Ballet

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Originally Posted by LegalCat View Post
I'm just curious: was the production where you heard "Steamboat" (which I know as "Steamboat Quickstep," but it's clearly the same tune) a production of the normal "Nutcracker," or was it the version by the Mark Morris Dance Group, "A Hard Nut"? I just saw that yesterday and I also noticed the use of Steamboat Quickstep, but I'm wondering if it's from the original Tchaikovsky score, or if it's something the Mark Morris guys threw in, which is just the sort of thing they'd do.
It was in a production of "The Nutcracker" I saw in Knoxville Tennessee about 11 years ago, so I am betting it is in the original score.

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Old 12-13-2009, 03:33 PM   #8
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Default Re: 6/8 Steamboat from the Nutcracker Ballet

"Steamboat," nor any tune that sounds like it, is not in any score of Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker" ballet that I have ever played, and I have played it many times.

And BTW the Ride of the Valkyrie is probably best known as the theme from "Kill the Wabbit," a classic Bugs Bunny/Elmer Fudd cartoon.
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Old 12-13-2009, 05:41 PM   #9
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Default Re: 6/8 Steamboat from the Nutcracker Ballet

There's something very similar to 'the steamboat' here that starts at about 8:40

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbG1dewd988

It's played as the dance "Piloté de Combourg"
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Old 04-14-2019, 02:01 AM   #10
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Default Re: 6/8 Steamboat from the Nutcracker Ballet

This is the part in The Nutcracker where Steamboat appears: (from 1:35) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VK_Utb0OMfk
I used to think Tchaikovsky came up with it first but, after learning that classical composers often borrowed from traditional music, it is likely the other way around. Also, The Nutcracker was written around 1892 whereas Steamboat/ Hills of Caithness apparently appears in a tune collection in 1869.
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