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Weird Jobs in the 1881 UK Census July 7, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Weird Jobs in the 1881 UK Census

Spent the night and early morning looking for a much loved missing tortoise: mission accomplished at 6.42 amdist tears and recriminations. How do you punish a tortoise? This morning trying to come down from too much chocolate and coca cola. Took to racing through the 1881 census looking for unusual jobs and strange households: winding […]

Alpine Fairy Music December 14, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Alpine Fairy Music

Fairy music is one of the least studied and yet one of the most curious parts of the world of fairy. Why are these curious beings so strongly associated with melodies? drbeachcombing AT yahoo DOT com What is fairy music like? And do all fairy peoples in the world play the violin? Beach can’t even […]

Revelation: Music, History and the Incredible Public Service Broadcasting July 25, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite, Contemporary
Revelation: Music, History and the Incredible Public Service Broadcasting

It very rarely happens that Beach gets excited about something new on the web. But it happened tonight. And as the two individuals responsible have immense talent and as too few people know about them here’s a post dedicated to Public Service Broadcasting, a British outfit that has (apparently) been around for the last three […]

Pixy Music on Dartmoor July 15, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
Pixy Music on Dartmoor

  This is a fascinating story from Dartmoor in 1921. A director of orchestra has decided to walk out from a musical boot camp and try his hand at composing in the middle of the heather. It is there that he has a very strange experience: this  one is dedicated to all lovers of auditory […]

Singing Enemy Songs: Lili Marleen April 13, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
Singing Enemy Songs: Lili Marleen

One of the most moving moments in cinema is the extraordinary ending of Kubrick’s Paths of Glory. A young German girl is pulled in front of a crowd of French soldiers and forced to sing. The poilu mock her but as she nervously begins  the mood changes. The soldiers join in and drown her anxious, […]

The Strangest Instrument June 5, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Contemporary, Medieval, Modern
The Strangest Instrument

In his forlorn attempts to bring the bizarre into melody Beachcombing has done a little browsing through music-history books in the last six months. And one of the manila files that he consequently opened – now stored in the rusty filing cabinet in the downstairs bathroom – was entitled ‘weird instruments’. Beachcombing is going to […]

Cat Fishing and Brahms April 13, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Cat Fishing and Brahms

Again apologies for cessation in email communications and posting, Beachcombing is on the mend and normal service should resume tomorrow. *** Not so long ago Beachcombing said something unwise about musicians, namely that  the classically inclined folk prior to the shamans of modern rock did not have particularly bizarre lives and that music was a […]

Cat Music and Cat Organs February 27, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Cat Music and Cat Organs

**This post is dedicated to the Mad Monk who has supplied Beach with several references over the months and who put Beach onto the precious secret of the Cat Organ.** Beachcombing has complained before about the strange absence of bizarrism in music and he has never been satisfactorily contradicted. This absence is particularly painful in ‘classical’ […]

Dear Lord and Father: Songs Against Songs November 29, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
Dear Lord and Father: Songs Against Songs

Music is strangely resistant to bizzarism. Certainly, after years of reading Beachcombing has only about five pages of scribbled  notes on music in an exercise book and most of those about rock, pop and other post-war perversions. Did Mozart, Purcell, Bach and the rest never get up to anything peculiar? It does not seem possible and yet their […]