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Encyclopedia > P. D. Q. Bach
P. D. Q. Bach
P. D. Q. Bach (1807-1742?)
P. D. Q. Bach (1807-1742?)
Background information
Birth name P. D. Q. Bach
Born April 1, 1742
Flag of Germany Leipzig, Germany
Died May 5, 1807 (age 65)
Flag of Germany Baden-Baden-Baden, Germany
Genre(s) Baroque
Romantic
Modern
Occupation(s) Composer
Plagiarist
Label(s) Vanguard Records
Telarc Records
Associated
acts
Professor Peter Schickele
Website http://www.schickele.com/
Notable instrument(s)
tromboon
slide whistle
hardart
lasso d'amore
kazoo
balloons
bicycle
double reeds

P. D. Q. Bach is a fictional composer invented by musical satirist "Professor" Peter Schickele. In an extended joke that Schickele has used in a four-decade-long career, he performs "discovered" works of this forgotten member of the Bach family. He has recorded this music on the Vanguard and Telarc labels. Schickele's music combines parodies of musicological scholarship, the conventions of Baroque and classical music, and elements of slapstick comedy. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... is the 91st day of the year (92nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... // Events January 24 - Charles VII Albert becomes Holy Roman Emperor. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Germany. ... Leipzig ( ; Sorbian/Lusatian: Lipsk from the Sorbian word for Tilia) is, with a population of over 506,000, the largest city in the federal state of Saxony, Germany. ... is the 125th day of the year (126th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1807 (MDCCCVII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar). ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Germany. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Baroque music describes an era and a set of styles of European classical music which were in widespread use between approximately 1600 and 1750. ... The era of Romantic music is defined as the period of European classical music that runs roughly from 1820 to 1900, as well as music written according to the norms and styles of that period. ... 20th century classical music, the classical music of the 20th century, was extremely diverse, beginning with the late Romantic style of Sergei Rachmaninoff, Impressionism of Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel, and continuing through the Neoclassicism of middle-period Igor Stravinsky, and ranging to such distant sound-worlds as the complete... A composer is a person who writes music. ... Plagiarism refers to the use of anothers information, language, or writing, when done without proper acknowledgment of the original source. ... In the music industry, a record label is a brand and a trademark associated with the marketing of music recordings and music videos. ... Vanguard Records was a record label set up in 1950 by brothers Maynard and Seymour Solomon in New York. ... Telarc International Corporation is a Cleveland, Ohio based independent record label, founded in 1977 by two classically trained musicians and former teachers, Jack Renner and Robert Woods. ... Peter Schickele (born Johann Peter Schickele, July 17, 1935) is an American composer, musical educator and parodist, perhaps best known for his comedy music albums featuring music he wrote as P. D. Q. Bach. ... A tromboon The tromboon is a musical instrument made up of the reed and bocal of the bassoon attached to the body of a trombone instead of the trombone mouthpiece. ... A slide whistle (variously known as a swanee whistle, piston flute or less commonly jazz flute) is a wind instrument consisting of a fipple like a recorders and a tube with a piston in it. ... Peter Schickele (born July 17, 1935) is a composer and musical parodist. ... The lasso damore is a musical instrument made of corrugated plastic tubing, employed in some P. D. Q. Bach compositions such as the Erotica Variations. ... For the visual effects technology, see ZOO Digital Group. ... For other uses, see Balloon (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Bicycle (disambiguation). ... A double reed is a type of reed used to produce sound in various wind instruments. ... Peter Schickele (born Johann Peter Schickele, July 17, 1935) is an American composer, musical educator and parodist, perhaps best known for his comedy music albums featuring music he wrote as P. D. Q. Bach. ... The Bach family was of importance in the history of music for nearly two hundred years. ... Vanguard Records was a record label set up in 1950 by brothers Maynard and Seymour Solomon in New York. ... Telarc International Corporation is a Cleveland, Ohio based independent record label, founded in 1977 by two classically trained musicians and former teachers, Jack Renner and Robert Woods. ... For album by Prince, see Musicology (album). ... Baroque music describes an era and a set of styles of European classical music which were in widespread use between approximately 1600 and 1750. ... The Classical period in Western music occurred from about 1730 through 1820, despite considerable overlap at both ends with preceding and following periods, as is true for all musical eras. ... For other uses, see Slapstick (disambiguation). ...


The name "P. D. Q." is a parody of the three-part names given to many members of the Bach family that are commonly reduced to initials, such as C. P. E., for Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. PDQ is an acronym for "pretty damn quick" (or the bowdlerized "pretty darn quick") in vernacular English. Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (March 8, 1714 – December 14, 1788) was a German musician and composer, the second of five sons of Johann Sebastian Bach and Maria Barbara Bach. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Backronym and Apronym (Discuss) Acronyms and initialisms are abbreviations, such as NATO, laser, and ABC, written as the initial letter or letters of words, and pronounced on the basis of this abbreviated written form. ...

Contents

"Biography"

Among the many "facts" about the composer's life in Schickele's fictional biography of the composer, [1] we find the following:

P. D. Q. Bach was born in Leipzig on April 1, 1742, the son of Johann Sebastian Bach and Anna Magdalena Bach; the twenty first of Johann's twenty children.[1] According to Schickele, Bach's parents did not bother to give their youngest son a real name, and settled on "P. D. Q." instead. The only earthly possession Johann Sebastian Bach willed to his son was a kazoo.
In 1755, P. D. Q. Bach was an apprentice of the inventor of the musical saw, Ludwig Zahnstocher (German for "toothpick"). In 1756, P. D. Q. Bach met Leopold Mozart and advised him to teach his son Wolfgang Amadeus how to play billiards. Later on P. D. Q. Bach went to St. Petersburg to visit his distant cousin Leonhard Sigismund Dietrich Bach (L. S. D. Bach), whose daughter Betty Sue bore P. D. Q. a child.
Finally, in 1770, P. D. Q. Bach started to write music, mostly by stealing melodies from other composers.
P. D. Q.'s final words, which were spoken to Betty-Sue Bach, were "Time, gentlemen." The time was exactly eleven o'clock on the evening of May 5, 1807 in Baden-Baden-Baden, Germany.[1]
P. D. Q. Bach's grave was marked "1807–1742".
P. D. Q. Bach's Epitaph reads [as requested by his cousin Betty Sue Bach and written by the local doggerel catcher]:
In the "original" German:
Hier liegt ein Mann ganz ohnegleich;
Im Leibe dick, an Sünden reich.
Wir haben ihn in das Grab gesteckt,
Weil es uns dünkt er sei verreckt.
Translated:
Here lies a man with sundry flaws
And numerous Sins upon his head;
We buried him today because
As far as we can tell, he's dead.

In preconcert lectures, Schickele has revealed that P. D. Q. Bach had a substantial influence on Beethoven's deafness. This is due to the latter's habit of stuffing coffee grounds into his ears whenever he saw P. D. Q. Bach coming. is the 91st day of the year (92nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... // Events January 24 - Charles VII Albert becomes Holy Roman Emperor. ... “Bach” redirects here. ... For the visual effects technology, see ZOO Digital Group. ... Playing a musical saw A musical saw, also called a singing saw, is the application of a hand saw as a musical instrument. ... Leopold Mozart Johann Georg Leopold Mozart (November 14, 1719 – May 28, 1787) was a composer, music teacher and violinist. ... “Mozart” redirects here. ... This article is about the various cue sports. ... is the 125th day of the year (126th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1807 (MDCCCVII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar). ... “Beethoven” redirects here. ...


Music

Main article: List of works by P. D. Q. Bach

Schickele describes P. D. Q. Bach as having "the originality of Johann Christian, the arrogance of Carl Philipp Emanuel, and the obscurity of Johann Christoph Friedrich." The most distinguishing feature of P. D. Q. Bach's music, in the words of Schickele, is "manic plagiarism". The following is a List of works by P.D.Q. Bach. ... Johann Christian Bach (September 5, 1735 – January 1, 1782) was a composer of the Classical era, the eleventh and youngest son of Johann Sebastian Bach. ... Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (March 8, 1714 – December 14, 1788) was a German musician and composer, the second of five sons of Johann Sebastian Bach and Maria Barbara Bach. ... Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach (June 21, 1732—January 26, 1795), the ninth son of Johann Sebastian Bach, sometimes referred to as the Bückeburg Bach. Born at Leipzig, Germany, he was taught music by his father. ...


P. D. Q. Bach seldom wrote original tunes; for the most part he stole melodies from other composers and rearranged them in often funny ways. Also, P. D. Q. Bach's music uses instruments not often used in orchestras, such as the tromboon, slide whistle, hardart, lasso d'amore and kazoo, as well as items not normally used as musical instruments, such as balloons and bicycles. His music also calls for unusual methods of playing traditional instruments, such as blowing through double reeds by themselves (that is, detached from the instruments) throughout Iphigenia in Brooklyn. His parts for vocalists include coughing, snoring, sobbing, laughing and yelling. A tromboon The tromboon is a musical instrument made up of the reed and bocal of the bassoon attached to the body of a trombone instead of the trombone mouthpiece. ... A slide whistle (variously known as a swanee whistle, piston flute or less commonly jazz flute) is a wind instrument consisting of a fipple like a recorders and a tube with a piston in it. ... Peter Schickele (born July 17, 1935) is a composer and musical parodist. ... The lasso damore is a musical instrument made of corrugated plastic tubing, employed in some P. D. Q. Bach compositions such as the Erotica Variations. ... A double reed is a type of reed used to produce sound in various wind instruments. ...


P. D. Q. Bach's work pokes fun at many types of music, including Baroque, Romantic, modern, country music (Oedipus Tex and Blaues Gras), and rap (Classical Rap). The "Schickele" or "S." numbers whimsically assigned to P. D. Q. Bach's works parody musicologists' catalogues of famous composers, such as the Köchel catalogue of Mozart's works. country music, see Country music (disambiguation) Country music, the first half of Billboards country and western music category, is a blend of popular musical forms originally found in the Southern United States. ... Hip hop music is a style of music which came into existence in the United States during the mid-1970s, and became a large part of modern pop culture during the 1980s. ... Portrait of von Köchel Ludwig Alois Ferdinand Ritter von Köchel (January 14, 1800 - June 3, 1877) was a musicologist, writer, composer, botanist and publisher. ... “Mozart” redirects here. ...


There is often a startling juxtaposition of styles within a single P. D. Q. Bach piece. The Prelude to Einstein on the Fritz, which alludes to Philip Glass's opera Einstein on the Beach, provides an example. The underlying music is J. S. Bach's first prelude from the Well-Tempered Clavier, but with each phrase repeated interminably in a minimalist manner that parodies Glass's. On top of this mind-numbing structure is added everything from jazz phrases to snoring to the chanting of a meaningless phrase. Through all these mutilations, the piece never deviates from Bach's original harmonic structure. Philip Glass (born January 31, 1937) is a three-times Academy Award-nominated American composer. ... Einstein on the Beach is an opera scored and written by Philip Glass and designed and directed by Robert Wilson. ... “Bach” redirects here. ... Title-page of Das wohltemperirte Clavier A flat major (As-dur) fugue from the second part of Das wohltemperirte Clavier (manuscript) The Well-Tempered Clavier (in the original German: Das wohltemperierte Clavier[1]) is a collection of solo keyboard music composed by Johann Sebastian Bach. ... This article is about a musical style. ... For other uses, see Jazz (disambiguation). ...


The humor in P. D. Q. Bach music often derives from violation of audience expectations, such as repeating a tune more than the usual number of times, resolving later than usual, unusual key changes, or sudden switches from high art to low art.[2] Resolution in western tonal music theory is the need for a sounded note and/or chord to move from a dissonance or unstable sound to a more final or stable sounding one, a consonance. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Popular culture, sometimes abbreviated to pop culture, consists of widespread cultural elements in any given society. ...


Schickele divides P. D. Q. Bach's musical output into three periods: the Initial Plunge, the Soused Period, and Contrition.


During the Initial Plunge, P. D. Q. Bach wrote the Traumarai for solo piano, an Echo Sonata for "two unfriendly groups of instruments", and a Gross Concerto for Divers' Flutes, two Trumpets, and Strings.


During the Soused (or Brown-Bag) Period, P. D. Q. Bach wrote a Concerto for Horn & Hardart, a Sinfonia Concertante, a Pervertimento, a Serenude, a Perückenstück, a Suite from The Civilian Barber, a Schleptet in E-flat major, the half-act opera The Stoned Guest, a Concerto for Piano vs. Orchestra, Erotica Variations, Hansel and Gretel and Ted and Alice (an opera in one unnatural act), The Art of the Ground Round, a Concerto for Bassoon vs. Orchestra, and a Grand Serenade for an Awful Lot of Winds and Percussion. Horn & Hardart is a company that came to prominence as the proprietors of the first automat in New York City. ... Sinfonia concertante is a musical form that originated in the classical music era, and is a mixture of the symphony and the concerto genres: It is a concerto, in that it has one or more soloists (in the classical music era usually more than one). ... This musical work, while touted as P. D. Q. Bachs Half-Act Opera: The Stoned Guest, is actually the work of Peter Schickele. ... This article is about the 1969 film. ... The Grand Serenade for an Awful Lot of Winds and Percussion is a piece of music written by Peter Schickele, touted as a composition of the fictional P.D.Q. Bach. ...


During the Contrition, P. D. Q. Bach wrote the cantata Iphigenia in Brooklyn, the oratorio The Seasonings, Diverse Ayres on Sundrie Notions, a Sonata for Viola for Four Hands, the chorale prelude Should, a Notebook for Betty Sue Bach, the Toot Suite, the Grossest Fugue, a Fanfare for the Common Cold, and the canine cantata Wachet Arf!


He also composed the religious work "Missa Hilarious" (Schickele no. N2O, N2O being nitrous oxide or "laughing gas"), which was found along with documents pertaining to his excommunication. For other uses, see Nitrous oxide (disambiguation). ...


Performances

Schickele currently performs the music of P. D. Q. Bach in two different touring programs, both accompanied by soprano Michèle Eaton and tenor David Düsing.


P.D.Q. Bach: The Vegas Years is performed with an orchestra, and includes Oedipus Tex, selections from Art of the Ground Round, and the cantata Gott sei dank, daß heute Freitag ist ("Thank God It’s Friday").


P.D.Q. Bach & Peter Schickele: The Jekyll and Hyde Tour is performed with piano accompaniment, and includes Four Next-to-Last Songs, Shepherd on the Rocks, With a Twist, and excerpts from Little Notebook for "Piggy" Bach.


Recordings

Albums

The Vanguard Years

Title Year
Peter Schickele Presents an Evening with P. D. Q. Bach (1807-1742?) 1965
An Hysteric Return: P. D. Q. Bach at Carnegie Hall 1966
Report from Hoople: P. D. Q. Bach on the Air 1967
The Stoned Guest 1970
The Intimate P. D. Q. Bach 1974
Portrait of P. D. Q. Bach 1977
Black Forest Bluegrass 1979
Liebeslieder Polkas 1980
Music You Can't Get Out of Your Head 1982
A Little Nightmare Music 1983

Peter Schickele Presents An Evening with P. D. Q. Bach (1807-1742?) was the first concert and also the first release of the music of P. D. Q. Bach by Vanguard Records. ... The Stoned Guest is the premiere recording of the Half-Act Opera by P. D. Q. Bach. It was released on Vanguard Records in 1970. ... The Intimate P. D. Q. Bach is a live recording of stage show, featuring Professor Peter Schickele and the Semi-Pro Musica Antiqua and was released on Vanguard Records in 1974. ... Portrait of P. D. Q. Bach was released in 1977 on Vanguard Records. ... Black Forest Bluegrass is live recording of the music of P. D. Q. Bach, featuring Professor Peter Schickele and a bluegrass band with a Baroque orchestra, a wind octet with toys, a commercial with a snake — this album has it all! The album was released on Vanguard Records in 1979. ... Liebeslieder Polkas is recording of the music of P. D. Q. Bach, featuring Professor Peter Schickele and is described as the first opus of P.D.Q. Bach to be discovered in which he inflicted his music on the work of well-known poets, or even known poets, for that... Music You Cant Get Out of Your Head is recording of the music of P. D. Q. Bach, featuring Professor Peter Schickele and is described as P.D.Q. Bach’s answer to Haydn’s Farewell Symphony and includes all the music from The Civilian Barber thats been... A Little Nightmare Music is recording of the music of P. D. Q. Bach, featuring Professor Peter Schickele and is described as P.D.Q. Bach’s opera in one irrevocable act, based on a dream he had December 4, 1791, the night that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died and Antonio...

P.D.Q. Bach on Telarc

Title Year
1712 Overture and Other Musical Assaults 1989
Oedipus Tex and Other Choral Calamities 1990
WTWP Classical Talkity-Talk Radio 1991
Music for an Awful Lot of Winds and Percussion 1992
Two Pianos Are Better Than One 1994
The Short-Tempered Clavier and other dysfunctional works for keyboard 1995
P.D.Q. Bach and Peter Schickele: The Jekyll and Hyde Tour 2007

The first new P. D. Q. Bach recording in 12 years, recorded live on June 16, 2007 before a sold-out audience in Owings Mills, Maryland has recently been released on Telarc. The program consisted of Long Live The King; Four Next-To-Last Songs: Das kleines Birdie, Der Cowboykönig, Gretchen am Spincycle, Es war ein dark und shtormy Night; String Quartet in F major ("The Moose"); Two Rounds: Hedi McKinley and D'Indy's Turkey; Three Songs: If Love is Real, Happy Birthday Beth, Cyndi; Three P.D.Q. Bach Rounds: The Mule, P.D.Q. 3-Step Crab Dinner, O Serpent; Songs from Shakespeare; and T. Rex. Assisting Professor Peter Schickele were soprano Michèle Eaton, tenor David Düsing, and the Armadillo String Quartet. 1712 Overture and Other Musical Assaults was released in 1989 by Telarc Records. ... Oedipus Tex and Other Choral Calamities was released in 1990 by Telarc Records. ... Apparently a radio show. ... Music for an Awful Lot of Winds and Percussion was released in 1992 by Telarc Records. ... Two Pianos Are Better Than One was released in 1994 by Telarc Records. ... The Short-Tempered Clavier and other dysfunctional works for keyboard was released in 1995 by Telarc Records. ...


Compilations

Title Record Company Year
The Wurst of P. D. Q. Bach Vanguard Records 1978
The Dreaded P. D. Q. Bach Collection Vanguard Records 1996
The Ill-Conceived P. D. Q. Bach Anthology Telarc Records 1998

The Wurst of P.D.Q. Bach is a collection of works by P. D. Q. Bach originally recored on the Vanguard Records label by Professor Peter Schickele. ... The Dreaded P. D. Q. Bach Collection is a collection of works by P. D. Q. Bach originally recored on the Vanguard Records label by Professor Peter Schickele. ... The IllConceived P. D. Q. Bach Anthology is a collection of works by P. D. Q. Bach originally recored on the Telarc label by Professor Peter Schickele. ...

Video releases

Title Year
The Abduction of Figaro 1984
P.D.Q. Bach in Houston: We Have a Problem! 2006

The Abduction of Figaro, described as A Simply Grand Opera by P. D. Q. Bach, is actually the work of composer Peter Schickele. ...

Awards

Four of the Telarc P.D.Q. Bach recordings received Grammy awards in the Best Comedy Recording category. These were the four albums released from 1989-1992.[3] Schickele also received a Grammy nomination in the Best Comedy Album category in 1996 for his abridged audiobook edition of The Definitive Biography of P.D.Q. Bach.[4]


Further reading

  • Schickele, Peter. The Definitive Biography of P.D.Q. Bach, (1807-1742)?. New York: Random House, 1976. ISBN 0-394-73409-2

The Definitive Biography of P.D.Q. Bach (1807-1742)? is a book by Prof. ...

References

  1. ^ a b c Schickele, Peter. The Definitive Biography of P.D.Q. Bach
  2. ^ David Huron (2004). "Music-engendered laughter: an analysis of humor devices in PDQ Bach". Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Music: 700–704. 
  3. ^ Biography page for Peter Schickele on Theodore Press Company's website
  4. ^ Past Winners Database page for the 1996 Grammy award nominees and winners on the Los Angeles Times website

Peter Schickele (born Johann Peter Schickele, July 17, 1935) is an American composer, musical educator and parodist, perhaps best known for his comedy music albums featuring music he wrote as P. D. Q. Bach. ... This just IN !!!:paris hiltons new dog. ...

See also

The Abduction of Figaro, described as A Simply Grand Opera by P. D. Q. Bach, is actually the work of composer Peter Schickele. ... This musical work, while touted as P. D. Q. Bachs Half-Act Opera: The Stoned Guest, is actually the work of Peter Schickele. ... Oedipus Tex is an Western-themed oratorio by P. D. Q. Bach that follows the adventures of Oedipus Tex (you may have heard of my brother Rex) in Thebes Gulch. ... Cover of Suite No. ...

External links


 
 

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