Before we begin, I’d like to mention a new historical webcomic that’s just come to my attention: Mirror Sense! Its focus is the 17th century, and the chatter sections are filled with good ideas for further reading and fascinating tidbits on the court and society etiquette of the time. Beyond that, the art is something entirely new on the history webcomics scene. Not to undersell the rest of us, but often the art is here as The Stuff That The Words Are Stuck To – in Mirror Sense, it is an object of contemplation all in itself. They are just about 12 pages in – so now’s the perfect time to catch up!
Now then, Nobody has yet guessed the identity of the music from the last panel of Episode 491 yet to claim their free art, so here are two clues to speed you on your way:
1) The piece is from the first half of the 20th century (you probably guessed as much already)
2) The composer hails from Russia.
More cannot be dragged from me until we reveal the winner after episode 493!
In the meantime – Dizzy Gillespie. Here is a nice bit of him from around this time which highlights why he is considered the father of bop trumpetry. There is a straight line from him to Miles Davis and James Moody, who are still considered by many to be The Final Word on this instrument in this idiom. I confess a particular indifference to jazz trumpet, but you have to admit that Gillespie opened up the spectrum of possibility for the instrument in ways inconceivable just a half century before. The angularity of his lines and his use of the highest registers bleed into classical music as well, giving modern composers the ability to conjure an air of oppressive panic (and yes, that seems to be the ONLY emotion that modern composers allow themselves these days, but hopefully that pendulum is swinging back) at will. And that’s something.
– Count Dolby von Luckner