Posted in Books, Culture, Dance, Music, Quotes

A-to-Z Challenge: Tarantella

Image Credit: A Broadway World
Actress playing Nora in “A Doll’s House”

Tarantella in Literature

“Like the macaroons, the tarantella symbolizes a side of Nora that she cannot normally show. It is a fiery, passionate dance that allows Nora to drop the façade of the perfect mild-mannered Victorian wife.”

Litcharts.com quote from Henrik Ibsen’s book, “A Doll’s House”

A few years ago, I read Henrik Ibsen’s book, “A Doll’s House” for a literature class. One of the characters is named Nora who is a bubbly child-like wife strictly dependent on her husband…at least in the beginning. She begins to develop a passion for individuality which fully emerges at the end. She shows a deep yearning for independence when Nora tells her friend to earn her own money by copying. Times have changed so much since the time of Nora’s quote!

“It was tremendous fun sitting, working, and earning money. It was almost like being a man.”

Nora , A Doll’s House

Tarantella in Music

The Tarantella is one of my favorite piano pieces! Its lively cheerful beats are quite popular in various movies. Its light-hearted, upbeat staccato notes are a joy to play. Loads of fun and a form of music that usually makes me feel in a hurry.

Italian Origins

Image Credit: Pixabay

During the 11th century in an Italian province called Taranto, Apulia, the Tarantula’s, a locally common wolf spider, bite was popularly believed to be venomous and lead to a hysterical condition called tarantism. At the time, the people believed that they needed to engage in frenzied dancing as a sort of therapy to prevent death from tarantism which was later coined Tarantella. It is commonly played with a mandolin, guitar, accordian, and tambourines, and sometimes flutes, fiddles, and clarinets are used as well. It’s speculated to be a fusion of the dance forms, Spanish fandango and the Moresque ‘ballo di sfessartia’.

Feiernde Neapolitaner. Öl auf Leinwand, 108 × 210 cm

Tarantella Napoletana Dance

Tarantella Ballet
Image Credit: Dance History Development WordPress

The tarantella is a graceful dance in which the dancer and the drum player constantly try to upstage each other by playing faster or dancing longer than the other, subsequently tiring one person out first.

The Godfather’s C’è la luna mezzo mare wedding

Cinderella’s Bippity Boppity Boo


Harry Potter’s Tarantellegra Dancing Feet Spell

Image Credit: Harry Potter Fandom

The “Dancing Feet” spell has its origins in ancient Italy, but is best remembered for its improper usage by Warlock Zaccaria Innocenti who is credited with conjuring a ‘dance’ within Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD.

History of this spell, Cast-a-Spell handbook

Draco Malfoy used this spell on Harry in the Dueling Club. Students used it on a pineapple to make it dance.

Image Credit: Harry Potter Fandom

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Posted in Culture, flashback, Freedom of Expression, Music, Quotes

Freedom of Expression – Melody


“Wake up, live your life and sing the melody of your soul.” 
― Amit Ray, Enlightenment Step by Step

Richa over at iScriblr has picked “Melody” as this week’s prompt word for her challenge “Freedom of Expression“. This is a feel-good prompt for me as melodies bring back all sorts of memories.

“From the glow of enthusiasm I let the melody escape. I pursue it. Breathless I catch up with it. It flies again; it disappears; it plunges into a chaos of diverse emotions. I catch it again; I seize it; I embrace it with delight.”

Ludwig van Beethoven
Video Game Melody’s Escape: “Run, jump and slide to the rhythm of your own music library! In Melody’s Escape, advanced audio detection algorithms transcribe the energy that you feel when listening to music into a synchronized gameplay experience, with a captivating and dynamic obstacle course.” – Steam

One summer day when I was a young girl, I sang a short random tune in front of my friends as we hung outside the porch. “Another, another!” my friends exclaimed. They knew me to be rather shy and quiet, so they wanted me to sing another tune shortly thereafter! There was a rush of excitement as I was creating and sharing a melody from my heart. My feelings were just free to wander in the stream of notes, and my friends could float along the current with me. It was a time where I felt like communicated what was going on with ease turning my thoughts to music.

Melody is a form of remembrance. It must have a quality of inevitability in our ears.”

Gian Carlo Menotti

Once a song hits my ears, I begin to remember all the things that the song makes me feel and think. When I create a melody of my own, it’s almost like I want to keep my own story alive. I think many musicians feel that way as well, and when their song resonates with their fans, it becomes a legend.

“If, while at the piano, you attempt to form little melodies, that is very well; but if they come into your mind of themselves, when you are not practising, you may be still more pleased; for the internal organ of music is then roused in you. The fingers must do what the head desires; not the contrary.” 

Robert Schumann
Jacob’s Piano – an original piece “A Simple Melody”

I first learned about melody from my piano teacher. I remember practicing various assigned songs after school. Occasionally I’ll have a little fun with a piece and add my own original personal flair to it. My dad would walk in the house after work and smile at my little experiments. I would play my version for my teacher, and she would tell me, “Sa, that’s wonderful, but I need to know that you can read the music as it is!” Learning how to read other’s music is part of the experience, but I should have said, “Learning how to make my own music helps test me on my knowledge of music theory and develop my overall comprehension.” 🙂

Posted in Music

30-Day Song Challenge: Day 7

When I’m driving, I tend to lean towards instrumental music so that I won’t get distracted trying to analyze the lyrics. My fix for this “problem” is The Piano Guys! I love that they take popular songs and turns them into  beautiful classical pieces.

Posted in Dreams, flashback, Music, Nature, poetry

#Haibun – Magical Melody

Exhilaration
Melodies echo in space
Notes grant excursion

Losing track of time, a curious virtuoso reinvigorates an abandoned piano which longs to captivate the world once again. Its strings are vibrating with excitement. Dancing dust of hypnotic lights celebrate the instrument’s rebirth. His gnarled audience, on the other hand, is unaccustomed to such brilliance and attempts to recoil back into the darkness, but is bounded by its vines and roots. As the story is woven, the river encompasses the euphony, flows beyond the pages, and travels into the midnight air.

Cool night embraces
Inspiration left intact
Piece mesmerizes

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