Saturday, December 22, 2012

I bet most of you have never heard of Raymond Scott. But I bet you will INSTANTLY recognize his music. Both part of his piece, "Powerhouse", are some of the most recognizable pieces of music in the world.

Scott was a 29-year-old jazz composer when he came up with "Powerhouse" in 1937. Although he had a number of jazz hits in the 1930s and 1940s, his "Toy Trumpet" is easily his second most-recognizable piece. He did a jazz rendition of Mozart's Piano Sonata in C, titled "In An Eighteenth-Century Drawing Room". It, too, is well-recognized by most people. Scott sold the rights to his music to Warner Bros. in 1943.

Scott was leader of the CBS Radio Orchestra in the 1940s and 1950s, and was an early experimenter in electronic music, creating a number of electronic musical instruments. In the 1960s, he was head of Motown's electronic music division. Many of his close friends, like Bob Moog (who invented the synthesizer), later were famous for their electronic inventions.

Largely forgotten by the 1980s, Scott suffered a series of heart attacks and slipped into poverty. He suffered a massive stroke in 1987 that left him unable to work or talk, and he died in 1994.


The Toy Trumpet

In An Eighteenth-Century Drawing Room

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