Why can’t we make it a bit lower-level?
Munro: That’s a really interesting question. The whole point of this waltz was that the person doing them was doing them under the cover of night, in a public place. And it was kind of an elegant way of letting people see it in their own way, because they saw it in this kind of beautiful thing and couldn’t get out of the way.
If these people had had their waltzes, I think some of the music industry would not have had as big an interest in them.
I think the way we have organized music over the last 100 years in the United States and in Europe has actually created a lot of problems. I think that if the waltz had been more common the United States and Europe [could have] had a more sophisticated and sophisticated form of music.
Because it created a certain way to do things, a certain language, it became part of our conversation. It became part of the American discourse. It’s a kind of thing, and it’s very much part of the British discourse, but it’s not really true when it comes to France, and we’ll talk about it in a minute.
You mention how the French were also the first to produce what we now call the jig.
Munro: They also began to be interested in rhythm and form over long periods of time. I think it’s very much true in the Middle Ages, and again in the 19th century, and I think it’s true in Europe as well.
In America you don’t have the time period where it’s more about form and less about rhythm and form. So the waltz was the only way for many people to learn about the rhythm of music, because of all the time it took, and how much it was going to take the performers who could do it properly.
The waltze, particularly the kind of a classical one, was the only way they could do it.
It’s a very difficult thing for any musician to learn how to play a waltz, because you’re working backwards with your fingers. The difficulty is more that you can’t put your fingers on it that fast, so the way we did it was to play the bass on an upright, but you were playing the whole thing over and over. The fact that it was very difficult to do is kind of what got you excited about it. You think,
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