Thursday, May 29, 2014


Terms/names in the movie that are new, unusual to you, and/or not often used:
One of the reasons The Music Man is appealing
is because of the fast paced and witty dialogue.
The following are some terms and phrases used.

A type of marble; a shooter made from the mineral, agate.

Highly excited.

Alma mater
An alma mater is often any school, college, or university at which
one has studied and, usually, from which one has graduated.

This is a large, heavy block of iron or steel with
a smooth, flat top used by a blacksmith to
hammer shapes in melted iron. Salesman 1:
"Charlie, you’re an anvil salesman."

This famous work, painted by the American artist Grant wood in

1930 is called "The American Gothic" Wood's inspiration came

from Eldon, southern Iowa, where a cottage designed in the

Gothic Revival style with an upper window in the shape of a medieval
pointed arch, provided the background and also the painting's title.
Wood decided to paint the house along with "the kind of people I 
fancied should live in that house." The painting shows a farmer standing 
beside his spinster daughter, figures modeled by the artist's dentist 
and sister, Nan (1900–1990). The woman is dressed in a colonial print 
apron mimicking 19th century Americana and the couple are in 
the traditional roles of men and women, the 
man's pitchfork symbolizing hard labor.

Anxious or fearful about the future; uneasy.
A building serving as headquarters
for military reserve personnel.

"Bach's conception of the
A clavichord is similar to a harpsichord. The Well-Tempered Clavichord is a
composition by Bach that uses all the major and minor keys of the
keyboard. Its popularity changed how pianos
and clavichords are tuned today.

A line parallel to one end of a billiard table, from
behind which opening shots with the cue ball are made.

He was a French writer and founder of the realist school of fiction.
His great work, THE HUMAN COMEDY, written over a 20-year
period, is a collection of novels. Marian: "You’ll find it in Balzac."

"Bang beat bell-ringin"
The exact meaning unknown, but likely refers to tactics used by
traveling carnivals and patent medicine salesmen to draw attention and customers.
Barbershop Quartet
The image of barbershop quartets is four handle bar-mustached

white men in straw hats and striped vests singing Sweet Adeline.

In fact, a cappella quartet singing goes a lot farther back. Some

music historians believe that barbershop harmony can trace its
beginnings to the birth of traditional Western music in the sacred
music of European monasteries. According to the National Public
Radio website, barbershop singing echoes the 19th century. At the
time, barbershops commonly served as a sort of social center for
African American men. There the men would sit around, converse,
sing and enjoy each other’s company. The style we know today
as barbershop became popular in the late 1800s as traveling minstrel
and vaudeville shows featured singing groups. Many of the popular
barbershop quartets of the day were African American groups,
who dared to experiment and add unconventional notes to the
traditional three-part chords. The African influence is particularly
notable in the improvisational nature of the harmonization. The
exciting sound of the flatted 7th tone became the hallmark of barbershop
harmony. Once African Americans introduced barbershop harmony to
the world, it quickly gained popularity among white performers. By the
end of the 19th century, barbershop quartet music was almost entirely
performed by white men. The coming of radio prompted a shift in
American popular music. Songwriters turned out more sophisticated
melodies that placed a greater emphasis on jazz rhythms and melodies
that were better suited to dancing. As recording techniques improved,
the big band sound gained popularity and barbershop quartets
faded away. But the tradition never died. The Society for the Preservation
and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America was
founded in 1938. The Sweet Adelines International for women was
founded in 1945. Today, each organization is thriving with barbershop
harmony singers all over the world enjoying the education, performance,
and competition opportunities of this enjoyable hobby.


The bassoon is a large double reed instrument with a lower sound
than the other woodwind instruments. Its double reed is attached

to a small curved tube called a bocal which fits into the bassoon.

When the player blows air between the reeds, the vibrating column
of air inside the instrument travels over nine feet to the bottom
of the instrument, then up to the top where the sound comes out.

"Bang beat bell-ringin'"
Exact meaning unknown, but likely refers to tactics used by traveling

carnivals and patent medicine salesmen to draw attention and customers.

Battery (music)
This is the percussion section; (navy):
the heavy guns of a warship.
"By God" - a corrupted form of begorra(h), an Anglo-
Irish colloquialism meaning "by God" or "by Jesus"
This term is used as a mild oath expressing astonishment, dismay,
disbelief, or the like; alleged to be euphemistic alteration of by Jesus.
Berlioz, Hector (1803-1869)
French composer and leading representative of romanticism in
French music. His works include SYMPHONIE FANTASTIQUE (1830)
and ROMEO AND JULIET (1839), and the opera LES TROYENS (1855-1858).
Bevo(made by Anheuser-Busch)
A non-alcoholic drink that tasted like beer. (The character of
Mayor Shinn indicates that the year is 1912, but the song "Trouble"
contains a reference to the nonalcoholic "near-beer"
Bevo, which was first produced in 1916.)

To engage in a petty, bad-tempered quarrel; squabble.
"Big haul"
This seems to refer to money being made by con or criminal activity.
Dime novels from this period talked about gangs of criminals planning "the big haul."
Billiards vs. Pool Billiards
Also known as carom billiards, played with three balls

(one cue ball and two object balls) on a pocketless table.

Pool: Developed much later than billiards. It is also known as pocket

billiards, using a cue ball and 15 object balls on a table with six
pockets. Marcellus: "Nothin'- except the billiard parlor's just put in a new pool table."

Small, airless detention cell in Fort William (Calcutta, India) where
123 of 146 prisoners died after an overnight stay in 1756.
The word brazen means “overt or brash,” while an overture is a
solicitation or request. The phrase “brazen overture” describes the
act of demanding something for which one has little right to claim.

Buster Brown
Comic strip that first appeared in1902, about "an incorrigible scamp,
Buster and his dog, Tige." They became the emblem
for a shoe company. The strip ended in 1920.
A small hook for fastening a button on shoes or gloves.
"But Ya Gotta Know The Territory!"
Long before there was Target, K-Mart or shopping on the internet,
there was the traveling salesman. Salesmen have always held
a special place in American culture. Throughout the 18th and 19th
centuries, they accounted for a large part of commerce in both the
countryside and in growing American cities. Many salesmen
spent their lives on the road selling pots and pans, encyclopedias,
sewing machines, anvils and much more. And they knew the
territory! "He doesn’t know the territory": Comment by one of the
salesman about Harold Hill’s sales tactics because he believes
that Harold doesn’t know anything about band instruments and
that he doesn’t understand the people he is trying to sell them to.
Degree, level, or grade - a position on a
scale of intensity or amount or quality.
Snuggling, kissing, heavy petting, making out.

Captain Billy's Whiz Bang
Started in 1919, and for much of the 1920’s, Captain Billy's was the
most prominent comic magazine in America with its mix of racy
poetry and naughty jokes and puns, aimed at a small-town audience
with pretensions of ‘sophistication.' "Whiz-Bang" is named for a type
of artillery round in World War I (1914-1918)--the publisher was a
veteran of that war. (The character of Mayor Shinn indicates that
the year is 1912, but the song "Trouble" contains a reference to
Captain Billy's Whiz-Bang, a monthly humor magazine
that didn't begin publication until October 1919.)
Decaying flesh of a dead body; flesh that is unfit for food.
A barrel-shaped vessel. It may be
larger or smaller than a barrel
"Cat-boat in a hurricane"
A small sailboat, with a single mast placed as far forward as possible,
carrying a sail extended by a gaff and long boom.
It is easily tossed around by rough waters.
Chaucer, Geoffrey (c.1340-1400)
English poet regarded as the greatest literary figure of medieval
England. His best know work is THE CANTERBURY TALES (1387-1400).
It is one of the major poems of world literature. In it a group of
pilgrims traveling to a shrine pass the time by telling tales which
vividly depict medieval attitudes toward love, marriage and religion.
This idiom simply means to harbor a grudge. It comes from the
nineteenth century US practice of spoiling for a fight by carrying
a chip of wood on one's shoulder, daring others to knock it off.
A receptacle for holding water or other liquid, especially
a tank for catching and storing rainwater.
"Clay-pipe smoking"
A pipe made of clay; commonly used in Ireland.
A prison cell; a lockup; the name of the noted prison in Southwark,
England. The term clink in reference here possibly derives from the
sound of striking metal as the prison's doors were bolted,
or the rattling of the chains the prisoners wore.

"Cash on Delivery"; merchandise sent with
the expectation of payment upon receipt.
This term means to devise, using
skill and intelligence; contrive.
1: A public place of instruction, designed to preserve and perfect

the knowledge of some branch of science or art, esp. music.

2: The faculty and students of a school

specializing in one of the fine arts.

3: a schoolhouse with special facilities for fine arts.
Conway, Pat
Patrick Conway, 1865-1929. From 1900-08 he was the Director of the
Ithaca N.Y. Municipal Band, which later became famous as the Conway
Band. Toured and performed around the U.S. at the same time as Sousa’s band.
Corn crib
A structure for storing and drying ears of corn.