On Air Now
Classic FM Drive with John Brunning 4pm - 7pm
23 January 2019, 16:56
Bill Bailey shows just how music theory can transform a song, as he gives the US national anthem a makeover...
Bill Bailey, comedian and musician extraordinaire, hilariously explains his preference for the minor key in a stand-up comedy routine.
Scales, which Bailey refers to as “the building blocks of music”, come in many different forms – most commonly in the major, melodic minor or harmonic minor.
Bill describes the melodic minor as the scale with “the hopeful ascent, the depressing descent”.
He goes on to add an Indian-inspired backing track to a harmonic minor scale, before poking fun at the major scale for being too “eager to please”.
His pièce de résistance is a surprisingly enjoyable minor key version of the US National Anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner, which with its new grandiose tones and octave-spanning embellishments, takes on the tone of a Strauss march.
At least, we think it does. It’s hard to hear over all the applause...