Read about Tom & Jerry’s “The Cat Concerto” and Bugs Bunny’s “Rhapsody Rabbit” to understand what is rhapsody in music. Explore the Hungarian Rhapsody No 2 by Franz Liszt and Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen.
What is Rhapsody in music?
A Rhapsody in music is a one-movement composition with contrasting moods, color, and tonality expressing dramatic feelings.
The word “Rhapsody” in Greek means – rhapsōidos, a reciter of epic poetry.
Rhapsody became popular during the 16th century as “epic poetry”. However, people started referring to the written literary work that express extravagant feelings – as a Rhapsody.
Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 By Franz Liszt
Here’s an example of Rhapsody called “Hungarian Rhapsody No 2” by Franz Liszt performed by Scott Brothers duo using piano and organ.
I bet you will fall in love with the first movement.
Franz Liszt composed the Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, the most famous of 19 Hungarian Rhapsodies.
With over two distinct movements, the composition depicts vibrant moods.
Therefore, it formed the base of several pop songs and themes in the cartoon series.
Tom And Jerry Famous Episode – “The Cat Concerto” Featured Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2
If you love Tom and Jerry cartoon series, you might have seen the most popular episodes in the cartoon series – The Cat Concerto.
The Cat Concerto is the Tom and Jerry’s 29th episode released on April 26, 1947.
The Cat Concerto series is one of the greatest cartoons series. It is ranked #42 of the 50 cartoon series during 1994.
Rhapsody Rabbit featuring Bugs Bunny
In 1946, the Warner Bros. released the Rhapsody Rabbit episode with story line and music similar to The Cat Concerto.
Both the episodes were showcased during Academy Awards in 1947. The Cat Concerto got a chance to be featured first and audience went crazy about the episode.
The excitement for Warner Bros. chief was short lived since the Cat Concerto looked similar to their episode and already premiered before Rhapsody Rabbit.
Therefore, the Warner Bros. and MGM accused each other of plagiarism over showcasing similar looking episodes.
Watch Rhapsody Rabbit featuring Bugs Bunny playing Hungarian Rhapsody No 2.
How does a Rhapsody represents contrasting moods?
As you can listen in the Hungarian Rhapsody no. 2, the distinct musical phrases give it a dramatic makeover.
The Tom and Jerry’s reactions over the composition are apt and suitable to explain different moods portrayed in the composition.
Another famous Rhapsody I would want you to listen is by the British band – Queen.
Bohemian Rhapsody By Queen
A Rhapsody usually has a single part or movement.
However, the “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen consists over three distinct parts or movements each portraying different moods and tonality.
The composer of the song coined a term “mocking opera” to describe the song. Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody became one of the best-selling singles in 1975.
Firstly, the Queen’s Bohemian rhapsody starts with a mellow mood.
Secondly, the tonality and mood changes to a “fun and frolic” mood in the second movement.
The rock music dominates the third movement.
Finally, the composition returns to the mellow mood.
Bohemians Rhapsody may give you a complete idea of how a Rhapsody can be used to portray different moods and tonality in a single composition.
Thanks for reading my 69th article in the series 100-day music blogging challenge. Stay tuned for more such informative articles.