If you’re familiar with either Dan Deacon or Antonin Dvorak, the chances are high that you aren’t aware, or particularly fond, of the other. Dan Deacon is a contemporary and highly eclectic electronic composer, whereas Dvorak is a late 19th century classical composer. However, you may be surprised by some of the parallels in their music.
Just recently I was listening to Dvorak’s ninth symphony, popularly known as the “New World Symphony”, and a horn section sounded very familiar.
You need listen only from 12:00 until about 13:00 of that recording to get the idea of the horn melody.
After much head-scratching and searching, I found the song that Dvorak’s horn section had reminded me of.
You also need to listen only to a minute (0:00 to 1:00) of this track to get the idea.
So how is it that these two musical minds produced something so similar, more than a hundred years apart? Was it simply the shared subject matter of the music that brought about this strikingly similar musical progression?
The New World Symphony was inspired by and written during Dvorak’s first visit to the United States, between 1893 and 1895. It’s divided into four movements. Dan Deacon’s song came from an album called America and was also part one of four movements. Unlike Dvorak, Dan Deacon was born in America. He says his album was inspired by a spiritual rediscovery of himself as an American, and of the beautiful American landscape.
Over one hundred years apart, these two composers tackled the subject matter of America and the result was an eerily similar horn melody. They also happen to have very similar beards…