Friday, June 11, 2010

The Drone from South Africa

The sound of those plastic stadium horns is a constant background presence in the broadcasts from the Soccer World Cup in South Africa. Although there must be considerable variation in the exact size and shape of these instruments with consequent variations in frequency, it all averages out in a massive example of the chorus effect into such a warmly modulating Bb that each time I pass through the room where my son is watching games, I annoy the hell out of him with an inability to refrain from launching into bits of South Indian solfege: sa ri ga ma pa dha ni sa! or some rough and ready overtone singing (betraying, among other things, definite signs and symptoms of a musical youth in early 80's Santa Cruz). Bb is a comfortable tonic sa for me and after only two games the TV looks like it's going to become my tamboura-ersatz of choice, replacing our aged fridge for the rest of what looks to be a seriouslz drone-y World Cup.


Paul Muller said...

Went to a Bundesliga match once - Werder Bremen - and was impressed by the visitors singing. Their cheering section (Dortmund, I think) sang out for the entire 90 minutes.

You have not lived until you are in a stadium with 45,000 Germans singing and drinking beer.

Harold Schellinx said...

I hear and see mostly soccer fans complaining about the irritating 'vuvuzela drone', but I really think it's fantastic. All the time while watching yesterday's opening match on French tv I kept hoping that the commenters would shut up for a while, so I could listen :-) ... How I wish that, like the FIFA, I could come up with the means to realize a piece for a stadium filled with tens of thousands of vuvuzela players!

Harold Schellinx said...

PS.: The Final Soundtrack: full (slightly edited) soundtrack of the wc2010 final match between the Netherlands and Spain, available for download at