Big news in music history today (I always say that). The first performance of Beethoven's first symphony was on this day in 1800. And the romantic movement is off and running! Actually, ol' Ludwig ushered in a lot of modern sensibilities to our modern world, besides just romanticism, the narcissistic artiste, and loud music. F'rinstance, he regularly wrecked his instruments (fortepianos in his case) on stage during performances. Although, he wrecked them by playing them hard, not by smashing them against amplifiers, which would be hard, if not difficult, to do since they (amplifiers) were not in common use in 1800. (The extension cord had not been invented yet, no way to plug them in!)
Also on this day, birth of Charlemagne--or as he was called by People magazine, "The monarch formerly known as Charles"--who while not technically a musician or composer or even an opera prompter (being a wholly roaming umpire, I think he was more into sports), he did do a lot to promote music, like having a son named Pippin, who would, of course, become famous for singing "Corner of the Sky" in that hit musical based in ancient midieval times, Man of La Mancha. (Or was it Camelot?)
Hans Christian Andersen was born on this day, and boy did his DDS's (Damned Depressing Stories) end up inspiring a lot of music. I mean, how many musical interpretations of The Little Match Girl have there been? (Answer: a LOT) And how many of those musicals have been successful hits? (Answer: ZERO). Danny Kaye, the actor (duh), played HCA in the musical movie version of his life (Man of La Mancha) which has the song "Inchworm", one of the few songs whose lyrics I can remember: two and two are four, four and four are eight, eight and eight are sixteen, sixteen and sixteen are....um....well, I remember most of the lyrics.
I have an idea! In honor of Hans Christian Andersen (it's his birthday, remember? Please try to stay focused!), let's try singing "Inchworm" in base four: two and two are ten, ten and ten are one hundred and ten, one hundred and ten and one hundred and ten are three thousand one hundred and thirty, three thousand one hundred and thirty and three thousand one hundred and thirty are....um....Gosh, look at the time! Gotta go!