Posted by: vjicha | December 20, 2011

Tchaikovsky Revisited

There is an ad running on TV these days that drives me crazy. I can’t even tell you what the product is that they are selling, but behind the message they use Tchaikovsky’s Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies from The Nutcracker. Unfortunately, the ad agency got the melody wrong. The 5th note that you hear should be a D# (music theory enthusiasts would call it a leading tone). The pitch they used was a D natural, which of course changes everything for anyone who knows the original melody.

So why would they have misquoted a tune that everyone in the western world has heard? I can only surmise one of the following:

1. They didn’t know any better.

2. They did it on purpose to jolt listeners like me into noticing the ad. (Take note, however, that I can’t remember WHAT they are advertising. Only that they are doing it badly.)

3. It’s a copyright issue. Some years ago Russia took back the copyrights of many Russian composers, and therefore using the complete and correct melody might be a copyright infringement.

Whatever the reason, the music used creates a negative effect with this viewer!



  1. I want to know more about Classical music so I will search out those recordings and listen. I really enjoyed your concert at Calvary a week ago. You’re very entertaining.

  2. Okay, I too am aging. I’m referencing your previous post. As Gilda Radner used to say, “Nevermind.”

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