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Archive of posts tagged Trains

MTA Melodies

There’s a place in New York City where the subway sings a recognizable tune. Since the early 2000s, commuters have noticed a musical screeching coming from certain trains like the first 3 notes of “Somewhere” from West Side Story. The first interval is a dominant seventh and resolves down to the major sixth just like […]

Rail Door Chime

Over the holidays, I had the privilege of riding the Long Island Rail with all of its whistles and bells. It was the night before Christmas when all through the train, I struggled to stay awake to the gentle jazz of the wheels on the tracks. The doors even signaled their openings and closings with […]

Black Out!

Side-B of e’rebody starts with the punk-wop industrial song “Black Out!”—a song constructed from American choruses and the rhythms of the railroad, describing a post-collapse world where “rolling blackouts” are “rolling home” and the reactionary power-down militia has no recourse but to “get an acoustic.” A rolling blackout is an intentional blackout, a partial shutdown […]

The Train in Spain Falls Majorly on the Fade

Trains are in major keys, just like cars. The rhythms of the railroad helped shape Jazz and Rock music, like the shuffle of the human heart and the swung gait of a walking horse, major trains in 4/4 paved the way for the dominance of drumming in all music (after a brief buoyant classical period), […]