J. Strauss Jr. & "Tales from the Vienna Woods"
Just Waltzing Along
Be warned. Today's cartoon is a longer one because it uses two of Johann Strauss' best known waltzes, Tales from the Vienna Woods and The Blue Danube, to share this parody. (Feel free to split it up on more than one day if needed.)
What is a parody? A parody is an imitation of the style of a particular writer, artist, or genre with deliberate exaggeration for comic effect. In this case, the writers tried to imitate Strauss' style adding deliberate exaggeration throughout the music and cartoon for comic effect. Can you find some examples of exaggerations in this cartoon?
About the Composer Johann. Strauss Jr.
There are several well-known composers named Strauss in music history: Johann Strauss I (1804–1849), his son Johann Strauss II, also known as Johann Strauss Jr. (1825-1899), and Richard Strauss (1864-1949).
The pieces you just heard played in the cartoon above were written by Johann Strauss Jr., the son of Johann Strauss I. Born in Vienna, Strauss grew up in a musical family and enjoyed music from the start. Eventually, his father and he began to compose for the same circles, creating quite a family competition. However, it was compositions such as The Blue Danube that you heard above that helped establish Strauss as "The Waltz King" and earned him a place in music history.
Optional Movement Activity: The Blue Danube is a waltz. Waltzes are written in 3/4 time and meant to be danced. You can feel the ONE-two-three, ONE-two-three, ONE-two-three beat pattern repeated over and over. Can you move your feet to the waltz? Take a big first step and two small steps to complete the waltz pattern. Give it a try as you listen to the Blue Danube here: