Talk:Boléro

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Connotations[edit]

This is the worst page i've ever seen in Wikipedia. I learned nearly nothing of the song, its history or of its author. The grammar and spelling is distracting.. raise the bar people! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.208.69.144 (talk) 05:17, 16 May 2008 (UTC)


Wasn't there some controversy with over this piece, because it was supposedly sexual? Or was that a different piece with the same name? I can't remember. -Branddobbe 22:11, Jan 29, 2005 (UTC)

Not until it was used in the 'climax' scene of the Blake Edwards' movie '10' made in 1979. By itself, the piece does not have a sexual conotation. --Christopher Taleck 04:43, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)

There always be a controversy about the feeling mood this artistic expression provokes to listeners. The same Maurice Ravel (the composer) had its own personal concept while other contemporaries differed totally when they expressed theirs. Essentially what the purest audiophile may find in this piece and its orchestration is the opportunity to get in tune with the performers. Since there is not a change in the melody that opens the space to really focus on the musicians’ individual sex and on the director’s conduction. To me, every listener will have to have their own conception depending on their mood and feelings they have and the way they like to enjoy the music. It will be impossible to state in an affirmative manner or take a rigid posture for the exact significance this piece of Ravel’s art has to produce on its listeners. To the contrary of that, listening to every different execution and/or repeat the same recordings will make its own impression for that moment. Personally I have been attracted to this melody about 45 years ago. I still have the Long Play Acetate brought home by my father. That for me, still the best interpretation I have ever heard. This is performed by The Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra, directed by Felix Slatkin. Actually, the interpretation from The London Symphony Orchestra, for me is the one that expresses more Ravel’s conception; “his own conception was an outdoor scene in front of a factory whose machinery provides the inflexible rhythm; the factory workers would emerge to dance together, while a story of a bullfighter killed by a jealous rival was played out” In my time I have had the opportunity to listen and own several interpretations to one of my classic music favorites and still have the same soothing pleasure every time I feel that harmonious melody getting thru my ears and flowing into my veins. -- Roberto J. Perez / Laredo, TX May 2005--

What if a "Controversy Over Meaning" section was added that listed possible meanings, their origins and if they have been confirmed and how? Controversy sounds slightly harsh but besides that this section would still be neutral and informative. Martin 19:39, 7 May 2006 (UTC)
To me, it suggests a desert stream that grows into a mighty river with rolling waves, finally pouring out into the ocean. This may not have been the intention, but it fits. It's a good example of when an experimental composition works well. Afalbrig (talk) 10:38, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

The song had a sexual connotation some years before the Bo Derek movie. It was widely used an an accompaniment for sex. Albert Brooks even put words to it. "Babe, is the room the right temperature? Should we do it on the couch? Or should we do it on the flooooor . . ." The reason it was used in the movie '10' is because by then it had become a cliche, just like many other aspects of the Bo Derek character. Seeing that she is a walking cliche in general is what causes Dudley Moore to go back to Julie Andrews, whom he always fights with but who is someone of substance. 69.121.5.37 (talk) 19:44, 24 June 2008 (UTC)captcrisis

Error[edit]

"I found an error in music notation that was published on Bolero (Ravel). The notation on your page doesn't have triplet markings over the last three triplets."

Technically this comment is correct, but it's an acceptable abbreviation to omit the triplet markings in a situation like this when the pattern is clear and unambiguous. AndrewWTaylor 13:13, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
I suggest changing the notation, so that it would include triplet markings over all triplets. I agree with AndrewWTaylor's argument, but the pattern has to be comprehensible even to those with the basic knowledge of the music notation. --Yovi 21:05, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

I'm no expert in music but I think the statement in the article "This progression from soft to loud in volume is called a crescendo." is not contextually correct. It is true that a progression from soft to loud in volume is a crescendo but that is not what is happening in Ravel's Bolero (and it is one of the highlights of the piece). Only at the last phrase does Ravel specify that instruments should "play louder", otherwise the entire piece is simply adding instruments to give the effect of gowing volume. It is not a crescendo, however.

Crescendo has a broad meaning among musicians. The use of it to describe Bolero is appropriate. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 66.143.95.149 (talk) 05:21, 27 January 2007 (UTC).

Possible copyright issues[edit]

Ravel died in 1937, so his music is copyrighted up to 2007. I'm unsure about the status of the full line of sheet music that was posted. David.Monniaux 07:58, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

IMSLP has a copy. It will be public domain in December. They could upload it due to Canadian copyright. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by EdBoy002 (talkcontribs) 00:38, 9 February 2007 (UTC).

Has somebody uploaded the work yet? I'm sure the copyright has expired, because I've heard some new versions of it released on CDs, such as this relatively brief a capella version. I love public domain. 76.121.210.115 (talk) 23:12, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

The copyright has expired in those life plus 70 countries that don't grant an extension to authors who died prior to World War II. Its U.S. copyright will expire at the same time as the copyright in An American in Paris, Steamboat Willie, and The House at Pooh Corner. In other words, the piece is under the U.S. scheme of perpetual copyright on the installment plan unless the Gershwin estate and The Walt Disney Company fail for the whole next decade to convince the U.S. Congress to renew the Copyright Term Extension Act. --Damian Yerrick (talk | stalk) 16:57, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

Allegro non troppo and bolero[edit]

In the animated movie Allegro Non Troppo, there is an episode where a drop of fluid gradually evolves, to larger and stranger animals, marching on towards their destiny. The episode uses the Bolero as its theme. Is this the "short that illustrated evolution" in the "Motion pictures" section? 83.184.198.158 23:49, 20 May 2006 (UTC)

Are copyright issues what's preventing mention of "Stairway to Lenin" (the segment of Zbigniew Rybczynski's _The Orchestra_) on this page? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 209.172.13.25 (talk) 22:30, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

Star Trek (Original Series)[edit]

I seem to remember that parts of this song was used in the TOS episode "Amok Time" during the Vulcan ritual combat.

  • No, the music used during the combat sequence was an original composition by Gerald Fried; however, his music for that scene does have a Boléro-esque feel to it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kevicool (talkcontribs) 20:45, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
  • I listened to the audio clip cited here. As a musician, I can tell you that the music cue used in "Amok Time" is clearly in quintuple meter, say 5/4 or 5/8 time. Boléro, as indicated in the article, was written in 3/4. As a result, the "Amok Time" cue can't possibly be quoting Boléro. Musicbear180 (talk) 04:44, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

Alzheimers?[edit]

The assertion of Alzheimers in the trivia section is far-fetched (and uncited). To diagnose Alzheimers because of a compositional technique (50 years after the fact), is like Senator Frist diagnosing someone's mental state on the basis of a few seconds of videotape.

I agree that this claim is dubious; I have removed it pending an appropriate reference or cite. --bdesham  01:06, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
It's 2011. At some point in the past the suggestion migrated to the Structure section, and has a cited source in the shape of the New York Times. Aside from acknowledging that fact together with the comments above, I'll continue this in the section below which was last edited in 2009: "Demented Critics". Twistlethrop (talk) 07:03, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
Radiolab did an episode on 'Unraveling Bolero,' which addressed some similarities between Anne Adams and Ravel Zqrrld (talk) 23:59, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

Rene Marie[edit]

Jazz vocalist René Marie did a version on her 2002 album "Live at Jazz Standards", merging the melody of Ravel's Bolero with the lyrics of the Leonard Cohen song "Susan".

65.172.64.62 20:50, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Uses of Bolero - Icedancing[edit]

I removed this sentance:

Nevertheless, Michelle Kwan, Fumie Suguri, Galit Chait and Sergei Sakhnovski, and other lesser known skaters have taken on the challenge.

because it does not appear to be related to the article. If anyone knows how it relates to Bolero, please feel free to re-phrase so the information has any relation to Bolero.207.69.137.39 02:18, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Regarding the "use of Bolero" by Frank Zappa on the album "the best band you never heard in your life". I can appreciate why Ravel's estate objected to Frank performing and releasing the music but it was performed with professionalism and sincerity by the musicians. Zappa was a perfectionist and although he mocked many of life's situations, he was not mocking Bolero, it was his variation on a wonderful theme. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.3.25.171 (talk) 21:09, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Unreferenced Original Research[edit]

I'm moving this paragraph to the discussion page as it appears to rely on the editor's personal opinions and has no citations, as is required by WP:V and WP:OR:

Bolero, as written by Ravel, holds true to the original Spanish dance in all aspects. It is a slow dance in three with a very sensuous attitude; it is commonly considered to be the most sexually driven dance of the Spanish culture. Ravel's composition emphasizes this through use of a strong second beat. It is speculated by music historians that modern orchestral soloists, especially in America, fail to weight the second beat properly and thus fail to create the pompous, skirt-flinging image as is appropriate to the dance. Many professional musicians assume that this wish of lustful design was Ravel's reason for a slower tempo, as well.

Please provide citations for all these claims before readding this material to the article. Thanks. Grover cleveland (talk) 18:56, 15 February 2008 (UTC)


I'm removing the comparison to Billy Joel's uptown girl. Other than the 7 note twirl in the melody this song really doesn't resemble Bolero at all. The Rhythm is different, the keys change differently, the rest of the melody after the 7 notes are totally different from each other as well. I could go on but this is sufficient. Cubbieco (talk) 22:47, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

F Sopranino[edit]

The sopranino saxophone in F did exist at this time. Adolphe Sax's original orchestral saxophone family alternated in F and C, as opposed to the now-standard Eb and Bb, which are better keys for wind band music. Of course, nowadays, we just deal with the preponderance of sharps in orchestral music. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.94.64.122 (talk) 09:50, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Literary reference - Cornell Woolrich - 1939[edit]

"The Case of the Killer-Diller", by Cornell Woolrich, originally in "Dime Detective", May 1939; collected in the anthology "Night and Fear" edited by Francis M. Nevins. In this story, the music of Bolero triggers murder by a homicidal maniac. From the story: "It's monotonous, insistent, frays the nerves the way it slowly builds to a climax, the same arrangement of notes over and over and over.", "the same torturing sequence of notes, on and on and on", "That thing nearly drives you nuts, especially when you've got to stand still in a closet listening to it." If appropriate, perhaps someone else can add this item to the actual article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 206.116.128.164 (talk) 02:23, 20 July 2008 (UTC) Dav1867 (talk) 01:46, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

Main image seems inappropriate[edit]

Some random ballet dancer making a leap which is claimed (with no source) to be similar to one in the original production. The word "Bolero" doesn't even appear on the poster. Surely we can find something better! Grover cleveland (talk) 04:37, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

No one commented, so I have changed it. Grover cleveland (talk) 19:43, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
If I remember correctly, that poster featured Sylvie Guillem who is hardly a random ballet dancer. However the assertion that the choreography is similar to the original certainly needs a source, and it would be nice to have the word "Bolero" in there. A quick search on youtube for "Bolero ballet" gives numerous clips of what seems to be the performance depicted with the note that it was choreographed by Bejart. Perhaps this could be tracked down into a citation. After all, it was a rather striking picture, wasn't it? I'm sorry to bring this back up so long after the change was made, but this is the first I noticed it. Thoughts?
-NeverWorker (talk) 05:25, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

What about this image from the sleeve of a 1959 LPO recording? I'm not up on the fair use arguments, but it shouldn't be hard for it. NeverWorker (Drop me a line) 06:21, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

Demented critics[edit]

Do we have to be told over and over and over that some guy thinks the repetitiveness is a sign of dementia? Ravel analyzed the piece's repetitiveness himself; he knew certainly well what he was doing. The endless repetition of the theory is more demented than anything in the piece. Take out the repetition; better yet, take out the entire theory. CharlesTheBold (talk) 21:45, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

As I wrote above under "Alzheimers?", the previously removed suggestion that Ravel had a form of the disease resurfaced at the end of the "Structure" section in the article. That's entirely the wrong place for such information. I have several concerns about the present entry.
  • It should not be included in a section that is concerned with the way the composition hangs together.
  • WP is a place for facts, not for suggestions of possibilities of them. So the sentence "Of course, a dementing illness may have also underlain his initial obstinacy with Toscanini" is unsuitable because it implies not only that Ravel was obstinate with Toscanini rather than the other way around, but also that his obstinacy was caused by something clinical and not a composer's desire to have his work performed in the way he intended. It would be just as wrong to suggest that the whole affair was caused by Toscanini's rigid and obsessive perfectionism. In any case, the subject is adequately covered in the section "The Toscanini affair". So I have deleted that sentence. More on the suggestion of facts...
  • The New York Times article that says "Ravel may have been in the early stages of frontotemporal dementia in 1928, and this might account for the repetitive nature of Boléro" is a journalistically presented guess based upon a suggestion that itself comes from a doctor who reportedly claimed that Ravel had symptoms identical to a person who was known to have a brain disease, and deduced that the repetitive nature of Bolero was one proof he had it. This article is concerned with Bolero itself, and already includes details of what Ravel had to say about his intention and compositional method. Those details demonstrate a conscious intent and deliberate action that arguably go against the suggestion that Bolero came about through the influence of brain disease. The Maurice Ravel article includes a more considered mention of the claim, but also notes that it is contradicted by Ravel's own comments as I have just described. The only cited source here is a newspaper and not a more qualified medical journal.
Because of those things, the entry adds nothing factual to the article but increases supposition and rumor. So I've deleted the entire entry.Twistlethrop (talk) 12:57, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

So where do I put the source?[edit]

I added a little bit of information, another place where Bolero has been used, but when i went to add the source of the information to 'references', all it says is 'reflist'. So where do I post this source: http://wiki.mabinogiworld.com/index.php?title=Krug -Logan 07:54, 3 December 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sephiroth2009 (talkcontribs)

Listener's Guide to Ravel's Bolero[edit]

This is my first contribution to Wikipedia, so I don't want to inadvertently break any rules, but I would like to offer this English translation (which a trained musician should probably check for one or two terms of musical jargon I wasn't sure of) of the Listener's Guide table, which appears on the French, Spanish & Catalan pages:

http://www.sagreiss.org/carnival.htm#orchestration

SAGReiss (talk) 12:13, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

Music sample?[edit]

Now that it's in the public domain, when is someone going to post a sample of this piece? (Or maybe even the whole thing, although at about 15 minutes, it may be too long [?]) Captain Quirk (talk) 03:45, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia is hosted in the United States and subject to the copyright law of the United States. Please see section "Possible copyright issues" above. --Damian Yerrick (talk | stalk) 16:59, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

"dissonant D flat chord" at the end[edit]

The sequence is actually (coming from C major) Fm (bass) – D♭+7(-7) – D♭56 – C. Don't know if such accuracy is necessary, though... -- megA (talk) 16:21, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

Accuracy is of utmost importance! Sadly I lack the requisite training to make the edit you may or may not suggest (I have no idea, you see my sad state of befuddlement). Ta ta for now! 173.239.78.54 (talk) 06:46, 23 February 2013 (UTC)

Undue weight given to fringe point of view[edit]

Recording here for posterity an example of undue weight:

"Philosopher Allan Bloom commented in his 1987 bestseller The Closing of the American Mind, "Young people know that rock has the beat of sexual intercourse. That is why Ravel's "Bolero" is the one piece of classical music that is commonly known and liked by them."[20]"

First of all, Allan Bloom is entitled to his opinion, but his opinion is a classic example of "trolling". The meaning and purpose of this quote is to irritate and provoke discussion. Undue weight means that part of an article emphasizes a point that is really disconnected from the rest of the article. This is a good article, and it deserves to be better. That means we don't go around collecting everything and chucking it in (see Hearst Castle). By removing a trolling comment, we give readers the ability to focus on the topic without wasting their attention. There is no need to include everything every person of letters has wrote on this subject. 173.239.78.54 (talk) 23:53, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

Lack of clarity in the "Music" section[edit]

The celesta, E-flat clarinet, and the soprano saxophone only come once each in part, meaning they cannot be used in later parts of the music (including the finale). The oboe d'amore actually comes twice, one after the E-flat clarinet, and the other with the oboes and clarinets.

I'm not entirely sure what is meant by "only come once" (the clarification provided doesn't make any sense to me). Perhaps someone with better knowledge than me can fix this passage. 38.122.243.162 (talk) 21:02, 15 April 2013 (UTC)