Baroque Hoedown

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"Baroque Hoedown"
Song by Perrey and Kingsley
from the album Kaleidoscopic Vibrations: Electronic Pop Music from Way Out
Songwriter(s)Gershon Kingsley and Jean-Jacques Perrey

"Baroque Hoedown" is a song created by early Moog synthesizer pioneers (and frequent collaborators) Jean-Jacques Perrey and Gershon Kingsley, also known as Perrey and Kingsley.[1] It was first released on the album Kaleidoscopic Vibrations: Electronic Pop Music From Way Out in 1967 and was once described as being a "harpsichord gone country".[citation needed]

The composition later became the theme song for Disneyland's Main Street Electrical Parade in 1972 and all of its subsequent iterations around the world,[2] as well as for Hong Kong Disneyland's Disney Paint the Night Parade and, for a time, Walt Disney World's Electrical Water Pageant. It was also incorporated into Disneyland's Light Magic, Paint the Night Electrical Parade and Remember... Dreams Come True as a tribute to the Main Street Electrical Parade.

In the 1970s, Walt Disney Productions chose this tune to be the theme for the Electrical Parade. It was extraordinary, I didn't know about it because the publishers said nothing to me. It was by chance, in 1980, that I went there and was so surprised to hear "Baroque Hoedown" arranged for a full orchestra.

— Jean-Jacques Perrey, text from English subtitle[3]

Perrey and Kingsley collaboration[edit]

Jean-Jacques Perrey met Gershon Kingsley in 1964 at the residence of Perrey's sponsor, Carroll Bratman[4], eventually becoming associates and creating music together for a period of time.[5] Perrey and Kingsley were among the first musicians to release a single or album making extensive use of the Moog synthesizer, and, in addition to original compositions, their albums featured electronic versions of popular songs.[6] The synthesizers used by Perrey and Kingsley imitate different acoustic instruments. In the case of "Baroque Hoedown," the synthesizer creates sounds that emulate piano, a brass section, chimes, a harpsichord, a percussion section and a kazoo.

"Baroque Hoedown" comes from the second album Perrey and Kingsley made together, Kaleidoscopic Vibrations, a follow-up to their previous album, The In Sound From Way Out. The two albums were reissued in 1988 on one compact disc entitled The Essential Perrey and Kingsley.[4]

Use of the Moog synthesizer[edit]

In 1963, Robert Moog met German music engineer Herb Deutsch at the New York State School Music Association gathering at the Eastman School of Music. Deutsch encouraged Moog to create the first prototype of a voltage-controlled synthesizer by combining a voltage-controlled oscillator and amplifier model with a keyboard. Moog noticed he could change pitch electronically by adjusting voltage using silicon transistors, thus he created a system that altered voltage by one step in order to change the pitch by an octave.[7] Moog didn’t call the machine he created a “synthesizer” until 1967,[8] the same year Perrey and Kingsley used his machine to write "Baroque Hoedown."

In "Baroque Hoedown," Perrey and Kingsley used nuances and characteristics of the Baroque style, such as running lines accompanied by a basso continuo (a bass line that is consistent throughout the whole piece), and an ornamented cadence. Perrey and Kingsley also added swung and syncopated rhythms to achieve the "hoedown" feel. In one section of the piece, Perrey and Kingsley used the synthesizer to create a different timbre from what they had previously used, specifically of telephone buttons being pushed.

Although Perrey and Kingsley were among the first to use the Moog synthesizer, the Wendy Carlos release Switched-On Bach was the first classical album to use the Moog synthesizer that became widely popular. After Carlos, American avant-garde composer John Cage and jazz musician Sun Ra utilized the Moog synthesizer, as well as pop artists such as the Monkees, the Beatles, the Byrds, Stevie Wonder, Frank Zappa and the Beach Boys.[8]


"Baroque Hoedown" continues to be used as the theme song throughout the Main Street Electrical Parade at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom and Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade: DreamLights! at Tokyo Disneyland. The current Magic Kingdom parade was originally created for Disneyland, debuting in 1972 and running there until 1996, and later ran at its sister park, Disney California Adventure, from 2001 to 2010. An identical parade ran at Tokyo Disneyland from 1985 to 1995 and an entirely new and technologically updated parade, Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade: DreamLights!, premiered there in 2001. In 2009, the Disney California Adventure version of the parade was updated with a new soundtrack based almost entirely on the DreamLights! arrangement, while largely retaining its 1970s-era floats. This version of the parade was moved from California Adventure to the Magic Kingdom in 2010, where it ran until 2016. It returned to Disneyland for a limited time in January 2017 and is scheduled to make another limited appearance there in August 2019.[9]

In 2014, Hong Kong Disneyland premiered its new nighttime parade, Paint the Night, a spiritual successor to the Main Street Electrical Parade featuring two recurring theme songs throughout: a Cantonese-language arrangement of Owl City's "When Can I See You Again?" (from the film, Wreck-it Ralph) and "Baroque Hoedown." With the Electrical Parade relocated to Florida indefinitely, the Disneyland Resort premiered its own version, the Paint the Night Electrical Parade, on May 22, 2015, again featuring "When Can I See You Again?" (now in English) and "Baroque Hoedown."

In popular culture[edit]

  • The Beatles, under the production of Perrey fan Kenny Everett, sampled "Baroque Hoedown" in their 1968 Beatles Fan Club Christmas record, four years prior to its use in the Electrical Parade.
  • "Baroque Hoedown" is used in the ending theme of the 1970s Mexican TV show El Chapulín Colorado.
  • In 1978, film pioneer Mike Jittlov used a variation of the song as the soundtrack of his Disney-themed short film, Mouse Mania, which debuted as part of the prime time Mickey Mouse 50th Anniversary Special.
  • A version of the song was recorded by the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet in the style of Vivaldi for the 1995 various artists compilation album Heigh-Ho! Mozart.
  • A remix of the song, "Main Street Electrical Parade (Retro Future Mix)," appears in the game Dance Dance Revolution Disney's Rave in 2000.
  • In 2002, Reel Big Fish released a cover of the song (under the title "Main Street Electrical Parade") on Dive into Disney, a Japan-only ska and punk Disney tribute CD.
  • In 2004, They Might Be Giants released a cover of the song on the various artists compilation album DisneyMania 2, which also contains excerpts of "The Unbirthday Song" from Alice in Wonderland and "Brazzle Dazzle Day" from Pete's Dragon, which were both used in the Electrical Parade as well.
  • A song reminiscent of "Baroque Hoedown" appears in the Disney Channel show Phineas and Ferb, in the 2008 episode "I, Brobot."
  • A cover version appeared in the Japanese Pop'n Music video game series.
  • American guitarist Buckethead plays the melody live during his song "Jowls."
  • Elements of the melody appear in "The Theme from Rock to the Future" and "starship.6" by Plus-Tech Squeeze Box, as well as in their remix of Naivepop or Petitfool's "Bicycle Race."

The song has also been performed as a duet arranged for viola and flute, with the accompaniment of a piano, as well as by a recorder ensemble, a flute choir and solo ukulele.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "A Short History of Baroque Hoedown". Disney Hipster Blog. September 10, 2012. Retrieved 20 September 2014.
  2. ^ "The real story behind the Electro-Synthe-Magnetic Musical Sounds of Disney's Main Street Electrical Parade". Don Dorsey Consulting. Retrieved 20 September 2014.
  3. ^ Perrey, Jean-Jacques (2005). Explore the Magic. From One Lightbulb To Another (bonus documentary DVD). Disneyland Resort Paris: Disney.
  4. ^ a b "Jean Jacques Perrey's Autobiography, Part Two". Retrieved 2015-10-13.
  5. ^ "The Jean Jacques Perrey Interview". Retrieved 2015-10-13.
  6. ^ "Moog: A History in Recordings—The First Moog Synthesizer Recordings - The Bob Moog Foundation". The Bob Moog Foundation. 2013-06-17. Retrieved 2015-10-14.
  7. ^ "The History Page: Turned-on tunes | Moog Music Inc". Retrieved 2015-10-13.
  8. ^ a b "Logic Express 9 Instruments". Archived from the original on 2015-02-20. Retrieved 2015-10-13.
  9. ^ "Main Street Electrical Parade is coming back to Disneyland starting in August for limited-time". 2019-06-29.