[Harp-L] Artist Thomas Benton

Richard Hunter rhunter377@xxxxx
Thu Sep 27 09:05:52 EDT 2018

I posted this message to harp-L in 2008:

> Benton recorded at least one LP (33 1/3 RPM) of light modern classical
> pieces, including "Gay Head Dances" (Gay Head being a place on or near
> Cape Cod, as opposed to a declaration of sexual preferences or
> activities--this was the 1950s, after all).  I think the LP was called
> "Saturday Night at the Bentons", or some such title.  I have no doubt
> that it is long out of print.
> I played the same pieces as part of a concert series on Cape Cod in
> 1978-79, and they are not easy.  I had to modify some of the lines to
> make my execution more musical (specifically, a broken C# diminished
> arpeggio--not easy to hit all those jumps legato at speed).  On the
> recording, Benton apparently hits them without fuss.  So he had some
> facility, which means he played frequently.  Whether or not he was a
> harmonica virtuoso, he loved the harmonica.

I recall discussing these pieces with a musicologist, during which
discussion I came to the conclusion that Benton was double-transposing some
of his harmonica lines, i.e. transposing to a key, then transposing form
there to a final key.  I don't recall which documentation led me to that

The pieces in general were at least partly memorable--whih is to sya I
still remember parts of them.

Regards, RIchard Hunter


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