Friday, August 08, 2008

Diabolus in Musica

I heard an advert for a touring version of West Side Story on the radio this morning, which reminded me of something that has long puzzled me.

How can the diminished fifth (an interval with which the whole score is drenched - think "Maria") have been deprecated as "Diabolus in Musica" in the Middle Ages and caused controversy when Dizzie Gillespie et al started be boppin' it in the 40s, sound so innocuous to us today? It is at the heart of the perky theme to The Simpsons for goodness sake.

I do however promise not to worry about it excessively.
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