Specifically, there was a question in the last post that read:
On a wholly separate topic, you have told us a little about your taste for British television and about some of your favorite books, but how about music? Beyond the Prelude to Bach's Cello Suite 1 in G, is there an artist, genre, etc. that is, IYO, quintessentially preppy? What does TDP's playlist look like?This is, of course, very complicated. First, it may not even be "playlistable". Preppy music may in part be defined by the attributes of: high quality, live, intimate, shared across generations, and ideally played in venues that don't involve tickets.
More so, when it comes to music, most of us are "of our time." Nevertheless, some would argue, intellectually, that the traditional hymns might be high on the preppy music list. Consider:
- Hymns cross a range, from piano to organ to a cappella, from professional to amateur, and from formal events to more casual gatherings.
- They are at home at a Vineyard wedding, graces before meal at summer camps, all-school meetings at prep schools and, of course, Sunday services. (At Choate they sing "Rejoice Ye Pure in Heart" and at Groton and St. Paul's they sing "Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones." Many prep schools have an official hymn where the words have been written by an alumnus.)
- They are close to timeless, and will likely be around hundreds of years from now. (Obviously, that has not always been the case. Even beyond the 95 theses, Congregationalists did not sing hymns until the late 19th century, and thought that the organ was the instrument of the devil. For a timeline comparison, it was in 1865 that Lord Tweedmouth developed the Golden Retriever in Scotland.)
- Hymns were undoubtedly a context in the life of so many role models of prep in the last century and earlier.
- Friends to this day include snippets of hymns in email signatures. One sailor signs off with "Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee, For those in peril on the sea!"
|Many would nominate Cole Porter (the first Whiffenpoof?). Here is a program from a Rainbow & Stars review put on by a prep school friend.|
Here, from our home movie of a Christmas Party, Lee Roy Reams commands the room where he is a guest. (Press the play button to hear it.)
|The Vineyard Sound, Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard|