Yankee Stadium’s Symphony of a Thousand

Posted on: July 21, 2011

In Thursday’s (7/21) New York Times, Anthony Tommasini writes, “For most fans attending a baseball game is a summer diversion, an addiction, an act of devotion. I’m a music critic, so for me it’s something else too: an immersion in bustling, jumbled, enveloping sound. And if you think of the Yankees as an athletic orchestra, the team has a comfortable and acoustically lively new concert hall. What if I treated a game as a kind of outdoor musical piece? … When fans got into chants of ‘Let’s Go Yankees’ and rhythmic clapping, the sounds careening from one side of the stadium to the other were almost antiphonal, like the effect of choirs singing from spatially separated lofts in a cathedral. … The most assertive soloists are the vendors. My favorite was a wiry man with nasal snarl of a voice who practically sang the words ‘Cracker Jack’ as a three-note riff: two eighth notes on ‘Cracker,’ followed by a quarter note on ‘Jack,’ always on a falling minor third. (Using solfège syllables, think ‘sol, sol, mi.’) After a while I heard his voice drifting over from another section, and he had transposed his riff down exactly one step.”

Posted July 21, 2011