Should more use be made of music in airshow commentaries?

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7 years 6 months

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Nothing can stir the emotions quite like a well chosen piece of music, so should we hear more of it at airshows? I loved the pass by Sally B and the 2 Mustangs at Flying Legends accompanied by Moonlight Serenade, and remember a Vietnam set piece at North Weald many years ago in which a Skyraider and T28 Trojan flew to the sound of All along the Watchtower by Jimi Hendrix and thinking, this is fantastic. How about a pass by the 4 Spitfire MkIs accompanied by Walton's Spitfire Prelude, or a solo Hawker Nimrod aerobatic display accompanied by Elgar's Nimrod? What do other members think?
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16 years 1 month

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If you can hear it above the jabbering frenchman --oh and the one at O W :(

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19 years 9 months

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I remember Gustav Holst "Mars" being played at North Weald (or was it West Malling?) when the Vulcan was displaying many years ago.....now that was something!
Profile picture for user Consul

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15 years 1 month

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No thanks. I prefer to have emotions stirred by the sound of iconic engines - Merlin, Clerget and the like.

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16 years 1 month

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I agree, e.g. the music during Anna Walkers display at Legends was awful.

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9 years 7 months

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No musak pleeeeeeze :dev2:
Profile picture for user j_jza80

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8 years 6 months

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They always used to play a bit of 633 squadron to the Mosquito displays at the old Elvington airshows, and the Battle of Britain theme during some Spitfire / BF109 (Black 6, not a Buchon) displays IIRC.

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11 years 4 months

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No music at all and better still, stop the commentries and lets just hear the aeroplanes. All the music you could want Nothing spoils an airshow more than commentary...who needs an echoing voice stating the obvious.

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7 years 6 months

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I agree, e.g. the music during Anna Walkers display at Legends was awful.
Yes, I admit it was horrible. Plus there needs to be a logical connection between the music and the aeroplane for it to work, which in this case there wasn't.
Profile picture for user charliehunt

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7 years

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I cannot see the point of it. It is an an anathema. It has become an overused and unsubtle irritation from TV programmes to air shows and it rarely enhances what it is supporting.
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The only musical display that I thought was well integrated was the Skyhawks Fourniers - dancing in the skies to 'shine on you crazy diamond' - because one could live without hearing the VW engines :D ! Otherwise music and commentary are much overused as charlie posted above. Commentary can be useful for 'filling in the gaps' and imparting some useful info - esp if being done by a member of the 'act' but generally speaking commentary should really be kept to a minimum as it just becomes a real irritation ! Music on progs and dvd's etc are as irritating as 'artificially aged' film clips since they usually drown out completely the lovely engine noises !

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11 years 8 months

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No - music should be a filler to distract from the fact nothing is happening IMO. I would much prefer to hear the sound of Merlins, Griffons Olympus etc
Profile picture for user low'n'slow

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13 years 1 month

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Speaking as some-one who works as a occasionally commentator, I fully agree with the comments above. I try not to make any comments when aircraft are passing the crowd line and, when commentating with the Great War Display Team, we do use music and gunfire effects, but only sparingly to generate atmosphere for the members of the audience who are not die-hard aviation enthusiasts. It is a case of judging an audience and balancing the commentary as required. A Legends or Old Warden audience is bound to have different perceptions to a 'seaside special' or county show. As always, some people are better than others in this respect.
Profile picture for user Mauld

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12 years 2 months

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With reference to commentaries I always think that I'm going to be given a test at the end to see if I was paying attention to all that information overload, especially at Old Warden. As for music, the club music that blasted out of the PA at Flying Legends on Saturday morning at nine o'clock was torturous. Old warden plays some 1930's music at low volume prior to the show which is nice, but last time the cd stuck to they changed it to some easy listening versions of well known tunes which made me feel suicidal it was so depressing. If you want music get an mp3 player.

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7 years

Posts: 259

shame really that you couldn't hire out headsets for commentaries, that way the choice is up to you. Maybe with the advent of smart phones, on which radios can be listened to, commentaries could be broadcast? I guess you would need some sort of temporary licence or something. Just imagine; a quiet crowd line with only the sound of avaition, commentary if you want, and getting home to find that none of your photos have loudspeakers in the middle!
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7 years

Posts: 11,141

Speaking as some-one who works as a occasionally commentator, I fully agree with the comments above. I try not to make any comments when aircraft are passing the crowd line and, when commentating with the Great War Display Team, we do use music and gunfire effects, but only sparingly to generate atmosphere for the members of the audience who are not die-hard aviation enthusiasts. It is a case of judging an audience and balancing the commentary as required. A Legends or Old Warden audience is bound to have different perceptions to a 'seaside special' or county show. As always, some people are better than others in this respect.
That's a fair and balanced comment from the "inside". And although I acknowledge the reasons stated for the use of music, on balance I would still prefer not to have it. Part of the problem is that what might sound appropriate to the organisers might not seem appropriate to to the listeners. The choice is inevitably subjective and bound to jar for many.

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7 years 5 months

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..... to generate atmosphere for the members of the audience who are not die-hard aviation enthusiasts......
The problem with that is that you can try harder and harder to accommodate all possible customers and you lose sight of the aviation angle, just ending up with an elaborate "family day out" with a bit of aviation.
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9 years 10 months

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Its something that can enhance or destroy a display, there is a very fine line. I think setting and choice of tune are important... I went to "Anthems" at RAF Cranwell a couple of years ago, and having the Band of the RAF College playing Spitfire Prelude as a Spitfire did one of the most elegant displays I've ever seen overhead (against a setting sun...) was awesome and quite emotional. It was probably the best and most subtle mix of Merlin and music I've ever witnessed; and no commentary at all to any of it. It had obviously been well planned and choreographed and needed no words adding as explanation. The fact it wasn't crackling and echoing out of hastily rigged tannoy/PA speakers helped too.

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7 years 9 months

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Its something that can enhance or destroy a display, there is a very fine line. I think setting and choice of tune are important... The fact it wasn't crackling and echoing out of hastily rigged tannoy/PA speakers helped too.
Well said. I remember a couple of glider displays with well done musical accompaniment.
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7 years

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My early air show attending was Farnborough - there wasn't much else - and I recall excellent informative commentary but never music. But I stand to be corrected. And much the same memories of the early IAT shows.

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19 years 9 months

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If you like your aeroplanes with music there are plenty of 'Flying Proms' events to chose from (although most only seem to last one or two years before going bust!)