Mailbox Monday: Halloween Spooky Sounds

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bates nut farm

Pumpkin Patch

 I've been having a wonderful time while my granddaughter has been visiting. We visited
Bates Nut Farm and brought home a pumpkin. We then went to the keyboard to play and
sing some nursery rhymes. That got me to thinking about some Halloween songs and
I remembered a former post of mine, Free Halloween Piano Music.

October Musicians

If you've been playing classical music for sometime now, you may have played certain
arrangements from these musicians who were all born in October.

1 - Vladimir Horowitz, Russian/American pianist

9 - Camille Saint-Saens, French composer
     (wrote Dance Macabre, Op. 40)

10 - Giuseppe Verdi, Italian Opera Composer

12 - Ralph Vaughn Williams, English composer

14 - Gary Graffman, American pianist

20 - Charles Ives, Innovative American composer

21 - Sir Georg Solti, one of the greatest conductors of the 20th century

22 - Franz Liszt, Hungarian composer and pianist
       (wrote Mephisto Waltz, a spooky piece!)

25 - Johann Strauss, Jr., Austrian composer known as the "Waltz King"

26 - Domenico Scarlatti, Italian composer and harpsichord virtuoso

27 - Niccolo Paganini, Italian violin virtuoso and composer

28 - Howard Hanson, American composer

Augmented and Diminished Chords

Article Source:

The Diminished triads use only the minor thirds, one on top of the other. They sound dissonant and very scary like the interesting background music we hear from an old vaudeville skit. You know, when you see the lady tied to the railroad tracks. Oh, gosh, here comes the train! That is the sound I am hearing. They often create a very restless, nervous and tense feeling. So, C to Eb is a minor third and Eb to Gb is a minor third, too. Some folks refer to them as 'the Halloween' sound.
Keep in mind that the diminished triads can be used in your song playing as passing chords. They help connect two chords that are a whole tone apart. Here is an example of what I am talking about. If you are playing a song and at the beginning you play C-E-G (a C chord), why don't you hop on a C#dim chord on your way to Dm (D-F-A)?! I think you will agree, that is a very cool sound and a great transition in piano playing.

Moving on to Augmented triads, you will discover that they are made up of two major thirds. They also sound dissonant, and quite a bit noisy at that, like a honking truck on the street. In music they will definitely grab your attention. I have found these special sounds and transitions in popular songs that are from the 40's. When you look at these tones, C to E is a major third and E to C# is a major third as well.

From the Beatles music, (I'm a great fan) to Contemporary Worship (Gospel) songs, you will be discovering in your chord charts and soon playing these very interesting, set apart chords, the augmented and diminished chords.

Beginner Music

If you are looking for Middle C and C position songs, be sure and visit this list of Halloween
songs and games from Susan Paradis, Halloween-and-fall-piano-music

Also, Halloween is a great time to learn the minor sounds. For some games, visit

Plus, another great online blog for free Halloween music,

Monster Mash

Remember this one, around 1993?

I was [G]working in the lab late one night
When my [Em]eyes beheld an eerie sight
For my [C]monster from the slab began to rise
And [D]suddenly, to my surprise

(He did the [G]mash)  He did the Monster Mash
(The Monster [Em]Mash) It was a graveyard smash
(He did the [C]mash) It caught on in a flash
(He did the [D]mash) He did the Monster Mash

From my [G]laboratory in the Castle East
To the [Em]Master Bedroom where the vampires feast
The [C]ghouls all came from their humble abode
To [D]get a jolt from my electrode

(And do the [G]mash) And do the Monster Mash
(The monster [Em]mash) And do my graveyard smash
(To do the [C]mash) They caught on in a flash
(To do the [D]mash) To do the monster mash

The [G]scene was rocking all were digging the sound
[Em]Igor on chains backed by His Baying Hounds
The [C]Coffin Bangers were about to arrive
With their [D]vocal group, the Crypt Kicker Five

The [C]Zombies were having fun (In-a-shoop-wha-ooo)
The [D]party had just begun (In-a-shoop-wha-ooo)
The [C]guests included WolfMan (In-a-shoop-wha-oooSTOP)
[D]Dracula and his son (Drum fill)

[G]Out from his coffin Drac's voice did ring
It [Em]seems he was worried 'bout just one thing
[C]Opened the lid and shook his fist, and said
[D]"Whatever hoppened to my Transylvania Tvist?"

(It's now the [G]mash) It's now the Monster Mash
(The monster [Em]mash) And it's a graveyard smash
(It's now the [C]mash) It's caught on in a flash
(It's now the [D]mash) It's now the Monster Mash

Now [G]everything's cool, Drac's a part of the band
And my [Em]Monster Mash, it's the hit of the land
For [C]you, the living, this Mash was meant, too
When you [D]get to my door, tell them Boris sent you

(And you can [G]Mash) And you can Monster Mash
(The monster [Em]mash) And do my graveyard Smash
(And you can [C]Mash) You'll catch on in a flash
(Then you can [D]Mash) Then you can Monster Mash

Will you be playing Halloween music this year as the little ones approach your home?
I have heard some fun sounds on CD and then there's some awful scary stuff out there.

   I was working in the lab, late one night
   When my eyes beheld an eerie sight
   For my monster from his slab began to rise
          D                  D7
   And suddenly to my surprise

                  He did the mash - he did the monster mash
                  The monster mash - it was a graveyard smash
                  He did the mash - it caught on in a flash
                                   D                           D7
                  He did the mash - he did the monster mash

(I'm A Wizard But) I Wanna Be A Popstar (Halloween Party Mix)

Hurry, Halloween Music Book
Music for Little Mozarts: Halloween Fun Book 1 - Music Book

Have a safe and fun Halloween!

"The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you." B.B.King
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