26 March 2009

Got the clap

I love reading The Guardian.
Today they got my attention with that old photo of a 
shirtless Mick Jagger doing Jumpin Jack Flash
(yes kiddies there was a golden age of those wizened old millionaires)
...   then (David McNamee) tells me that clapping ...

"Slapping your hands together was a signal to those around that you were infected
(so now I understand how Winy Amehouse and Pete Drugerty get applause)

"Eventually it became a token of applause, a way of keeping time, and then, by the 1800s, 
a musical device in its own right.
How does it work? In disco and funk, group handclaps would reinforce the snare drum, usually on the second or fourth beat of a bar.
With the advent in the early 1980s of handclap-emulating
devices like the Simmonds Clap-Trap,

claps in hip-hop replaced the snare entirely.
The playground rhyme catchiness of handclaps in 60s girl-group hits, meanwhile, lives on in retro-loving, faux-naive indie-pop."

My Sixties Time-Warp mind immediately conjures up a 1965 Melbourne hit-single 
'The Loved One' ...  "Two things marked that landmark recording - the unique double rhythm, a complex musical achievement made accessible by a clever use of handclapping; and Gerry Humphries’ sometimes bluesy, sometimes soaring voice. ‘The Loved One’ was like nothing we’d ever heard before, from Australia or from anywhere else in the world".

Clapping Games: Larrikin Warren Fahey managed to videotape schoolgirls 
without causing a Henson-type-ruckus, and this dear little site starts with a cute Blinky Bill koala image,  and ends with a Year 6 game called Dick Flop.
That causes me to try working in a reference to that AC/DC composition 'She's Got The Jack', bringing this whole story back to the cholera connection.

goes off singing the Playschool song:
"If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands!
  If you've got a deadly illness clap your hands!" ...


  1. "Slapping your hands together was a signal to those around that you were infected."

    That would explain my appearance in the school play at the age of thirteen. There must have been a lot of healthy people in the audience that that night.

  2. 1. at least you didn't get The Slow Clap.
    2. Maybe they were just stunned silent by your brilliance?

  3. Loved that hand-clapping on The Loved One. Also prominent throughout The Who's Can't Explain to great effect.

  4. Recent joke glimpsed on a lamp post.

    It went something like this:
    Buddhist performance falls flat. Only one hand clapping

  5. Ah, the Loved One. Pure brilliance. And when the hand clapping on Eagle Rock goes from the 2 off beats to all 4...simple yet effective.

  6. I always wondered why people clap, but I'm not convinced its only been around since . . .1473. Doesn't seem quite long enough to have so wholeheartedly gotten over the stigma of its' origins. We seem to do it so spontaneously like we're hardwired which to me suggests something more primal.

    I like on live recordings when whatever it is, some grandiose classical piece perhaps, ends and there is the briefest of pause and then what sounds like a sudden loud downpour of rain on a tin roof. I always think 'and then it rained--a lot'.

  7. When I was a small child, I thought the sound of the toilet flushing was very much like a large round of applause.

  8. Caroline: other cultures don't clap, the Sudanese do a kind of high pitched warbling when they like a performance. I wish I knew what they thought of hands smacking together.
    Aboriginal Australians have musical clapping sticks, which is cool.

    re your Classical Thunderlap: The Guardian article mentions an album/CD (whatever) comprised of all applauses from after performances -what a concept!

    Holy crap! OZfemme - you would probably like Armagnac in Melbourne's latest post about his kid and the toilet!

  9. Ozfemme that is very funny, very good.

  10. Was going to make some comment about 'the clap', but resisted lest it might be catching.

  11. He's a fast clapper thats fore sure...