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YOU Make the Connection!

April 13th, 2008 by · 28 Comments

piston wI was searching for information about the great American composer/scholar/pedagogue Walter Piston (his book Harmony was the text for my 1st class in Music Theory. Fascinating, huh? No? Not at all? Hm, I see what you’re saying. I shan’t ever drop that trivia at a dinner party unless I want out of there.) when I came across this video, which I found far more interesting than anything Walter Piston-related. (I love the guy, but watch it and I think you’ll agree.)


Now, see if you can figure out how it is my search for Walter Piston, and its various rabbit trails, led me to this. It’s not linear, and doesn’t make a lot of sense, but I wouldn’t be totally shocked if someone out there was able to make the connection.


Excellent (WRONG!) answers, all. But it’s like this: Because Walter Piston taught so many luminaries and his image was one of the bookish, subdued Yankee, pipe always at hand, I casually wondered if the name Walter Piston was the inspiration for Thurber’s Walter Mitty, a bookish, subdued Yankee*. A search for Walter Mitty yielded this:


The great Danny Kaye, of course, played Walter Mitty in the film. Now, I think you’ll agree it’s a short leap from Danny Kaye to this fellow:

*There is no evidence that he was the inspiration, but it’s not a bad theory, eh? What’s that? It is a bad theory? I see your point. I won’t raise it again.

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