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The Syncopated Clock

Composed for orchestra, The Syncopated Clock was completed in April of 1945. It is 2 minutes and 20 seconds long. It was written in Arlington, Virginia while the composer was stationed in Washington, D.C. in the Army and it was first performed at the Boston Pops "Army Night", May 28, 1945 as an extra following "Promenade", with the composer conducting. Lyrics were added to The Syncopated Clock by Mitchell Parish in 1950. The original orchestral form of The Syncopated Clock was first recorded on June 18, 1950 in analog mono sound by Arthur Fiedler conducting the Boston Pops. It was first recorded by the composer in analog mono sound on September 11, 1950. The Syncopated Clock was re-recorded in stereo analog sound by the composer on June 26, 1959.

Composer quote:

Question: Which do you think of first, the title, or the composition?"

Anderson: "Well, actually, I do both. In certain cases, such as "The Syncopated Clock", I thought of the title, as it came to me, because it incorporated an idea that I thought could be expressed in music. I noticed of course as everyone has, that there have been hundreds and hundreds, if not thousands, of tunes about clocks. It suddenly struck me that all these clocks were regular clocks, such as you hear everywhere. No one had written a musical composition based on a syncopated clock, that is a clock that beats to a syncopated rhythm. And the idea struck me as an attractive one, and I then sat down and wrote the music to with the title."

listenClick to hear the composer conducting "The Syncopated Clock" with the US Air Force Band
(Realplayer required)