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Found 1 result

  1. The demo song of Casio VL-1 was listed as "German folk song", and since the ROM-Pack RO-551 contained a version as "Unterlanders Heimweh" it got commonly known as such. The strange thing is that in Germany nobody knows it. The so-called "German folk song" was not only the demo tune of the VL-Tone 1, but was also used in various Casio pocket calculators (e.g. my Casio ML-90, on which calculator keys one can play piano in piezo sound). Later a wonderful orchestrated version of this theme appeared as one of 4 songs (labelled "Unterlanders Heimweh") on the music cartridge "ROM-Pack RO-551", which was shipped as the default cart with many cheap ROM-Pack keyboards. A badly detuned short clip of the melody was even used in the "rating" sound effects of the Casio PT-82 "melody guide" play teaching feature, and later the melody appeared as one of many songs in various "song bank" keyboards. Thus it can be likely considered a kind of unofficial Casio anthem. To me it was one of my childhood key experiences with electronic music. But here in Germany it is definitely not a commonly known standard folk song. Most bizarre is that apparently nobody else than Casio ever referred this as "Unterlanders Heimweh", so it is likely wrong despite the ROM-Pack RO-551 lists this name. Blatantly based on this version was the title theme and background music of the Atari VCS2600 lightgun game prototype "Shooting Arcade" (©1989 Axlon / Atari). Later I bought a Casio MT-36, which demo tune "Unterlanders Heimweh" (name in manual) is a rural folk waltz piece that is very different from the VL-1 melody. I also bought an Elite MC2200 keyboard that has many demo tunes of those one is labelled "UMTERLANDERS AEIMWEH" (regard the typo), and the Letron MC-38 that includes it too (misspelled "UMTERLANDERS HEIMWEH); both melodies corresponds to the MT-36 and not the famous demo of VL-1. The MT-36 melody is definitely the genuine documented "Unterländers Heimweh" (means something like "Lowlander's Homesickness", regard the 'ä'), alternatively known as "Drunten im Unterland" (means "Down in the Lowlands", ©1835 by Gottfried Weigle, seen on YouTube with German lyrics). Drunten im Unterland: (video with lyrics, musical score sheet) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57fdiT0bW28 http://www.lieder-archiv.de/drunten_im_unterland-notenblatt_300138.html When I bought and repaired a Citizen - Melody Alarm clock with 8 polyphonic tunes, it turned out that it included the RO-551 melody, which in its blurred manual (only an eBay photo) was listed as "Musician of the Mountain", which appeared to be a translated title of the Japanese children song "Yama No Ongakuka" (Mountain Musicians). After hours of websearch in different languages I thought that the original German title of this folk song was "Ich bin ein Musikante". This is a traditional (lesser known) children's game song about a musician, involving vocal imitation and miming of the many instruments he plays (a well fit choice for the first mass produced toy-size mini synth). But the melody in all YouTube examples clearly differs, hence there is no exact German equivalent known, and also in YouTube "Unterlanders Heimweh" examples with RO-551 melody I found no other concrete hints of origin than Casio and particularly nothing with German lyrics. Another similar song is "I Am a Fine Musician", which has yet another different melody. So it has to be be concluded that the only "original" of the VL-1 melody is the Japanese children song "Yama No Ongakuka" (about forest animals playing different instruments on a mountain), which concept was only inspired by a German folk song ("Ich bin ein Musikante") and on the ROM-Pack accidentally was misnamed by Casio as "Unterlanders Heimweh" (without 'ä' umlaut) until it got known worldwide under this wrong name. Ua - Yama No Ongakuka: (in a typical Japanese children's TV rendition) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-m_x5iNAKm4 Generally Casio in their early products (e.g. barcode song books) applied the term "folk song" or "traditional" quite sloppily - possibly as an excuse when they didn't know the author or even to avoid paying royalties. Thus the "German folk song" indication must be taken in doubt. - Are there German lyrics? But I still may be wrong. The melodic style would not be unplausible to be a classic German folk or children song (compare e.g. "Der Kuckuck und der Esel"). So does anybody know traditional German lyrics sung to the melody of "Yama No Ongakuka"?
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