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Nostalgia for a Past Futurism: The Main Street Electrical Parade

Nostalgia for a Past Futurism: The Main Street Electrical Parade ELIZABETH RANDELL UPTON Nostalgia for a Past Futuris m: The Main Street Electrical Parade Disneyland plays with time and space, presenting fantasies based on dis - placement from the present. Frontierland invites guests to visit America’s past, while Tomorrowland sends them to the future; Adventureland draws on settings around the globe, while Fantasyland builds on stories of the European medieval past. As with the films on which it draws, Dis - neyland uses music as an element of theming, along with architecture, color, greenery, scent, and other background noises, to help set the stage for guests’ imagination of different places and times. However, when using music as scenery, historical accuracy often takes second place to emotional impact. The soundtrack for the 1973 (non-Disney) film The Sting provides a good example: while set in 1936, the film’s soundtrack features ragtime music by Scott Joplin written decades earlier. The anach - ronism doesn’t register for listeners because of the way the past is fun - gible; our sense of what is old-fashioned isn’t tied to some particular year, so anything “old-timey” can help create a sense of “pastness.” The Main Street Electrical Parade, introduced on the evening of June 17, 1972, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Music University of Illinois Press

Nostalgia for a Past Futurism: The Main Street Electrical Parade

American Music , Volume 39 (2) – Aug 31, 2021

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Publisher
University of Illinois Press
ISSN
1945-2349

Abstract

ELIZABETH RANDELL UPTON Nostalgia for a Past Futuris m: The Main Street Electrical Parade Disneyland plays with time and space, presenting fantasies based on dis - placement from the present. Frontierland invites guests to visit America’s past, while Tomorrowland sends them to the future; Adventureland draws on settings around the globe, while Fantasyland builds on stories of the European medieval past. As with the films on which it draws, Dis - neyland uses music as an element of theming, along with architecture, color, greenery, scent, and other background noises, to help set the stage for guests’ imagination of different places and times. However, when using music as scenery, historical accuracy often takes second place to emotional impact. The soundtrack for the 1973 (non-Disney) film The Sting provides a good example: while set in 1936, the film’s soundtrack features ragtime music by Scott Joplin written decades earlier. The anach - ronism doesn’t register for listeners because of the way the past is fun - gible; our sense of what is old-fashioned isn’t tied to some particular year, so anything “old-timey” can help create a sense of “pastness.” The Main Street Electrical Parade, introduced on the evening of June 17, 1972,

Journal

American MusicUniversity of Illinois Press

Published: Aug 31, 2021

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