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Pierre's Tuesday Blog

It's About Time!

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En français

As a smart man once told me, “Give a man a watch, and he knows what time it is. Give him two watches, and he can’t be sure anymore.”

At 2 AM this past Sunday, continental North-America (except for the province of Saskatchewan and the state of Arizona) “sprang forward” to Daylight Savings Time. It is a fairly recent phenomenon that DST has been implemented this early – used to be the first Sunday of April until maybe 5 or 6 years ago – and DST is actually in effect more calendar days than Standard Time!

The common rationale for DST during the summertime is to ensure that evenings have more daylight and mornings have less. Modern DST was first proposed in 1895 and it was first implemented during the First World War. Many countries have used it at various times since then. In general, DST is in effect in the Americas, Europe and Southern Australia, with a few African and Asian countries doing so as well.

The practice has been both praised and criticized. Adding daylight to evenings benefits retailing, sports, and other activities that exploit sunlight after working hours, but can cause problem, especially for those calendar dates far removed from the Summer solstice, when young kids wait for school buses in darkness. Although an early goal of DST was to reduce evening usage of incandescent lighting, formerly a primary use of electricity, modern heating and cooling usage patterns differ greatly, and research about how DST currently affects energy use is limited or contradictory.

I am not aware of why Arizona opts out of DST, but it is a well-known fact that farmers in Saskatchewan and their livestock follow the normal diurnal/solar patterns, and were quite disrupted in their activities by the “clock shift”. This explains why that Canadian province is exempt from the practice.

Another related bit of Canadian trivia, other than Newfoundland and Labrador time (one of the rare half-hour timezones) was the initially adopted but later dropped concept of Nunavut time. When the territory was created in 1999 the new government believed a unified time zone would make it easier for their citizens to conduct business. The territorial government announced that effective October 31, 1999 all clocks would change to Central Standard Time. Iqaluit the capital located in the far eastern edge of the Eastern time zone was unhappy with this decision.

After hearing complaints from a number of communities in late 1999 and early 2000 the government modified the time zone: the territory would now be on Eastern Standard Time year round. The change would be effective October 29, 2000. Many western communities supplied from the south by communities on Mountain time felt this put them too much out of sync with their neighbours.

By April 2001 Nunavut reverted to the three previous time zones it inherited from the Northwest Territories administration of the region.

The Music

Today’s playlist is a collection of pieces of music that talk about clocks and time. From Chopin’s Minute waltz, to Leroy Anderson's Syncopated Clock. Of course, there are titles by Kodaly, Haydn and Ponchielli added to the mix.

Set your watches to proper time, and don’t despair – you will get back that hour of sleep you lost in mid-November when we “fall backward”.



Leroy ANDERSON (1908-1975)
The Syncopated Clock, for orchestra (1945)
Leroy Anderson and his Pops Orchestra

Zoltán KODÁLY (1882-1967)
"Viennese Musical Clock" from Háry János, Op. 15
Uncredited Orchestra

Amilcare PONCHIELLI (1834-1886)
"Danza delle ore" (Dance of the hours) from La Gioconda (1876)
Orchestre Symphonique des Musiciens du Monde conducted by Joseph Milo

Paul DESMOND (1924 – 1977)
Take Five (1959)
Dave Brubeck - piano, Paul Desmond - alto sax, Eugene Wright - bass and Joe Morello - drums

Johann STRAUSS II (1825-1899)
Tik Tak Polka op. 365
Wiener Philharmoniker conducted by Willi Boskovsky

Robert LAMM (*1944)
25 or 6 to 4 (1970)
Chicago, featuring Peter Cetera - lead vocals and Terry Kath - electric guitar

Frederic CHOPIN (1810-1849)
Waltz in D Flat Major, op. 64, no. 1 (Minute)
Victor Borge and Leonid Hambro, duo pianists

Louis VIERNE (1870-1937)
Carillon de Westminster (Bells of Westminster), op. 54, no. 6
Ben van Oosten plays the Cavaillé-Coll-Organ at the Church of Saint-Ouen, Rouen

Franz Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809)
Symphony No.101 in D Major, Hob. I:101 (The Clock)
Capella Istropolitana conducted by Barry Wordsworth

Your Playlist:

March 16, 2012, "I Think You Will Love This Music Too" will be adding a new montage "Birds" to its Pod-O-Matic Podcast. Read our English and French commentary March 16 on the ITYWLTMT Blogspot blog.
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Updated Mar-13-2012 at 10:59 by itywltmt

Classical Music , Recorded Music


  1. Vesteralen's Avatar
    As a born hibernator, I hate DST almost as much as I hate summer.