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Acoustic Music Police

From: user 7.
Sent on: Wednesday, March 18, 2009 6:16 PM


I'm not Gina but am trying to have restrictions removed on acoustic music  and standup basses excepted from the multiple noise regulations. Any help appreciated.



Email: [address removed]


Sunday, March 15, 2009


I’m trying to raise awareness of the City’s and the Province’s predilection for singling out jazz, and possibly other ACOUSTIC music venues, with a view to closing them. The Cottage Bistro on Main has also come under fire with threats to pull the liquor license of the restaurant.


Last year the Health authorities (noise) and the Liquor Board, tried to close the Cellar on Broadway. This year it’s the Libra Room on Commercial – very few other venues are still extant with the obvious exception of the Fairview Pub on Broadway which has the resources to fight them off. Neither of the aforementioned are in residential zones either.


In the 80’s, as a High School Music Teacher, the Liquor Board refused my students entrance to hear Oscar Peterson and the Modern Jazz Quartet at the Plaza International in North Vancouver, even though each student would be accompanied by a parent. The LB also told me I could not take my students to hear Sunday music at the Hot Jazz, telling me it was not enough to have the bar closed. It had to be boarded up.


I’m not talking about closing venues pouring out thousands of watts of power; I’m talking about acoustic music. With some 120+ live acoustic music venues in the Seattle area and perhaps 3 in Vancouver there does seem to be something seriously wrong with this picture.


Recently Ontario Teachers’ Pension Fund, which owns Cadillac Fairview and has some $108 BILLION in net assets, shut down the long standing Friday lunchtime jazz trio in the Pendulum Building on Georgia, citing that they were exercising ‘Fiscal Responsibility’. (a copy of their letter to me is available if you like). Cadillac Fairview did this despite a condition for issuance of  a building permit was conditional on maintaining the building as a venue for the performing arts. A bronze plaque to this effect is embedded in the granite at the entrance to the building.


Anything you can do to help stop this harassment would be welcome. I’m not a club owner just a music lover. The appended information from Nazi Germany makes me think the Province should just cut to the chase. Where are the Olympic visitors going to go and listen to relaxing music? The Granville drug strip?


Victoria does not have these problems. There are also a disproportionately large number of acoustic music venues in Victoria. This suggests that the problem lies with Vancouver City Council, although the Liquor Board obviously plays a huge role in an attempt to justify its existence.


Lastly, despite there being 30 or 40 dance instruction schools in the Lower Mainland operating every night of the week, with the exception of the rock venues, there are few, if any venues where one can go to dance to live music.



Graham Milne




THESE ARE RULES HANDED OUT TO ORCHESTRAS AND MUSICIANS BY THE GERMAN GOVERNMENT IN 1940 (translated into English from the original document.
  courtesy of Malcolm Rockwell via the 78-L Lesser

  Nazi Germany's Dance Band Rules of 1940 : 

  *1. *
 In the repertoire of light orchestras and dance bands,  pieces in fox-trot rhythm /(so-called swing) are not to
  exceed 20%;

  *2. *In the repertoire of this so-called jazz type,  preference is to be given to compositions in a major key and to lyrics expressing joy in life /('Kraft durch  Freude'), rather than Jewishly gloomy lyrics;

  *3. *As to the tempo, too, preference is to be given to brisk compositions as opposed to slow ones /(so-called blues);/ however, the pace must not exceed a certain degree of allegro commensurate with the Aryan sense for discipline and moderation. On no account will Negroid excesses in tempo/(so-called hot jazz)/ be permitted, or in solo performances/(so-called breaks);/

  *4. *So-called jazz compositions may contain at the most
  10% syncopation; the remainder must form a natural legato
  movement devoid of hysterical rhythmic references      characteristic of the music of the barbarian races and
  conducive to dark instincts alien to the German people
  /(so-called 'riffs');

  *5. *Strictly forbidden is the use of instruments alien to the German spirit /(e.g. so-called cowbells, flex-a-tone, brushes, etc.) as well as all mutes which turn the noble sound of brass-wind instruments into a Jewish-Freemasonic yell /(so-called wa-wa, in hat, etc.);

  *6. *Prohibited are so-called drum breaks longer than half
  a bar in four quarter beat /(except in stylized military marches);/

  *7. *The double bass must be played solely with the bow in
  so-called jazz compositions; plucking of strings is prohibited, since it is damaging to the instrument and detrimental to Aryan musicality. If a so-called pizzicato effect is absolutely desirable for the character of the composition, let strict care be taken lest the string is allowed to patter on the sordine, which is henceforth forbidden;

  8. *Provocative rising to one's feet during solo performance is forbidden;

  *9. *Musicians are likewise forbidden to make vocal
  improvisations /(so-called scat);

  *10. *All light orchestras and dance bands are advised to
  restrict the use of saxophones of all keys and to substitute
  for them violin-celli, violas, or possibly a suitable folk

  Baldur von Blodheim
  Reichsmusicfuhrer und Oberscharfuhrer SS*

The actual text of this letter cannot be verified however the intent was very clear at the time and certainly enforced.  (see the movie Swing Kids 1993. Django Reinhardt even adapted germanic folksongs.

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