Flight of the Bumblebee

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(Redirected from The Flight of the Bumblebee)

Flight of the Bumblebee by Rimsky-Korsakov is an orchestral interlude from his opera The Tale of Tsar Saltan. Those who can play it correctly are considered to have mastered the violin.

"Flight of the Bumblebee" is recognizable for its frantic pace when played up to tempo, with nearly uninterrupted runs of notes. It is not so much the pitch or range of the notes that are played that challenges the musician, but simply the musician's ability to move to them quickly enough.

The piece was used as the theme song for the radio show The Green Hornet. Perhaps the most well known version of the piece is the virtuoso trumpet recording by Al Hirt. This version was used as the theme song of the 1960s television series version of The Green Hornet, starring Bruce Lee, and the Al Hirt version was used by Quentin Tarantino as an homage to the genre in his 2003 movie Kill Bill: Volume 1.

"Flight of the Bumblebee" was also played on an electric guitar with accompanying orchestra, on the Trans-Siberian Orchestra's third album, Beethoven's Last Night. Joe Satriani has also been known to perform it live.

In addition to these instruments, "Flight of the Bumblebee" has been played on tuba and even a near-impossible novelty version played on trombone on Spike Jones' first LP, Dinner Music For People Who Aren't Very Hungry. In the 2003 President's Star Charity of Singapore, "Flight of the Bumblebee" was in fact performed on the erhus, a Chinese orchestral instrument that resembles a violin. The singer Barry Manilow has also performed it on a kazoo with an accompanying orchestra. Also played by Joey DeMaio on the electric bass on "Kings of Metal" by ManOwar.

Bee, a remix of the song by Banya, appears on the music video game Pump It Up.

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