Talk:Flight of the Bumblebee

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Adaptations and Arrangements

[This section was removed from the Wikipedia article due to growing extraneous nature. The main article should make mention of the popularity of this piece and maybe a few notable adaptations.]

Among early adaptations, Rimsky-Korsakov's orchestral interlude was transcribed for piano by Sergei Rachmaninoff, with a few enhancements to the harmony.

Violinist Yehudi Menuhin would often play the piece solo for Allied troops during World War II.

The fleeting melody of this composition makes it especially attractive to those who want to showcase their instrumental technique, a trend which has led to many unorthodox arrangements. "Flight of the Bumblebee" was played on an electric guitar with accompanying orchestra, on the Trans-Siberian Orchestra's third album, Beethoven's Last Night. Guitarists Joe Satriani, Yngwie Malmsteen and Dream Theater's John Petrucci have also performed it live. The heavy metal band Extreme recorded a solo guitar interlude titled "Flight of the Wounded Bumblebee" on 1990's Pornograffiti, in which guitarist Nuno Bettencourt uses a delay pedal to double his apparent picking speed. Jennifer Batten also recorded a version, which is played without a pick, and is done entirely with tapping. Troy Stetina also includes a version transcribed for electric guitar in his instructional book Speed Mechanics For Lead Guitar, which is played by him at virtuoso speeds.

In addition to these instruments, "Flight of the Bumblebee" has been played on flute (by Sir James Galway), on tuba (most famously by Canadian Brass tuba player Chuck Daellenbach) and even a near-impossible novelty version played on trombone on Spike Jones' first LP, Dinner Music For People Who Aren't Very Hungry. Christian Lindberg also played it on a trombone as a serious recording on his album, "The Virtuoso Trombone." Likewise novel is the a cappella vocal version by the New Swingle Singers. In the 2003 President's Star Charity of Singapore, "Flight of the Bumblebee" was performed on the erhu, a Chinese bowed string instrument.

The singer Barry Manilow has also performed the "Flight" on a kazoo with an accompanying orchestra. Joey De Maio, of metal band Manowar, played his own version, called "Sting Of The Bumblebee", on piccolo bass. Leslie "Tiny" Martin, double bassist for the Boston Symphony Orchestra and professor of double bass at Boston University and New England Conservatory of Music, played it on an orchestral double bass to amuse students and win auditions. In the 1970s, Mr. Martin also perfomed it routinely with The Wuz.

This piece has been played also by Benjamin Howie on the electric bass [1]. A duet arrangement has been performed by cellist Yo-Yo Ma and singer Bobby McFerrin.

Bee, a remix of the piece by Banya, appears on the music video game Pump It Up, and "Driving Lazy Bee", another remix of the piece, this one by Glasslake, appears on the online rhythm game O2Jam.

In addition, Croatian pianist Maksim Mrvica's "The Flight of the Bumble-Bee" was even played in a techno-classical-crossover style/genre and that piece was played twice with an interlude within in one track from his first music album "The Piano Player (2003)" which was also his first single co-produced by Jeff Wayne that helped catapulting him to fame (especially across Asian countries) for his impeccable piano performances.


  • Summarize the Adaptions section.
  • Describe the music more; how long are the runs, how many, what's the range, etc.
  • Add a short history of how it became popular apart from the opera.

I don't know, off-hand, what the proper sources for this article would be - biographies of the composer, general histories of opera music; has someone written a book on this piece, specifically? JesseWeinstein 23:50, 15 November 2006 (CST)