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Imagine on a hot summer day, an ice cream truck coming down the street, announced by Mozart's Turkish Rondo, K. 331.

One of the ways that you can tell an ice cream truck is coming is by the distinctive music that is played. There is only a very small selection of tunes that are used: "Turkey in the Straw" and Joplin's "Entertainer" Rag. But how about, as a random act of culture, a composition by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart or Anton Bruckner instead? I imagine I would just have to have the music on a CD or a cassette.

But a bigger obstacle might be the reluctance of the truck operator to use anything other than the customary music. Therefore, I would need to be prepared to cover the shortfall from expected profits if the customers are confused by the choice of music and don't buy ice cream. According to one website devoted to ice cream truck profits, a truck operator can make almost $400 in one day. Thus, in a worst case scenario in which no one buys any ice cream because they were confused by the music, the operator would still want that $400.

On the plus side, they'd get a break from hearing the usual ice cream truck music. One potential playlist:

  • Mozart, Turkish Rondo, K. 331
  • Bruckner, March in E-flat major, WAB 116
  • Kéler Béla, Apollo March, WAB 115
  • Michael Haydn, Turkish March
  • Beethoven, Turkish March
  • Beethoven, Triumphal March from Tarpeja
  • Mozart, March in D major, K. 189
  • Sousa, Pride of the Wolverines
  • Alonso del Arte, March in E-flat major (2012)

The playlist is not final (only Mozart and Bruckner are set in stone) and I am open to suggestions. I would use synth renderings of these pieces to obtain that ice cream truck music feel. I should have no trouble getting these onto CD or cassette, but there is the possibility that ice cream trucks use some kind of highly specialized sound system that I am unaware of.

Tentative ride date is August 15, 2012. Route will preferably be in the city of Detroit, but could be a Detroit suburb.

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    A thank you e-card.

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    A bumper sticker-sized rectangle on the truck's exterior acknowledging your support of this project.

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    Your choice of a Sousa march to add to the playlist for the day the truck rolls.

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    An ice cream social at your house in metro Detroit on the evening after the truck rolls.

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    A ride-along on the ice cream truck. (It might not be comfortable but it should be safe).

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    A modern handwritten copy of the Bruckner March in E-flat using the original (and now archaic) transpositions.

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    The ice cream truck comes to your house in metro Detroit on a date and time you specify (except a Sunday or a holiday).

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