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December 04, 1955 - Image 10

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1955-12-04

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rapping Rites Provide
)rama on Diagonal

Record Shopping Presents Selection Problems


It's thot unusual during spring
to see all sorts. of gregarious ritu-
als performed on the Diagonal.
These informal initiations are
given annually by Sphinx, Michi-
gamua, Druids, and Vulcans, men's
honorary societ'es. All except
Sphinx consist of seniors. Those
tapped" are either leaders in cam-
pus activities ors athletios.
Sphinx, founded in 1904, chooses
second semester sophomores to
serve on~the-Court of Sphinx dur-
ing. their:junior year. Those tapped
are expected to go to the top of
their fields when they graduate.
Sphinx Tap At Midnight
The Sphinx initiation begins
with tapping at midnight. The
following afternoon the old mem-
bers dress as Egyptians and carry
a pyramid to the Diagonal, chant-
Sting verses to "The River Nile."
The neophytes (new members)
gather at the Diagonal where wat-
er is thrown on them and end up
at the Burton Tower fountain
where they are thrown in to swim
"The River Nile."
Sphinx consists of 30 members
who serve refreshments at J-Hop
and give Christmas parties for
children at the University Hospi-
Michigamnua, founded in, 1902,
is the oldest honorary fraternity
on campus. It consists of 20
Michigamua 'Rope Day'
Tapping takes place at the hous-
ing units in the evening. Their
ritual, known as."Rope Day," takes
place on the Diagonal in the af-
The Young Bucks gather at the
Tappan Oak which is the big tree

between the General Library and
Haven Hall. A bonfire is built
and the present tribe march to
President Harlan H. Hatcher's
front lawn where they smoke the
peace pipe. Brickdust is then
thrown on the new members who
are roped together and do the
duck walk up to the Union tower.
Men tapped by the Druids are
named after trees. Tapping is
done at midnight. Those chosen
are blindfolded and taken to the
Druid Cave in the Union tower
where they kiss the Druid log, re-
cite a chant, and then take off
their blindfolds.
Druids Carry Logs
Ceremonies take place on the
Diagonal. Pledges carry logs on
their shoulders and water is
thrown to make them grow.
The Druids, consisting of 22
members, put out the Student Di-
rectory, sponsor Christmas parties
for orphans, and contribute to
charitable causes.
Vulcans, founded in 1904, con-
sists of 18 engineers who are ac-
tive in extra-curricular activities.
Vulcan Smudge Pot
Tapping is done at midnight.
New members recite a chant in
front of a smudge pot and then
are taken somewhere in a truck.
Several nights later, those tapped
meet outside West Engineering
Annex at 7 o'clock where they are
smeared with black motor oil and
run around with torches. They
are sent into the University heat-
ing tunnels and eventually end up
at the Union.
The Vulcans give talent shows
at the University Hospital, spon-
sor trains and give scholarships.

People who buy phonograph
records for Christmas may find
themselves lost in a woodland of
Record prices, for example, were
supposedly reduced at the begin-
ning of the year from $5 per 12
inch LP to $4. But there are very
few $4 12-inch LP's available: most
records are, being given special
packaging-perfumed, open-win-
dow jackets with prints of the
world's greatest paintings, lush
leather coverings: the costs some-
times climb to $7 per record.
Stability which the record in-
dustry has tried to achieve has
been anything but consummated.
There seems to be a lack of good
music left to record-so re-record-
ing and novelty records are the
general rule. Moreover, prices are
exceedingly varied and today's
record buyer has the problem of
shopping around for bargains.
(1) He can mail to New York
for records and receive as much
as a 30% or 40% discount. (2) He
can buy from local record shops
at the standard prices-but what
he most often pays for is not the
record itself, but the 48 page en-
closed booklet, or the detailed
brochures giving biographical in-
formation about the composer in
French, Italian, and/or Spanish.
(3) Or, he can settle for cheaper,
early LP recordings which contain
as little as one-half the amount
of music that can be gotten onto
a record under present-day re-
cording techniques.
As if this weren't enoug'h, there
is talk of another record speed to
allow more music per recording.
Extended-play records (45's) are

still being sold, but there is talk
of eliminating them completely.
Standard-play records (78's) are;
generally considered obsolete.
The individual who purchases
records, either for himself or as
gifts, has thousands of recordings,
to choose from, but an equal num-
ber of decisions to make.
Below is a listing or the various
types of recordings available and
an examination on recent trendsa
in each field.
Classical music, generally serious
music of the opera or symphonicj
nature, iA available in dozens of
versions. Most record companies
have their own recordings of the
major works, and with little left to1
record by important composers,I
they are concentrating on "com-l
plete" sets of recordings (e.g.
Chopin's Mazurkas Complete, The
Complete Piano Music of Mozart),
taping of performers "in concert"E
and more elaborately packaged re-l
cordings of operas. Also, music ofE
the 15th and 16th centuries is be-
ing recorded more often.
Popular ..
Popular music continues to con-
centrate on juke-box favorites,
and the standard procedure is to
issue 45's. More night club per-1
formances are being recorded "inr
person" and jazz bands issue theirI
concert performances. Also, oldert
recordings are being transferred tor
12-inch LP's.
Film.. .I
Sound-track music has been
scarce this year because Hollywoodc
has produced few musicals. Theset

recordings usually sell for higher
prices than regular popular music
and studios have been issuing two
older 10-inch LP's on one 12-inch
Broadway musicals continue to
hold the field in "show music" and
are also priced higher than regu-
lar popular records. Original cast
recordings are the vogue, although
many bands are providing non-
vocal renditions of Broadway mu-
Novelty ...
Novelty records are the general
rule. One company has a con-
tinuing list of "Music for . "
recordings (e.g., "for . . . Gracious
Living, Barbecue, Foursome, Af-
ter the Dance, Do It Yourself, the
Engaged, Baby Sitters"), Posthu-
mous relases of famous entertain-
ers (e.g., Glenn Miller) a-d re-
leases of old-time show business
entertainers (e.g., Ruth Etting,
early Bing Crosby, early Fred As-
taire) have become particularly
Folk music has enjoyed new
popularity within recent months.
Music of early America has been
revived, and there are at least
two or three records available of
music from most foreign coun-
tries. 1
Foreig ...
With a decreasing supply of
classical and American music left"

turned to the foreign field. Par-
isian night club performances have
been issued, and foreign record-
ings of classical music are be-
ginning to compete with American
Television is a relatively un-
tapped field. One "sound track"
recording, the "Ford 50th Anni-
versary Duet" with Mary Martin
and Ethel Merman, achieved great
success, but few other shows have
been preserved on wax. Television
performers have issued recordings,
of course, but very little is being
done with the actual audio por-
tion of television.
Drama has received little atten-
tion by record companies. There
are some dramatic interpretations
of recent vorks like T. S. Eliot's
"Cocktail Party" and "Murder in
the Cathedral," but most of the
recorded material has been Shake-
spearean readings or condensed in-
terpretations of famous plays. Al-
most nothing Exists on current
American drama.
Spoken records include such
novelties as "Great Moments in
Sports" and a few comedy per-
formances by famous entertainers.
There exist some poetry readings
by famous poets, but there is
nothing resembling a thorough,
consistent program in this field.
One reason is naturally because
most people are not interested in
"spoken records" and the market

-DaIlY-Hal Leeds
LONG AND SHORT OF IT - Icy winter mornings pose a
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and much warmer wool knee socks.
OnFashion Trone

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Bermuda shorts, crew-neck
sweaters. and trousers and caps
with belts in the back are today's
fads on the University campus.
Local stores carrying any or all
of these items have to restock them
At least two-thirds of these and
other current fads, however, will
be long forgotten a year from now.
Why, then,, do people become so
excited over them? What is the
appeal of the "fad" to University
Prestige Attraction
One reason is that most people
desire toraise their standings in
the eyes of others by copying
persons of high prestige, David W.
Varley, of the sociology depart-
ment, explained.
People living in a society where
success is measured rin terms of
wealth, Varley said, tend: to ex-
press their standings in symbolic
"A man cannot," he pointed
out, "just hang a sign on his neck
saying that he .makes $500,000 a
year. But he can hang a neck-
lace on his wife's neck that says
the same thing."
Another way of accomplishing
this is with the use of fashionable
Fashions and fads are a way of
showing social and economic posi-
tions. College students, Varley
agreed, may use fads as an indica-
tion of their position with a certain,
group in their society.
Clique Explanation
This action of the student raises
another problem-that of the ado-
lescent with an unwanted feeling.
He usually has a desire to join
some group when he comes to
college. This is the beginning of
strong cliques, Varley explained.

In turn, the groups and cliques
adopt fadsthat bind them to-
gether. The "hood," Varley said,
prevalent among those of high
school age, is an extreme example
of this problem.
Fashions are also adopted ac-
cording to the prestige of the de-
signer. This is another facet of the
group of people who try to better
themselves in others' eyes.
Salespersons and clerks in Ann
Arbor's clothing stores also had
many ideas on the subject of fads.
One saleslady insisted on an
Eastern influence in the world of
fashion and fad. She said that
most of, the campus fashions are
imports from the eastern part of
the country.
Chicago Before Bay City
Varley backed this up by point-
ing out that fashions travel along
routes of communication and
transportation. "New York fash-
ions," he said, "will be found
springing up in Chicago long be-
fore they are seen in Bay City."
Then, too, the Eastern influence
is another part of the influ nce of
persons with higher prestig.
Still another idea advanced by
a salesman in a men's clothing
store was that fashions are cyclic
in operation. "Most of today's
fads," he said, "are not new.
"There are," he pointed out, "a
couple of raccoon coats being
sported around campus this year."
However, Varley said, there is a
compatibilty principle to be con-
sidered. No fashion or fad will be
copied if the cost is too high.
This, he explained, was the cause
of the failure of the "new look" of
post-war fame. Few women could
afford to buy complete new'ward-
robes, but had to make a few
adjustments and perhaps add a
dress. or two.



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