One of the things that would certainly surprise Burns, nowadays, would be what I call Pre Minstrel Tension.
You've probably all seen it on the TV - shows like the X factor, when they announce which minstrel is going to go through to the next round, have a thirty second delay, usually with music with a pronounced drum beat. You must have seen it.
"And coming back next week...." boom boom tacka tacka boom (music interlude) is "Isa Badsinger." It happens everywhere, Strictly Come Dancing, just about every quiz show you can imagine - even the news has some headlines before the opening music.
It's supposed to build up the tension before the big announcement, but sometimes the tension music is long enough for you to go off and make a cup of tea! I suppose if it's just a way of filling up time on the show, it works quite well. Can you imaging the planning meeting? It's a 60 minute quiz show, so we'll make sure we have twenty minutes of tension music in each show. That way we'll really build up the ...............tension
And it's not going to stop at this. Can you imagine going to the doctor and waiting for his diagnosis. "I've seen the blood tests and what you have is...." boom boom tacka tacka boom (music interlude) "....high cholesterol." And if you don't have a heart attack waiting for the final diagnosis you're pronounced fit. They'll probably have the same thing at the ATM when you want to see your bank balance. "Your current balance is...." boom boom tacka tacka boom (music interlude) ...."£2.46"
It's just as well they didn't have it in Burns' day Can you imagine...
"Fair Fa' your honest, sonsie....."boom boom tacka tacka boom (music interlude) ....."face,
Great chieftain o' the puddin'.....boom boom tacka tacka boom (music interlude) ....."race"
Can you imagine it. Burns suppers would go on all through the night!!!