Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Friday, 12 November 2010

A hymn to St Cecilia

A second keyboard - I should have bought its equivalent forty or fifty years ago.

Yes, it plugs into the computer but won’t be used for that. More for deconstructing the intro of Lady is a Tramp (ie, I’ve wined and dined on Mulligan stew and never asked for turkey/As I’ve hitched and hiked my way along from Maine to Albuquerque, etc, etc) or fingering the B-flat scale back to when I had an embouchure and could play Cheek to Cheek on the trumpet.

I will also check out rests, slurs and ties and wrestle with four-four time, conscious that I’ve left all this far too late. Senility and/or arthritis will arrive long before semi-quaver ability.

But I’m not moaning; playing skills will be a bonus. The keyboard, which offers decent piano sound, is primarily a tool to pick tunes apart and isolate intervals which are beyond both my musical memory and that very imperfect instrument, my voice. A moment ago I played a simple hymn tune (in C-major, natch) and discovered that the penultimate line comprises a seven-note sequence: C, D, E, F, G, A, B or seven-eighths of the C-major scale. No great tribute to the writer’s inventiveness but a tiny revelation to me about what constitutes music. Alas, I’ve forgotten the hymn.

A musical ignoramus I love messing around with tunes (“Hey, there’s a black note coming up!”). I had some competence with the trumpet but there the notes had to be created and messing about was a hard row to hoe. Here the notes are laid out for me. Shortly I shall compose an accompaniment to one of my sonnets, record myself singing it and post the result. Renaissance man! But don’t hold your breath.