Tuesday, May 12, 2015


I had only minor musical training (my own fault--I wasn't keen on piano practice, and so I never quite got what was important about key signatures), and my memory for names of songs (names of nearly anything, actually) is exceptionally mediocre.

So when I hear something like this, I know I've heard things very much like different patterns in the piece before, but I can't place them. I think part of the problem is that I tend to just absorb music, and don't listen carefully for what each instrument is doing and listen for the composer et al's names afterwards.

I'll bet that's not the only thing I only give half an ear to in my life (so to speak). My Better Half sometimes describes things that I missed in a scene; though sometimes I see things she doesn't. When we look at the back of the house we each ignore some things and focus on others. Ideally that means we rely on each other's strengths, in practice it often means we miss beauties in front of us. Or at least I do.

What brought this on was listening to the Empire Brass tonight describe "The Art of the Fugue" and then trying to hear the various parts. I had trouble--not enough practice. Or maybe my ear never was good at distinguishing. Maybe I can blame genetics?

While we waited in the Overture Center, across State Street people were lined up to see Marilyn Manson at the Orpheum. Except that the line would have cut across a restaurant's access to its outdoor tables, so the pillars and rope were actually halfway down the block at the corner, with a long gap to reach the theater. Young Manson fans were politely lined up behind it. (There were demonstrators marching around the Capitol at the same time.)

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