(Note: this post is spoiler-free.]
Ron looked disgusted as he slammed down the pile of books from Flourish and Blotts. "I thought I was just going to learn about magic at Hogwarts. Now they tell us we have to learn this quadrivium nonsense!" he grumbled. "Look at all the books we have from Professor Gann alone! The spells on how to defend against a critic seem useful, but I don't get the rest of the lot."
Hermione looked exasperated. "Ron, it is essential that we understand La Monte Young's theories on sound frequencies, given their interactions with thaumaturgical particles. And Professor Gann is clearly concerned with how music's development might be hampered by the hagiography of Mozart."
"Hagiography? Is that another group of spells we have to learn?" Harry looked quite befuddled as he looked through his course list again. "I'm just upset that we have to spend time in the Astronomy tower, even though we're not taking Divination any more. Though the MP3's included with the Astronomy book have some neat music from Saturn, by John Scalzi."
Music Pieces Phantasmagorically Performed were convenient, though Harry though the sound quality of Pliable's magic discs were better. With a simple tap of the wand and utterance of Audiophonica maximus,raindrops could actually be heard in the background of his recording of Perotin.
"Be careful, Harry," cautioned Hermione. "I read in Mind Hacks that listening to too much music on your iPod could cause musical hallucinations."
Ron sneered, "That's clearly what happened to that Ravenclaw, Jeremy Denk. He's gone off the deep end after he spent the summer running from one festival to another."
Hermione responded peevishly, "Oh, Ron, you are still jealous about the recital from last spring? I did not swoon over him, I merely appreciated some fine piano playing. After all, my Muggle friend, Tom Meglioranza, was waxing rhapsodically about two very different pianists, and he can't possibly be interested in snogging both of them!"
Harry did not want to think about snogging, so he responded hurriedly, "The ones with musical hallucinations are clearly the new team captains of Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw. Hucbald has been going on and on about this Beethoven fellow, even though he hates the last movement of the guy's last symphony! And Jessica Duchen has been imagining what discs she would take with her to a deserted island, when she isn't making weird sounds like 'E-V-E-R-Y W-O-O-O-R-D F-O-R M-A-A-A-A-A-A-X-I-M-U-U-U-M E-M-O-T-I-O-O-O-O-N A-A-A-A-L-L T-H-E T-I-I-I-I-M-E W-I-T-H-O-U-U-T A-N-Y V-A-R-I-E-T-Y-Y-Y-Y'."
Hermione rolled her eyes. "Jessica was not hallucinating, she was trying to make a point, apparently beyond your thick head! Anyways, I can't stay, I've got to get a start on my reading. The Solitude writings on minimalism, ernestoburden's treatise on world music, and the Wiki on new music should be a good start."
"Jeepers, the school year hasn't even started," Ron exclaimed. "Besides, all you have to do is visit Jeff Harrington's Reblog on New Music. I'm going to catch up on Talvi's latest article in the Daily Prophet I hear he skewers a bunch of those administrators."
Harry waved good-bye to his friends. To keep his mind off of snogging, he decided to contemplate the synthesis of the mental, physical and psychological as the beauty of Bach, from that textbook by Heather Voss. It sure beat worrying about Lord Voldemort!
Thanks to Tim Rutherford-Johnson, Don McClane, and Jeff Low (who will be hosting next week's Carnival) for contributing to this carnival, and to John for letting me play host. Apologies to J.K. Rowling and all HP fans (and to Don for misspelling his name).