Thursday, October 13, 2005

Thursday Thuggeries

Mr. Answer Man answers your google questions:

Recursive Writing: When I'm writing about what I'm writing about at that moment. Ref: Godel, Escher, Bach - An Eternal Golden Braid.

Music Theory Mnemonics: Besides the way to remember Picardy Thirds, I can offer FACE for the spaces in the treble clef; Each Girl Brings Dog Food for the lines in the treble clef; BEAD + Greatest Common Factor for the order of flats; when you get Mono you are left all alone, so Monophony is the texture with one voice; and Rounded Binary is round like a circle, in that it returns to the beginning.

Sentics: It sounds crazy, but this theory has (mostly) held up to experimental investigation. Manfred Clynes posits that the seven basic emotions have their own "touch" as exhibited by tapping patterns. These emotional touches correspond to emotional content in music, and each composer has his/her own rhythmic pattern as well (the last part hasn't tested as well).

Eroica Symphony Opening Chord: It is an awesome Eb major triad, voiced quite densely with lots of emphasis on the tonic Eb, especially in the highest voices. It's so good that Beethoven has to repeat it before starting the melody.

Geographical Fugue PDF score: This textual fugue by film composer Ernest Toch is not in the public domain, so you will have to shell out the bucks for the score.

Catchy Tunes: This is a common search referral for me, because of my post on the sensationalized Nature article and various interpretations of it. Composers would give up their copy of Finale (or Sibelius) for the knowledge of how to write a catchy tune. Either to cash in on the popularity, or to avoid such dreck in their masterworks.

Bach chorales Schenkerian: Schenkerian analysis is based upon a theory that all tonal music is a stretching out of a single tonic chord by means of various transformations. The analysis shows how the tonic chord is transformed into a full piece, detailing the various levels. I don't know of any published analyses of all 371 chorales. I've done many myself during grad school, but I have not kept those graphs.

Shofar Tekiah MP3: This question is pertinent today, as long as the person waits until sunset to listen to the MP3.

Musical Quotes by Theorists: Well, I can share quotes my students have collected from me. " The French Augmented Sixth sounds a like brothel, sexy and mysterious." "With Formal analysis we are figuring out how to divide up the whole friggin' piece." "The half-diminished seventh chord is bittersweet and poignant." [Followed by a longing stare into the distance as I played it.] How's that?

iTunes Troubles: I've come to terms with my iTunes, especially after I discovered how to make new fields. I keep the movements as separate tracks, even though this can create some bizarre transitions when listening in Shuffle mode. A short transitional movement of a Baroque concerto can connect a Howard Shore film score to Ella Fitzgerald singing "Mack the Knife." But I can always shift from Shuffle mode to directed listening and hear the whole concerto if I desire.

That' s it for this edition of Mr. Answer Man. Keep visiting with those burning questions.

Update: I have no idea how some of my sentences were retrograded by Blogger, but I can't help but find that to be SO COOL! Now let's see some inversions.

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