Saturday, May 30, 2009

Utilitarian music

I'm sitting in a church, wearing my working tux, waiting to play the
processional at a wedding. Two other musicians are playing prelude
music, a variety of Baroque and roccoco duets for violin and cello. I
wonder how many of the congregants are actually listening to the
music. I would guess to the majority it is aural wallpaper, something
to contribute to the atmosphere but not to be noticed.

Certainly this has happened throughout music history, though I benefit
from a loud instrument, so the onlybtime I have provided wallpaper has
been in a jazz duo, when I used my flugelhorn or "stuck the mute in"
for anniversary parties. Otherwise my utilitarian music is meant to be
noticed, fanfares and processionals. Today when I play, the people
will know to stand for the bride, or that it is time to get up and
leave. I'm a glorified bugle. I can live with that.

Friday, May 29, 2009

What's the opposite of a fat lady singing?

That's right, it is a high school boy singing a falsetto tone loud and long enough to break a wine glass:

I'd been planning on getting back to blogging, and when I saw this on my Science Friday podcasts, I knew I had an opening post. I taught a Music Acoustics class for Winter Term back in 2004, and one of the student projects was on singers breaking wine glasses. The two students accurately described the controversy of this subject, mentioned in the video above. All I can say is, this is another reason why high school students shouldn't drink wine!

I had a very busy spring semester, both personally and professionally, thus blogging fell by the wayside. But I have some reviews to write, jokes to make, and opinions to espouse, and now have the time to do so. Plus I might start posting dachshund photos.