Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Counting to Seven

Alex Ross' blog The Rest Is Noise linked to The Juilliard Manuscript Collection.

I spent only five minutes looking at musical manuscripts. It's a very cool and efficient website.

During that 5 minutes I found this mirthful little example from the hand of a famous departed composer. I provide it anonymously because even these 4 little notes are probably an egregious copyright violation.


Since at least one of my three readers is not (much of) a musician, for a mere five dollars I'd be happy to send a free explanation of what is wrong with this particular mixed meter.

Mis-Noted Tags: . . . . . .

P.S. Besides telling Viola Jokes, musicians know a few Dancer Jokes. One that I tell is "How does a Dancer count to seven?". Sorry, but the punchline can't be typed, it must be counted out loud.

8 comments:

Prent Rodgers said...

Only five beats in a 7/8 meter.

docker said...

That's right, Prent. You tnihk that maybe a mistake was made?

Alex said...

1. Too much bourbon
2. Did it intentionally to piss off a music teacher
3. Was saving beats 6 and 7 for further inspiration
4. Hoped none of the players would notice since he plied them with bourbon before the first rehearsal.

At least, those would have been MY excuses.

Alex said...

P.S.: this leaves just one more of your three readers to be accounted for, and if they too are from the Pacific Northwest, we will have to investigate this Ockerian trend.

Daniel Wolf said...

As your third reader, I guess I'd better step up to the plate. This is either a leap measure (required every four phrases in Gedalge school fugues) or an artifact of the switch from the Julian to Gregorian calendars (if only Nicholas Slonimsky were still around to straighten this out!)

violahead said...

No one likes a good viola joke than me. But these are stupid and meanspirited

Daniel Wolf said...

One more thing -- notating the meter as a fraction, with a line between the numerator and denominator. In the US, teachers are very strict about instructing students not to draw a line between the numbers. But looking through the Julliard pages, it appears that a good number of famous composers do just this. Another example of school rules at variance with reality.

docker said...

Dear Mr or Mrs Viola Head - sorry you're offended by the comprehensive listing of viola jokes. Maybe you should complain to the person whose page that is - although it doesn't appear to have been updated since 2002.

But, to prove you actually like a good viola joke as much as anyone ("no one likes a good viola joke more than me"), please feel free to contribute one which isn't "stupid or meanspirited" but can't already be found on the MIT pages.

Looking forward to a good Viola chuckle,
David