Classical

Classical: (adj) standard, classic.

I have worked for 22 years with an oboist.

She’s a little bit Mozart; I’m a little bit rock and roll.

When we teamed up, I think she was concerned that our musical tastes might be ill-suited for one another. She had played in symphony
orchestras, and I had bopped around with gospel, blues and pop.

What she did not know was that as a boy of eleven years of age, I got hooked on a record series called “The 25 Greatest Melodies of All Time” and “The 50 Most Influential Classical Music Pieces.” So along with listening to rock and roll and some gospel music, I played my recordings of Strauss, Wagner, Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Rachmaninoff.

It was perfectly produced–the records didn’t have so much of each composition to bore me, just the highlights. What you might call the Cliff notes of the masters.

I loved the music. To this day, I think my partner is a little surprised when I insert a bit of understanding (or sometimes misunderstanding) of the music of that era. Matter of fact, she and I joined together to write some symphonies–our tribute to the styling, with the addition of our original juice.

It’s too bad we have to call something “classical.” It scares off the best market–young humans. After all, why would they want to listen to any music their parents might enjoy?

But what they don’t understand is that these composers who wrote this dynamic material were just a bunch of radical, rebellious, rag-tag and reckless adolescents.

 

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Brethren

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Brethren: (n) archaic plural form of brother.

“I’m doin’ it so my family can have a better life,” he said, being interviewed on one of the singing competitions so prevalent over the airwaves.Dictionary B

I was supposed to be moved by his sentiment. I guess the goal was to get me in his corner by realizing what a fine damn fellow he was for loving his wife and children.

But is that really special?

How basic is it for us to just express affection to those we marry or procreate?

Isn’t the music more important?

Isn’t communicating with others through melody and harmony the greatest aspiration?

I just think I would be very disappointed if Beethoven wrote his symphonies for “a gal and his young’uns.”

Somewhere along the line, we need people to step out of the box of family life, and begin to refer to those around them, who do not share DNA, as “brethren.”

You are my brothers and sisters.

The fact that you look different and come from unique regions only makes you more intriguing.

When we settle for our clan, our cloister and our clump, we are admitting that we have second thoughts about loving the stranger.

Since most of us are strangers to the rest of the world … we might want to reconsider our position.

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Append

dictionary with letter A

Append (v.): to add to the end of a document or piece of writing.

Much truth comes out through silliness.

I have found this to be very accurate and on point.

When we’re unable to speak our feelings clearly, we often cast to the wind a sideways remark, later insisting that we were “just kidding.”

For instance, certainly the people who wrote the books of the Bible had no comprehension that thousands of years later, souls would be poring over their thoughts, seeking eternal insights for their internal workings. If they had, they probably would have added an “append” at the end, or a P.S. which read, “By the way, when I wrote Chapters 4-7, I was grumpy and suffering from indigestion” or, “Just kidding.”

Likewise, the delegates who attended the Constitutional Convention knew almost immediately that they had left out some very important ideas, so they added a ten-point “append,” which we now refer to as the Bill of Rights. (Also some of them from the Northern colonies probably wanted to take their quills and jot down an apology to the black race for the three-fifths assessment of their value.)

There isn’t anything I write each day in my columns and blogs that I would want to become everlasting “gospel” for humankind. Maybe I should close with T.I.C. (Tongue In Cheek). So I reserve the right to append all of my pennings almost immediately.

If we really believe that documents are divinely inspired, then we must clarify by saying that they are not divinely scrawled. Even in the process of inspiration flowing through the human being, it picks up some trash, ignorance and dirt along the way.

The truly intelligent reader of great manuscripts must possess the discernment of the spirit which inspired them.

  • So I listen to Beethoven not to worship his talent, but to appreciate the creativity and the frailty which make it human.
  • I read Thomas Jefferson knowing that he had higher ideals than his morals could acquire.
  • And I study Moses and the Apostle Paul from the Good Book, understanding that the yearning they had to be universal was somewhat stalled by their sheep-herder and tent-maker mentalities.

It doesn’t limit the beauty.

It just brings focus to it.

 

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Andante

dictionary with letter A

Andante: (adj) used as a direction in music to mean a moderately slow tempo.

I have found that a little bit of knowledge gives you just enough confidence that you can stumble into creative ways to make a fool of yourself.

It’s much that way with me and music.

I had three years of what you might call “formal training” in playing the piano, and then lots of extemporaneous encounters which have afforded me a scholastic understanding of the craft, similar to storing old papers, discarded clothing and unused appliances in a utility closet. There is no plan for organization–just a bunch of stuff.

So when I saw today’s word, andante, what popped into my mind was what I believe to be a title to a small composition I played when I was a child, pursuing the eighty-eight keys set before me.

It was called Andante Favori. Now let me explain–I do not know if this music actually exists, or if it was a cute title that my piano teacher applied to a piece she wanted me to attempt, and decided to try to make it more appealing.

But as it turns out, as I prepared for today’s essay, I looked it up on the Internet, and discovered that there actually is an Andante Favori. It was written by Beethoven, designated WOO57.

I’m not sure of the translation, but I’m pretty convinced that the title simply means, “A Favorite Andante.”

Not very clever, but in that day and age, composers had to make their living as teachers, and since there was not a lot of printed music available, they penned their own lesson tunes for the students who were given to nobility, but not necessarily talent.

So as I’m writing this today, I am literally punching in a You Tube of somebody playing the piece. I can tell you that it’s not stunning, it’s very simple, and is exactly what an andante should be: completed but not memorable.

So it is with a combination of rejoicing, awe and yet a bit of being unimpressed that I share this with you today.

It’s just nice to know that Ludwig actually wrote the song and it wasn’t an andante of my imagination.

 

 

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