Sunday, November 12, 2006


... or discord. Macro. (Click picture for larger view) Posted by Picasa
"Medicine, to produce health, has to examine disease;
and music, to create harmony, must investigate discord."
~ Plutarch
Music was a passion for my mom growing up. She plays the piano beautifully and has that uncanny ability to not only play the written notes on the page, but is able to put in additional chords, runs and what I call the "special effects" of music. She transposes at will and plays any number of hymns from memory, no music in front of her. While growing up, Mom was the church pianist almost everywhere Dad pastored. One Sunday she decided to play an old gospel hymn "Camping in Canaan's Land" for the offertory and not having the music, she played from memory. At one point the melody was very similar to another song and she accidentally slipped into "In your Easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it, you'll be the grandest lady in the Easter parade." She looked a bit disconcerted but kept on playing; then Dad looked at her funny because she was still playing The Easter Parade, in fact she finished up the offertory in that song. If anyone else noticed, they didn't say anything. What happened? Somehow she slipped from one melody into the other and couldn't find a chord or point to get back. I do believe she tried to have the music in front of her after that.

I took piano for several years and violin for three years; just enough to have fun with it but not enough to ever be any good. While I was studying violin, Mom decided to try it as well. She had a head start with the ability to read music and her polished ear for tone and note identification. It really should have been a piece of cake for her. Not so. She was awful! I mean really, really awful!! The sound that emanated from her violin can only be described as the sound of a hundred thousand fingernails scraping down a blackboard and amplified a hundredfold! The sound would wake the dead or kill you or both! It wasn't in her fingering or her ear or her musical ability; it was her absolute inability to hold her bow at the appropriate angle that caused the horrendous screech. We left the house when she practiced; I tried to play at the other end of the street. Finally, Dad gently asked her to stop the lessons. Thankfully for our ears, she did.

Submission for MacroDay topic "music". (end of post)

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