I am moved by Lady Percy 's expression of love. CLICK HERE - see if you agree.
Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
responses, apologies. I hold posts to 300 words* having found less is better than more.
I re-comment on comments and re-re-re-comment on re-re-comments.
* One exception: short stories.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Oil change and a new filter

Tone Deaf’s fiftieth post but it’s no time for celebration, rather for an MoT.

LdP wears a suit as befits his trade whereas sometimes likeable, often detestable BB wore an open-necked plaid shirt. LdP smells of midnight oil whereas BB's after-shave was called Persiflage.

Theoretically music is a leisure-time activity but at TD it's more Eton Wall Game than synchronised swimming. In fact differential calculus is funnier.

Should TD go with the flow and ride Brahmsian and Mozartian war-horses…

… or consider Grant’s gazelle, the quagga, the percheron and other more exotic transportation (Elliott Carter. Morton Feldman and the rest of the gang).

Is asking questions a non-adult way of creating a post?

There are lightning-flash rewards when anyone accepts a TD recommendation. But, oh, the responsibility. Never recommend casually.

Over-familiarity with forms, styles, history and technicalities can be a turn-off for others. I’m presently listening to Bach unaccompanied cello. Might the sound alone disturb a novice?

So far modern-day pop has rarely touched me. Age may be the reason. I’ll continue the analytical approach until someone suggests something better.

Opera is – perhaps – posh music’s best expression. But many posh enthusiasts don’t care for opera. Never forget the judgment of Richard (otherwise a great opera fan) on La Clemenza di Tito: “Hard going”.

Must do memo. Confessions of personal ignorance – especially as a result of snobbism – create a rapport. In fact…

… various aspects of music are prescriptions for embarrassment. Be prepared to embarrass oneself.

Finally, continue to peg away at music’s effect on the listener. Remember being irritated at Symphony Hall, Birmingham, by a flood-tide of elderlies shuffling into their seats. Remember how the Brahms harmonised them all.



  1. Going to pick two out of the bullets which I like, and which I would like to see how they develop.
    First, the non-emotional analysis of modern pop, which I think is a great concept.
    Second Opera: I have always found it hard to listen to opera yet would be interested to see if I could discover a way into it.

  2. Lucas: Months ago, in another manifestation, I did come up with a list of 10 starters for those new to posh music. On reflection the premise was wrong since it's almost impossible to imagine someone attaining adulthood without having been exposed to Che faro (Lucy refers to this as an earthworm), the Hovis commercial and Pomp and Circumstance. Finding a back door into opera is a more worthwhile project and I'll add it to my list.

  3. There is so much in this post that the tempation is to write a lengthy comment on each of the cannon balls.
    Opera used to leave me coldish. Apart from the arias there seemed nothing to take pleasure in. Then I discovered the dramatic flow of Wagner thanks to a schoolmaster, and subequently fell in love with Mozart. Where I found nothing but pleasure throughout. After seeing the Marriage of Figaro two or three years ago I came to the conclusion that it is one of the greatest works of art across the spectrum of the arts, graphic, plastic, and of the written word. I still hold that view.

    I am embarrassed already.

  4. I realized something in the car this afternoon. Posh music I can listen to in any language and appreciate even when I don't understand that particular language. However, I am really only able to enjoy listening to pop music if I can understand the words. Jazz ... well that's just universal.

  5. Plutarch: I suppose this is the central problem for Tone Deaf. Music can be enjoyed without contemporary or subsequent analysis: however, after the tenth hearing of, say, the Hammerklavier, there is a tendency to reflect and ask oneself: did I enjoy that more or less than some of the others? Also, greater familiarity with individual works, reveals that their interpretation can vary widely. Which is the best? one asks. Or, more subtly, which pianist is getting closest to the composer's intentions? Asking similar questions about literature is an unexceptiona; matter since we're already halfway there by speaking the language employed.

    In attempting to put musical on a similar comparative basis as literature one can be accused of being pedantic. Music doesn't need this new, difficult vocabulary for its appreciation, one is told. Just lie back... Which I have no real argument with. But as I have grown older I've found myself wanting to know more about the nature of music if only to help me appreciate new music more readily.

    Tone Deaf could be accused of the musical equivalent of tearing the wings off butterflies but this doesn't worry me too much. If readers have no interest in such discussion they simply stay away (as several do). The hope is that they will be replaced. In the meantime, trying to reduce emotional reactions toward music into a form I can reasonably pass on is at least instructinal for me if no one else.

    RW (zS): One of the most remarkable developments in posh music over the past two decades has been the number of Asiatics who now take part as soloists and ensemble players. Remarkable because the music they have grown up with in Japan, China and Korea differs widely from Rachmaninov, et al. Thus at this level nation speaks unto nation.