Eientei and Lunar Capital
Forest of Magic and Flower Fields
Hakurei Border and Afterlife
Hakurei Shrine, Human Village and Myouren Temple
Scarlet Devil Mansion and Misty Lake
Youkai Mountain and Heaven
Underground and Makai
not a color we know
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Learn Music with Sacchin!
2013/04/18 (Thu) 09:04
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You, who loves music but doesn't feel reciprocated. You, who lacks musical knowledge. You, who feels despised by the muses. You, who has dropped the healthy habit of taking baths because you don't dare to sing even under your own shower. You, who, when you join your voice to the fervent masses to sing your nathional anthem, is reprimanded by a hostile crowd that shouts
'you goddamned traitor!'
at you. You, who believes music is a complex art only within reach of a few fortunate people. Yes, you, don't play coy! You, my dear reader, you can also succeed in the world of music!
Does it surprise you? Don't be surprised too much, because I, the great, magnanimous and talented kirin musician, Rin Satsuki, am going to give you the answers to all your musical concerns! I will teach you to know and master in a few lessons the most intimate secrets of music: how to compose songs; how to play instruments; how to write letters until the letters make words, and the words make musical poems - in other words, lyrics -, and how to read sheet musics in a steady rhythm, and not only steady, but other more difficult rhythms like tango, rock, or symphony.
The success of my method is tried and tested. Isamu Nakano was a sickly and complexed Russian kappa who lost his hand in an unfortunate accident involving cucumber missiles, didn't feel confident enough to confess his love to his beautiful tengu neighbor. After following my advices, he decided to sing her a serenade. His success was so fulminant,
asked for his hand on the spot. The other hand.
My advices can also help you. You just need to
. And to believe, you just need
. And to have conviction, you just need to be convinced. And to be convinced,
you just need to believe!
So, coat yourself with the conviction that you will learn music, and shielded on it, repeat exicted:
'Yes, I can! I believe I can! I believe I... can?'
. Think about the audience applauding and appraising you. Think about all the money you will earn. Repeat it! One more time! Okay, that's enough.
Now abandon those delusions of grandeur and reconnect to reality again. Reality will show that you're just an apprentice, a hapless wretch, a John Doe that's about to begin a new life thanks to my lessons.
Lesson I: Music, in general
2013/04/18 (Thu) 09:11
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Before we begin with the practical notions, it's crucial that you learn some generalities that will bring you nearer to the wonderful world of music. Come on, come closer! You can master this sublime art! Maybe. At least, you'll get to meet people that master it. In the worst case, if music really hates your guts, you can still give lessons to some losers on the Internet.
The History of Music
Music surrounds us. Accompanies us. It's present at every moment. Every noise in the streets can be music. Every record that is broadcasted at the radio shikigami can be considered music. Sometimes.
The primitive man found music in nature every time he heard the trill of birds, the croak of frogs, the quack of ducks, the caw of storks, the hiss of panthers, the roar of crows, the chirp of lobsters, the stomping of swans, or even the purrs of the boars that fleed his dogs and their fearsome meows.
Even though these natural melodies were the only thing that came close to orchestras in those times, they were welcomed with complaints and displeasure by the primitve man. That's why he was called 'primitive', the illiterate lad. With time, the primitve man polished his likes. And even if he didn't know it was music, every time he heard the chirp of a bird on the top of a tree he exclaimed:
"Oh, how beautiful is the... the... euhhhh... I don't know how to call it... uhhh... that... whatever the bird on the top of the tree does!"
Then he ate it. The bird. And the tree. Some youkai still follow the tradition of eating anything that makes delectable sounds to their ears, such as the terrified screams of humans.
Some representative figures of music, different from the Phantom Ensemble and the Choujuu Gigaku, were discovered thanks to archeology. I'm referring to figures like minims, crotchets, semibreves, quavers and demisemiquavers.
In 1942, when she was fishing on the Sanzu River, shinigami ferrywoman Komachi Onozuka found an antique quaver, which at the time was worth half a semibreve - quaver's actual valor is the eight part of a semibreve, but if someone sells you one for the tenth part, buy it without hesistation. Onozuka's quaver was found in acceptable condition, and after slapping it a bit, it still made sounds. Radiocarbon dating tests established it as the oldest quaver known as of today.
In 1986, while gapping an artificial beach into Gensokyo, witch of boundaries Yukari Yakumo found a minim tsukumogami semi-buried in the sand. Carbon dating tests could not be performed because the minim didn't want his age to be known. He refused to be slapped too. At that time.
The term 'music' comes from the greek word
, which contains the concept of muse. That's why the paternity of music as we now know it is attributed to the Greek men. And the maternity to the Greek women.
In greek mythology, the muses were nine, and they had the mission of protecting arts and science on the Parnassus tournaments. Under the technical direction of Apollo 11, the muses' most common formation was the following: Clio, keeper; Urania, Polyhymnia and Melpomene, defenders; Euterpe and Thalia, midfielders; Calliope, Erato and Terpsichore, forwards.
They were a very harmonic team, but there were some individualities worth of mention. The agile Terpsichore, muse of dance, dribbled and danced around the rivals; the bearish Urania, muse of astronomy, made them see the stars with her tackles; the dangerous Melpomene, muse of tragedy, was the one in charge of the own goals.
All in all, they were true artists of the ball. They were also the inventors of the olympic goal.
People tend to mistake the terms 'classic music' and 'cultured music'. Certainly, for cultured people, classic music is the cultured music, but in the classic era there was uncultured music as well. Or do you really think Chopin and his friends sang preludes when they went to the taberns? That Liszt made ladies fall for him whistling concertos for piano on their ears? That Brahms enlivened carousals with select pieces of A German Requiem? That Stravinsky moodenen orgies up with The Firebird?
No, definitely not. Well, except maybe the last case. The so-called 'classics' worked with cultured music, but they also had fun with the popular music of their era.
Along with the arrival of the 20th century, came the music of the 20th century. With time, the romantic composers dissapeared, and only the contemporary ones remained.
Music suffered an thrilling revolution.
New instruments appeared. New concepts sprouted, new emotions materialized, and new musical forms arose that parted from the traditional system, like dodecaphony, electronic music and hard punk rock.
It was a disaster.
Curiosities of music
Music is not only useful for just enjoyment of music; people have found more applications for it. Psycologists highlight its therapeutic value. For example, it's been proved that music tames animals. Mystia Lorelei atracts savage beasts and sang along charming melodies with them. It's known that she chirps in canon (see
in a good music dictionary) with the goldfinchs and other songbirds. She also howls in choir with Kyouko Kasodani and Momiji Inubashiri when full moon arises, to the chagrin of insomniac people.
Music also influences plants. Yuuka Kazami, has performed experiments to define how much can plant growth be stimulated with acoustic music, and to compare their development with other plants under a stric silence regimen. Results have been surprising: music-stimulated plants grow a lot less than the others! Credited biologist Eirin Yagokoro blamed this on Kazami's poor skills with the acoustic guitar, but the rest of knowledgeable sources on this field have neither agreed nor denied this claim - probably after being 'convinced' by the youkai gardener.
Parsee Mizuhashi, (in)famous bridgekeeper, used to play Chopin's
Scherzo No. 1 in B minor
with castanets in front of the Old Hell audience , with drum accompaniment by Suika Ibuki. It's worth mentioning how much Ibuki grew during the performance, though some people still believe that's due to the oni's own powers and her drunken state instead.
We're surrounded by outdoors music. Unfortunately. Radios blasting cacophony at full volume, televisions, claxons, vacuum cleaners, blenders, asphalt drills, etc. The best way to deal with it is not hearing it. To do so, I recommend the following easy exercise:
---------------------Exercise No. 1-----------------------------
Stretch your right arm with the palm of your hand downwards, and
place your fingers mildly flexed. Once you've attained this
position, take your phone's reciever, call your closest
glassware store and order a double crystal to be installed on all
your windows. Then move to the countryside.
If there's music outdoors, there must be indoors music. It's only logical. But how can we bring our inner music outside if we don't know it? What's more, do we
To explore your inner music without resorting to pharmaceutical products, perform the following exercise:
---------------------Exercise No. 2-----------------------------
Relax in a quiet place. Focus: the secret of this exercise is
your mind. Empty it of all superfluous thoughts. Now try to
listen to your inner music. Can you hear it? Yes? How is it?
Maybe it's a grave note? Or a long chord? Maybe it's an acute
and clinking note? If you hear a
it might be
your intestines. Empty them too.
If you hear two different musics playing at the same time, don't
panic. Without losing your focus, stand up and turn off the radio.
Practice this simple exercise twice a week. In a few lustrums,
you'll be able to do it unconsciously.
2013/04/18 (Thu) 23:09
I don't know what this is. But somehow, I want to see more.
2013/04/19 (Fri) 05:00
I know exactly what this is. But somehow, I still want to see more.
Lesson II: Acoustics for Beginners
2013/04/19 (Fri) 17:04
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You can stimulate your musical aptitudes and save a lot of money if you know some of the basics of acoustics: what is the sound, how do we hear, how do sound waves travel, why did we buy that horrible disc... Keep an eye on this lesson, dear apprentices. Or an ear.
Musical acoustics explore the physical foundaments of music. Yes, because besides the affective part, there is a great physical component in the love for music.
Let's start by the beginning: how are sounds made. To obtain sounds when there is no radio shikigami nearby you need:
1. A body that performs a vibratory motion. For example, the body of a little girl that
as she dances at a carnival.
2. A transmitter medium, or, if possible, a full transmitter. Generally the air performs this role. For example, when the little girl dances, she needs air surrounding her.
3. A reciever subject that recieves the sound waves and transforms them into sensations. For example, a random male that watches the little girl dancing and exclaims
'That chick is
sensational!', or better yet,
'What a sexy girl! I have the
I must take her home!
Sonorous bodies are those which, like the little girl of the last example (see also
, like the random male from said example), vibrate upon an adequate excitation. Sonorous bodies can be solids or gases. The latter are curable with a change of diet.
The former are divided into bland solids and consistent solids. Consistent solids consist of: hard, very hard and yeouch. Hard solids can be developed hards and immature hards. Further divisions are only studied by professional musicians and you do not need to study them for your goals. In any case, you'll most likely won't need to remember any of them.
Other Beautiful Attribute of Sound
Sound is garnished with multiple attributes, such as:
: It's the attribute we refer to when we say a sound is more acute or more grave than another. Or less grave. Or less acute. Or more or less.
: It depends of the grade of complexity of the vibratory motion. It allows us to tell apart a note played by a violin from the same note sung by a gorilla.
: There are objects that sound with a particular frequency, and there are others that sound with excessive frequency, like the phone.
A simple scientific experiment will help you understand the phenomenon of resonance better. Have a table, a tenor and half a glass of water. Better yet, don't have the half glass of water;
half a glass with water - if you prefer, fill only the other half - and place it over the table while the tenor watches. Wet your finger in water - preferably on the glass, to avoid another trip to the kitchen - and run it along the border of the glass. You'll hear a vibrant note: that's the frequency of resonance of the glass with that amount of water over the table when it's being stimulated by that finger while the tenor watches. If you now place the tenor inside the glass and he sings the same note as the glass with
intensity, the glass will break. Actually, just attempting to introduce the tenor inside the glass will accomplish this result.
Resonance can also be achieved with sea water. If you place a seashell near your ear, you'll hear a sound. The shell catches imperceptible sound waves, resonates and amplifies them, making them audible for the human ear. For example, shrine maiden Reimu Hakurei, when she placed a seashell over her ear, managed to eavesdrop an inter-dimensional call between a demon god in Makai and a puppeteer in the Forest of Magic. Days later, she recieved the bill for this call, and her shrine nearly fall into bankrupcy. Again.
The ear is very necessary to hear. Almost essential, I'd say. It is also used to place glasses - the seeing ones, not the drinking ones -, hang pendants or carry pens.
How we hear
: Let's suppose a person says to us
'How are you?'
The vibrations produced by the affectionate greeting enter the pinna, very similar to the earlobe. Then they travel towards the eardrum membrane through the auditory canal, make the eardrum vibrate and send the sounds to the Eustachian tube. The vibrations run along a group of three small bones - the malleus, the incus and the stapes - and then swim through the liquid inside the canal, which excites the nerve fibers; the fibers become happy. These fibers are in a relationship - a very nice and old relationship - with the brain through the auditory nerve. The brain recieves the information, processes it quickly, and shoots an answer:
'Ehhhhhh, could you repeat the question?'
How we not hear, AKA deafness
: The auditory canal's walls segregate wax, whose noble function is to keep dust, small insects and big mammals from penetrating the eardrum. This wax can accumulate and harden, until it produces a certain degree of deafness. Some cities pick up the spare wax and make museums with them, which are very visited by tourists.
You must not attempt to extract foreign objects from the ear if you are not a doctor; you could case severe damage to the eardrum. However, I can show you a couple of easy ways to do so in emergency situations.
1. Introduce a corkscrew in the auditive canal. Twist it following the direction of the clock hands - if your watch is digital, look at the nearest church - until the wax offers a lot of resistance. Pull it out with strength. Clean the corkscrew of pieces of wax, eardrum and auditory nerve.
2. Introduce half a liter of boiling olive oil in the ear with the help of a funnel. Shake the patient over a recipient until the oil drips completely, and recicle it for salads; it has a high vitaminic content. Throw the recipient. Throw the patient.
Ear and Nose
Blowing your nose produces a very special sound. A few years ago, Hieda no Akyuu was minding her business when she noticed she had her nassal passages blocked. She took a cleenex from her pocket and blow her nose with so much strength, the echo from her cleaning operation sounded like a hunting horn that declared the fairy hunting season open. Hundreds of human hunters abruptly began to chase fairies all over the land. The fairies, who were not expecting it, were shot at so intensely they almost dissapeared from Gensokyo. They respawned a week later, but they did not forget this incident, such was the gravity of this accident. Some people believe this is why some fairies are planning to take the arms and declare formal war to humankind, but as of now they haven't organized an army yet, and due to their poor memory, they probably never will.
In anyway, blowing your nose with the nassal passages cramped is dangerous to your health, because the air is violently impelled through the Eustachian tube to the middle ear. You could become deaf this way. YES, DEAF!
You might be wondering about this phenomena. Well, I can tell you Eustachi was a greek traveler than explored and conquered these tubes. His brother Falloppio reached further. And he enjoyed it far more.
--------Exercise to ascertain the speed of sound---------
Sound travels at 333 meters per second - 768 mph for
you imperialist peasants. Impressive, isn't it? To check
this fact, you can perform the following easy experiment:
Shoot a bullet and start to fly at a speed of 340 meters
per second. When you gain some distance, pull the brake
suddenly. Soon, you'll hear the sound of the gunshut
arriving to the place you're standing. With rest intervals
of one minute long, repeat the run three times, each time
at greater speed. You'll notice the difference.
2013/04/20 (Sat) 00:06
>>Between a demon god in Makai and a puppeteer in the Forest of Magic. Days later, she received the bill for this call, and her shrine nearly fall into bankruptcy. Again.
2013/04/20 (Sat) 05:01
Reminds me of Bill Nye the Science Guy.
Lesson III: Sol-fa, sol-fa, there's more to come!
2013/04/20 (Sat) 17:33
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It's due time to move on from the generalities of music to certain aspects that allow the uprising musician to prove this is the real deal, and that if you don't want to study, you should go with your music to another place.
Solfege is the art of reading and writing music. Nobody knows who was the first person ever to transcribe sounds into a piece of paper or rock. What we do know is that the mountain hermit Tamon-ten set out to accomplish this feature for the inauguration of year 1000 and he made it. This Tamon person was an albino hermit and stayed long months shut in his cloistered cell, meditating about how to turn musical notes into graphic symbols. One dark winter evening, he went out to take some fresh air. He saw the swallows singing on the telegraph cables, and he thought that he could invent a new note writing system by imitating them.
Tamon-ten spent several months devising it. It had four stripes and he called it 'telegram'. But when he went to show his new invention to the press conference, time had flew by, and telephone cables had been added to the telegraph lines. Bewildered, Tamon returned to his cell for two more years, forced to invent the pentagram, method that endured until our time.
Solfege became necessary after the invention of musical writing. Once written music was invented, Tamon and other musicians realized it was of the utmost importance to learn how to read it. They invested long years to decipher what the hell they wrote, and they're still at it as of today.
In theory, musical theory is the science that studies the signs that are used in the reading and writing of music. In practice, it's one of the most boring subjects on the music academy. It is said that Russian composer Dmitri Dmitrievich Shostakovich hid to smoke on the bathroom instead of going to theory classes; his musics shows. Franz Strauss never studied theory; that's why nobody knows him. His brother Johann never went to the bathroom.
Some elements of musical theory
Notes, like Snow White's dwarfs, the Plagues of Egipt, or a reunion of the 'Bakartet' and the Phantom Ensemble, are seven. First, they were called like this:
dobackhüfle, rempegstumpf, mirgtmöliuedr, faschdruomihch, solwyzbcrft, laeiouiea
. With the intention of universalize them, they were baptized in proto-esperanton, a planetary language that failed from its beginning. In cyrillic alphabet it was even worse.
Seeing as sol-fa-ing like that was becoming extremely difficult, and teeth suffered from serious attrition from attemption to tone those notes, French orthodontist Jean-Luc Lecanine changed them to
dodó, redó, midorré, famifá, soldomí, lafafá
. This way, he payed tribute to his dogs. However, with these names there was even more confusion, especially among the dogs, so in the end everybody decided to use only the first syllabes of the original notes in proto-esperanton:
do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, si.
Shortly after, Yukari Yakumo, under the claim that learning proto-esperanton would take too much time from her sleeping schedule, decided to change these notes for the seven first letters of the alphabet:
C, D, E, F, G, A, B.
Nobody knows why did she put the C first. Some people speculate it was just another one of Yakumo's shenanigans aimed at people suffering from OCD. Others think this was because putting the D first is considered gross.
Some time ago I had the chance to interview the youkai of the boundaries herself about this topic. She explaimed that she named the notes after the colors of the rainbow. The note that vibrates less was assigned the color with more wave length, and viceversa, as follows:
C -> do -> Red
D -> re -> Orange
E -> mi -> Yellow
F -> fa -> Green
G -> sol -> Blue
A -> la -> Indigo
B -> si -> Purple
The smile she was wearing all the time during the interview still left room for doubt, though. Yukari's penchant for lies and misdirections is universally known. But if we take her explanation as truth, this alternative convention of naming could be used as a code. One example that supports this claim is putting the names of the members of the Yakumo family in descending order of age, and then change them for its alphabetical equivalent on the table above. Whetether this theory is true or not it's up to debate - supporters also believe the Yakumo family is actually a mafia that controls human traffic between Gensokyo and the Outside. In spite of this, the Internet has already used this method to deliver affectionate messages to other users (see opening picture of this chapter).
: Like in card decks and coctails, there are many figures in music. Some of them are:
: The round thingy. Called like this because of its duration.
: The white thingy with a stem. Called like this because of its value.
: The black thingy with a stem. Called like this because of its ability to sew sweaters.
Quaver and Semiquaver
: I won't talk about quavers and semiquavers because people quaver when they're quaveringly explained the quavers with a quavering voice.
Each figure is worths the double of the following. For example, the minim (the white thingy) worths two crotchets (black thingies), which is proof that racial prejudices are present even in the world of music.
-------Solfege and Theory Exercises-------
1: Recognize the following motif written in
Lecanine's solfege method: soldomi-soldomi-
If you said it was the motif of
Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 (expressed in street
solfege method as 'du-du-du-duuuuuuuunnnnnn'),
you are correct.
2: Perform the exercise that inspired Tamon-ten.
Wearing a striped shirt, go out to the countryside
at seedtime and place yourself under the electric
cables. Sol-fa the notes that the swallows sing for
a few minutes. Now sol-fa the white, black and green
notes that the little flying composers have left on
your shirt. Throw the shirt in the washing machine.
Symphathize with Tamon-ten.
Q.What's the solfege meaning of the small round symbols placed outside the pentagram, which can be seen in some music sheets for tropical music?
A. Nothing. It's just the pitiful marks of the anopheles mosquito, very common in that region.
Q.I understand the solfege system explained in this lesson appertain to the occidental music. Could you explain in a few words the oriental music system?
A. Read Seiga Kaku's chinese traduction of my lessons:
Q.What is a metronome?
A. A metronome is a device that establishes the speed of the musical pulse and marks the beat time. It's also used as a kitchen clock to measure the baking time of Gioachino Rossini's cannelloni or fettuccini in Alfredo (Krauss)' style.
2013/04/21 (Sun) 03:47
>supporters also believe the Yakumo family is actually a mafia that controls human traffic between Gensokyo and the Outside
That's a pretty good premise for a story. Someone should use it.
Lesson IIII: Composite Composition
2013/04/23 (Tue) 21:52
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Sorry for the delay, my dear apprentices! We will now move onto a superior level of musical knowledge: the musical composition. Come on, don't be afraid, it can't hurt you too much! There is some sort of reverential dread towards this creative activity. The problem lies in that people don't know how to create and write a musical. I will show you how to do it, and what steps need to be taken to produce all those marvelous OSTs for shmups starring magical girls with silly hats you always wanted to make.
Composition, even if we don't know it, is terribly important. A world without composition would hopelessly drift into a process of decomposition. Composers are artists who feel the desire to express themselves with sounds, just like a writer expresses himself with colors, or a painter with words.
Composers, unlike writers and painters, work with very few elements: only seven notes which, with sharps and flats, become twelve: less than the fingers of three hands! Only
notes! Even in wealthy countries! With just a dozen of notes, Beethoven was able to write his
Symphony No. 9
and the previous eight, and thirty-two sonatas for piano, a lot of quartets, trios, concerts, an opera... and with two spare notes that he had left, he composed
! Can you imagine what could Beethoven have composed if he had fifty notes? Or a hundred?
History of Composition
In the dawn of humanity, composition didn't exist. If the great Beethoven was born in Prehistory, he would have been known as 'the deaf hunter', and maybe his deafness would have put him in eminent danger of being eaten by a feral youkai. In which case he wouldn't have been able to hunt any youkai and he would've been known as 'the deaf' or 'the defunct'.
Patrons were rich people who preserved and funded artists.
Dedications to patrons frequently had suggestions of economic assistance, generally subtly hidden. Let's see one of them, signed in 1532 by Lyrica Primsriver:
<<For the glory of King Frederich the Sitting, protector of arts, my sisters and I have written a humble handful of songs, awaiting your bountiful applause, your spirited words of encouragement and, well, I must say, a negligible material recompense, inestimable compared to the spiritual reward which is what really matters and the pride of being chosen by Your Highness for this task beyond Your strengths, and we wish you find them of your liking and you do not, it is a pity, because there is another neighbor king interested in having them and we told him we could not give them to him, and he told us "If Frederich does not want them, I will take them and I will applaud you, encourage you and reward you", and we told him King Frederich is so charming he deserves these songs and many others, and furthermore he is very generous, so generous we are very sure that his alms will be extraordinary, and that he will not forget about our reward, with all our respect and esteem from your faithful servants,
Another example is Carlo Villoni, tasked by King Ludovico to compose music to go along with his chess matches - I recall Ludovico was the creator of the Ludo board game. The composer wrote pieces to represent each one of his pieces: rustic music for the pawns; parade music for the knights; medieval songs for the rooks; gregorian chants for the bishops; a beautiful and gentle melody for the queen; and a pompous and noble fanfare for the king.
Notorious court composer Jean de la Gourmandise recieved the assigment to compose music for the real meals, which were real banquets. Regrettably, De la Gourmandise's music was ill suited for the circumstance: it was riddled with very strong bass drums, disturbing timpani rolls and deafening cymbal crashes at the most unexpected moments, between extremely long silences. The king and his court suffered from an indigestion, and the king ordered the execution of the unfortunate musician.
Patrons have dissapeared with time, and nowadays there are very few kings and popes that request important orders. In the field of music, at least. The last errands I have heard about are:
-A solo of palms for the kids attending Keine Kamishirasawa's school to applaud at the theater.
-A solo of gong to tell the bunny workers at Eientei to sit on the table.
-A solo of finger snaps for Flandre Scarlet to call her personal maid.
-Solo Cakes and Pastries, a company from the Outside dealing with cakes and pastries.
The Qualities of a Composer
The gift of melody is the most important one for a composer, besides a good denture. But what is melody? To understand this concept we must go back to ancient Greece, or -for a much more economic and simple option- keep reading the following lines.
The word 'melody' comes from the Greek
was a sticky yet sweet substance, very nutritive, that the ancient bees produced in ancient Greece. The buzz of these insects was an ancient music that captivated the ancient Greek. More than one ancient philosopher ended up stung by the ancient swarms when they neared their ears to the combs in rapture to listen to the beautiful ancient buzzing. This ancient noise was called 'melody', which meant 'the song of the
makers'. Popular dances were organized just by bringing combs to the discotheques, which were called combtheques or hivetheques at the time.
I won't delve into technical details about composition, don't worry. That's what actual music books are for. I just want to advise you to trust in your intuition.
Intuition allows us to know that within each person there lies a dormant composer. Certain musical works allow us to know that, furthermore, some people lack an alarm clock.
Sometimes the creator blindly searches in confusing and unknown roads. Hong Meiling, chinese martial artist, lost herself in a symphony and wasn't found until a week later. She appeared with her clothes dirtied with minims and crotchets that nobody could wipe off after many washes. Respecting Meiling herself, she felt completely restless and went to sleep for three days straight, even though she was covered in rests all over her body.
Creating is following a path that sometimes isn't clear. As it happens with many public works, the composer can begin a musical piece without knowing how will it end. Nitori Kawashiro, a genius kappa engineer, began to write a little piece for piano, and when she finished, she realized she had built an humongous mecha which she called Hisoutensoku, the name she initially planned to give the song.
The popular music composer not only needs intuition, but also a trade representative, a discography and appear in the press frequently. Popular composers are so busy, sometimes they don't have much time to compose anything, and must use every circumstance to do so: the elevator, the metro, a red light... Some hip hop artists, overwhelmed by comercial compromises, have been forced to compose while they're in the bathroom. Their songs show the result.
Composers, like all sentient beings, are subject to mood swings and a great variety of frames of mind, especially tantrums, melancholies, jealousy, depressions, bitternesses, hatreds, rancors, envies, resentments, murdering intents... What does the composer do with all those feelings? Well, he tries to capture them in the music he's writing. Music is able to capture and manifest a lot of diverse emotions. Ran Yakumo, in her Jocular Symphony, went so far as to tell several jokes. Many of them were widely known - three of them had been published on the Bunbunmaru News three days prior to Ran's performance - so the concert was unsuccessful.
A symphony by Koishi Komeji passess through twenty-two different frames of mind in a few bars. The satori composer managed to express in succession tenderness, melancholy, lust, sadness, happiness, uneasiness, exaltation, abulia, indecision, weakness, obstinacy, certainty, doubt, misfortune, dispersion, alienation, regret, mental deficiencies, stinging, hunger, deafness and urination. And all of this in just three vertiginous seconds!
On the other hand, oriental music tends to be much more static and meditiative. One time, sitar player Seiga Kaku mildly changed her musical mood three hours after she began her performance. She was thrown into the Ganges by an exalted crowd at the cries of "Cyclothymic!"
---Preliminary exercise: How to compose at the bathtub---
If you aim to attain experience at melody invention, practice
all your mornings/evenings whistling or singing something while
you take a bath. This is, of course, if you have the habit of
taking baths in the first place. Start by whistling short melodies
as you step into the shower. Once the tap is open, accompany the
song by rattling over your wet skin. Shake the shampoo bottle with
rhythm. Hit the soap against the wood of the brush. Taps usually
sound quite well when hit with your knuckles, or simply being turned
one way and the other; this will make water produce different moist
meoldies over your body. Fill your mouth with water and gargle while
you whistle (it sounds easy, but it's much harder than it looks).
Spalsh around. The shampoo bubbles on your hair make sounds too: pop
them one by one and listen how the join the melody you're singing.
Set yourself free and enjoy yoursel. Move rhythmically. You're
This, just like this, is how
Singin' in the rain
When you slip and fall, listen to the interesting melodic sound that
your wet foot does as it slides off the surface of your bathtub, and
the noise of your bones cracking on the floor.
This, just like this, is how
Rhythmically call for an ambulance.
This, just like this, is how
---------------Elemental composition exercises----------------
1. Begin by assuming a mysterious air, enough for your family
and friends to worry a bit. Take pentagrammed paper and pencil,
and draw a semibreve, a minim and a crotchet. Don't worry if you
do it awkwardly, because it's your first time. Remember that
Mozart didn't write a single note until he was two years old.
The impotant thing is that you must have a grave and peevish
attitude, and that from afar, you must look like you're writing
2. If imagining music turns out to be extremely difficult, you
can draw inspiration from a piano, a guitar or a bass drumm. Play,
or if you don't know how to play them, improvise. Most of the times
people don't notice that you don't know how to play. That's how
Japanese music was born.
3. Now look for a tranquil place, sit down in a comfy chair,
take two or three deep breaths, focus, and write a Fugue at six
voices of a quarter hour long.
Time of realization of the exercise: Six minutes.
All artist consider that inspiration is quite necessary when you write a novel, play music, paint a picture or simply breath. Several questions arise: can we help that inspiration to manifest itself? Or must we sit down and wait with our arms crossed, waiting for the muse or the faerie to appear? And if it's a faerie, will she be an ice-cold moron?
Musical terminology can often be ambiguous, because some terms have been taken from other arts or sciences. For example, 'sol' comes from astrology, 'choral' from business science, 'fantasy' and 'caracter' from psychology, and 'period' from gynecology.
With such ambiguity, the composer's indications are always interpreted in many ways. For example:
: Is an indication that the composer includes to give the performer play a certain passage with total liberty. What the composer ignores is that the performer usually plays the entire musical with total liberty, not following any of the composer's indications.
: The opposite of
. The composer mistankenly supposses that with this indication, the perform will stop playing the musical with total liberty.
It's advisable to give classic composition attractive titles. Calling your musical 'Study No. 22', or 'Piece op. 14 bis', or 'Music 34,50' or 'Combined Sounds No. CLXIMVIII' is worth next to nothing, because it's uninspiring to the listener. Furthermore, it makes it easier to commit erratums and misspellings.
In 1956, Suzunan Editing mistakenly numbered Hayden's symphony
'The Drumroll No. 103'
as 'op. 309', whereupon some orchestras played
three consecutive times, an excess that gave an insufferable circus sound to the musical. Other orquestras refrained from playing the music sheet because they knew Haydn died before the opus 300. It was necessary to publish an Opus 103 bis, symphony
Alice Margatroid was one of the very few Makai composers that persisted in following the classic numeration. Her most famous works are titled
Shanghai No.1, Shanghai No.2, Shanghai No.3,
etc. The worst part is that the great puppeteer used the same names for her dolls, leading to big confusions at her household.
Therefore, it's much better to baptize your works with suggestive titles like
Melancholic and Intoxicating Romance
Songs to enter the bow of a cargo boat that sails to Egipt in forty-five minutes, if the captain arrives, seeing as he's late because her daughter didn't make him sandwiches for the travel
. Or a less brief title.
Inspiration and Illiteracy
It's been proven that many composers don't know how to read or write music, nor words. Some only reached to the vocalsd, and others that face the alphabet don't even manage to get past the
; they also invented the Bi-note genre.
If you are one of them and you don't know how to read, then don't lie to yourself: you are not reading my lessons. I repeat: YOU ARE NOT READING MY LESSONS. You might distract yourself by looking at the pictures, or go to lolcatz dot com and watch videos with cute felines. Maybe you screencapped this page and showed it to your friends to boast in front of them. But YOU ARE NOT READING IT!
In that case, I strongly suggest you pick up Kamishirasawa's book
'Learn to read without reading'
. You won't regret it. Many great politician and writers learned to read with it.
Q. Until what age was Mozart a prodigy child?
A. Though his father would have prefered to continue the business for a few decades more, at the age of twenty-five the infant clothes fit too tight for Wolfgang, and therefore he decided to introduce himself as a prodigy teenager from that point on. Then he became a prodigy adult, but sadly he could not be a prodigy elder.
Q. But was Mozart really a prodigy baby?
A. At the age of one month, Mozart played several pieces of the manual
My First Clavecin
, and when he was two months old he composed his first song:
Q. Why did Wagner wrote such long operas?
A. Because he had a strong tendency to megalo-melomania.
Q. What was the cause of Wagner's death?
A. A megalo-meloma-melanoma.
Q. Why did Bach become blind in his last years of life?
A. To be able to see through his prior years.
Q. What would have happened if Beethoven lived in this century, and Rick Astley in Beethoven's time?
and the LudwigRoll would be widely known.
2013/04/24 (Wed) 00:02
Forget about Mozart, this thread is a fucking masterpiece
2013/04/24 (Wed) 00:03
Forget about Mozart, this thread is a fucking masterpiece
2013/04/24 (Wed) 16:58
>>'period' from gynecology.
Lesson IIIII: Formation in Musical Forms
2013/04/24 (Wed) 17:57
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Finally, the chapter you were waiting for(?): the cultured musical forms. Musical forms?, you'll ask. Cultured forms?, you'll ask again. Cultured musical forms?, you'll insist in asking. It's alright: no more questions. In a few second you'll know everything about this urticarial matter.
Let's see. A musical composition is sometimes an organized set of musical ideas. This organization is what we call
. It doesn't really matter whether to inform here in which form do we acquire the form nor how does the form form; in any form it's called form. Times ago, those musical ideas were expressed spontaneously: every person playes or sang whatever he or she wanted. It was a true chaos, fun but disrupted. Without form, music was always the same, like a sausage. A chaotic sausage.
It was then when someone had the idea to put a little order. Musical form comes from the psycological need to recieve a clear message. Is it clear? Nobody would enjoy an ever-changing music, constantly renovated. The mind needs things to return. The mind needs it. Things to return.
Cultured musical forms are called like that to differentiate them from the uncultured forms. But how can we tell a cultured form apart from an uncultured one? That's trickier, but nonetheless we can do it by performing this simple exercise:
---Exercise to differentiate a cultured form from an uncultured form---
1. Basically they're different by their clothes and behavior. You can observe
that the attire of a cultured form is always elegant and of goof quality,
whereas the uncultured one tends to dress negligently, with tatty clothes.
Sometimes it doesn't ever wear any clothes! Regarding their behavior, watch
the cultured form's distinction and compare it with the gawky and awkward
manners of the uncultured form.
Both forms also show a great difference in their general culture. This is
made even more evident when they're both asked the same question. For example,
ask them when did the French Revolution happen. The cultured form, well
informed, will answer correctly and without falter, while the uncultured form
will spout a random date and then, seeing that it doesn't know the answer, will
let out a curse.
2. Now apply this exercise to music.
Keeping up the form
Going by what we have just seen, it's obvious that staying near the uncultured forms for too long is inadvisable. They usually are very ill-mannered. Hard rock and fanatic fans definitely pertain to the uncultured forms you might find, as the
Anthem of the Hellion
, composed by Alfred W. Hooligan, shows:
When the ball rolls in the lawn
their heads roll in the grandstand!
Our rivals will know our might firsthand
'cuz we'll be beating them until dawn!
Let's break ten heads
twenty backbones we will break,
thirty legs we'll shred
while we fry us some steak!
Let the pussies shake hands
we will shake their necks;
Beat them 'till they can't stand
And their bodies will be wrecked!
The chorus is repeated 528 times while defenseless rivals, helpless grannies and poor immigrant are beaten up.
In contrast with these barbaric forms, the most cultured form of all is the Fugue, which is doctored at the University of Heidelberg with its tesis
Treatments against the obesity of semibreves
Catalogue of Cultured Forms
I will now enumerate and describe some cultured musical forms for you to use in your compositions, to recognize in a concert and greet them at the exit, or simply to dazzle other patients at the waiting room of your dentist.
An introductory instrumental piece of a musical. The first preludes where located at the end, until hermit Kasen Ibaraki noticed the error and put them back where they should belong: we keep finding them frequently.
With the prelude back in its place, instrumentalists often used it to improvise, which allowed them to warm their fingers up, create a mood in the audience or simply to make time for the purpose of not arriving home too early. In one concert, the harpsichordist Dietrich Weiss improvised non-stop for eight hours while his wife searched for the music sheets he had forgotten in an inn along the way. When the king grew impatient, Weiss also danced, told jokes and performed jugglery and acrobatic tricks.
The most known ones are: pavane, galliard,
, sarabande, sicilian, gigue,
, polonaise... I find it unnecessary to describe them, since you should already be familiar with them. They're frequently seen on the TV and they're danced every weekend at the discos.
It is convenient, however, to throw a warning about these dances. Many of them, more violent and unchaste every time, carry the youth through the path of vice and decontrol. It is very jarring to see our young people contort at the rhythm of a gigue, or rub without modesty to the sound of a licentious galliard or a revolting
. With unconcealed nostalgia I yearn for the times where we youngsters enjoyed dancing the delicious bars of gregorian chants.
The suite must have generous proportions and elegant ornaments. The biggest recopilation of suites is called
Grand Hotel De Luxe
, which houses a hundred and thirty suites.
It's a kind of counterpoint of two or more voices, in which the voice that starts the piece must be rigorously followed by the parts that continue it. The first canon was originated in the medieval France. It was originaly a very simple melody chanted with one voice by a choir of a asylum for deaf people. Some interns started later than the others unknowingly, and the effect was surprisingly astonishing.
Music aimed at playing along the passing of people. It's written in a two-time bar; it'd be written in a three-time bar if people had three legs. It was originated by the need to coordinate the steps of soldiers and to terrorize the enemy armies. The Scottish yamabiko armies were the most feared, because they were always preceded by a band of more than a hundred pipers that played and shouted at the same time. More or less. The enemies fled before the battles began, scared of the grisly whimper of the bagpipes, amplified by the yamabiko's echoes. This way, the Scottish always won their battles without shedding blood. It must be mentioned that the own Scottish soldiers marched with their ears plugged.
A notorious march composer was the Great Fairy Daiyousei. Her marches were called "disengagement marches", because they were written in meringue rhythm and were acted as the chorus denoted:
"Our enemies we don't dread
We're just going for a snack!
One step ahead
Two steps back
One step ahead..."
: A composition concieved for showing off one or more soloist instruments, which the orchestra collaborates with, when they collaborate. Passages called "of bravura" are abound, in which the soloist very often stands up and verbally threatens the public, or begins fighting with one of the professors of the orchestra. Acrobatics are also quite common: in the "Concerto No.1 for piano" by Wenceslao Moore, the soloist Hina Kagiyama bedazzled the audience by interpreting some passages while spinning upside down over her chair.
Another trick that fascinates the public are the passages played at great speed. In the concert performed in November 7th, 1978 in Gensokyo, the soloist Aya Shameimaru got to the final chord twelve minutes before the rest of the orchestra. Shameimaru stood up, bowed to the audience and went away immediatly: she had another concert in the neighbor room. When she arrived, she noticed the second orchestra had begun without waiting for her. With admirable cold blood, Shameimaru fastened her belt, speeded up, matched the orchestra when there were only a few seconds left to finish and finally won by two bars. The ovation is still remembered.
: It includes psalms and gregorian chants, called like that in honor of pope Alexander. This kind of music has the mission of elevating the devoted during the ceremonies. Ichirin Kumoi, pious parishioner of the Myouren Temple, elevated in the air when the organ player started to perfom a Bach's fugue, and she got stuck in the ceiling during the performance.
: Consists of an indetermined number of short pieces, all of them based in the same theme that is exposed at the beginning of the play, and that might reappear later in its original form. In other words: a melody is introduced, and then it is repeated several times changing some of its traits. To explain it better, I'll say a theme is listened to, and it's later continued by variants of itself, more or less similar to the model.
: A piece for orchestras. Many symphonies have been written, a lot. When a composer had nothing better to do, he wrote a symphony. And because there was no Internet back then, and people had a lot of free time, the world was filled with symphonies. They have four movements in the music sheet, and they elicit constant movements in the room. It's estimated that a spectator shifts position 216 times average during a symphony.
: A piece with extramusical content, manifested in the title or in a program, hence the name. During the Rennaisance, vocal program pieces were written. Some of them sonorously imitated a battle, which was a lot cheaper and safer than reenacting a battle with real soldiers, cannons and casualties. Clèment Jannequin's
'Le chant des oiseaux'
(The birds' song), a musical of this time, was written for four singers, after the author vainly tried to make the birds follow the music sheet.
War program musicals still have some risks. In the premiere of
, program musical by Beethoven inspired on Napoleon's defeat, a canon was shot and the first violin died. It is also famous the case of a symphonic poem by soviet composer Dmitri Dmitrievich Shostakovich in honor of Joseph Stalin, whose grandiose execution lasted for eleven days. Unfortunately for the composer - and fortunately for the listeners -, the era of stalinism finished when the poem was on its eighth day. The musical was archived for aye, and Shostakovich was purged. With what was left of this experience, the soviet composer began writing another symphonic poem in honor of Malenkov, but he couldn't finish because of Bulganin's ascent, in whose honor he began the composition of yet another symphonic poem he was forced to suspend when Kruschev came to power. Since then, Shostakovich opted for other cultured forms, especially variations, and he wrote his
Symphonic Poem to the Unknown Leader.
Perception of the Form
We will know learn to recognize the forms by ear. For this, you will nead to train your memory and your ear. Memory is the base of any musical activity. "Without memory there can be no music", said a famous treatise whose name I can't quite remember at this moment. About the audition, refer to Lesson II (
). Remember that music is a
relationship of parts
, with the listener in its end. Music, indeed, needs three participants:
1. A composer that composes it.
2. A performer that performs it.
3. A hearer that sleeps through it.
To develop your memory and your sense of audition, practice the following exercise:
-----Exercise of auditive recognition of forms-----
Let's supose you turn on the radio shikigami, listen to
some unknown music, and you wish to know what is its form.
What do? Alright, let's get ears to work!
1. Try to hear if its in a two, three, four or six
timed measures (there are others, but with these you'll
have fun for the time being).
2. Count how many bars every phrase has.
3. Determine the number of sections of the musical.
4. Multiply No.1 by No.2 and substract it No.3
5. Listen to the rhythm of the melody.
6. Pay attention to the accompaniment.
7. When the musical finishes, listen carefully to the
broadcaster's announcement. If he says, for example,
"We have listened the minuet op. 25...", you now know
it probably was a minuet.
Q. Why do some musical pieces worsen with time?
A. Because after prolonged use, they lose their form.
Q. Can the noise of a photographic device's lens be considered chamber music?
A. Only if it's a Canon.
Aida's wedding march
be considered a cultured form?
A. Yes. However, the forms that follow after a wedding march tend to be a lot less cultured.
2013/04/25 (Thu) 00:15
You. Need. To. Keep. Writing. You. Clever. Mother. Fucker.
Addendum: How to Enjoy a Concert
2013/04/25 (Thu) 16:07
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I was a little busy today, so this lesson will be shorter than usual. In fact, I believe this shouldn't be called a lesson per se, since this is just something I forgot to mention in the prior lesson.
"Without memory there can be no music", after all.
Besides, this is too long to be considered an 'exercise', yet too short to be a lesson on its own. So there you go. Today I will teach you how to behave properly in a concert and ways to enjoy the experience at its fullest, should you find yourselves with curiosity to attend an opera, or if you are forcibly dragged by your parents or your couple.
Concerts are a complex form of musical expression, elaborated for people to meet other people, relax and chat. To make these meetings more enjoyable, live background music is incorporated.
A concert is a spectacle for all the senses. In all senses. Many people think they just need to listen, and they close their eyes during the concert. Big mistake! They should just buy a record and play it at home instead of wasting money on the ticket if they're just going to do that.
No, the visual activity of a concert is as -or even more- important as the music itself. You have to look at the neighbors and the spectators at the boxes, you have to read the program, you have to admire the ornaments on the wall and the chandelier... In a last resort, the orchestra can be looked at too. Watching the conductor is interesting; the more you see him moving, the more it seems to you there is music on the making. Other possibilities include gawking at that violinist's hot legs and laughing (internally) at the importance that the cymbal player gives himself.
To fight the boredom that some concerts produce, you can carry your portable player with music you
like, or tune a football match in. Good manners advise celebrating goals and touchdowns with discretion, or at least making the euphoria coincide with the most noisy moments of the orchestra.
There are several ways to enter the auditorium where the concert is being held. The most usual is demanding tickets to the artists or the businessmen. Public employees often recieve courtesy tickets that they give to relatives and friends, as long as the beneficiaries express no interest in music whatsoever.
It's also possible to access by less orthodox methods, such as disguising oneself as music, sceneshifter, or as a last resort, instrument.
The last resource of ingress, extremely extravagant, is paying the ticket. I do not recommend it.
How to enjoy the concert
If you managed to enter the concert, you can now prepare yourself to enjoy an invaluable moment. Concerts offer delicious opportunities for relaxation. Almost all of them invite spectators to sleep, in a similar way to the Saigyou Ayakashi tree. This is actually the biggest highlight of a concert, and the reason why music is said to produce a sense of well-being.
It is possible to pick the program of your concert depending on your sleep necessities. If they are big, I recommend Gengetsu and Mugetsu's musicals, nicknamed "the Morpheuses of Solfege". I strongly advise against Dmitri Dmitrievich Shostakovich's musicals, or any piece composed by onis. Some of their bars can scare the sleeping spectator. Nue Houjuu once awoke startled by the drums during one of Yuugi Hoshiguma's musicals, and found out she had turned into a freakish insect herself. It was not until much later that she discovered this was due to her accidentally releasing her Seeds of Unknown Form over her body when she was shocked by her rude awakening.
Anyway, to sleep without nobody else noticing, place your elbow over the armrest of your seat, put your chin over your hand, and close your eyes. You'll achieve a focused look of a heavy audiophile. If you snore, try to make them coincide with the
of the music sheet.
Coughing in a concert
You can cough between the movements of a musical. What is more, you
cough, even if you feel no urge to do it. Some countries even have established the custom of letting reputable phthisics attend the concert with no charge.
Aside from the finale, the most awaited moment of a concert is the interlude. This allows to, finally, forget about the music and get to chat, drink and eat. You should always have some stock phrases prepared: "I've never listened something like this", usable for pro and cons; "The conductor looked like a ballerina" -in a ballet, you can say "the ballerinas looked like conductors"-; "Such feeling!"; "Oh my, my nails have grown so much"; "Where's the bathroom?"...
If you drink champagne or any other alcoholic beberage, do it with moderation during the rest of the concert. For example, try not to sing along at the top of your lungs.
2013/04/25 (Thu) 18:19
Impressive! This thread is an uncharted mine of gold.
2013/04/26 (Fri) 06:32
I know right? What did us humble music lovers do to deserve this?
Lesson IIIIII: A Coarse Vervain
2013/04/27 (Sat) 15:42
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What came first, the egg or the chicken? Opera supporters and operetta fans have argued about the origins of the lyrical genre for long. Nowadays, this polemic has been left aside in lieu of more important matters. For example, one of the most frequently asked questions by the public in general is what ends first, the opera or the operetta? The answer to this dilemma and other curiosities about the lyrical genre and the most famous composers of this genre, on these lines.
Excavations performed in the caves of the Dead Sea prove without a doubt that opera has distant roots in history. The first opera was composed 2800 years ago by one guy called Moshe. It was titled
and contained all the typical elements of the lyrical genre that have prevailed until our days: convoluted plots, impossible loves, family crimes, adultery, vengeance, incest, fatality and divine punishments.
Structure and Functions of the Opera
The structure of the lyrical genre is quite simple: it is initiated by an overture, followed by one of several acts, an
just in the middle, and finishes with a
calculated for it to coincide with the end of the musical. In the next function the order is the same, which contributes to the well known monotony of the genre, but at the same time offers a feeling of coherence that is quite welcome in these chaotic times.
The great medium of vocal exhibition in the opera has always been the aria. This shows again the prevailing racism in opera, racism that culminated with Wagner.
Orchestras sometimes harmonically accompanies the singer, and other times they contradict him or her, because they often assume the role of psychoanalyst of the group, quite an interesting thing yet not very economic. In
Tristan und Isolde
, by Richard Wagner, Isolda tells Tristan she hates him, but the orchestra reveals with its music that she actually loves him. It may sound confusing, especially in the theatre, but it fulfills its role if you've been warned beforehand. You need to pay heed to the musical cues the orchestra offers. For example, if the short, rude ferryman of the Volga River with harsh modals and hairy legs shows up, but the orchestra plays
Life in Pink
at that very moment, the viewer can guess what is the true orientation of this character.
, by Nue Houjuu, we know that Prince Kastor is actually a swan turned into a human by some maleficium, thanks to the orchestra that always plays
The Little Chicken Say...
every time he appears on scene. In
La Duchesse Silencieuse
by Jean Baptise Platini we learn that the duchess is not only silent but
irreparably mute when, at the diva's aria, the orchestra musicians go home.
Following the Spanish and Oni tradition, operettas don't contemplate so many subtleties and primnesses. When the baritone laughs, the orchestra sets up the revelry; when the tenor is in love, the orchestra plays romantic music; when the soprano cries, the orchestra interprets a sad passage. The operetta
Diana the Huntress
even prescribes that, at the terrible moment when Diana dies ran over by a boar, the orchestra conductor must stop the music, turn to the audience and exclaim:
"Cry some more!"
Great Lyrical Composers
: The greatest and hairiest German composer. His musicals last an average of eight and a half hours.
, the shortest one, extends over four hours and twenty minutes. He's also fond of mythological themes and profound music. In short, an offer no amnesiac could refuse. The Festival of Bayreuth houses Wagner's whole repertoire every year, but the price for a seat reaches scandalous prices, and let's not talk about how much a bed costs there...
: The genious Italian composer lived at the same time as Wagner. They hated each other, and everybody hated both of them. Some of his arias have entered the realm of popular culture thanks to their huge popularity, like
Incidentally, this opera started a new era in the lyrical genre: the operas that begin with T, like
Trovatore, Tristan und Isolda, Tosca, Turandot
Wolfgang Amaedeus Mozart
: This prolific Austrian composer is the same one that produced the film that is titled after his name, and he also makes the typical chocolate sweets at Salzsburg. He composed 50 symphonies, a requiem, a mass, 42 sonatas for violin, 15 variations for piano, 6 concerts for violin, 5 string quintets, 17 sonatas for piano, 23 string quartets and innumerable minor musicals, including 16
, 9 tangos, 3
, 7 sambas, 8 zambas, 4 xambas, a
, three broken doors, an old blender and a wall clock. He still had some energy left to write near 15 operas. His biographers point out he found enough time for all this because he never attended any of Wagner's operas.
: Inventor of the modern operetta, she composed
The Barkeep of the Underground
one day on a whim, in association with her sister Satori. However, the audience that this operetta was aimed to preferred to drink sake and bash horns instead of sitting down and listening to music. Her musical, however, was filled with a great array of emotions on every single note (see Lesson IIII), and would have started a revolution in music were it not for the oni's lack of interest in the lyrical genre in general. Such a pity.
Great Lyrical Musicals
Der Ring des Nibelungen
: For twelve years Wagner worked on this musical, but the spectator feels like twenty-four have passed when he sees it. The plot is not simple at all: just saying the first scene happens in the Rhine River, where the daughters of the river play, and suddenly a dwarf appears! The action is centered around the god Wotan, easy to recognize because he's the only character whose name doesn't begin with F. Freia is his wife, Fricka his sister, Froh is the god of day, Flosshilde is a giant, Fafner is his brother, and Fasolt is the favourite daughter of the Rhine. Or was Fasolt the giant and Fricka his wife? Anyway, it's a formidable form to foster the familiarity with flowery fantastic functions.
: The action occurs in a tobacco factory in Seville where Carmen works, a sensuous gypsy who Lt. Don José and bullfighter Escamillo madly fall in love with. Because the national cigarette business is going downhill, Carmen and Don José are forced to begin smuggling. She dies murdered by him, who didn't want her to sell tobacco at the bullring because José suspected Carmen's true intentions were to see the bulls fighting. This musical is played less and less due to the advance of anti-tobacco movements.
: Being the first and most famous opera by Pietro Mascagni, who, being born in Livorno, ran the Music Academy of Pesaro, who, adopting the name of Rosini, is famous for being Mascagni's work place, and place where he composed several operas which, being quite popular themselves, weren't as successful as his first one,
which, being the first one, it's also the most famous opera by Pietro Mascagni.
: Gaetano Donizetti tells the story of Nemorino and Afina, two peasants that fall on the web of lies of the city doctor. The public comes, above all else, to applaud at the aria
Una furtiva lagrima
, which you have probably listened in
compilation of operas disc. But you are forced to bear with the entire musical, because the aria appears in the last scene of the last act.
Il matrimonio segreto
: In this opera Domenico Cimarosa delights in duos, trios, quartets and sextets, to the point where the spectator begins to think there are at least a dozen of characters. Actually there are only six: two of them are Geronimo's daughters, another is Geronimo's sister, the fourth is in love with one of Geronimo's daughters, the fifth is an employee of Geronime, and the sixth is Geronimo. In my opinion it could have been titled
and just tell the life of a redskin leader.
The Barkeep of the Underground
: It's the most oni-like of the oni operettas. Koishi Komeji's characters walk on the typical streets of Oni City, wearing the typical oni clothes of the typical oni characters of Oni City, and saying the typical oni things than also say the typical oni characters of other typical oni musicals, but without falling on onirism.
: Composed in 1853 by Giuseppe Verdi, and decomposed by many orchestra conductors and players over the years, this opera is based on the novel
The Lady of the Camellias
. The musical tells the story of Violetta Valéry, a peppy young woman who travels to New York in 1991, where she breathes the air of the city and dies a few days later of lung cancer. For budget reasons, the script and scenery are changed for the story to take place in Paris in the middle of the 19th century.
Other Types of Operas
: For the Chinsese people, opera is the most exact expression of their millenary culture. That's why their musicals last for several days. Compared to a Chinese opera, the hardest opera by Wagner looks like elevator music. Every Chinese opera is about the love between feudal lords of long mustaches and ladies painted in white that walk inch by inch. The original versions were in slow motion. The metallic chants of the singers are accompanied by the sounds of an orchestra whose main instruments are: one-chord violins, tambourines, cookie boxes, referee whistle and kitchen grater. Chinese opera was persecuted during the Cultural Revolution, but in spite of its slowness, they weren't able to catch it. What a shame. That's why the Cultural Revolution failed so hard.
: In the sixties, or in other words, athousandninehoundredandfifty, the rock opera appears, which mixes English dialogues with English music and multilingual advertisements.
Jesus Christ Superstar
is one of the most known rock operas, where Judas wasn't so evil but instead of a redhead he was black.
was very famous too thanks to its integral nude scenes (from where the title comes from).
: Following millenial traditions, this genre is almost exclusively played by youkai with instruments made with materials found in nature, such as drums made with trunks and the stomach skin of humans, xylophones made with the ribcages of humans and other big mammals, and maracas made by filling human eyeballs with peebles. Their main theme is about primal fears, for example the fear of darkness, of Eldritch abominations or anatidaefobia, all of which are comical matters for youkais, but might be absolutely terrifying or disgusting for humans. Watch at your own discretion.
Q. Who was the mezzosopran who played the feminine role of Carmen with most difficulty?
A. Titta Ruffo. First, because she wasn't a mezzosoprano. Second, because despite her name, she was a male.
Q. What is the river of two letters whose shore Verdi was born in?
A. Practice PO. It usually appears in many crossword puzzles.
Lesson IIIIIII: The charm of chants
2013/04/29 (Mon) 20:21
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Many times it has been said that the human voice is the most beautiful instrument. Clearly, the people who affirm this have never listened to Myouren Hijiri and the effects that his Buddhist chants have had in Gensokyo. During this lesson we will examine the growing importance of the voice in music, and we will arrive to the conclusion that even the most scratchy and awful voices of humanity -for example yours, my dear apprentices- are bound to improve. Except Myouren Hijiri's, of course, for reasons we will also explore on the next lines.
Prepare for a trip!
Voice has a dual quality: it is capable of producing musical sounds
can also pronounce words associated to musical sounds. Let's see if the finest piano can talk! Huh! How about that!?
The interesting part is that, from an anatomic point of view, this marvelous gift is nothing more than a process of vibrations of membranes, and entry and exit of air through the correct places. A flaw in this carefully arranged system would be embarrassing at best, and fatal at worst.
To venture forth in this topic, please take the respiratory system of your favourite girl: Reimu Hakurei, Marisa Kirisame, Sanae Kochiya, Youmu Konpaku, Sakuya Izayoi, Keine Kamishirasawa, Fujiwara no Mokou, Rinnosuke Morichika, or anyone you want. No, as much as you admire me, you can't pick me. Who else would explain things to you? Now that you've chosen your favourite giopen it. Yes, yes, open the respiratory system of your favourite girl, don't be afraid!
What do you find in there? To begin with, two orifices where air enters or exits through. If you find more than two, quickly set the respiratory system aside, because there might be two possibilities, none of them pleasant: either that isn't the respiratory system, or it's the respiratory system of Myouren Hijiri, who had three holes for air circulation for reasons I will address later in this lesson.
One of these orifices is the mouth, and the other one is the nose. Go through either one of them. What do you see? Apart from tooth, tongue, silver fillings and scraps of food, you'll find a dark tunnel that slips towards the depths of the human body: the larynx. The gatekeeper who guards the larynx is called the uvula, and it's a hanging and flaccid tubular body that can be seen with a simple glance. Unless we're talking about Myouren Hijiri's uvula, which was callous and hard, as I will explain later.
Without paying further attention to the uvula - but don't be rude to it: greet her and say goodbye with politeness, 'hello, how are you, see you later', but don't start a conversation with her because the uvula, following the stereotype of gatekeepers, is quite the chatterbox - stop in the surroundings of the area and visit them. What do you perceive? Above all else, some kind of white and rose strings. Up there, yes, attention! Tip your rhetorical hat with respect, because you have now arrived to one of the jewels of the human body, the box that produces the chant: the vocal folds! Thanks to these, your favourite girl can sing and enrapture her audience, call the waiter or simply ask for the time. If you find some greenish, twisted and rock-like wires instead, you'll know they're Myouren Hijiri's vocal folds, as you will see later.
Everything around the vocal chords is generally called the "resonance box", including the set of false teeth and other pectoral nooks you can't see without X rays. Look up: on the ceiling, there's the mucous chimney of the nasopharyngeal system of your favourite girl. Now look right and you'll notice the charming little nasal bones. Look down, and you'll find your favourite girl's maxillary and frontal sinus. If you count more than four, your girl has likely fluked maths at school at some point.
To meet the rest of your girl's respiratory apparatus, begin the descent through the larynx. Be careful; it is dark and slippery. Avoid making sharp movements, because you could case a displeasing reaction on your girl: hiccups, coughs or regurgitation. You'll notice winds coming up and down periodically. Sometimes other things go down - nauseating smoke and germs in smokers, for example - or, in particularly acid situations, scorching gastric fluids come up, like what usually happened to Myouren Hijiri. In this tour we will only pay attention to the flux of air.
Now, if you listen carefully, you'll hear a series of grating crunches, like the hinges of a rusted door. We have arrived the trachea. Following our route through the trachea we will arrive at a fork. No, you can't stop here to eat lunch. Because there are no signs, posters or indications, you can choose whichever bifurcation you like; the final destination will be very similar in both cases.
Go further your chosen path, and soon you will come across a kind of white and rose whale that inflates and deflates methodically. This is the famous lung which you had surely heard about since you were a child! There's another lung in the end of the path you haven't picked, in case you're interested. Don't be surprised: the lung will be covered with a thin and moist membrane, lined with small bluish veins. It's normal. Unless they're Myouren Hijiri's lungs, which were two massive pieces of nerves and muscled meat, wrapped up in bristly hide.
You should also treat the lungs with respect: they're the portentous natural bellows that allow the vocal folds to vibrate and give duration and power to your favourite girl's melodies. Mixing the lungs and the vocal chords, and adding a microphone and an auditorium, we'll have what we were searching for, the enchanting charm of chant.
The marvelous thing about chanting is that we all have the necessary equipment to turn our voice into the most beautiful instrument in the world. Unless we're talking about Myouren Hijiri's "equipment" and the grave effects it had on Gensokyo.
The explanation about Myouren Hijiri you were all waiting for is quite simple: do you really believe a guy who breathed through three holes, had a callous and hard uvula, vocal chords that looked like greenish twisted rock-like wires, and lungs like two massive pieces of nerves and muscled meat wrapped up in bristly hide, can release any other sound apart from an horrid obstreperous screech?
Of course not! That's why the religious community of Gensokyo, who used to follow the Buddhist masses since times immemorial, decided to turn to Taoism when Myouren Hijiri established his temple there. At the Taoist creed, the folks of Gensokyo could only play a monotonous music with little drums and bells, but at least nobody sang as bad as the darn monk.
Classifications of the Voice
Since humans started articulating words, it's been debated which would be the correct classification of voices. In fact, some historians believe men began articulating words precisely to be able to classify voices correctly. After many discussions and arguments, an universal system has been adopted that encompasses, in general terms, the following voices:
: The highest voice of the cast, to the point sometimes it is indistinguishable from someone scratching the blackboard with a fork. There are several types of soprano: the light soprano, skinny and agile, and the heavy soprano, which are the rest, especially after turning more than forty years old. When the soprano becomes too heavy, it's called
and behaves like that: arrives late at rehearsals, becomes hysterical at the slightest provocation, and cries when the conductor tells her to stop hitting the first violin with her boot.
: Has a more grave pitch than the soprano, which is a serious problem with wage, because generally the soprano earns more money than her. The light mezzosoprano gives no further importance to this matter, but the dramatic mezzosoprano usually sets up a tragedy.
: The contralto has a rude voice, like a lion tamer. Or even like a lion. German investigators have thoroughly researched the contralto's phenomena. In 1927 they analyzed Rita Vörgs' corpse, the famous diva of Bremen, and discovered several interesting features which probably explained her guttural voice: greater thoracic capacity, longer vocal chords... and her being a man, which also explained the diva's long moustache.
: Represents the highest of the masculine voices; so acute, it’d be similar to a nursling baby’s voice. Very employed in the 18th century, it has become quite popular nowadays to sing lotteries and record TV advertisements where a baby asks for a specific brand of bloomer or compote. Some countertenors got dragged by the commercial tendencies that invade art and agree to pose in bloomers and to eat compote.
Owner of the highest voice after the countertenor, the tenor has several advantages over the rest:
1. The best arias are composed for him.
2. He earns the highest wage.
3. He always gets the girl(s).
Depending on its projection and power, there are several subclassifications of tenor voices, from the light and
to the lyrical and comical. Many lyrical tenors are quite comical too, but they don’t know it. One of the tenor's most renowned abilities is to reach C5, or "C tenor", an extremely high pitched note quite admired by the audience when they learn - a very infrequent thing - that the note the tenor has just sung was that famous C.
: His voice is more grave and velvety than the tenor's. Some baritone become tenors by natural means, and other by much more painful methods. He almost always has his wife stolen from him by the tenor, but he's a good pal and a humble family man. His color: blue. His stone: amethyst.
The acoustic frequency of the bass' voice ranges between ground tremor and ocean liner siren. The deep bass develops very firm and emotive sounds; the problem is that people seldom notice he is singing. More like they get away from him with displeasure and fear when they notice suspicious vibrations and deaf sounds.
Outside these ranges of voices there are other qualifying options. The ancient
, for example, weren't called like this because they sympathized with a certain Cuban revolutionary, but because they were kids with splendid voices who, when they hit puberty, were subjected to radical circuncision in Italy to conserve their acute register. Radical circuncision spanned the central body and the lateral promontories of the Italian peninsula. The ancient mecanism of surgical preservation of the infant voice is similar to the modern controls of sound amps: cutting the lows, the highs intensify.
were very successful in all the cities of Italy except in the machist Bologna. Their voices weren't similar to the feminine voices, because the different growth of the ribcage conceded the
a great respiratory capacity. The notorious Farinelli could sustain a note for a minute without breathing. And let's not forget a minute at that time were 103 seconds at the actual change rate. Fifteen minutes could elongate to half an hour.
-----Excersice to become a
1. Take a sharp knife.
2. Ask for assistance to the Gensokyo Taoist Musical
3. Sing... if you still can.
Depending on the way it is sent, the voice will acquire a special tonality. This is what is known as 'color', which, applied to the voice, it is not the same color with know in our daily lifes, but a bit darker. What color exactly? The one in trend. Beige is very fashionable this season.
Voice can become clearer or swollen with the help of artificial methods. Singers usually exercise their voices before a play; this is what is known as "warm up". The best way the perform this practice is with scales, so that if the voice accidentaly gets too warm, they can go to the fire scale. I will teach you some warming up exercises later.
Some famous artist recommend eating raw eggs, brandy and honey before a play. These substances slim the voice down, but swell the blood vessel's walls; this is what is known as "cholesterol".
Phonation is the way to Understanding
It's pointless, wrong and even dangerous to even try a witty bylexical ethymologic aproximation to the term "phoning", because there's no one who can pull it off. No: phonation is the singer's ability to clearly reproduce the words sung. Unfortunately, it is fairly common that the audience does not understand the lyrics that the artist sings. This is especially frequent in Wagner's operas, and studies performed reveal this happens for two main reasons:
1. In general, the audience does not understand German.
2. The singers, in general, neither.
Deterioration of phonation or diction is so severe in our days that many times we cannot even guess what language is the artist singing in, and why is he or she doing it. Sopranos stubbornly tend to demolish diction with incomprehensible squeaks. Free-lancer singer Marisa Kirisame lost the chance to win a last model of the mini-portable magic furnace device at Kourindou's raffle because, after she completed her number cardboard before anyone else, she was unable to make the shop's owner understand her saying the word "bingo".
It is known that Demosthenes, the famous Greek orator, had an awful diction: of a long speech of his, the audience could only understand a dozen of words. To improve it, Demosthenes practiced speaking with his mouth full of peebles. This way nobody could not understand a single word that came out of his lips. Furthermore, he accidentaly swallowed some peebles in more than one ocassion. The own orator declared that this method 'improved his diction, but worsened his digestions'. The worst part is that he used the same peebles over and over again.
In short: it's important for the artist to improve his diction, and his digestion too, but I don't recommend following Demosthenes' method.
The Singer's Nourishment
Speaking of digestion, it's time to state that nourishment has a tight relation with the beauty of the voice. You must understand that you don't sing with only with your throat. You must know all the possibilities that your body offers. For example, do not forget about the vocal-improving magical en
ments, and the voice of your conscience.
Any person aiming to become a lyrical singer must follow for eleven months an appropiate diet consisting of pasta, bread, and mashed potatoes mixed with bacon and oat. Upon completion, the person will be ready to tackle any opera play or sumo combat.
In these last fifty years, the
tenor school, famous in the 19th century, has given way to the
school. Obesity helps widening the ribcage, circumstance that allows to ingest greater quantities of food, which in turn increases the ribcage's size to eat more. Some people say this is also good for singing operas.
The diet of tango singers must be quite different. In this case the goal is getting thin, not fat. Tango is basically all about suffering, and suffering is usually produced by hungry people: fat people only suffer because of their fatness. Before getting a job at the Underground Geyser Center, Reiuji Utsuho was nicknamed "The Creole Fieldfare", not because her voice sounded like the chirp of a fieldfare, nor because she was a bird herself, but because her legs -in human form- were quite decrepit and reminded everybody of the fieldfare's talons.
No matter what's the artist's diet, it's very important not to eat while performing. Chewing during a play can be misinterpreted; it's also quite disgusting to look at and it's not strange that it's disgusting at the touch too. Malla, a forest-fire fairy with an incurable addiction to marshmallows, often carries a handkerchief in her hand during all her plays, in case she needs to apply quick higienic measures or needs to put an "accidental" fire off.
Let's sing along!
Choirs, or group singing, is a marvelous way to do music, because it allows to sing out of tune, or outright not sing, without nobody noticing. Besides, singing in a choir is a good way to meet people. There are many singers who married with someone in the same choir. In Arab countries, some singers have become engaged with the whole choir.
The biggest choir ever known is the Great Choir of Forest Faeries of Gensokyo, formed by more than 1,700 fairy singers. Originally it was the Three Mischievous Singing Fairies. They uphold their traditions very earnestly, to the point they still perform ther rehersals in the tiny tree of the first three members.
-------------Exercise to sing in choir--------------
Stand up in the staircases, so you can see ahead and watch
the audience clearly, and above all else, that your guests
can see you too. Take not of which of your guests have come.
Do not wave at your parents.
That thing standing up in front of you that moves its arms is
the conductor. Do not wave at him neither. Open your mouth.
Very big. Do not release any sound: it's enough for the public
you're singing. In the vigorous parts, frown
like the conductor or your neighbors. When you notice the other
singers become quiet, close your mouth.
If your jaw gets tired because you had your mouth open for too
long, give them a little rest. To do so, pretend to be the guy
who looks at his music sheet, waiting for his entrance. Tilt
your head a little, like when you read a book. Take this moment
to observe askance the soprano who is singing a few meters away.
Or that blonde and stout baritone of dreaming eyes. But not too
much; there might be some... misunderstandings. Or not. That's
Smile when the opera finishes, as if you have sung. And don't
worry: statistics reveal that, even in the best choirs, only
the 67% of the choral mass actually sings. If everybody sang,
the hubbub would be even more insufferable.
Singing and its advantages
Singing has many advantages, even for those who don't do it for a living:
1. Provides a deep and ample respiration. But it is necessary to practice it. It isn't enough to just sit and listen to a compilation of the greatest opera singers.
2. Favors the muscle growth of the thorax. You'll be admired at beaches and gyms!
3. Straightens the bust, which prevents inconvenient lifting plastic surgeries.
4. Gives good breath, sometimes.
5. Improves breathing control, which balances the nervous centres and provides peaceful tranquility. To test this, perform the following exercise.
1. Fill your lungs with air and hold it for fifteen seconds;
you'll feel a sensation of power and vigor: this is called
2. Slowly exhale the air you've hold; you'll feel a sensation
of relaxation and relief: this is called exhalation.
3. Fill your lungs again and hold the air for fifteen minutes;
you'll feel asphixiated first, then you'll feel dizzy, and
lastly you'll feel a red-haired ferrywoman picking you up
and taking you in her nice boat: this is called expiration.
----------------Extra voice exercises-------------------
As we have seen in this lesson, voice and breathing go hand
in hand: to the point some people have seen the glottis
kissing and hugging the lungs and going to the disco with them.
The next exercises are the ones that great artist recommend
to their rivals:
1. To relax, draw circles with your shoulders. You will need
paper stuck in the wall, and a pencil fixed in your shoulder.
2. To improve nasal permeability, cover one nostril and breath
through the other one. Don't try to breath through the clogged
blowhole: you'll be wasting your breath.
3. Before singing aloud you must learn to sing a melody to
your insides. After doing so, ask your insides how good was it.
4. Now do what singers call "warming the voice up". To do so,
place your voice inside any recipient, put the container to
simmer and let it heat up, without allowing it to boil. In
case of negligence, the voice will get thicker and turn black,
and the singer shall immediatly ingress in jazz.
5. "Vocalizing" is singing over a vowel. Stand up over the
vowel of your choice, and try to sing something while keeping
your balance. It's not easy to stand balanced over the
, but the best artists try it.
2013/04/30 (Tue) 16:54
I miss Ancient Gensokyo.
Lesson III-ahscrewit-8: Perfid Performers
2013/05/03 (Fri) 17:15
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Performing is the art of intimately compenetrating with a song or a character of a musical, even if he or she is married.
Singing is an important vocal effort, but performing is a completely different song altoghether. Let's try to differentiate them. Singing is a physical problem that depends on the artist's anatomical condition. Performing is a chemical problem, because it tries to produce an explosive combination with the audience.
Sometimes a great singer is a bad performer, making his song not too convincing. Other times a good performer is a bad singer, but he is convincing, becomes famous and earns a lot of money. A good example would be Alice Margatroid'd little doll, Shanghai, in that advertisement about gramophones. Alice sings, Shanghai performs: it performs the role of a cute little doll that listens to its master singing. And its performance is convincing: the surprised gaze, the head tilted, the expressive nose, the expectant backbone, the tense teeth, the pelvis in alerted repose, the imperceptibly bristled skin, her murdering instincts ready... If the gramophone turned out to be a tsukumogami and tried to escape flying, the doll would slash it apart. That's why nobody remembers Alice in the ad, while Shanghai became famous all over the Internet.
Performing and Lyrical Genre
Every artist must master the art of performing, but the ones who need it most are the singers of the lyrical genre. A good rapport with the character of an opera sometimes makes up for the deficiencies of an imperfect voice. Italian diva Giorgina Mascheronni performed the role of Violetta Valéry in
with such vigour, that the audience, moved to tears, could not tell that the artist was mute if the musical critic Hatate Himekaidou didn't point that fact out in her newspapers.
The crowd that showed up at her funeral in Milan is still remembered. Giorgina was buried in the midst of general conmotion and pain, in spite of her protests. Nobody could believe that, after that marvelous performance of Violetta's death, Mascheronni would still be alive.
It is also historic the performance that Oni tenor Jikoku Sato gave of the main character from the operetta
The demon that raged
. His performance of the hydrophobe demon was so convincing that a spectator was forced to maul him to death when he tried to bite the orchestra conductor, spitting foam and growling menacingly.
Sato's talent was hereditary, because he was son of the famous soprano Tsubaki Matsumoto and tenor Yoshi Sato. It can be said that Jikoku was a born stager, because he was concieved in the second act of
The Barkeep of the Underground
and the third act of his parents, during the date between Maid Bucketloli and Crow Boss, while the audience applauded the verisimilitude of the performance.
Performing characters in opera demands the singer to assimilate his or her role not only in what he or she says and sings, but in the use of costumes and make-up too. This involves different kinds of pressures for the artist.
The first one of these pressures is the one that the costumes extert on the singer's body. This external pressure can combine dangerously with the internal pressure developed by the weight excess of the singer. One time, robust soprano Gerda Weismüller bursted her tight fairy of the valkiria costume and hurt more than eight hundred spectators and musicians with spangle shrapnel.
Additionally, wigs produce pericranial thermal increase and cephalic perspiration on opera singers; heat in the head and sweating hair on operetta artists, and boils in da cap 'n' sweat jets on da mane on popular musicians. That's why the insects that live on the wig- and much more if it's a natural and neglected mane - become uneasy and sting the wig user, or jump at other musicians. In some cases they have been seen going for the jugulars of the spectators sitting in the front row.
Carla Borromini died while performing
Il retorno d'Ulisse in patria
when she was attacked by a herring that escaped from a wig.
Artist on deck
Performing not only requires singing and dressing on uncomfortable and rented costumes; it also brings the artist under the harsh demands of the stage and the illumination.
The artist must pay attention to his movements and behavior on stage. He has to walk, kneel, fall to the floor, stand up again, cry, laugh, condole, rage, grow, multiply and die in the scenes... all the while without stopping singing. Many singers agree that walking while singing is harder than singing while walking. Only riding a horse while singing, like some operas demanded, would be worse than this. Thankfully, a general revolt by singers in 1881 banished equines from the stage forever. The animals, affected by the weight of the first opera singers, gladly celebrated this action.
Illumination involves yet an additional pressure over the artists. A violent and strong light can cause grave ocular disturbances, or even retina detachment and blindness. During one of Choujuu Gigaku's concert, opening artist Rumia was dazzled by the headlights and sang to the speakers. When she finished, she bowed facing to the curtains and retired towards the audience. Luckily, she hit a big drum in her fall and bounced back to the stage unharmed, while the audience applauded and asked for an encore of this last performance.
Performances, eroticism and sex!
One of the most awkward predicaments that performance suppose to the artist is, in general, the eroticism that many musical pieces have encased. At the same time, it can be one of the most pleasant. Indeed, music has a sexual baggage impossible to hide completely. Since the first monkeys mated at the rhythm of the sound of coconuts swaying with the wind, men associate music with sex. Women, not so much, and that's why we resist fiercely. Most of the times.
You only need to observe nature to realize that armonic sounds are part of the courting processes of all species. When in heat, the black Caribbean spider (
aracnus mulatae cheveronis
) plays melodious
to attract the male by using its two front legs as a violoncello. It usually has so much success, some black spiders manage to get panthers and rhinos on its bed too. On the other hand, the purple centipede (
) offers an impressive massive spectacle of tap dance that other forest insects applaud. It is also famous the upbeat nuptial dance of the Sudan hyena (
) or 'dance of the ha-ha-ha'.
Thus it is not strange that humans have incorporated music to their erotic rituals. The disgusting thing is seeing how the erotic rituals have been incorporated to music, especially in shows aimed at kids, or even where kids are fabricated.
It was an historical process that can be easily perceived by the gradual descent of the hand over the artist's anatomy. Indeed, mid 19th century, the performer's hand rarely went lower than the face. When the artist wanted to express pain or love frustation, he or she put the back of his or her hand on the forehead, Sarah Bernhardt style, with the palm pointing outwards and complemented by heartrending sighs.
With the coming of the 20th century, the hand went a few inches down. Now the hand of the lovestruck landed over the heart and chest, with the palm inwards and the fingers extended. There it remained for many decades. It is said that Frank Sinatra's tuxedos had a titanium reinforcment on its left pockets to protect them from the constant friction with the singer's hand.
It was the Spaniard Julio Iglesias the one who managed to release the hand from the pectoral refuge and lead it to stomach height. With the pretext of buttoning the jacket, Iglesias placed the hand in the ventral zone between the sternum and the navel. Resting only over the fingertips, natty in its swing and languid in its neglect, the hand was getting closer and closer to that place where it would be led to that decade called 'the Shameless Eighties'.
It is not clear if it was Madonna or Micheal Jackson. The truth is that, one night, in a concert at the Wichita Stadium (Kansas), the hand appeared down
. At the beginning the audience thought it was a wardrobe malfunction: a button had fallen from Madonna's fly, or Micheal Jackson's miniskirt had unstitched. But what was first an emergency gesture soon became an habit. The hand liked the place, and the place liked the hand. Since then, modern artist perform much more often obscene manipulations that would have made Sarah Bernhardt slip her hand from her forehead to her eyes, to not see what they do.
Some singer not only pretend sexual pleasuring ceremonies, but in fact they pleasure themselves. The worst part is that they enjoy the complacency of making the audience pay for seeing that. In a stifling recital, Soga no Tojiko mimicked the sexual act with a baby beef. He was prosecuted for corrpution of retail meat, but her defense attorney alleged that the baby beef was fresh, not corrupted. In another concert, the members of
The F*** Bastards
took off their pants and showed the asterisks. Porn singer Picciolina started singing nude, and later she didn't even sing any longer.
Kate Perry's newest show sets out to surpass all her earlier erotic interpretations. Even if the daring innovations are kept in secret, we can guess what can we see in her single by the fact that she replaced her DJ by a gynecologist.
A matter of luck
Like many other human activities, musical interpretation is full of cabals and omens. Artists, singers, musicians and actors believe in some superstitions and wear amulets that, according to them, wards them from failure. The naïve lads. Some think that there are objects and actions that bring bad luck, like wearing yellow clothes, knitting on the theatre, whistling, mentioning vipers, running into a goddess of misfortune, etc.
It is also believed that there are dangerous musicals, like
La forza del destino
. This is simply because, at the day of the premiere, the stage of the theater where it was being enacted fell apart: the fly system fell over the choir, the ceiling fell over the audience, and the soprano fell over the tenor. The latter was the only fatality.
The cabbalistic word that invokes good luck before a performance is the French word
, another legacy from the times where horses were used in operas. It is also the word often used by the audience in France to describe the musical after it ends. On the other hand, it is widely believed in the world of music that stepping on manure brings good luck. For this reason, in the symphonic orchestras of end of the 19th century, one of the main positions was the
emmerdeur des débuts
, a musician that, in the first performance of the season, was the one in charge of smearing the sole of his peers' shoes with the smelly element. It was the era when the high society of Paris went to the theater with their best finery... and their most impermeable handkerchiefs.
It is an extended belief that the word 'viper' (whoops, now I said it!) brings bad luck. Experience seems to confirm this. When Kyouko Kasodani was chatting with other sceneshifters at the Moriya Theater, she used the term 'viper' to refer to the local goddess of the lounge. The next day, Kasodani was fired.
There are other particular superstitions that have made history. Violinist Shinki knitted during the intermission of a concert and she pricked her fingers, ruining the performance. Orchestra conductor Kogasa Tatara whistled a melody while she was walking to the auditorium; later, after the musical, she was whistled by the audience because the performance was a ruin from the beginning.
Many other artists feel insecure unless they bring a particular object or fetish with them to the stage. Iku Nagae's frilly scarf is famous among the public, who can see it from afar in all her performances, and hated by her peers, who can see it from very close.
Belief on superstitions and amulets has extended to modern popular music as well. The most famous amulet in the world of rock is the policeman that English bassist Billy Evenwilder brings to all his concerts ever since he got bailed.
Excepctionally, however, it is possible to find rational musicians who don't believe in such humbugs and know that success only depends on natural talent, discipiline, study and practice. One of them is Fujiwara no Mokou, who died on a Friday 13th when, while passing under a scale on the Eientei Theatre with an open umbrella, tripped over a black cat and broke her neck in a mirror. And she still has performed in multiple musicals after that!
The nerve of musicians
When you are facing the audience you could find that, despite your preparation being perfect, your nerves might be on edge. You could suffer then from some mild discomforts, such as dry throat, cold sweat, throbbing, stutter, amnesia, swoon, loss of sphinter control...
I will include here a couple of testimonies of people who have been victim of this scenic disturbance. Stay calm and read them:
<<How worried I was on the premiere! I didn't know what to do. I was strolling restlessly around the dressing room. My throat was dry, time seemed frozen, I wanted to get out of there fast. To clear my voice I took a bottle of brandy, and at that moment I was called on stage. It was thrilling! I stepped on the stage and sang with all my fervor and enthusiasm. That was happiness! I thought I could never stop singing! I was drunk on glory! Until two people got in, took me out of the stage and enroled me in Alcoholics Anonymous.>>
Suika Ibuki, ex soprano
<<I was waiting for my cue in Aida's Triumphal March. I confess I was very nervous. And it wasn't for naught: debuting in such a prestigious opera, in such a prestigious place, with such an impressive staging! FInally they came for me; I entered the stage, and it that moment... I felt the urge to empty my bladder. What can I say? Only that nature, terribly, was superior to my will.>>
----------------How to fight
-that's the name of the nervous perturbation
that I speak of- only exists on your mind. When you see yourself
under the effects of
; remember that it is only
a product of your imagination; and that those three or four
thousand people that have payed thousands of yen to watch you
with overcritic eye and ill will can't know you're nervous.
Bear in mind that they can only see your exterior: the profuse
sweating, the general quivering, the panicked eyes. But you
have nothing to fear! Ignore the boos and the objects being
thrown at you, take a deep breath, take a dignified stance,
hawk with verve and, turning around, get the hell out of the stage.
Lesson 9: Shout to your heart's content!
2013/05/07 (Tue) 19:04
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So after my detailed lessons, you still find troubles with your voice? You try your hardest to sing, but you're incapable of producing any sound that does not bring distemper and despair to your beloved ones? Do not worry, there is still some hope for you left! There is a branch in music that might fit your poor skills: the
Moder rhythms and lack of job have marvelously combined to give birth to a new place in music groups that was inconcievable a century or two ago. It is the one in charge of providing shouts.
Before the 20th century
It has been proven that oriental music lacks the jolly complement of shouts: if while listening to japanese melodies, you hear yells of
aaaaaagh, uughhhh, yakatáaaaaaa
, it generally appertains to a dispute between two musicians that is resolved through the way of judo.
Occidental culture is another different case. Some recordings made by Discobolus in the Classic Museums of Rome and Greece reveal the existence of several shouts during certain musicals of lyre and zither at the Forum. In 1973, when local jiang-shi Yoshika Miyako was digging in her cemetery to procure herself a place to rest, she stumbled upon ancient ruins of a Roman discotheque - or combtheque if you prefer. They were carbon dating tested and cross-examinated by the police, and finally the old records sang. It was then possible to identify the content of some of the shouts:
Flie tuae openiuntum
(<<You have your fly open>>)
Re vera, disgorgeas bene
(<<Hey, you're drinking too much>>)
Volo purchasere nonulla tegumembera
! (<<I'm going to buy some condoms>>)
Experts reached the consensus that these shouts did not correspond to a chamber concert, but to a
or brothel that neighbored the Forum, and were filtered in the recording.
There is no other trace of shouting in music prior to the 20th century. However, some historians highlight the usage of certain yells such as "devilish woman!", "so great!" and "what a mighty club!" that can be listened to on the choir scenes at some Oni operettas. According to them, these are clear antecedents of what is commonly heard today on the stage, or under it.
were the pioneers at introducing shouts in their songs. Hieda no Akyuu once said that the word
comes from the French term [i]marriage[/i, and it was assigned to the Mexican groups with guitars, violins, trumpets and pistols who used to play at and assault weddings of French nobility. It was a joke, naturally: everybody knows that the only people who played at weddings were the just married couple. The guests got drunk, gorged food and ended up hugging friends they haven't seen in ten years.
The irruption of African elements in occidental music resulted in a revolution. Without them, numerous rhythms of today would not exist, which include the following common characteristics:
- Strong influence of patch percussion.
- Incorporation of shouts.
- Inspiration for rhythmic moves or dancing.
- Occasional arrival of the police.
2013/05/07 (Tue) 21:29
>Prima donna Carla Borromini died while performing Il retorno d'Ulisse in patria when she was attacked by a herring that escaped from a wig.
That paints a very funny picture.
Lesson 10: Whistlin' in the rain of applause
2013/05/08 (Wed) 19:45
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Whistling is the second noise that the air can do without the help of the vocal chords when it goes out the human body - the first being snoring. Well used, whistling can become a fascinating musical instrument, worth of a symphonic musician and able to bring you fame, applause and money. Misused, it can get you in trouble when at the street, the restaurant or the theatre.
What is whistling?
Several great cowboys - Tom Mix, Bill Boy, Roy Rogers, Bat Masterson, Patchy Knowledge - became famous thanks to the size of their courage, the caliber of their guns and the intensity of their whistles. But if you give it a closer look, whistling is actually a very simple thing: it's nothing more than the expulsion of controlled volumes of air that come from the lungs and, upon traversing the trachea, come out from a hole formed by the mouth thanks to the buccinator, masseter and orbicularis muscles, which emission produces a sound that is dictated by the intensity in which the air is expelled, the position of the lips, the vibration of the cheeks and the intermitent flexion of the tongue, which plays the role of a valve to interrupt the flow of air.
The three milestones of Yumemi Okazaki
Whistling is closely related to music, even though most of the times the whistling is heard
the music, when it isn't liked. However, not every whistle is music. Professor Yumemi Okazaki became world-wide famous for leaving three milestones in the field of whistling.
The first milestone Okazaki established in her treaty
was a sorting of whistles, which she resumed in 1,718 pages and include from the whistle that the body unwittingly produces after a snore, to the praising whistle towards the figure of the girl that passes by. 146 categories of whistles in total, not including the whistle of relief that the reader does after he finishes the treaty.
Let's see some of the exercises that are included in Okazaki's book. Listen carefully and imitate the whistles. Try to distinguish which situations the following sound representations correspond to:
1. Wheet-wheet, come on now!
2. Wheet-wheet-wheet-wheeeeeeeeeet, where is he now?
3. Wheet-whoooot? Wheeeeeeeeet-whoooooooot?
6. Wheet, wheetwheetwheet, wheet-wheeeeoooooot!
8. I'm wheeeeeee-wheeting in the rain...
11. Wheet wheet whoot, wheet whooooooot
14. WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT!
15. Wheet-wheet-whoot (klopp-klopp) Wheet-whoooooooot (klopp-klopp), wheetwheewheeeeet...
Impatient whistler calls for the waiter.
Whistler calls for his dog: it's time to go back home.
Husband asks for his wife when he arrives at home.
Whistler has eaten too much and now sleeps.
Whistler expresses his admiration towards the figure of a girl.
Whistler expresses his admiration towards the figure of a group of girls.
While he cooks, the whistler plays pieces of Beethoven's Symphony No.5
Whistler tries to imitate a certain Hollywood music star.
Spectator complains about a sudden cut in the film, without stopping eating popcorn.
One of Murasa Minamitsu's victims uses the rescue whistle, but gives up.
Suspicious whistler tries to mislead the police, pretending not to be involved.
Mystia Lorelei tries to chirp after eating too much lamprey.
Pusillanimous referee calls a minor foul for the visiting team.
Pusillanimous referee calls a penalty for the home team.
Tom Mix, Bill Boy, Roy Rogers, Bat Masterson, or Patchy Knowledge loiter while they ride their horses.
The second milestone Yumemi Okazaki left us after writing her treaty
was her study
Uselessness of applied whistletology
, in which she proved in 2,314 pages that, as the readers feared, the first treaty was worth next to nothing.
The third milestone Yumemi Okazaki left us was the unforgettable, marvelous and unrepeatable sound her Probability Space Hypervessel made as it tore the space-time continuum to leave Earth forever, after the professor was shunned and ridiculized by her peers for wasting her whole life in writing useless rubbish.
2013/05/10 (Fri) 07:44
I cannot recall when I have ever loved a thread so much.
2013/05/11 (Sat) 03:25
I agree. It's like Lotus Pavilion except with music.
Lesson 11: The ABC of Lyrics
2013/05/11 (Sat) 19:54
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A good chunk of the success of a sung musical comes from its lyrics. It's time for you apprentices to dive into the marvelous adventure of writing them!
Song lyrics are made of words, and words are made of letters. But what was first, the word or the letter? Neither. First was the fire, as the following veracious episode proves:
It happened far, far away from here, in a nameless land, when men still walked around nude and only had a few ways of communication: some grunts, fifteen or twenty words, praise applause and disapproval spittles. One evening, a certain traveller with long blonde hair and an umbrella arrived at Grok's Village. Everybody at Grok's Village had horrid teeth, because they ate their meat and vegetables raw, sinc they hadn't discovered fire yet.
The foreigner asked for soup at the best hotel of the village, and when they brought her tomato cream, she took some dry leaves, a couple of planks and newspapers sheets. Then she quickly rubbed two slim sticks toghether for a quarter of hour, and when she finally gave up, she produced a lighter, lit up a bonfire, threw the sticks there, heated the tomato cream up and ate.
Grok and his people were marveled. Before she left, the foreigner asked:
"Would you like me to teach you something?"
Every gaze, grunt and hope of every primitive man focused in Grok, who was the most intelligent person and had the most extensive vocabulary of the village. They trusted Grok to ask the foreigner for instructions to repeat the experiment.
Grok immediatly thought: <<Well, I'd like to know what is the word to name the fire.>>
, I repeat. But he noticed that, in his precarious lexicon, the word
wasn't included. That's why he was never able to formulate the question.
The foreigner, believing her demonstration didn't raise any interest in such a belated village, gapped the lighter away and went away, while Grok, anguished, tried to remember a synonym or a related idea to the word
. It was impossible. When the foreigner disappeared through a mysterious gap, the members of Grok's Village proceeded to drown Grok in disapproval spittles.
Fire had to wait three thousand more years to go back to the village. And the day it came back, its denizens had already disappeared, victims of atrocious caries that invaded their skulls and did metastasis in their bones.
Grok's story teaches us the importance of the word in the life of the villagers. And in songs too.
A brief history of lyrics
Modern excavations performed in Sumer have revealed that letters first appeared in the Paleozoic Era, seven millenia before cinema discovered the Jurasic and dinosaurs discovered the cinema. When letters were mixed with music, the first songs appeared (protosong), which were sung by the first types (prototype) in the first zoos (protozoon).
These first songs had only one letter:
aaa, bbb, ccc
. And that's why they were extremely boring. One spectator that fell asleep while listening to them unintentionally wrote the last piece of the monotonous genre:
With time, the first complex song lyricist appeared, who is known for having written the famous prototango titled
. It's complete text is as follows:
won the first prize at the Lord's Vineyard Song Festival in 1992 BC.
Many composers that disdained lyric-less music for years ended up accepting that their works were a forgery of art because they were incomplete. Beethoven wrote eight symphonies without a single sung word in the music sheets. In his
, however, he included a text for the first time, and he did it to disavow his prior compositions, which he loudly denounced them as a "fraud" (in German it is pronounced
, word that means
if it is read in French. This play on words shows the care we need to have with languages and it teaches us the first lesson in this matter: you have to use any pretext to maintain the text on context.)
Elements of lyrics
To elaborate the lyric of a song or a more complex work - opera, operetta, gregorian choirs, musical comedy, telephonic motet, TV advertisement - it is necessary to pay special attention to these two elements: the rhyme and the meter.
A musical's lyrics can rhyme or not. If it does, it is considered a poem with music; if it doesn't, it probably is the disc's introduction or the author's biography.
Rhyme is what sometimes distinguishes poetry from car catalogues and pharmaceutic pamphlets. Spot the differences:
Till the little ones weary
No more can be merry
The sun does descend,
And our sports have an end:
Round the laps of their mothers,
Many sisters and brothers,
Like birds in their nest,
Are ready for rest:
And sport no more seen,
On the darkening Green.
The traffic lights
This combination medication is used to relieve moderate to severe pain. It contains a narcotic pain reliever (hydrocodone) and a non-narcotic pain reliever (acetaminophen). Hydrocodone works in the brain to change how your body feels and responds to pain. Acetaminophen can also reduce a fever.
There is no room for doubt; the first text is much more elegant than the second, and above all else, it actually rhymes. On the other hand, the second is much better for colds.
Rhymes can be perfect or general/near. Let's call perfect rhyme the rhyme that rhymes well rhymed, and general rhyme the rhyme that rhymes but not quite as much. For example,
are perfect rhymes -though not all projects are perfect-, while
are near rhymes - though a general often is a veteran.
Rhymes can be, with a lot of effort, peaceful:
The red and white miko, as you can see
drinks in her courtyard a cup of tea
Or, without much effort, shameless:
At that moment, from a black magic gap
a hand popped up and fondled the miko's a**
-Even more anonymous
An elevated style of poetry must dispense with every tendentious word termination that inspires rhymes contrary to good manners. Elegant authors and the Gensokyo Hygiene Department recommend topping any verse with words ending in -ock, -ass, -oob, -ussy, -art, -iss, -oop, -ome or -uck.
-------------Rhyming exercise No.1----------------
Now, my apprentices, it is time
to put a paper on the table.
I will teach how to rhyme
and you'll see how you're able!
One of these words does not rhyme with the others.
Which word does not rhyme with the others?
(Time: 3 minutes)
-------------Rhyming exercise No.2----------------
In this exercise of increasing difficulty, you must
fill the spaces with letters that allow each word
with the one that preceeds it.
a) Ring: It's Sp_ _ _ _! (By Lily White)
b) Pen: CH_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _! (By Ran Yakumo)
c) Filthy: G _ _ l _ y (By Shiki Eiki)
The meter is very important in poetry and tailoring that does not follow the imperial system. When a verse does not follow the rules of syllabic extension that the canon dictates, it can be measured in a eleven vara long shirt. If a shirt is eleven vara long, it'll surely be XL size. This corresponds to the hendecasyllable verse, or eleven syllable verse (in a certain free intepretation of the Roman numbers, XL is nineteen). For example:
A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
-John Keats. Probably.
Prosody studies the extension of the verses, the disposition of the accents and the number of syllables. A polysyllabic word, for example, is a word that has some syllables at the police station. The most well known verse is the
, which alternates the stresses - technically called
- on every even syllable:
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
-John Keats again. I think.
is like the iambic verse, but with the feet on the odd syllabes. Incidentally it is very popular between kids, and it is used in many nursery rhymes and spell incantations:
Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.
William Shakespeare, no doubt.
1. Say when a single syllable can be polysyllabic.
2. Say how many syllables does a sesquicentisyllable verse
have and give an example.
3. What size does a shirt 11 vara and 2 feet long has in
1) The word
is trisyllabic: sy-lla-ble.
2) It has 150 syllables. If you actually manage to write it,
please do not post it.
3) 8,83 m. But if it is 2 feet, it probably isn't a shirt,
but a pair of shoes.
Q. Does rhyming exist in German operas as well?
A. Yes, but neither you nor I notice it.
Q. How do Thai people compose songs with the extremely long words their language has?
A. Thai don't make songs, only sound equipment. Mention one Thai composer. See there isn't any?
2013/05/11 (Sat) 20:13
This thread. It must be archived for the ages. Clever humor is clever.
Lesson 12: Instruments Galore
2013/05/12 (Sun) 18:03
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Because men cannot produce more than a limited number of sounds - and not all of them deserve to be considered harmonic -, they usually play along with other sound emmiting objects. These objects are called musical instruments. In this lesson you will be surprised when you learn all that can be done with them, and you will know the parts of the human body that collaborate in such pleasurable task.
Brief history of the instruments
In the times of caverns, when the first music critics were born but there weren't any more instruments besides the tummy drum and the colon flute, the primitive man wanted to play one. Like that, he began to flail his hands and arms imitating the necessary moves to play a piano, a drum set or an electric guitar.
As realistic as the exercise was, he felt, however, that something was missing. Because the human inventiveness is unlimited, he started to rhythmically stomp the ground with his feet. Enthusiastic for this splendid discovery, he also applied his palms to the concert of slams. Thus the percussion was born.
Later, that same man - or a friend of his - realized that it was less painful to clap his hands against each other than hitting his thighs with them. Thus
To the unison clap of hands, the whistling (see Lesson 10
) was added. Thus the waiter was born.
Generally speaking, the invention of clapping harvested a lot of applause.
Behavorial anthropology considers that the evolution of man, from the collosal Neanderthal to the underdeveloped jockey of today, faithfully appears reflected in the gradual reduction of the violins' size. Some great orchestras still conserve exemplars of the giant violins that the Rhodesian man played. Now then, there are still several points that science still hasn't cleared up about this particular matter: how many men were needed to anneal a primitve violin? How many to assemble it? What did the Neanderthal woman do when her husband practiced? Was the Neanderthal kid a tango singer?
Invention of the orchestra
Orchestra was, after the orgy, was the first effort by men for having fun in a process of collective creation. It was born in Grok's Village. Before he met his end at the disapproval spittles of his peers, our old friend had some influence thanks to his marriage with one of the Neanderthal's nieces, who was starting to enjoy certain prestige among the scientific circles.
One day, Grok was playing a wooden drum in the entry of his cave to entertain his idle time. The idle time was thoroughly entertained. Grunt joined him when he heard him and started to produce sounds from his horn. Then came Berp with his bone flute; and Gasp with his rattle; Glup added his scraper and Proop his bow.
Something marvelous had happened: this elemental and infrahuman people had just invented the orchestra! And it sounded so awful! Just like some orchestras of today, but a bit more in tune.
Since then, the orchestra evolved, and not always for the best. In the Ancient Egipt the musical ensemble was formed by three or four singers, three flutists, two harpists and one sphinx. In Babylon it was composed by flutists, lutenists, harpists, timpanists, saltists and pepperists. The Bible describes some Hebrew orchestras; they played the
(an instrument similar to a harp), the
(also a kind of harp), the horn (like a harp, but less harpy) and the harp.
Nevertheless, those noisy and simple objects have become in a refined and vast catalogue of instruments. Nowadays the number of different kinds of instruments in this planet reaches the thousands, and some of them have been fabricated with the most unusual materials: donkey jaw bones, bull hoofs, cat guts, dog teeth, noble woods, ignoble woods, electronic circuits, cotton, teflon, polyester, floss, pumice, spaghetti
a la carbonara
, sodium bicarbonate, stainless aluminium and barium, for naming a few of them.
Sounds of the 20th century
The 20th century has yielded a myriad of ultramodern instrments. We owe audiophile Iku Nagae the first designs of the electric guitar. Sitting at her workbench in the Dragon Palace, Nagae plugged a guitar to the electric current and accidentaly invented the electric chair. This marked a milestone in the history of music: it was the first time an instrument executed the musician, and not the other way around. Her pupil Tenshi Hinanawi spent part of the profits of the patent in an academy for the rehabilitation of musicians suffering from severe burns.
Among the new and wide array of extremely useful sounds for the musician, these new instruments include: jet turbine roar, parrot blender, hungry ghost burp, howl of a tengu wolf in heat, knife on glass, train braking, standard danmaku death SFX, toilet flush, ZUNtrumpets, youkai of darkness eating, Master Spark, gap closing, and many more.
Biography of illustrious instruments
Many music lovers do not know the instruments of an orchestra closely. This is almost always due to bashfulness. But do not worry, I will gladly introduce them to you. Come on, don't be shy, come closer!
: In its origins it was used as a four-wheeled transport vehicle, capable of traversing great distances. That's why we say that "music is a means of approach between different cultures". To prove this, race pianist Youmu Konpaku did the course Hakugyokurou-Muenzuka in less than 12 hours riding a vertical pedaled piano.
: Its origin dates back to 15th century England. Laurence Highwood, famous
of Plymouth - and later Mercedes-Benz - had managed to build a woodwind instrument with double reed that emitted bright and penetrating sounds. When he finished it, he showed it to his homosexual brother Sir Fagott Highwood.
"Oh, boy!" exclaimed Sir Fagott, impressed by the artfulness of his little brother.
"Thanks, bro!" said Laurence, whose candle - remember, electricity hadn't been invented yet - was lit, and he called his creation with that strange name:
Years later, Sir Fagott fabricated a similar instrument that can be considered the big brother of the oboe, and he gave it his own name for lack of a better one. However, since it was soon mocked by immature teenagers with no respect for musicians, he decided to change it for the name
: It is very important to make sure that the armadillo needed to make this Andean string instrument is very dead. Some musicians have been victims of armadillo bites while they played a sad song, completely ruining the mood and the performance. In the Jurasic Era the glyptodont charango was widely used, but with the rise of transport costs and the reduction of the number of specimens of this animal, it was abandoned in lieu of cheaper shells.
: Its origin goes back to a similar instrument used to kill pesky little flies and moths. In the Ice Age they were made of ice and their usage was ephemeral: in a summer concert the percussionist used around six or seven dozens of cymbals. In the Stone Age they were so heavy only onis could play them. Application of light materials allowed their incorporation in different military bands; some of them also perform in musicals. They are very versatile, and they can be still as an effective weapon against Wriggle Nightbug, or as scenery in sci-fi movies like
: The first triangle ever invented only had one angle. Different and clever
added over time the second and third angles. Some triangles made with public funds have four and even five angles. The biggest triangle is in the Caribbean Sea and it's called the Bermuda Triangle. The most dangerous one is the Triangle of Scarpa (or femoral triangle), because pinching it is source of absolute pain, even greater than a kick to the loins. The most famous is the love triangle.
: The history of the sax goes back to the Anglo-Sax-ons. The first piece of this woodwind instrument that was invented were the tone holes. The keys, the reed and finally the conical tube where everything could be put in would be added in time.
To get used with the different instruments, so that
one day you will be able to play them with your eyes
closed, I suggest performing the following exercise:
1. Place several instruments on a table.
2. Close your eyes.
3. Touch them
4. Guided by your fingers, say how it is possible
to tell the cymbals apart from the castanets, even
though both belong to the round group.
5. Without opening your eyes, separate the piano
from the triangle.
6. Guided by your touch, distinguish between the
horn and the harmonica.
7. Guided by your instict, differientate the
lire from the dollars and state which ones would
you like to invest in.
Q. What is a vibraphone?
A. No, it is not what you are thinking of,
Q. Why does the accordion have black and white keys?
A. Because it was originally used to accompany chess matches: the white sound first.
2013/05/13 (Mon) 01:56
I think I figured out why I like this so much: it kind of reminds me of John Hodgman.
Lesson 12+1: A productive career - The guitar is easy!
2013/05/13 (Mon) 19:46
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play it easy!
Yes, my dear apprentices, the guitar is easy to play. She even likes being played or strummed! The guitar is the musical instrument par excellence for every guitarist. It is also the ideal instrument to play in parties and reunions, because she is able to create an atmosphere of intimacy that not even the flute or the violin can recreate. The guitar is also frequently used to play serenades and concerts, and if the performance goes horribly wrong, to deal heavy blows. Her feminine silhouette elicits lustful commentaries from degenerate and sonorous deviants who think her wide and near perfect hips are sexy, and that she has a very long and stylized neck, and that little waist of hers are going to drive them crazy and look at that suggestive navel... oh my god that turgid back... and did you see her headstock? Quick, someone pull her out her sheath!
In ancient mythology, the genesis of plucked string instruments goes back to the lyre. According to the Greek, Hermes invented the lyre by laying seven strings made with sheep gut over a tortoise's shell. Everybody celebrated the invention, except the sheep and the tortoise. Primitive lyres were very cheap: one could be bought with just two lire. In the ancient Egypt they already knew of instruments very similar to the modern guitar, though only on her sides. The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities in Cairo houses some guitar mummies.
The first guitars were wind instruments, had the shape of a trumpet and sounded like trumpets. Later, their names were changed to
to avoid confusions with the modern guitars. The current name comes from the Greek-Assyrian word
, which after being Latinized, produces the English word
; in French,
; in German,
; in Spanish,
; in Italian,
and in Japanese,
The genuine guitar was born in the Arab countries, and she was introduced in the Western world by immigrants from the East. They carried it inside their suitcases to avoid problems with the customs. The whimsical form of Arab suitcases - present in the designs of the geometry of their mosques as well - forced the guitars to adopt the curves that are still conserved today.
After living for many years in the Iberian Peninsula, and after having completely lost its Arab accent, the guitar obtained the Spanish citizenship by taking advantage of an amnesty conceded to undocumented immigrants. The Spanish guitar has the following features: she wears a red carnation on her headstock, wears colorful clothes, is sensual and talkative, dances
, makes delicious omelettes and smokes in the elevators.
With the arrival of electricity, the guitar had it easy to connect with the new invention: she and the harp were the only instruments with stock wiring. The appearance of the electric guitar changed the concept of music, and made a few old audiophiles to changed the positive concept they had of Thomas Alva Edison and Nikolai Tesla. Nonetheless, nobody can deny the marvelous advances in the field of music thanks to the incorporation of electricity to the guitar. Now it is possible to adquire guitars that do not only emit almost harmonic sounds, but they also perform the role of toaster, blender and oven. Rock bands are the musicians who use the electric guitar most; in some cases they even play it on their shows.
Guitar and loneliness
The guitar has always been the company of the lonesome. Like the adage goes:
Guitar, my only companion
I always want you by my side.
I love you with all my passion
but God curses your high price!
Maybe it's her feminine forms, commented on the opening paragraph -
commented in some cases -, the reason why the guitar has been made a permanent squire of the lonesome man. Yes, the guitar is the only partner of the gypsy that sings his
with her; of the
that rides the mountains in his guitar; of the
that milks his melancholy surrounded by cows in the Pampas. Sometimes the
feels so lonely he even milks the cows too. The guitar has always, always been the trusty partner of the lonesome man. In some cases she even became his legitimate wife.
In Nueve Arroyos, Jacinto Laguna married his Argentinean guitar and had jolly offsprings: two healthy twin
. Not too far away from there, the Pereyra brothers, Miguel and Manuel, came to sinfully share the passionate affection of a guitar; a story that, with some variations, Borges narrated in his tale
It is difficult to continue the narration without the fear of hurting any of you sensitive apprentices, but I hope you can cope with this drama. Challenging the conservative moral of their times, Miguel used to strum the strings with his right hand while his brother set several positions with his left hand (this part, with some details added if his own, was narrated by the Marquis de Sade in his
The 120 Days of Sodom
). Later, the two brother fought, and after discussing who would get the loved guitar, they decided that Miguel would own the neck and the headstock, and Manuel the body. When the guitar got wind of this, she stealthily packed her possessions - a few strings, a small stool and some old music sheets - and fled with a handsome Mexican banjo. The new couple lived happily ever after, and they gave birth to a nice ukelele, which was to be expected because the Mexican guitar's mother was from Hawaii.
always sits alone
Of all the lonesome musicians mentioned, there's no one lonelier than the
. In the Lonelinesses World Championship, the
has almost always been the only winner - only one time, in 1987, he had to share the prize with his horse, called Solitude.
An human isle in the immesity of the pampas, with the only comapny of his tireless guitar, the
sat on the edge of the bonfire and sang his dirges. But he wasn't a master of the guitar, nor he sang - sitting - with a beautiful and tuned voice, because he could not abandon the stout rural chores to perform academic studies in a music academy and, in the end, come back covered in diplomas to play at Saturday parties. No. The
always sat and sang in a rough, harsh and uncouth way, as if complaining about his misfortune. And it was a misfortune to hear him complaining. When they listened to him, the animal herds fled aghast towards the slaughterhouse. This made the
feel even lonelier.
What did he do, then? He comforted himself of his new grief by playing and singing again - always sitting, eh? -, and just like this the
withered, and entire flocks of eagles, vultures and condors died. The wild fauna of the Pampas was extinguishing, and with it the poor
, who was considered an anti-ecologic epidemic and was persecuted as such. Some
specimens still live sitting in reserves and national parks in Argentina, threatened by the advance of civilization and the poachers.
endure captivity badly, because its adaptation is difficult. We can see a couple of
at the Buenos Aires Zoo. The female is the one breeding mate to take in Christmas. The male is the one sitting with his guitar.
Parts of the guitar
Yes, a guitar has parts too. Specialists distinguish four: the neck, the strings, the box and the headstock. Morons and ice faeries see five, because they add the circular orifice that, placed on the front face of the box, allows the resonance of the strings - commonly known as
Strings have names that correspond to their numeration; the sixth string is often called
because it is the thickest. Usually there are six strings on the guitar, but certain virtuous musicians of the instrument, like Parsee Mizuhashi, have added a few more to restrict the competence. Yamame Kurodani, disciple of master Mizuhashi, developed first the nine-strings guitar, then the ten-strings and later the twelve-plus-one-strings. She later had to develop her legs more to be able to play so many strings. She is currently working in an eighty-seven-strings guitar with a ping-pong table as the neck.
Parts of the hand
To become familiar with the guitar, the most important thing to know is that it is a manual instrument. Therefore, it is essential that you know and master your hands, which will be the instrument that will instrument the instrument.
It is advisable to learn how to tell the right hand apart, to not mistake it for the left one or other hands. I recommend not asking outloud - like in kindergarten - "Where is the right haaaaaaand?"; nor answering "Here it is, teacheeeeeeer!" Especially during concerts. Some guitarists like to cross themselves before starting their shows, like soccer players do. The audience believes they are pious, but actually they are trying to detect the right hand to not make mistakes during the musical.
Anyway, always remember the golden rule: the right hand is always placed in the end of the right arm. In other words, at the bottom right hand. It is advisable for novices to mark the hand once its location is established. To do so, you must take a brush and red paint, and draw a cros on the back of the hand. Now, everytime you need it to strum or pluck the guitar, it will be much easier to find. A little trick of the trade.
Logically, there is a long rivalry going between both hands. It is recommended, for example, not to let the right hand know what is the left hand doing. The left one, on the other hand, feels bad everytime it hears someone talking about a person being "his right hand". Meanwhile, the right hand considers the left hand has a quite sinister look.
: Count the fingers of your hand: if you can count them with the fingers of one hand, the number is correct; if you need more than one hand to count the fingers of your hand, you have an excess of digits. Get rid of them. They'll hinder you when it's time to play.
It is important to strengthen the fingers to firmly pluck the strings. I recommend the future guitarist the following exercise, succesfully developed by the Underground Oni Music Academy of the Guitar: lift a weight of one or two tons with each finger (it is advisable to start progressively); hold them in the air for a minute or two; carefully unload the weight, minding they don't fall on your feet - you might need them for another concert. Repeat the exercise several times until you are able to lift Stone Age cymbals with your pinky finger alone.
: To be a guitarist, it is more important to have nails than to have ears. That's why nekomatas and fox youkai are natural guitarists. It is not convenient to have your nails be more than 15 inches long, and they must be cleaned at least once a year. Nails are also useful to scrath the interior of the ears, to recover strange bodies from the auditory canal and extract pimples. (In the first two cases, see Lesson II
; for the third case, see a dermatologist.)
Instructions to play the guitar
To play the guitar you will need the following elements:
- A guitar in good condition.
- Several fingers in good condition.
- Two shikigami slaves in any condition.
Once these elements are prepared, order the two slave shikigamis to sustain the guitar so that one takes it from the headstock and the other from the body. In case you cannot find two shikigami slaves, get two shikigamis of any social condition. Or two slaves, even if they aren't shikigamis. I recommended the shikigami slaves because you can always blame them for your eventual failure at the concert, and they aren't able to complain back.
The first shikigami will be placed at your left, and the second one, at your right (check the hand with the red cross if you have doubts.) They will present to you the posterior face of the instrument at 50 cm of the ground, while the front cover valiantly faces the audience. Sit on a stool, like the
did, and get closer to the set of shikigamis and guitar, so that your left thigh supports the instrument by the cloven body side.
Place your left foot over something that allows your leg to rest a bit elevated - I suggest a midget, a dwarf, or the son of one of the shikigamis -, so that your thigh makes a slightly acute angle with your body. Grab the neck with your left hand (the hand without the cross, remember.) Root the right foot firmly in the floor; mind that the body falls perpendicularly with the ground; maintain your body with studied ease; place your right hand (the one with the cross) near the strings. Now strum, pluck or tap them. You will hear a sound of strummed, plucked or tapped string.
Do you see how easy it is? You are now playing your first notes! With finesse, try now to play a tender melody. If you hear one of your slave shikigamis sobbing, immediatly suspend the performance: it means the elevation you chose to place your left foot on was the poor slave's ankle.
Lesson 14: Say it with Gestures
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being able to make sounds without gestures helps t
You must not forget that a performance which only moves the ear isn't as different as a record. If you really want a shocking communication, you must mind the visual aspect as well. In this lesson we will study the determinant role that the artist's gestures has in a performance, and the greater implications that these gestures correspond more or less to the music played.
An example will help you understand the coherence between music and mime. In the painful scene of Werther's death, from the eponym opera by Jules Massenet (I hope I am not spoiling the end to anybody, right?), it would be absurd to make the agonizing tenor dance the fast moves Micheal Jackson does in his
... unless Werther had died in the middle of atrocious convulsions, which wasn't the case. But I have to admit it would have improved the ending of
a great deal, though.
History of gestures
In the beginning God created the gestures. Michelangelo's frescoes in the Sistine Capel prove this, where God can be seen in the exact moment when He stretches his index finger over Adam's, to give him life with this gesture. It is merely a corporal language act, I insist: you cannot possibly think God had all his divine energy pent up in a finger, right? If that were the case, God wouldn't have been God but E.T., and Steven Spielberg should have his signature all over the Sixtine Capel, and Michelangelo would be an awarded Hollywood producer. Let's just accept, then, that all of this is ridiculous and that God is
It is convenient to insist that many centuries ago, performers did only the essential moves to make music. They spared as much energy as they could; this was good when the electricity bill arrived, but on the other hand they noticed a lack of emotional response from the audience. This was because to a great part of the spectators, music enters through the eyes. They discovered that they succeded more when they gesticulated more during their concerts, even if some of their gestures weren't necessary to produce a single note.
At that time, if you wanted to be a good opera critic, you needed to know how to read lips. Today it is not even necessary to know how to read.
The finding of mime expresiveness degenerated until the creation of the Gestual School or Gestalt. According to them, the best musician wasn't the one who played best, but the one who moved the most. Some extremist disciples of this school didn't play a single quaver, but they gesticulated with so much feeling and conviction that the audience was moved to delirium. Ruggiero Lionhorse, for example, combined the vigor and agility of two animals in his gestures.
Also, gestural music is the originator of silent films. One of the most outstanding artists of this genre was Arpo Marx, a mute musician that played the mute harp. When his brothers - Groucho, Chico, Gummo and Zeppo - entered the world of films, the seventh art was sonorous already, and so Arpo changed his name to Harpo, bearing in mind that the "h" was mute.
Even though mime music was abandoned decades ago, the tradition of big gestures was forever inscribed in contemporary music. Elvis Prestley proved so, whose hip is preserved in a mixture of alcohol, formalin and somniferous inside a bath on the Musical Instrument Museum of Salzsburg. It still spins from time to time.
Histories and Specific Anatomic Exercises
: Practice daily the nasal expression of feelings. Open and close your nostrils. Both opened, they express surprise, happiness or indiference. Half opened, melancholy, insight or cold; right open and left half open, greed and erotism; right half open and left open, insecurity or conviction. Both closed, asphyxia.
: It is surprising the expressiveness the nose hairs can have if they're trained enough. Move them to the sides, forward and back. Try an undulatory move. Greet someone with them. Say goodbye. Wish them a good night. Call a taxi. It might look difficult at the beginning,but with a bit of practice you'll only need your nose hairs to beat an evil empire intent on cutting the hair out of everybody on Earth, or to talk about footbal with the cabbie. Don't be nervous: there's not a single taxi driver who doesn't talk about football.
: It is considered important to master the language of the breast, especially if you are a female. To do so, you don't have to do anything out of the ordinary with it; you just need to have it. The same with the other one.
: The same, but lower.
: It is advisable to pluck them before they unite in the middle and form a single long brow. This substracts expresiveness to the face, and light to the eyes.
: It would be blindness to deny the transcendental influence that the eyes have in musical communication. Rolling eyes has been one of the most blissful findings in the lyrical genre; not so much in boxing. It is not required to insist much in this resort as a means for the artist to point out he is searching for inspiration in the muses; scene directors and ophthalmologists do not recomment it. Mamizou Futatsuiwa rolled her eyes in 1942 when she sung
in 1942, and they only returned to normal in 1966 when she premiered
, an operetta composed for soprano and guide dog.
Another method of ocular inspiration consists in focusing your gaze on some object of the high fly system for a few seconds or minutes. That's how mezzosoprano Shizuka Aki was able to not only save a performance of
but her own life as well, because she was able to see the impending fall of the spotlights and get away in time.
Adelaida Patatti was a very famous contralto for her eyes, which had extraordinary eloquence and power of communication. Every spectator felt that Adelaida was looking at him or her alone while she sang for the whole audience. The radical strabismus the diva suffered from helped a lot.
: The auricular appendages can be an endles source of expresiveness. When notorious mezzosoprano Maria Bonavena sang the aria
Sono un piccolo elefante
of Lord Greystoke's opera
, she moved her ears with such grace the audience was marveled. In some special performances, Bonavena managed to raise a few meters over the tables. One Friday of 1934 she was seen going out the window, soaring over
and was last seen on the skies of Milan, while letting out an harmonic buzzing. Her family will thank any piece of information regarding her whereabouts.
: Reisen Udongein Inaba was the first soprano to ever use her legs instead of her hands to express her most tender feelings when she sang. By demand of her boss Eirin Yagokoro, with her hands tied to her back, Udongein manned her legs with such dexterity that the audience was moved to tears whenever they say her perform the most difficult pieces. She recieved thunderous applause specially when she played the aria
O abusive master
: A thorough study by Rupert Hand Jr. about the hands of instrumentalists revealed, among his most outstanding conclusions, that almost all of them had ten fingers.
: Another of Hand Jr.'s conclusions, after investigating the cerebrum of 293 singers while they performed, was that this was the least used organ of all.
: Although the larynx only is exposed in some performances to the audience of henhouses, its expresiveness can be notorious. Proof of this is that the larynx of great tenor Julian Gayarre is conserved in the Museum of Navarre. Even there, the pinkish anatomic organ still greets the visitors and answers elemental questions about the biography of his defunct owner. Baritone Giuseppe Anselmi, great fan of Gayarre, asked in his last will for his heart to be laid at the side of Gayarre's larynx. For a while his wish was granted, but Gayarre's larynx felt uncomfortable around the presence of Anselmi's heart, and it sank in a long and obfuscated silence. Initially Anselmi's heart was replaced by his pancreas, then by his liver, his shoulder blade and lastly his right toe. But the larynx didn't react. It was necessary to move Anselmi's heart to the Real Theater of Madrid for Gayarre's larynx to recover its usual sympathy. Certainly, the world of jealousies and vanities of the world of music is still a mystery, even for the most experienced of us.
Adecuate expression of basic feelings
: To express happiness it is necessary to convey with your eyes a expression of happiness, smile with happiness and arch your brows up like they were expressing happiness. Open arms can also convey happiness and other emotions I don't really remember well right now. Try to recall a good joke that makes you laugh. And if nothing works, say outloud: "I feel so happy!"
: To convey sadness, you must bend the commisures of your lips downwards, more or less like this: ^. You also have to raise the interior ends of your brows like this: / \.
: If you plan to enter a heavy metal group, please ignore this section and move directly to the ironmongery stand. If you want to join a
trio, you must read the following lines. Tenderness looks similar to idiocy, so you must look like an idiot. Or like a pure and innocent child, incapable of killing a fly. Or like a fly, a dead fly. Put on a beatific smile and forgiving eyes; to do so, titl your head to one side and extend your arms to the audience, with the palms exposed; join your hands toghether like you were cradling a baby; put now a baby face; move your amrs, like rocking the child; sing with a soft and tremulous voice. Nobody will suspect anything, even if you are actually a deviant who rapes dead babies and then eats them for breakfast.
: Puff your breast up like Tarzan would do when he felt proud of something he managed to teach Cheeta, like heeding to his call or making him a boar sandwich with lioness cheese.
: To feign anger, get red, swell up, shout, grunt, hit the table hard with your fist and then hold it with your other fist, trying to calm the pain down. In case you cannot feign anger, just look at Facebook comments of tween girls and adquire wrath directly.
---Exercise: How to move like a classic pianist---
Sit on a stool with your most aquiline face. If you
lack one, modern plastic surgery offers fascinating
possibilities (for the same price or a little more,
you can get a liposuction and a lifting of any other
place). With grave gesture, close your eyes and make
a face of profound feeling. Smile: it must be a slight
and inexplicable smile, like you were remembering a
Breath in, and discharge all the strength in your hands
over the keyboard. Do not worry if you get an horrifying
sound: nobody will notice. Raise your amrs with a
theatrical flourish. Bring your hands down the keyboard
with sudden fury and alternate between them with more
vigor each time. Increase your speed. Rock your head up
and down and to the sides, make your hair shake. If you
lack it, modern plastic surgery offers fascinating impants
and toupees that look realistic (for the same price or a
litte more, you can get dandruff made with acrylic and
polyurethane so perfect even you will be disgusted).
Stamp the floor. Grunt. Transpire copiously. Now, with
eyes injected in blood, stare at the audience. Stand up,
salute with a grim gesture and leave the stage staggering.
You will reap applause. And rheumatism.
Other moves from other musicians
Hard rock/Heavy metal
: Successively put on a face of a bad person, a ver bad person, a worse person, including legs and torso of a bad person. Threaten the audience. Spit to the spectators at the first row, or where the spittle can reach (English singer John Spit, of the group Shit, hit with his soft and moist projectiles spectators sitting at 90 meters away from the scenery. His record is of 107 m when he managed to splash a hot dog seller at the other end of the hall.) Take off your clothes. Set a guitar on fire. Borrow money. Move your pelvis with lewdness or with whatever you have, threaten an old lady with your chains (if there are no old ladies nearby, hire one). During the interlude, drink a glass of warm milk with sugar that will be waiting for you in your dressing room and help the old lady to cross the road. Of course, without nobody noticing. You have a reputation to maintain.
: Clap your hands, stamp your feet, close your eyes, suffer a lot, complain about stomach ache, suffer again, have a hard time, suffer even more, imagine a renal colic without sedatives, think about the dentist, pay taxes, SUFFER, DAMMIT! That ought to make knowledgeable spectators enjoy your performance.
must never look to the ground, because
are always about things that are up above (glory, happiness, bliss) or in the middle (pain, the heart, the clock). To get used to this, the future
must go out in the mornings and walk at least 5 miles around the city wearing a wide skirt imperial style sustained by a crinoline: imagine you are Queen Marie Antionette. These clothes impede you from seeing the ground below you and make you focus your sights at the heights.
: The timpanist is that orchestra musician who only sits and waits for his fellows to play the concert for hours. In the finale, when the final
comes, he stands up with severity, prepares himself like some sort of ancient hero, observes the audience, focuses on the music sheet, pays attention to the conductor and, at the conductor's sign, he deals the timpani one or two devastating blows. Or even three. These blows coincide with the final notes of the musical. After that, he puts on a face of a master and is allowed to salute with the rest of the musicians. It is recommended, as a common exercise for the timpanist, to do absolutely nothing.
Q. Could it be thought that a good soprano is, above all else, someone who knows how to make dramatic and well-manered gestures, even though she sings like a hurt boar?
A. Yes, it could be thought. What it cannot be is said.
Q. Is it true that a gesture or a picture are worth more than a thousand words?
A. Yes. At yesterday's closing stock, a picture was worth 1,153 words. The gesture quoted 1,062.
Lesson 15: Serenade, serenade her
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And finally, the moment you were anxiosly waiting for: it's time to reenact the feat of Isamu Nakano, the sickly and complexed Russian kappa who lost his hand in an unfortunate accident involving cucumber missiles, and play a serenade to your beloved one! With all you have learned in these lessons, you are now able to go outside, sing to whoever or whatever you want and deal with the consequences. But before such a tragedy happens, it is convenient for you to learn about serenades, the genre that will be your first real trial in you career as a successful musician.
The origins of serenade
According to some sleepless critics, "serenade" was the name given in the 17th and 18th centuries to a certain kind of entertainment music. When the nightwatchmen started to sing it, serenade became an eminently nocturnal music. Other sources attribute the creation of this genre to Jacob Serener, who spent his hours waiting for his beloved Rebecca to come out of her house to express his love for her. Rebecca's parents cut in between them, sometimes forming a human barrier, like in footbal. Until one day, Jacob got to the window of his beloved with his lute and sang her songs continuously for sixty-four days and six hours. That's how Serener became renowed in the world of music, and the genre he invented was named after him. At least, that's how the legend goes; the only proof is that he entered the
, but everybody knows how that book tends to exaggerate things. As for Rebecca, she was interned in a convent and became abess. Before she died she converted to Christianism.
Even if it wasn't the first, Jacob Serener's was certainly the longest serenade ever recorded. The shortest one was given by Marco Poblet, and it lasted for exactly three seconds: the time that took the balcony where his obese loved one and her whole family stood to fall over his head.
The theory of serenade
The recipe for a serenade needs four ingredients:
The object of desire
: You must choose the person who will recieve the serenade carefully, especially regarding the architectural maps of her house and her nocturnal habits. It would be as absurd to sing under the window of an Underground cave (if there is one; if there isn't, it wouldn't) as doing it at midnight if the nurse you love finishes her shift in Eientei at 3 AM.
It could happen that there are more than one addressee of the serenade. You could be in love with two sisters, or several sisters, or every sister of the convent, or even with every sister and the abbess. It happened in the past. You must then bear in mind the appropriate musical accompaniment: if a trio is needed to play an unipersonal serenade, you'd need thirty musicians to play a serenade for ten women. Who said mathematics were useless in the world of music?
The purpose you are after
: It is not the same to sing a serenade for love, for sex, for money, for educational appreciation or for occupational stability. Even if the night is dark, you must have your purpose as clear as day when you play the serenade. I say this because the themes and the lyrics of your songs must be in accordance with your purpose. It would be moronic to sing
It is your perfume, woman
to the ancient flying turtle living behind the Hakurei Shrine, or that the notes of
The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter
at a praty thrown at Fujiwara no Mokou's stand.
The following list illustrates some incompatible songs, subjects and times:
The bare chicken
: To a tengu bride about to get married.
Christ will triumph
: To any Shinto shrine maiden, Buddhist monk or Taoist prince(ss).
Devour me again
: To Rumia at her birthday.
Asleep in your breasts
: To Tewi Inaba or Suika Ibuki at a party.
The son we had
: To Rinnosuke Morichika.
What is it that the black man has?
: To the new leader of the Ku Klux Klan in Alabama.
Serenade is a typically romantic resort, and as such it requires prudence and finesse. No twenty megawatts speakers, electric guitars or uproars. Avoid calling your friends if they are drunk, and even if she lives in a dangerous neighborhood, it is useless to be escorted by the police, unless the sergeant knows how to play maracas.
Study what the lyrics say. If your purpose is an economical one, do not fall to the temptation to introduce yourself to the multimillionaire family of your beloved as a person interested in money. The following verse shows a more discreet attitude:
"I don't care about your money,
even if I dress quite slovenly.
I don't want your jewels, honey,
just the shares of your oil company."
Another example. If you have honest intentions, the lyrics of the song must be as pure and chaste as your intentions. What is more, because you'll be publicy honoring your beloved one, you must make this respectful sentiment explicit:
"You are tender, beautiful, chaste,
I became enamored of your wits,
so I ask you with earnest haste
please let me grope your tits!"
After finishing the love serenade, it is customary to carefully copy the repertoire of performed songs, with good penmanship and in an elegant card, and delicately deposit said amorous list between the grids of you beloved's window. If it's raining, insert it inside a preservative to avoid the ink from slipping away.
: The tradition dictates that your object of desire or receiver of your serenade must have a balcony. If that is not the case, you must carry a portable balcony. Once the balcony is installed on your beloved's window, and your beloved is installed in the balcony (your beloved must get to the balcony from the window, or from wherever she can; that's not your problem), you must keep a prudential distance, in case your serenade is rejected with impertinent liquids or even solids.
: The choice of the time of the serenade is key to its success. I've already mentioned the inconvenience of playing a serenade when the object of desire is absent. But it also strongly unadvisable to do it while she is with another person who also considers her the object of his desire, or worse, when said person is satisfying his desire with the object. This is very frequent in the case of married women. It is not very elegant to spend hours playing music and making noise in front of the lodging occupied by the object of desire and her partner.
It is also important to make sure that there isn't another suitor about to play a serenade at the same spot, at the same time and, above all else, at the same lady. In medieval France the nocturnal songs were so frequent that it was necessary to have a Serenade National Record to book hour, balcony and woman. This way they tried to abolish disloyal competence. However, there were still rogue minstrels who offered their serenades without previous inscription or booking, and many times without even knowing the woman who came out of the balcony.
The time of serenade -
Are you ready?
Alright, my dear apprentices, enough words. It is finally time to put all you have learned from me in practice! Have you chosen the girl who you will offer your first serenade to? Splendid. Let's go over there. But before that, let's refresh the knowledge that will allow you to shine as a composer, singer and instrumentalist: you have a whole new career ahead of you, and you will premier this night in your first serenade!
- You already know the generalities of music and its history...
- You already master the basic principles of musical aesthetics...
- You are aware of the physiological apparatus that produce the chanting and the physical process that turns it into an acoustic phenomena...
- You are versed in musical theory and solfege...
- You are an accustomed composer, introduced in cultured forms...
- You know the ropes of the art of chanting, performing, mime and the shouts that accompany each one of them...
- You have intimacy with several instruments, and know how to properly play the guitar...
- You are a theorist and user of the whistles...
- You know how to sleep without remorse on a concert...
Now, supported on all that, you must make your debut in this serenade. Are you ready? Have you cleared your voice up? Composed and chosen the songs? Tuned your guitar? Ironed your handkerchief? Selected your object of desire? Rehearsed the program?
Now, place yourself under the balcony... What? How is it impossible to do it? It cannot be! ... What are you saying? Oh,
! How can you think of programming a serenade for a girl living at the 20th stage of Makai? Suspend everything, yes, immediatly. I am truly sorry. You can only try again after consulting Alice Margatroid's book:
How to survive in Makai without falling ill to the toxic miasma
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that's all folks!
I am so convinced of the success that waits for you after practising my exercises, my dear apprentices, that I cannot consider my lessons finished without warning you about the dangers of this success.
Success is capricious, selfish, vain. Success will bring you popularity and money. But it will also strip you of the right of being an unnoticed person: press will chase you to your bedroom; autograph hunters will sniff you and find you at your toilet; tax administration will get you even if you try to hide in the last hill of Higan. There is no place to hide: success will hunt you like a dog wherever you go, and like a dog, it will bite you and piss on you.
Success does not forgive. It will bring you jealousy and rancor. You cannot triumph without your colleagues mentally wishing you death at the same moment they hug you to congratulate you for your success. You will also end up hating them and poisoning yourselves with their successes. "May God guard me from success, because I will guard myself against failure", said a wise Greek man. Because he wasn't a successful man, I don't remember his name.
But if success is brittle and ungrateful, successful people are even worse. These people tend to be petty, sordid, miserable, treacherous, avaricious with their copious goods and greedy with the properties of others, lascivious, bland and more prone to easy comfort than hard work. In short, they live much better than us. It could seem like they are moderately happy with their lives, but appearances are different from reality, and reality reveals they are
When you finish reading all these posts, an artist scouter and the success will be waiting for you. You will recognize the artist scouter by his moustache. To prevent success from sinking you into its diabolical ordure, my dear apprentices, do a last exercise:
----------The Last Exercise----------------
Place yourself in front of a mirror and repeat
the following phrases in order, as many times
as you need:
"I am so successful!"
"I don't know what to do with so much success!"
"If I could at least fail a little!"
"I am so jealous of losers!"
"But, alas, I am condemned to success!"
"I fail at failing!"
All of this, you owe it to me. When you achieve success, do not forget that. And don't forget it either if you manage to fail and escape unscathed from the suffocating grasp of success. In that case you will have succeeded too, in a certain way. And I will have succeeded with you.
2013/05/18 (Sat) 15:24
>>In that case you will have succeeded too, in a certain way. And I will have succeeded with you.
Congratulations on completion, was an amusing month of reading. Now to wait an eternity for the next Rin-centered story or another/short/.
2013/05/18 (Sat) 15:30
Maybe you should check
2013/05/18 (Sat) 16:43
Very impressive. Congratulations!
An excellent short that I will re read for months to come.
2013/05/18 (Sat) 18:16
Bravo good sir, bravo.
2013/05/18 (Sat) 21:59
I applaud you, good sir. This is truly one for the books.
2013/05/21 (Tue) 01:28
- (46.22KB, 489x750,
An absolute masterpiece. If there's one regret I had it's that the Touhou lore makes it slightly less amusing to the uninitiated, but for fans like us it has quite the opposite effect.
I can't wait to see what monstrosity you write in the future. It will be glorious.
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