Friday, May 18, 2007

Classical Guitar, Bach and those musical baby mobiles


I have been making use of my three to two weeks vacation left before my boring college life begins again by trying to learn Classical guitar. As they say, it’s never too late to learn anything new. I am now on my second piece, although I haven’t really mastered Bach’s “Bouree in E Minor” I’ll just let practice polish it off. That’s what I usually do; let the daily playing do the polishing and not the hourly practicing. I compared the computers rendition of the piece with the one in the CD and the difference is big. It’s the human factor—the interpretation of the players and I can’t expect that from a computer. That means I had to buy CDs (pirated) of classical guitars in order to hear the pieces played by the masters.

Dream on, George, dream on.

Bach’s second piece is “Minuet”. I don’t have any idea why the master gave titles like this. I mean, why not name his opus after plants or people or animals or cakes or experiences or constellations instead of “Minuet”, “Bouree”, “Allegrettos”, “Andantinos” and “Preludes” etc. Anyway, I be forgiven because me is an ignoramus in classical music. I played “Minuet” on the computer and something hit me on the head, “I know that tune, I just can’t place it, but I’m very, very familiar with the tune.” Then finally I remember that that is the melody played by the musical mobile that I bought for my daughter when she was still a baby. Why is that? Why is it that classical music are the music in those toys? It must be a testament to the power of that kind of music: innocent, lilting, calming, and (some say) brain stimulating.

I am no classical music guy. I grew up listening to Imelda Papin, Tito, Vic and Joey, Trini Lopez, Johnny Mathis, Freddie Aguilar etc. Then in my youth there’s Tears for Fears, Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, Eraserheads, True Faith, Razorback, Clapton, Hendrix etc. My exposure to classical music is limited to music boxes, baby toys, Arthurian Movies, Metro Goldwyn Meyers epic movies, Robinhood etc. The music is too abstract for me, there’s no lyrics to identify the melodies with hence it’s difficult to understand. (In the 90’s The Youth, a local band, put lyrics to Fur Elise (this music was used by garbage trucks in Makati City) and turned the classical piece into a rock pro-environment song. And since then people of my generation have identified that melody with garbage. “Tapon, tapon, tapon, nyo, basura nyo, itapon nyo/ Tapon, tapon, tapon, nyo, basura nyo, itapon nyo/ Ang babantot nyo, ang bantot nyo, ang bantot nyoooooooo…..Tapon, tapon, tapon, tapon, tapon nyo, basura nyo, itapon nyooooooooooo…la la la la, la la, la la…) So what in the name of Raiza Sativa Linn. am I doing trying to learn it…classical guitar music? Hmmmmm…

Maybe it’s time I read about Bach and get to know him in…errr….spirit.

Know what? I will show this stuff to my guitar playing friends. “Hey, look and listen to this…” Then I’ll show them my new finger moves. The pinky is going to the right; while the ring finger is going to the left, while the middle finger is going up, the pointer going down and the thumb pressing the top string. Ha, ha, ha, ha can you do that. And maybe they’ll get interested in the genre.

I don’t know, it must be that I’m into my second childhood now…

I always thought that classical music is for the elite but here I am a galunggong eater, former gin bulag drinker, fishball lover, kwek kwek connoisseur , and a Hanford brief wearing guy appreciating it, well not all of it. Maybe it’s all about the music.

Acquired taste, maybe.

(My PC is possessed by an evil entity. When I’m typing, it is also typing. I plan on calling our pastor to pray over it and exorcise the malignant presence in there, but I’m having second thoughts. Maybe I’ll just reformat the harddisk.)


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