Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The pleasures of music theory

I really am enjoying this music theory course. After the initial post-modernism scare the instructor Brian has buckled down to some hard-core nuts and bolts of music theory. Today we did a little conducting work and analyzed various pieces of music to discern whether the time signature was simple, complex or additive; whether the rhythm was duple or triple; and if additive, what was the duple/triple pattern. By a strange coincidence one of the pieces he selected was the Grateful Dead's "Estimated Prophet" which I happened to be listening to today - and except for my live Dead kick a year and a half ago, I rarely listen to the Grateful Dead.

Although I couldn't work out the time signature for "Estimated Prophet" no-how - turns out it's duple additive in 7/4 time - more or less. Well Brian did warn us that music theory is an art, not a science.

But also - when you work with financial services blue shirts all day, every day it starts to seem like all men are a bunch of dreary, morose, guarded, closed-up boring drudges, or alternately slick happy-talking weasley political businessbots.

Thanks to Brian I am reminded that there are actually some men who are open, articulate, enthusiastic, funny, charming and communicative.* What a concept.

* and married, of course