Music Theory Geek

A little fun from the Classical Archives website. Since I am a musician by profession and Major Geek I’ll quote it here unabridged. Of course I feel sorry for stealing someone else’s work, but consider it as a token of appreciation.

You Might be a Music Theory Geek if….

* Your favorite pickup line is, “What’s your favorite augmented sixth chord?”
* You can look at a piece by Bach and say, “You know, I think he could have gotten a much better effect this way . . .”
* You like to march around your room to the rhythms of Stravinsky’s “Le Sacre du Printemps.”
* You love to quote Walter Piston.
* You long for the good old days of movable G-clefs.
* You like polytonal music because, hey, the more keys the merrier.
* You dream in four parts.
* You feel the need to end Tchaikovsky’s Pathetique Symphony with a picardy third.
* You can improvise 16th century counterpoint with no trouble, but you frequently forget how to tie your shoes.
* You lament the decline of serialism.
* You enjoy the tang of a tritone whenever you can.
* You like to deceive your friends and loved ones with deceptive cadences.
* You only drink fifths, and then you laugh at the pun.
* Instead of counting sheep, you count sequences.
* You only sing tunes that make good fugal subjects.
* You find free counterpoint too liberal.
* Moussorgsky’s “Hopak” gives you nightmares.
* You wonder what a “Danish Sixth” would sound like.
* The Corelli Clash gives you goosebumps.
* You can hear an enharmonic modulation coming a mile away.
* You have ever done a Schenkerian analysis on “Three Blind Mice.”
* You have ever tried to do a Schenkerian analysis on John Cage’s “4’33”.
* You have hosted a “Gurrelieder” party.
* You have ever pondered what an augmented seventh chord would sound like.
* Bass motion by ascending thirds or a sequential pattern with roots in ascending fifths immediately strikes you as “belabored.”
* You know what the ninth overtone of the harmonic series is off the top of your head.
* You can name ten of Palestrina’s contemporaries.
* You can answer your phone with a tonal or a real answer.
* You have ever heard a wrong note in a performance of a piece by Berio, Stockhausen, or Boulez.
* You suspiciously check all the music you hear for dangling sevenths.
* When you’re feeling particularly prankish, you transpose Mozart arias to locrian mode.
* You keep a notebook of useful diminutions.
* Those “parasitic” dissonances make you queasy, especially when left unresolved.
* You have composed variations on a theme by Anton Webern.
* You know the difference between a Courante and a Corrente.
* You have trained your dog to jump through a flaming circle of fifths.
* You have ever used the word “fortspinnung” in polite conversation.
* You feel cheated by evaded cadences.
* You have a poster of Allen Forte in your room.
* You know who Allen Forte is.
* Every now and then you like to kick back and play something in hypophrygian mode.
* You wonder why there aren’t more types of seventh chords.
* You wish you had twelve fingers.
* You abbreviate your shopping list using figured bass.
* You always make sure to invert your counterpoint, just in case.
* You have ever told a joke that had this punchline: “because it was POLYPHONIC!”
* You know dirty acronyms for the order of sharps.
* You consider all music written between 1750 and 1920 to be “rather elementary.”
* You memorize dates and times by what they would sound like in set theory.
* You can not only identify any one of Bach’s 371 Harmonized Chorales by ear, but you also know on what page it appears in the Riemenschneider edition and how many suspensions it has in the first seven bars.
* You got more than half of the jokes in this list.

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  • The Aesthetics and Beauty of Knowledge

    Shih was the opposite of facts and raw information; shih was the elegance of knowledge, the insight and skill to organize knowledge into meaningful patterns. As an artist chooses colours or light to make her pictures, a master of shih chooses textures of knowledge – various ideas, myths, abstractions, and theories – to create a way of seeing the world. The aesthetics and beauty of knowledge – this was shih.

    – David Zindell, The Broken God, 1993

  • Geek Attitude

    The attitude thing is about flexibility, portability, creativity, sociability and jamming (ran out of suitable “ity” words!). It’s about improvising – in the practical and musical senses of the word; not getting tangled in boundaries and the “right” way to do things.
    Definitely the only way to travel.
    Martin Delaney – “Laptop Music”.