|Never let anyone tell you what you can and can’t do.
Take Beethoven for example, they told him he could not be a musician because he was deaf… but he didn’t listen.
|A year ago, Hans Vonk conducted the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra in a production of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. During the final movement of Beethoven’s Ninth, there is a large pause in the Orchestration where only the chorus sings.
Four bass players, feeling they could use this break to get out and stretch their legs, slipped off backstage and proceeded to go outside to smoke a cigarette and take a little nip from a bottle one of them was carrying.
Well, they lost track of time and became quite inebriated. Finally one of them says, “Say! We should really be getting back in… It’s almost time to play our part.”
“Don’t worry,” confided one of the other bassists with a wink. “I’ve fixed it so that we have a longer pause… I tied together the last parts of the conductor’s score before our part begins!”
All the bass players had a good chuckle and took a few more swigs and headed in. Once they popped back on stage, they saw that conductor Vonk was absolutely furious. After all, it was the bottom of the Ninth, the basses were loaded, and the score was tied.
|Beethoven was a lover of teasers of all kinds, and often submitted the following to his friends.
What word can be created when following these directions?
1. Start at D.
What word is it?
Beethoven was a composer, obviously, and utilized the Musical Key in this teaser. When he says “Go up Eleven”, he is referring to the letters “ABCDEFG.” Going up Eight notes from ‘D’ brings us to ‘E’ (because, of course, the musical scale simply repeats itself in the next octave). Going down Eleven notes brings us to ‘A’, and going up Five notes brings us to ‘F’. Hence, DEAF (which, incidentally, Beethoven was).
Richard Grayson improvises on an audience theme from a concert on March 8, 2009, at the Crossroads School.
He finally locates the origin and finds it is coming from a grave with a headstone that reads: Ludwig van Beethoven, 1770-1827. Then he realizes that the music is the Ninth Symphony and it is being played backward! Puzzled, he leaves the graveyard and persuades a friend to return with him.
By the time they arrive back at the grave, the music has changed. This time it is the Seventh Symphony, but like the previous piece, it is being played backward.
Curious, the men agree to consult a music scholar. When they return with the expert, the Fifth Symphony is playing, again backward. The expert notices that the symphonies are being played in the reverse order in which they were composed, the 9th, then the 7th, then the 5th.
By the next day the word has spread and a throng has gathered around the grave. They are all listening to the Second Symphony being played backward.
Just then the graveyard’s caretaker ambles up to the group. Someone in the crowd asks him if he has an explanation for the music.
“Oh, it’s nothing to worry about” says the caretaker. “He’s just decomposing!”