I’m not a musical person…not a musician. One of my regrets is that I never mastered a musical instrument. I played the clarinet in fifth grade but was never good at it and that wasn’t my choice of instrument –the school band director assigned it to me. The clarinet is reeded and if played correctly it can make a pleasant sound. I, on the other hand, made screeching sounds. I always thought the clarinet was a sad instrument and I could make it cry as if in pain every time I picked it up. My band career was very short. There was an ugly falling out between me and the band director…that’s all I’m going to say. Benny Goodman and Pete Fountain had nothing to fear.
Later I managed to play Good King Wenceslas on my aunt’s spinet piano and much later I figured out how to play Norwegian Wood on a mandolin. I can play Oh Susannah on the harmonica. That’s about it.
I have an eclectic taste in music and favor what is called World Music (Whirled Music?)coming from other countries. American Blues, Jazz and Swing, I like a lot as well as classic Rock and Roll. I like Ragtime and real early – King Oliver and Bessie Smith – blues. Each Tuesday night my little local micro-brewery has “Vinyl Night” when people bring in their old vinyl records and we have sort of a resident ‘DJ’ who keeps things organized by deciding what the theme might be each week. Last night it was The Rolling Stones and The Who. Next week it will be Cream. We are heading toward Pink Floyd and then circling back towards Motown. Sort of a road trip. We had about three weeks of jazz, two of blues and a great surfer music night. It is pretty eclectic but we don’t mix things up too much on a single night. Tuesdays are very slow nights so we have the place to ourselves on most Tuesdays. The joint is jumpin’.
About a third to almost half of my vinyl collection is classical music. My first exposure to ”real” music was classical music on my dad’s old 78 rpm records and my mom’s love of opera. My brother can’t handle opera today but he was older and heard more than I did. I’m OK with some of it.
Kids growing up in the 1950s were exposed to classical music at a young age. The background music of many of the old cartoons would be excerpts from classical music. I can still listen to something and recognize a short segment that was lifted to be background for an old cartoon. Those days are gone…sadly, I think.
I’m ending this little blog post up with one of my favorites: Beethoven’s Triple Concerto. Apparently it isn’t performed often — there needs to be three soloists who can handle it and each other. It is my “go to” piece when I need some perking up. There are other versions but I’m a fool for Yo Yo Ma so here it is….enjoy. You might catch a few little musical phrases that take you back to those old cartoons or maybe even some old TV westerns.