• Posts
  • RSS
  • ◂◂RSS
  • Contact

  • When bands play confusing music

    June 13th, 2012
    calling, contra, music  [html]
    Before the dance last night the band asked if they could play an unusual old-time tune. I gave it a listen and after a while I asked how the B part went. "But this is the B part!" They pointed out that the A starts on a I chord while the B starts on a IV and so the change should have been clear. I felt embarrassed as a musician for not hearing it, but as a caller I treat my confusion as a signal: if I can't follow it, the dancers won't be able to either.

    This isn't a firm rule: there are things that won't confuse me but do confuse the dancers. This is partly because I'm a musician and partly because I'm not dancing, but it's mostly worked well for me. If I find myself losing my place in the music I find it again by watching the dancers and listening, and then I start calling a bit. Just a few calls in the most confusing places, but the goal is to keep the dancers from drifting relative to the music. I don't tell the band to change tunes unless it's really bad, but (if I remember) I'll tell them afterwards that I don't think that tune is a great fit.

    (If I have a chance to listen to a tune in advance to see if it's suitable, I don't count it out. If I'm counting I won't get lost as easily, which weakens the signal. You often want to confirm that the tune is square, however, so you need some way to tell. I do this by tapping my hand on my stomach: four taps in one place then four in another, with four places in an И-pattern. If I repeat that four times and the music comes around, the tune is 64 beats.)

    Comment via: google plus, facebook

    Recent posts on blogs I like:

    What I've been doing instead of writing

    I’ve been too busy with work to write much recently, but in lieu of that, here’s a batch of links to other stuff I’ve been doing elsewhere. The thing I’m most excited about: Wave raises $200m from Sequoia, Stripe, Founders Fund and Ribbit at a $1.7b valuati…

    via benkuhn.net September 11, 2021

    Some reasons to measure

    A question I get asked with some frequency is: why bother measuring X, why not build something instead? More bluntly, in a recent conversation with a newsletter author, his comment on some future measurement projects I wanted to do (in the same vein as ot…

    via Posts on Dan Luu August 27, 2021

    Songs about terrible relationships

    [Spoilers for several old musicals.] TV Tropes lists dozens of examples of the “I want” song (where the hero of a musical sings about their dream of escaping their small surroundings). After watching a bunch of musicals on maternity leave, I’m wondering h…

    via The whole sky July 17, 2021

    more     (via openring)


  • Posts
  • RSS
  • ◂◂RSS
  • Contact