Friday, November 03, 2006

Music Geek Fun

Via Red Black Window, here is a fun break-down of Bobby McFerrin's "Don't Worry, Be Happy." All of the parts are on separate tracks, and you can select one or several or all and follow along with the score. For all of us who sang along with the various harmony lines back in 1980-whatever, this is a lot of fun!

When I showed it to my roommate, he then passed along an even cooler music geek site: John Whitney's music algorithms. I don't pretend to understand the math behind the music, but these are very, very cool. Hypnotic and visually beautiful, they demonstrate the fine line between math and music. How much like the Ligeti Etudes do these sound?!

AP and I then talked about Reich's Clapping Music, which also makes an appearance over at TSR today. I was unfamiliar with the algorithmic nature of that piece, so AP explained it to me: two performers clap a pattern, starting together, for 12 (?) repetitions, then one of them shifts the pattern back a beat.

Which made me think of one of my favorite party tricks: singing "Take me out to the Ballgame" shifted back a word. (I told you, geek!)

Start the music in the same place, but start on the second word. "Me out to the ballgame, take..." etc. It is maddening to figure it out for the first time, but once you get it? Very cool. My favorite part is ending on the leading tone... And, of course, there are endless variations. Start on the second word, which is a bit easier, actually. "Out to the ballgame, take me..." And on and on.

Happy geekery!


melwadel said...

How funny you should mention "Me out to the ballgame!" Last night, on the way to an audition, I drove by the high school in my old school district where the conductor taught us that during our district music festival!

the wild koba said...

hi there...nice blogging. "me out to the ballgame" was also featured in a newsday tv commercial sometime in the late 80s-early 90s ("no one covers new york sports like newsday"). i happened to be thinking of the commercial and landed here instead. you wouldn't know where i can find a recording of that, would you?


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