Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Impossible Tasks: Picking a Top Ten in Music

Yesterday was exactly six months since Travalon and I got married – wow, does time fly by! In some ways it seems like a very long time ago, and yet it seemed to pass in the blink of an eye. He gave me a salsa CD to mark the occasion, and I gave him a genuine autograph from John Lennon I got on eBay, but we didn’t go out last night. We will do that tonight, at Liliana’s, after my Irish class.

Travalon and a couple of his friends were coming up with their Top Ten list of songs, and I said I could come up with a Top Ten in several genres, but he said it had to be ten altogether. If you could only listen to ten songs ever again, what would you choose? Travalon and Light Bright guessed they probably couldn’t pronounce half the songs on my list if I ever came up with one. What, I ask you, is so hard about pronouncing “Das Neugeborne Kindelein” by Dietrich Buxtehude? Or “Marcando la Distancia” by Manolito y Su Trabuco? And is it weird that my spell check recognizes the words Buxtehude and Trabuco? It’s like this morning, when Handy Woman overslept and sent our coworker a text, but her phone autocorrected “overslept,” so her text said, “Sorry, I overseas – will be in soon.” Our coworker said she hoped she had a good trip back. Which really has nothing to do with my Top Ten list, but I am wondering about things like concertos – does each movement count as a separate selection, or can you include the entire concerto? And of course there’s Handel’s “Messiah.” Could you put the entire oratorio on your list, or would you have to limit it to one chorus, like “And He Shall Purify,” which is one of my favorites? This wasn’t as much of an issue for Travalon and his friends, who were just comparing classic rock songs, but it becomes a relevant question when you discuss other genres of music. I guess to be fair you’d have to limit selections to movements, which are often about three minutes long, just like your standard rock ditty. No fair putting a three-hour piece of music on the list. The one thing I can say for sure is my list would have to include something by Vivaldi and something by Earth, Wind, and Fire, so let’s start mine off with “Concerto in A Minor for Four Violins” and “Let’s Groove.” Maybe someday I’ll manage to limit myself to another eight pieces of music. 

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