PDQ Bach time

I’m not sure how I did on the exam I took… but I was pretty brain dead afterwards. I tried reading Roots of the Classical a bit more, but it was too late, I was too brain dead. So instead I got a bunch of my stuff sorted since I move out of my dorm on Tuesday, May 15th. I threw away (well, recycled) a lot of paper, it’s really kind of sad how much paper is wasted on this “education”!

Today, Friday, at around 11 AM I’m taking the bus to the metro station, then taking the metro to meet my father in Washington, DC. We will then go to the Kennedy Center to see PDQ Bach and the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center! I’m really looking forward to it; the last time I saw the NSO they were being conducted by the infamous film composer, John Williams. I guess that was about two years ago… that was really a lot fun. The last time I was at the Kennedy Center though, it was to see the “improv” (apparently fake “improv”) play Shear Madness, which was certainly funny, but certainly not worth the $40 it cost for the ticket. Argh! Waste of $40! PDQ Bach will be much better… over the summer I hope to return to the Kennedy Center to see Phantom of the Opera! That will also be a lot of fun… I’ve actually never seen a musical being performed live, unless you count “Peter Pan On Ice”.

Anyway, I hope I can wake up in time since I’ve now spent all this time blathering…

The first exam draws near

Just a bit of blather before I go to bed… I’ve got my first exam tomorrow afternoon (well, today I guess, since it’s after midnight, and this counts as Thursday’s post) and I want to spend the morning studying. Today’s (or technically yesterday’s) studying was disturbed with a lot of nasal congestion, which seems to going away now, which I know you care about. “Wait a sec, I gotta check Sean’s blog for status on his nasal congestion.”

Anyway, the exam tomorrow (er, today) has something to do with computer science, but I’ve never been able to quite figure out what… it’s just a random collection of compiler and coding information, it doesn’t seem to have much of a theme. So in the morning I’ve got to study time measuring and code optimization.

My “Hour by Hour” piece is now over eleven minutes… I worked on that for a bit as a reward for studying, as if rewarding myself with anything does any good… well, I guess it does, because I composed a pretty darn beautiful melody if I do say so myself, which I do. The piece won’t get much longer because I think the climax I’m working on now will be the last. Whew, this is one heck of a piece! Catchy melodies and variations and counter melodies and awesome harmonies all over the place. Woohoo! I think it will be Opus 35. Woohoo, I’m almost to 40! I should try to get to 50 before my 22nd birthday. Wouldn’t that be awesome? Eh, not as good as Mozart… 🙁

Hey, I’ve blogged daily for over a month now, whoop-de-doo!

Return of the phlegm

Is it already May 9th?! My first exam is tomorrow afternoon, so I’ve got to study, study, study. Unfortunately, nasal congestion has once again returned to annoy me and all those who must hear me sniff and sneeze. Bleh, allergies! Have you ever noticed how much allergy medication doesn’t work? Argh… *sneeze* *cough* *sniff*

I’m up to page 340 now in Roots of the Classical. I got a fair amount read yesterday.

Minute by minute

I was finally able to spend a few more hours on my “Hour by Hour” piece, and it’s total duration is currently about five seconds short of ten minutes… which means by the time the piece is finished it will be longer than ten minutes. I’ll have to go back and see if I can find out which of my current pieces is the longest, for perhaps “Hour by Hour” will conquer them all.

The entries for the GPO Orchestration Challenge #12 are up here. Quite interesting to hear so many diverse interpretations of one theme, no?

My first exam is on Thursday evening, so I’ve got to study for that today.

Waltz and such

I put a new video on YouTube, an animation that goes along with my beautiful “Waltz of Pegasus” … here, I’ll embed it:

Ain’t that pretty? Right after I post this blog entry, I’ll hopefully go work some more on my latest piece of music… I keep wanting to write a smaller ensemble piece, such as another trio for harp, flute, and oboe or another woodwind quartet, but I’ve gotta finish this longer orchestral piece first!

I haven’t gotten much farther in that book, Roots of the Classical; I’m only on page 275 now I think.

Prejudiced classical music lovers

Those Enigma Variations sure are nice… and varied.

I spent at least a little time studying for my math exam, which I won’t have until the 15th, so I have plenty of time… didn’t really get much more of the book read, though.

I spent some time arguing some more about modern music here. Someone said (or at least this is what I understood his words to mean) that he believed most classical music lovers would also enjoy modern ‘academic’ music, even though the style has changed, if it weren’t for their prejudice that makes them afraid to even check it out. I argued against such a view, claiming that a majority of classical music lovers probably just do not currently care for the majority of the ‘academic’ music that is being written. To quote myself:

I’m not sure how you think it would follow that lovers of classical music would love today’s new concert music just because that’s what ‘serious’ composers are composing now. Why do people love classical music? This is subjective of course but I’d say it’s the music itself they enjoy, not the fact that composers were using the idioms of their day, or the fact that they’re considered ‘serious’, or whatever historic influence they might have had. Just because the idioms have changed doesn’t mean that classical music lovers are just going to automatically follow it or accept it or love it. In fact, it would seem to me changing idioms would be even less of a reason to follow it. If someone was a fan of Mozart and Mozart said “New idiom: atonality!” and followed it up with some high pitch laughter, he’d probably lose some of his fans. Extreme example, of course, I don’t mean to imply that’s what modern music is like, but certainly a large majority of it is not like classical music was 200 years ago. It’s a different genre, a different style, not just a continuation of classical music because of its ‘artistic seriousness’. (You say yourself it’s a different idiom.)

Ah, a nice long quote! I wonder if a majority of ‘academic’ composers would necessarily agree with me?

Nothing happened

I’m on page 250 of Roots of the Classical… reading it was what I did most of the day yesterday. Sometimes I get the feeling the author is talking right to me, if you know what I mean!

Hey, it’s Cinco de Mayo, so… yay, I guess.

Well, I gotta work at the library today. And then I’ll start preparing for exams while listening to some nice Enigma Variations.

It’s over now, the music of the night

Whew, long day!

I’m on page 156 of Roots of the Classical and I have plenty of quotes to blog hopefully sometime this weekend. I’m not really spending as much time with the musical examples as I’d like because I want to finish reading the book before school’s out, but I’d say it’s definitely worth the $65 for the paperback. However, while it’s now on my Amazon.com wish list, there are still some things I want a bit more, so I probably won’t be buying it anytime soon. (Afterall, college students are penniless!) It would be worth it to look out for used copies though. Anyway, one thing I enjoy about the book is that the author seems to agree with many of my preconceived musical notions, which is always nice.

I tried working on The Game of Gynwig for a bit, and after an hour I got about two paragraphs written. Blah, it’s hard to write!

Classes are finally over! My two classes today mainly consisted of not-very-helpful reviews, but at least it was easier to pay attention. I still have the final exams coming up, but all in all I’d say this has pretty much been the worst semester… probably even the worst schooling experience of my entire life… glad it’s over! (For the most part!)

I tried to work on my piece of music for a bit, but I was too tired and my own music lulled me into a state of consciousness that was not quite asleep yet not quite awake… so I really couldn’t get any work done on it at all. I guess classical composers never had that sort of problem, writing out their classical compositions on paper and not really being able to hear them the way I do.

I also did my laundry for hopefully the last time this semester. Isn’t that interesting?

Thumb twitching

Woohoo! No homework left! At least, until next semester… argh…

I’m on page 110 of Roots of the Classical, a quite insightful book, and I have several more quotes from it to add to the book quotes blog whenever I get around to it.

Hmmm… I don’t really think I’ve done much else lately besides homework, reading the aforementioned book, and arguing on the forum. I have two things I need to work on now, besides studying for exams: finish the “Hour by Hour” piece and work on my novel. Well, those things and of course finish reading the book.

I had a dream the other night in which my thumb was twitching. When I woke up it was still twitching. Oh, how wonderfully annoying it is when our senses make their way into our dreams.

Last of the homework

I must do my last homework assignment of the semester tonight… it’s like a threshold crossing or something.

I’m a bit farther along in Roots of the Classical… on page 72 to be exact. Because I know blog readers care about the specific page I’m on in a book. I guess I’ll just keep reading. It would certainly be nice to finish before the semester ends.

Tomorrow is the last day of classes. Looks like my first exam is on the 10th and then one on the 14th and two on the 15th. Blagh. At least I’ll have over a week to study.

And then I have two more semesters of this worthlessness!