Saturday, October 14, 2006

True to True (see previous post)

Yesterday afternoon I pulled out two score books from High Button Shoes, the show I am directing this spring, and began to pound away at the keys of the piano in a meager attempt to hear what the musical score sounded like. And meager is most definitely a correct description. I encountered key signatures that had previously only existed in my theory book (okay, that was a bit of an exaggeration, but these are not everyday key signatures, trust me!) The pages are tattered and yellowed and the handwritten notation challenged even my dear friend, an accompanist par excellence. As she played through the pieces earlier today she would pause, with some regularity I might add, scrunch up her nose to heighten the effect of her already quizzical expression, and blurt out, "What is that supposed to be? Is that a sharp or a natural sign? And what key are we in now? There is no key signature listed here!" Whoever penned this one, left a bit to the imagination. Ah! The era of manuscripted musical scores was an interesting one, indeed.

But I was soon catapulted back into the 21st century -- I received a package shortly afterwards addressed to dear hubby. The return label was some sort of education outfit. What could this be? I opened it (I take such liberties, I'm afraid) and there was his new computer program, Sibelius, a tool for writing music quickly and neatly! Hopefully his band students won't have to search for lost key signatures and wonder at the meaning of certain symbols. Ah! The era of computer generated musical scores is also an interesting one.

Later I snuggled under the covers -- it is officially chilly in the north country -- with my most recent book, The Medicis: Godfathers of the Renaissance. It is a fascinating read for those who love history. Or people. Or God's working throughout the ages. Or power. Or money. Or the Renaissance. Or Italy. Let's just say it includes all of these things. This Medici clan was some family. In the text we follow them through 400 years of influence as we see Western culture transition from Medieval paradigms to Renaissance thinking. Let it suffice to say that my education about them was deficient; many missing links are falling in place. Fascinating. I will be getting the video with the same title in the next few weeks. I can hardly wait!

Today I will bake cookies, grocery shop, attend the wedding/reception of my daughter's violin teacher, gather with college students on campus for a meeting as another daughter leads a worship band, and head home to prepare for a Sunday school class on Titus 2. Doesn't look like there will be much time for High Button Shoes or The Medicis. But some of the tunes have already stuck in the memory bank, so I may be humming a snatch here and there. And images of Cosimo and Lorenzo ruling in their 1450 Florence, Italy are still floating through my mind. So if you catch me dreaming just snap me back to reality. As long as I don't have Cosimo Medici dressed in high button shoes and a boater hat, we will be all set!

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