Z hears a Canon

That was quite odd.  I went to Music again – I should explain, the timetable was changed three years ago so that all lessons are double periods, 100 minutes long.  So there are only three periods in a day, and there has long been a fortnightly timetable.  This has a great benefit for Music because, for practical work, it takes some time to co-ordinate a classful of pupils and explain what they’re going to do, show them and then go around the classroom and practice rooms, helping and making sure they have got the idea.  However, the demands of the curriculum mean that, for Year 9 pupils, who have not yet chosen their GCSE options, they can only have one long music lesson a fortnight.  So I go in weekly, and help with two different classes.

So we were doing the same music, Katy Perry’s Firework  and Pachelbel’s Canon, as I mentioned last Thursday.  And I’ll explain the link – they both have a fairly simple repeated base melody.  Next time, they will be working on the Pachelbel again, each pupil playing a different part within their own small group, and they should be able to play the first part by the end of the lesson (not the whole thing.  It gets jolly fast).  The tune in the bass is C, G, A, E, F, C, F, G.  The second C is the octave lower than the first.

So, that was quite straightforward.  And afterwards, I got in the car and drove over to Beccles, because I left my purse behind and was going to retrieve it.  After I’d gone about a mile, it dawned on me that I could hear that Canon tune.  I listened carefully.  I had not recorded it on my phone, there was no possibility that it was playing somewhere, but I was not singing it in my head, I wasn’t consciously thinking of it at all.  And it was definitely the sound of a piano, not a voice.  I listened.  And after a few minutes, there were a few mistakes, such as a repetition of the F, C before going on to the F, G.  I could hear it all the way over to Beccles, ten or so minutes away.  More variations – or mistakes – crept in as I drove along, but there were still the same notes, no D or B creeping in, the same pitch, the same tempo.

Once I reached Beccles and was looking for a place to park, I didn’t think of it any more, and by the time I did, the sound had vanished.  I occasionally get tinnitus, though not badly, and then it goes again, and I suppose it’s a form of that.  It was more interesting than unpleasant and I’m not concerned about it.  It’s just odd, that’s all.

10 comments on “Z hears a Canon

  1. Tim

    That rings a bell (and several other instruments). My car frequently plays music to me as I’m driving – I don’t mean the stereo system, I mean the car itself. I thought it was just me.

    And thank you for revealing that Pachelbel was influenced by Katy Perry. Not a lot of people knew that.

  2. Mike and Ann

    Your tinnitus sounds much more interesting than mine. Mine just sounds like a tree full of starlings in the autumn, about a hundred yards away (the distance varies, although the further away they sound – the better).

  3. Z

    You made me look, Tim. Tease.

    And I’m not the only one – how interesting. I wonder if it was brought on by the sound of the car engine? I’ll see if it happens again next Thursday.

    That is gorgeous, von LX. Actually, I was thinking it would sound rather good if I played the melody on my clarinet with them playing the bass part. I could play it a lot better than I do on the organ, which would break your heart in another way. The first page is all right, but after that I have the choice between slowing down or leaving out half the notes.

    It was weird, but not at all unpleasant. I actually quite enjoyed it, it was interesting.

  4. Z

    In that case, I may have to put up my green eye on my profile again, to be suitably mysterious. I hope that mischief counts as a wise use?

  5. Z

    I listened really carefully, with some pleasure – whilst recognising that it’s connected to impaired hearing, I still enjoyed it.


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