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Classical Notes: March 22, 2006 Archive

The Sound of Silence

Posted at 4:06 AM on March 22, 2006 by Valerie Kahler (13 Comments)
Filed under: The blog

I heartily agree with John Zech’s statement (3/20) about needing a break from sounds after a full day of radio work. My non-radio friends are always surprised by A) my weird music collection and B) how infrequently I listen to it.

I’ve never been one of those study-to-Mozart types. It’s way too distracting for me, which is mostly a good thing. Music can never be "background" in my life...which can sometimes prove maddening. Back in college, during the semesters I studied “ear training” (learning to identify chords, chord inversions, chord progressions, etc. by ear) I couldn’t shut it off. I’d find myself in the grocery store or the elevator mentally graphing out the Muzak bass line and thinking, “Deceptive cadence,” or, “Ha! Picardy third!” Geeks R Us.

I have music running through my head virtually non-stop anyway. I seem to have a dedicated music channel in my brain, and it’s broadcasting 24/7. Most of the time I don’t notice it, but sometimes the volume gets turned up to 11 and that’s when I become The Most Annoying Person Ever. Every single thing anyone says will fire up a new tune in my mental jukebox and I’m frequently powerless to keep from bursting into song. Here’s how bad it is: Several months ago I saw a letter to Dear Abby or Miss Manners wherein some poor soul couldn’t so much as mention the weather without one particular friend breaking into, “Don’t know whyyyyyy...there’s no sun up in the skyyyyy...” or somesuch, and how could she make her stop?? I was convinced Lauren Rico had written it about me…which turned out not to be the case. But still.

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