Monday, 7 March 2011

Where is the True Voice?

Light on paper plays
a greyscale fireworks display
Tree wind roars around me
Another song
I must tell....

Today, to celebrate an organized life, I was going to deliver a lovely little post about Legend of Zelda, but then my multi-cultural studies class turned that plan on its head. See, we're reading Robbe-Grillet's Jealousy, which I won't enthuse about here because it'd take awhile, and my professor asked us a very important question.
"If I cut out a page, a paragraph, a few sentences of any Robbe-Grillet from any of his other works, do you think you'd recognize it?"
We all immediately say yes. Undoubtedly.
"When I listen to the radio and turn it to a classical station, even if I come in at the middle of a piece, I'm able to identify it within a few seconds. But not by the individual song, no I always first recognize the composer. Sometimes by one particular chord. Oh, that's Wagner, or Mozart, or Beethoven." He pauses for dramatic effect - something my prof does quite often.
"I can tell who the composer is by his harmony, not the melody."
Class watches him, some eyebrows raised. Understanding, I yank the pen out of my ponytail and begin to copy down his words. Yes, I think, that's it exactly.
"The melody plays the story, but it is not the most revealing thing. The way the composer uses harmony, brass as opposed to string... that is how you define the style."
Ain't it just.

*Today's post brought to you by Dr. M*


Janet Johnson said...

Oooh. I like this. Thanks for passing along the wisdom. :)

Voyagefan said...

Now THAT is an awesome analogy. And it's so true.

Missed Periods said...

I feel like an idiot, but I don't really know the difference between harmony and melody. But I am going to research it and ponder it because this sounds like a great analogy.

Lisa Aldin said...

Light Bulb!! Love it!