Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Reading Music

Most music notation software costs several hundred dollars, and is reportedly somewhat user-unfriendly. Perhaps in response to  consumer demand, Sibelius offers a lower priced, simpler version called Sibelius First. Last week, Jeremy and I bought this program so he could transform his chicken scratches on staff/tabular paper into lovely printed music. On the way home from the electronics store, we listened to the Beatles’ One album, and Jeremy told me that none of the Beatles read music. That surprised me. I learned to read music when I was in the third grade (because my parents were affluent enough to send me to music lessons). I learned to read English the year before I started Kindergarten, and in the span of my life, that four-year head start seems insignificant. Reading music feels like something I’ve always done.

The Beatles created music that started a revolution without ever scratching those notes onto staff/tabular paper. They conquered the world on talent alone.


Wyman Stewart said...

And another thing few people know is "The Ballad of John and Yoko" on the 1 CD was NEVER number one in the USA, but spent one whole week at number one on the UK chart. (Although I happen to love the humor of this song, I think you might find sources, which do not recognize "The Ballad of John and Yoko" as one of the 21 # 1's the Beatles had.)

Depending on how you look at it, and I look at it this way, REVOLUTION, not on the 1 CD, was the flip side of Hey Jude, which everyone agrees was # 1 for 6 or 7 weeks, I think. So, Revolution had to sell as many as Hey Jude (being on the same 45 record), but Hey Jude, 7+ minutes long, compared to around 3 minutes for Revolution, got more radio airplay, because it offered DJs "convenience breaks" (trying to be polite). So, it's possible that Cash Box or other charts, especially local Rock Charts, would show Revolution having more Juke Box plays or local radio play (# 1) than Hey Jude.

Thus, Revolution has a greater right to be on the 1 CD than "The Ballad of John and Yoko." Another thing conveniently forgotten by all, but those who lived in that era is, at times, The Beatles had separate 45 singles in the Top 2 or Top 3 positions on the chart, at the same time. Meaning several of The Beatles hits never reached # 1, only because Beatle singles were outselling them, holding down the top spot. Think they once had 4 of the Top 5 songs in a given week. (All this off the top of my head, but think I am pretty accurate.)

Record Industry distorts and lies a lot, along with various entities connected with the music business.

Okay, hopping off my Soapbox. (Yeah, I'm over-serious sometimes.)

Ann Finkelstein said...

I'd never thought about the flip side of 45s. I agree about the humor in The Ballad of John and Yoko. The line about "two gurus in drag" always makes me smile.

Wyman Stewart said...

I remember actually seeing John and Yoko in bed being interviewed at the Amsterdam Hilton mentioned in the song, when I watched the network news that evening, which is what the song is based on or partially based on. Thanks, been a while since I listened to that song, so believe I always miss the line you mention. The song is filled with wonderful humor, which is why I forgave them for not including Revolution on that CD.

:-( I'm so old I watched The Beatles appear for the first time on American television on the Ed Sullivan Show. Yet, I know much less about them than most people and lost track of much of their great music, because radio stopped playing it.

Sorry about the rant. I will punish myself by listening to the CD. :-) Okay, might beat myself with a wet noodle too.