Friday, 14th September, 2012.

      It’s been quite a while since I wrote on my blog.   Sorry, readers – “Time, you old journeyman, will you not stay . . . “ and all that.

     It’s been a busy Summer, but I’ll try to catch up a little here.

     A week or so ago, I awoke just before 6:30 a.m. to the strains of Vaughan-Williams’ “Variations on a Theme by Thomas Tallis”.   It’s my favourite piece of classical music.

It set me pondering on just how a composer can be moved to write music by something.   One can see something of how the process works with poets, and with pieces of descriptive prose.   With paintings, too, to a certain degree, of course.

But “seeing” the layout of a piece of music is something quite different.   Well, that’s how it seems to me.   (I’m writing this whilst listening to Beethoven’s 6th Symphony, the Pastoral – don’t I sound snobby?)

I was never a brilliant musician, but I used to be a competent jazz-musician.   It’s been fifty years since I played any serious jazz – well, not really serious because my roots were deep in the traditional style.   Playing that music was a matter of improvising on ready-made tunes, mainly twelve-bar blues.   We used popular tunes of the day and of days before we were born.

I hear very few contemporary popular tunes being written in these days of “pop” and performers appealing to weeny-bopper audiences.

And my improvisations were pretty predictable, I suppose:  I never reached my original goal of playing trumpet like Louis Armstrong!  Alas, he had the advantage of being a musical genius.

(You can find out in my Autobiography of how I was introduced to jazz.)

So composers – serious ones – must have brains which are different from artists in other genres.   And, as I pondered, I told myself just to enjoy what those brains and skills have produced and not worry my head about the production process.

And I am so grateful that Rosie introduced me to “serious” music.   It has been a great joy to me and a comfort in times of stress.   Thanks, luv.

(I shall continue these postings more often in future.)

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