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#2127493 - 08/03/13 02:26 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
Wouter D'hoye Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/26/13
Posts: 42
Loc: Belgium
Hi,

After one week and a piano I manage to not srew up "brother jacob" every single time i (try) to play it. Not sure I could really call that an achievement but it's something.

Wouter.

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#2127498 - 08/03/13 02:41 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Wouter D'hoye]
Saranoya Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/13
Posts: 632
Loc: Brussels, Belgium
Hi Wouter,

In English they actually call the guy Brother John, apparently. I know, because I confused some people on here not that long ago, when I told them I was going to play 'Brother Jacob' at the European Piano Party laugh.

Anyway, for one week with your keyboard and no prior musical experience whatsoever, that's actually not bad. Now try for some block chords in the left hand. Hint: you really only need two of them, C and G major, or do-mi-sol and si-re-sol (first inversion of sol-si-re). It's a really simple I-V-I progression.

And not much of that makes sense to you now, I'm guessing. But it will, soon enough, once you get to do 'notenleer' wink.
_________________________
Beginner with some priors since 9/2012

Currently Playable
Bach 846, 926, 930
Beethoven 27/2 mvt. 1
Burgmüller 100/3, 4, 7, 12, 15, 19, 25
Chopin 72/1
Clementi 36/1
Grieg 12/1, 7
Tchaikovsky 39/9

Future
Burgmüller 109
Bartok Sz 56
Mozart K331

Top
#2127551 - 08/03/13 05:14 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
casinitaly Online   blank


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5310
Loc: Italy
FarmGirl - I liked reading about how you are feeling about your music and what your long term goals are - I seem to have misinterpreted what you wrote before, and I'm glad to have been wrong! I think you'd make a fabulous teacher! What a fab retirement plan!


Saranoya and Wouter: Brother John, Brother Jacob, Frère Jacques and here in Italy ...Fra Martino..... Interesting which names were chosen to fit the 4 beat requirement!
_________________________
XVIII-XXXV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#2127566 - 08/03/13 05:41 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
Allard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/12
Posts: 342
Loc: Netherlands
"Brother John" is three syllables. Couldn't those silly English folks have come up with a better name? Like, oh, Jacob?
_________________________
David Lanz - Where the Tall Tree Grows
Nobuo Uematsu - Aerith's Theme (Final Fantasy VII Piano Collections)

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#2127573 - 08/03/13 05:50 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Allard]
casinitaly Online   blank


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5310
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: Allard
"Brother John" is three syllables. Couldn't those silly English folks have come up with a better name? Like, oh, Jacob?


Three syllables, yes, but the "John" is stretched over 2 beats smile

Given how many 2 syllable names there are in English you are right in questioning why John was chosen rather than....

oh maybe ....Martin? lol.
_________________________
XVIII-XXXV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#2127575 - 08/03/13 05:54 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2107
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Originally Posted By: casinitaly
Originally Posted By: Allard
"Brother John" is three syllables. Couldn't those silly English folks have come up with a better name? Like, oh, Jacob?


Three syllables, yes, but the "John" is stretched over 2 beats smile

Given how many 2 syllable names there are in English you are right in questioning why John was chosen rather than....

oh maybe ....Martin? lol.






You have to forgive the English. They get lost whenever they can't say: Oh, Bloody XXX.

AOTW: I survived another day amongst the horde of locusts on motorcycles. smile
_________________________
Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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#2127616 - 08/03/13 07:06 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Allard]
Exalted Wombat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 1208
Loc: London UK
Originally Posted By: Allard
"Brother John" is three syllables. Couldn't those silly English folks have come up with a better name? Like, oh, Jacob?


Is that the tune I always thought was called "Pharoh Sharker"? (You don't question things so much as a kid.)

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#2127635 - 08/03/13 07:49 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
aTallGuyNH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/22/12
Posts: 509
AOTW -- submitted my 6000 sq. ft. recording to the Quarterly Recital. Not much of an achievement per se, but it was good to just make the decision and submit (since there are major drawbacks to the recording -- explained in the comments there) instead of dithering, trying to come up with something else, gnawing at my fingernails, and so on for the next two weeks.

Basically, I am achieving virtually nothing from a piano standpoint at this point. Treading water for the summer, or at least trying. I had visions of doing a kick-butt (for an 18 month amateur anyway) "New York State of Mind" in time for the Mason & Hamlin factory tour on 9/9, but that ain't happening.

Originally Posted By: casinitaly
FarmGirl - I liked reading about how you are feeling about your music and what your long term goals are - I seem to have misinterpreted what you wrote before, and I'm glad to have been wrong!

I have the sneaking suspicion that FarmGirl & Saranoya [Sara -- lumping you in because I see you two as being two peas in a pod re: appearing to be way too hard on yourselves] are alike in this regard. All of us are, to varying degrees. What we are hearing is the internal dialog that really needs to get out, to share with others who will be sym/empathetic to our frustrations. I don't think it's that there is no sense of accomplishment, or some deep unhappiness with ourselves, but rather that those positive aspects are hidden from public view a bit because focusing too much on what is going well is not really going to help with moving forward to greater heights.

Ironic isn't it, given the nature of the thread? smile

And, being the over-achieving types (switching back to FarmGirl & Sara -- again, I see them as being very similar in this regard), I think that negative focus is just part of what makes them able to accomplish whatever they set their minds to, by perpetually chasing after those negatives and identifying more and more others.

Deep down, I think they both know they are pretty darn talented, but they don't like to think or talk about it too much. At least, I'd like to think they realize it.

FarmGirl & Sara -- Am I barking up the right tree here? Or will the world never know because you're too modest to say? blush

Originally Posted By: Wouter D'hoye
Hi,

After one week and a piano I manage to not srew up "brother jacob" every single time i (try) to play it. Not sure I could really call that an achievement but it's something.

Wouter.

Congrats! That is an achievement, absolutely. Any little step forward is progress that is worth celebrating.

If you only celebrate the big steps, you'll very likely grow discouraged quite quickly -- basically because they are all small steps that gradually build up. It's only in longer term retrospect that any progress seems big (aside from the mountain we all have to climb). One exception -- when the self-taught (like me) finally get a teacher, or those who are in a rut and switch to a new teacher, start to make big strides... those AOTWs are great fun to hear.

Originally Posted By: rnaple
AOTW: I survived another day amongst the horde of locusts on motorcycles. smile

Hopefully they are surviving as well! Here in NH for our Motorcycle Week in Loudon there seems to be at least one fatality each year. I'm sure the lack of a helmet law here is a contributing factor... drives me crazy.
_________________________
"...when you do practice properly, it seems to take no time at all. Just do it right five times or so, and then stop." -- JimF

Working on: my aversion to practicing in front of my wife

1978 Vose & Sons spinet "Rufus"
1914 Huntington upright "Mabel"

XXIX-XXXII

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#2127720 - 08/03/13 10:37 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
Saranoya Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/13
Posts: 632
Loc: Brussels, Belgium
Originally Posted By: FarmGirl
On the subject of comparison - I think I got over it a couple of years ago. I'm fine with playing the same piece with anyone. My interpretation is different anyway. I think I started feeling that I will go somewhere with my piano. It's not like I could be a concert pianist which I never wanted but I could have my own modest future.


I'm glad to read that you feel like you're really going places with your piano playing, FarmGirl. Often, on here, you do not come across as someone who truly believes that. Though I think aTallGuyNH pretty much hit the nail on the head in trying to explain -- more on that below.

Even knowing that you're not really beating yourself up over this, I still think every word of my earlier post applies. Often, you *are* extremely hard on yourself (and yes, TallGuy, in that regard FarmGirl and I pretty much *are* two peas in a pod), and sometimes, you need to be able to let go of that and simply be pleased with where you are.

Originally Posted By: aTallGuyNH
I think that negative focus is just part of what makes them able to accomplish whatever they set their minds to, by perpetually chasing after those negatives and identifying more and more others.


Like I said above: as far as I'm concerned, you are pretty much hitting the nail on the head, here. I truly do believe that focusing mostly on what *isn't* going well is the best way to keep moving forward. Those who pat themselves on the back every day, and do nothing but that, are not very likely to really get anywhere. That's called arrogance, and given a choice between being too arrogant and being too modest, I'd rather go with the latter -- not just because people will like me better that way (though they usually will), but also because arrogance and complacency often go hand in hand. When you already think the world of yourself, there's not much of a reason to keep trying for something better.

Originally Posted By: aTallGuyNH
Deep down, I think they both know they are pretty darn talented, but they don't like to think or talk about it too much.


What follows is probably TMI, though much of it will be nothing new to you if you've been reading most of my previous PW posts. You asked, so I'll answer. But don't say I didn't warn you.

I grew up with a younger sister who was a prodigy as a ballet dancer, and who is now making a career for herself as a member of a contemporary dance company in Rotterdam. It's the sort of thing that really only a handful of people worldwide manage to make a decent living at.

She could have been a prodigy as a violinist, too, had she chosen to go that way. She was the kind of girl who consistently got 90% or more on her violin exams, even in the years when she could only muster a single hour of practice a week. Annoyingly (to me at least, back when we were both still in primary school), she also usually got straight A's, despite spending most of her off hours in dance lessons.

That's not me. I got 90% on my piano exam in June, but I had to work *hard* for that. And I truly believe that the jury was being rather lenient in assigning their final scores. By and large, I agreed with the order in which they ended up ranking the various students, but the actual scores were remarkably high, given the level of our playing. I guess they wanted everyone to feel good about themselves and come back next year.

I acknowledge the fact that I have a certain facility with music, which not everyone (not even everyone on these boards) may have. Memorisation is ridiculously easy for me, to the point that it may actually hamper my progress in playing the piano more than help it, insofar as it prevents me from really learning to read music. I also have a pretty good ear (though not perfect pitch, a lack for which I am grateful), and that allows me to transcribe stuff I may have heard a few times on the radio with more ease than most.

However, I know that I'm not truly talented. I spent my early years being a front-row observer to what true talent looks like, and like I said: that's not me.

Me? I'm the kind of person who has to fight tooth and nail for everything she wants in life. I've had to fight for many things that other people take for granted.

When I was a child, I had to fight for the ability to walk. Read: physical therapy multiple times a week over a period of fifteen years, several surgeries with protracted hospital stays attached to them, and even then, a less-than-ideal walking pattern, which led to easy fatigue and occasional wheelchair use.

Also during my childhood, I was rarely taken seriously by any of the adults in my life. My second piano teacher literally wrote on my report card that he was 'unable to assess due to limited potential', taking a hint from a letter my mother had written to him before I started lessons. When I was nine, I was sent to a school for disabled kids, because my third grade teacher felt that I was holding back the class too much. For the record: I now hold a college degree, and I worked twenty hours a week during much of the time it took me to obtain it, so I think there's probably nothing wrong with me in the brains department.

I ran away from home when I was seventeen. By that time, my sister (for whom, it seems, *everything* was somehow just a little easier) had found a 'legitimate' way to get out. She moved to a different city at age fourteen, in pursuit of a 'serious' classical ballet education. When I tried to explain to my mother why I, too, wanted to get away, I was branded a liar. The label stuck with me for over a decade, until, years after the fact, my little brother spontaneously told her a story about a pretty pivotal moment in my life, to which he had been a witness without anyone else knowing. That particular story was very hard to dispute, because I had told the exact same story, with the exact same details, a very long time ago. Both of my parents finally apologised to me in March of this year.

When I was twenty-three, I had a stupid accident that ultimately robbed me of my hard-won ability to walk unassisted. A year after that accident (using the wheelchair pretty much full time, at that point), I went to the unemployment office to re-register myself as looking for a job. The lady behind the counter looked me up and down and said: what are you doing here? Why don't you just apply for a disability pension?

Because I don't want any handouts, lady. And look, I found myself a job! No thanks to you.

And then, about a year ago, a doctor found a cyst in my brain. Probably because of that, I now find myself having to cope not only with epilepsy (which is not related to the cyst, but to the same congenital neurological disorder that's at the root of my physical disability), but also with transient blindness that comes and goes at irregular and unpredictable times. Surgery was attempted, but failed, and I am now on a pretty strict diet that helps a bit, but not nearly as much as I had hoped it would. I admit, I am having a hard time with that. But I soldier on regardless.

The way I see it, nothing in life has ever come easy to me. Unlike my sister, I'm not really that remarkable in terms of special gifts or talents -- quite the contrary, in fact. I've managed to accomplish a few things anyway. Some might say that *that's* what makes me remarkable. And I am not so falsely modest as to want to categorically deny that (I might add a few caveats, though). But through all of the above, if there's anything I've learned, it's that sitting in a corner congratulating myself will never get me anywhere.

Life is a never-ending war. When one battle is over, it's only a matter of time before the next one comes along. I try to be prepared. Sometimes, I even go looking for the next battle myself. And you're right: along the way, I try not to think too hard about the things that make me special. Knowing that I'm special won't help me win the war. Knowing where my weaknesses are, on the other hand, is indispensable if I want to do something about them, and live to fight another day.
_________________________
Beginner with some priors since 9/2012

Currently Playable
Bach 846, 926, 930
Beethoven 27/2 mvt. 1
Burgmüller 100/3, 4, 7, 12, 15, 19, 25
Chopin 72/1
Clementi 36/1
Grieg 12/1, 7
Tchaikovsky 39/9

Future
Burgmüller 109
Bartok Sz 56
Mozart K331

Top
#2127790 - 08/04/13 02:16 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
casinitaly Online   blank


Gold Supporter until March 1 2014


Registered: 03/01/10
Posts: 5310
Loc: Italy
Well, Saranoya, if there is one thing I've learned about you in the past few months, it is certainly that you are NOT complacent.


I've been working on this reply for quite a while - It's harder than I expected to get my thoughts out in a decent way.

You've written a lot - much of which I (and others) already knew -and some new info. I had thought the surgery was to try to treat your epilepsy. I didn't know you had a cyst and that it was the cause of the episodes of blindness. That's .....well, to put it really mildly, that's scary.

You said
Originally Posted By: saranoya
Life is a never-ending war. When one battle is over, it's only a matter of time before the next one comes along. I try to be prepared. Sometimes, I even go looking for the next battle myself. And you're right: along the way, I try not to think too hard about the things that make me special. Knowing that I'm special won't help me win the war. Knowing where my weaknesses are, on the other hand, is indispensable if I want to do something about them, and live to fight another day.


I agree with you.

We all fight battles. Some are bigger and harder than others - some seem big at the time and only later do we gain perspective and know for sure that "oh, that was nothing...THIS is something!"

My battles aren't the same as yours - and for the great majority not as overwhelming as yours. I have had brain surgery, but mine was 20 years ago and I was one of the lucky ones who didn't need radiation or chemo - the surgery did it all. It was terrifying and the hardest fear I've ever had to face - but ... what choice is there? Reading about why you had your surgery with the added info today .....well...expect a PM my friend.

I know that many of the battles you fight are so you can have as normal a life as possible, so you can live on your own, so you can have a job and be independent. It really does seem that your battles are never ending - and though you are very matter-of-fact about them, I also think that what you fight is more than a great many of us can even imagine. You keep saying you don't think you are particularly strong - but in my eyes you are.
_________________________
XVIII-XXXV
Everything's too hard until you make it easy. Follow your teacher's instructions and practice wisely/much, and you'll soon wonder how you ever found it hard ;)-BobPickle
Performance anxiety: make it part of your daily routine and deal with it...Cope! zrtf90

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#2127798 - 08/04/13 02:59 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Allard]
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 1022
Loc: Italy
Originally Posted By: Allard
"Brother John" is three syllables. Couldn't those silly English folks have come up with a better name? Like, oh, Jacob?


Actually, you need three syllables in that part of the song: in Italian there is "dormi tu" where there is "brother John" in English. "Fra Martino" comes at the beginning of the phrase, just like Frère Jacques.

But I must point out that while Brother John just hears the bells, Fra Martino and Frère Jacques ring the bells themselves. Lazy English people wink

(I know, there are much more serious matters discussed on this page, but I feel pedantic today)
_________________________
Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
Martha Argerich... is an incarnation of the artistic metaphor of the "eternal feminine" that draws us upward. (Sergio Sablich)

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#2127801 - 08/04/13 03:11 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: sinophilia]
SwissMS Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/11
Posts: 854
Loc: Switzerland
Saranoya - Thank you for sharing your story with us. Your determination and fortitude shine through. I had no idea what a struggle your life has been. Yet you stay very positive and very encouraging to others. You are an inspiration.

And, after hearing you play in the last recital and at the EPP, it is clear that you are talented and you have a passion for piano! Your heartfelt interpretation of Moonlight was very beautiful. I wish you the best my friend!
_________________________


European Piano Party July 4, 2015 in Switzerland!

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#2127810 - 08/04/13 04:36 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
FarmGirl Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 2036
Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
Hi Sara, thank you for sharing your story. I have never met you but almost feel like you are my kindred spirit. I admire your poise and strength.

I hear everyone carries their own cross but yours seems to be bigger than most people. I don't know but whatever the reasons everyone seems to have different cross. I have mine too. I survived some incident long time ago. I still feel like Ryan from the movie Saving Private Ryan. So grateful being alive. Piano, dogs, husband, friends, an excellent career and a roof over my head. I have plenty to eat and many good things in my life. I hope I lived my life deserving way. I will send all of you best wishes. When I felt like I was in the bottom of my life, I discovered music. I did not know I like piano before. I heard Chopin piece in a movie and somehow it hits me like .. I don't have the words to describe. I cried my heart out. I felt each note of the music washing my body and soul. It's okay to live, the thought came to my mind.

I'm a hard worker but I like goofing off too. I think whoever gave me my life would like me to be happy. I am writing this at 1:00 am - love this time of the day sometimes. Completely alone and just thinking about things that has nothing to do with work. Love dogs. Love music. They both communicate to my heart directly.
_________________________
Solo - Rachmaninoff Elegie Op 3 #1, Schumann Op 12 Warum, Grillen and a few short pieces by various composers
Collaboration - Concerto in C for Oboe and orchestra attributed to Haydn edited by Evelyn Rosewell and some duets


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#2127811 - 08/04/13 04:52 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: FarmGirl]
Saranoya Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/13
Posts: 632
Loc: Brussels, Belgium
Originally Posted By: FarmGirl
When I felt like I was in the bottom of my life, I discovered music. I did not know I like piano before. I heard Chopin piece in a movie and somehow it hits me like .. I don't have the words to describe. I cried my heart out. I felt each note of the music washing my body and soul. It's okay to live, the thought came to my mind.


This hits very close to home for me. My mother is a ballet teacher. When I was very little (four, maybe five years old), she would sometimes take me to work with her. I would sit behind the mirror and just listen. There was a lot of Chopin there, too. And it was a safe place. Nobody could touch me, or scream at me, or even talk to me. I was, for all intents and purposes, invisible to the world for those few hours.

The safety and serenity I felt when sitting behind that mirror as a child still resonate with me when I listen to certain pieces of piano music now. Occasionally, I will hear a piece on the radio that I hadn't heard in twenty years, and suddenly recognise it as one from the ballet studio. That can move me to tears, too.

And yes, for me as well, music provides a reason to hold on in the most difficult of times. Until today, not many people knew that. It seems slightly embarrassing to admit that something so mundane as the fact that I'm trying to learn to play a certain piece of music on the piano makes a difference in whether or not I feel like getting out of bed in the morning. But embarrassing or not, it's the truth.

I can only hope that I, sharing this kind of deep passion for music with you, will some day also share your abilities as a pianist. You're one of those people about whom I can honestly say that if I ever manage to play the way you do now, I will die happy.

Thank you, as well, for telling us your story.
_________________________
Beginner with some priors since 9/2012

Currently Playable
Bach 846, 926, 930
Beethoven 27/2 mvt. 1
Burgmüller 100/3, 4, 7, 12, 15, 19, 25
Chopin 72/1
Clementi 36/1
Grieg 12/1, 7
Tchaikovsky 39/9

Future
Burgmüller 109
Bartok Sz 56
Mozart K331

Top
#2127818 - 08/04/13 05:41 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
earlofmar Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1777
Loc: Australia
Saranoya - don't quite know what to say after your post but feel I should say something. To remain quiet is akin to hiding in the background and eavesdropping on close friends.

I wrote some crap and then erased it,.......it was very generous of you to share so much with people you don't know. I say generous because sharing your strength imparts a little to each of us.

Ron
_________________________
I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
XXXV-6-XXX

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#2127824 - 08/04/13 06:15 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: earlofmar]
Saranoya Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/13
Posts: 632
Loc: Brussels, Belgium
Originally Posted By: earlofmar
Saranoya - don't quite know what to say after your post but feel I should say something. To remain quiet is akin to hiding in the background and eavesdropping on close friends.


Hi Ron (and anyone else who may be reading from the sidelines),

Please, do not feel obligated to say anything, and don't feel embarrassed or uncomfortable if you think you'd rather not. I'm the one who decided to write what I wrote, in a public forum full of people who never asked to be pulled into my world on that intimate a level.

This is not 'eavesdropping on close friends'. If you want to compare it to any real-life situation, then I think it's probably more akin to having dinner at a restaurant, while at the next table over, a perfect stranger is busy having a particularly loud conversation with their own dinner companion, inadvertently (or not) exposing their personal drama for all to hear. It's not your fault that you've now been let in on some personal crap of mine. That's on me.

The fact that very few of the people frequenting these boards are actually close friends of mine is one of the reasons I choose to share here, on the internet, rather than talking to someone who knows me in real life. People who only know me as a name on a screen are far less likely to be emotionally burdened by what I have to say than those who know me 'in the flesh', and cross physical paths with me on a regular basis.

So you all have my permission (not that you needed it) to ignore me if you want to laugh. I had a story to tell, and I told it. None of you asked me to do that, and none of you really needed to know. If I have, in fact, inspired a few stray souls here with my 'strength and poise' or my 'generosity', or whatever else you want to call it, well ... that was not my primary intention, but I'm glad it worked out that way. And to those I may have offended, hurt, or inconvenienced in any other way: I apologise.

Maybe this was not the time or place for what I just did. In fact, it *probably* wasn't. But it's too late now to change my mind.

Fortunately for all of us, the nature of the medium dictates that in a day or so, the thread will have moved on. And that's exactly the way it should be.


Edited by Saranoya (08/04/13 06:35 AM)
_________________________
Beginner with some priors since 9/2012

Currently Playable
Bach 846, 926, 930
Beethoven 27/2 mvt. 1
Burgmüller 100/3, 4, 7, 12, 15, 19, 25
Chopin 72/1
Clementi 36/1
Grieg 12/1, 7
Tchaikovsky 39/9

Future
Burgmüller 109
Bartok Sz 56
Mozart K331

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#2127863 - 08/04/13 08:48 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 2107
Loc: Rocky Mountains
Saranoya...
I appreciate learning the reality of your life. What I knew before about you. My intuition projected something like this. You simply filled in the blanks. I also noticed in the pictures of you....you're cute!

We need to be honest about our music. To only reveal the good is ignorance. To face the problems, the bad. To grasp humility and earnestly worry only about the creation of music. That begins to look at things like God looks at them.

EDIT: I also wanted to add. The best music in the world comes from ourselves. It can't get better. To enjoy, to celebrate life is what it's all about.


Edited by rnaple (08/04/13 01:52 PM)
_________________________
Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon

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#2127880 - 08/04/13 09:46 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: rnaple]
Sand Tiger Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 1100
Loc: Southern California
Saranoya, your life story is an inspiration. Thanks for sharing that.

For me, I have shared that writing original music has gotten me through some dark and difficult times in my life, and that I do volunteer work in mental health. I'll leave it at that.

Week 73: The clock is ticking for the recital and I am still writing. Deadlines can be a good thing, because otherwise a composer can keep working forever and never say a piece is done. I've been working on what is going to be Avenue E for months now. The end result isn't likely to be much, but there is something that draws me to it. I am still working on the varying dynamics of highlighting the melody. Like so many things on piano, it is not a small project.

I bought a new bicycle. The one I have is from a yard sale in 2004, and has seen its better days. Cheers.
_________________________
my piano uploads

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#2127940 - 08/04/13 01:03 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
UKIkarus Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 03/05/13
Posts: 317
Loc: England, South East
My AOTW (if you want to call it that)

Visited here today

http://www.finchcocks.co.uk/pages/pianos.php

Had a play on this Broadwood, John and Son 1801 Grand among MANY others which has been something I have wanted to try for a looong time smile




Took me a bit by surprise especially since 2 of the notes were ringing several others without using any pedals making it sound like a constant sustain at times :P but the feel was not what I expected at all, a lot more gentle and nicer to play than I had first imagined... the sound of course was simply brilliant laugh


Edited by UKIkarus (08/04/13 01:04 PM)
_________________________
Yamaha MOX8 Synthesizer


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#2127984 - 08/04/13 03:09 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Saranoya]
aTallGuyNH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/22/12
Posts: 509
Originally Posted By: Saranoya
It seems slightly embarrassing to admit that something so mundane as the fact that I'm trying to learn to play a certain piece of music on the piano makes a difference in whether or not I feel like getting out of bed in the morning. But embarrassing or not, it's the truth.

I think that it is this embarrassment factor which gives rise to the fact that "most men lead lives of quiet desparation" -- never giving vent to the truth of how hard life can seem. Good for you for doing so here. I too (on a smaller scale) do the same, because it's a safe place to say things that I might not otherwise say to those who know me, which is why I'm strictly incognito and never use my real name online.

Originally Posted By: Saranoya
Originally Posted By: FarmGirl
On the subject of comparison - I think I got over it a couple of years ago. I'm fine with playing the same piece with anyone. My interpretation is different anyway. I think I started feeling that I will go somewhere with my piano. It's not like I could be a concert pianist which I never wanted but I could have my own modest future.


I'm glad to read that you feel like you're really going places with your piano playing, FarmGirl. Often, on here, you do not come across as someone who truly believes that.

+1 on that. Coming from FarmGirl, "I could have my own modest future" sounds positively ebullient! smile

Originally Posted By: Saranoya
Originally Posted By: aTallGuyNH
I think that negative focus is just part of what makes them able to accomplish whatever they set their minds to, by perpetually chasing after those negatives and identifying more and more others.


Like I said above: as far as I'm concerned, you are pretty much hitting the nail on the head, here.

Oh good. I was a little concerned that either of you might take offense at me presuming to discern your inner selves, so it's good to hear positive feedback.

Originally Posted By: Saranoya
I also have a pretty good ear (though not perfect pitch, a lack for which I am grateful)...

I've heard that those w/ perfect pitch often have trouble enjoying music because they identify an out of tune instrument/voice at an extremely high rate, and it sounds truly awful to them, whereas most of us are blissfully ignorant as long as the intervals are correct. Is that the reason you are grateful not to have it?

Either way, based on comments you've made on recital pieces, you do have a very discerning ear regarding tuning.

Originally Posted By: Saranoya
The way I see it, nothing in life has ever come easy to me. Unlike my sister, I'm not really that remarkable in terms of special gifts or talents -- quite the contrary, in fact. I've managed to accomplish a few things anyway. Some might say that *that's* what makes me remarkable.

Yup.

Originally Posted By: Saranoya
And I am not so falsely modest as to want to categorically deny that (I might add a few caveats, though).

Frankly, I think this is (a part anyway) of what makes you so endearing to many of us. You have shared many bits of this previously... as Ron said, you've basically filled in the blanks for us... and each time I've felt like:
  • you weren't complaining
  • you weren't trying to make anyone feel sorry for you
  • but, you weren't trying to puff yourself up either ("look at everything that I've overcome!")
  • nor were you engaging in false modesty either.
I'm sure you have your moments, like all of us, but I think that's a rare quality for those in extremely tough circumstances to be balanced -- avoiding being mired in one or more of those four pitfalls.


BTW -- I thought of you while on vacation... We stopped at a highway rest area somewhere in western New York, possibly north-western Pennsylvania. As we entered, I could hear a piano playing, and it was clearly an actual piano (and this, folks, is why digitals will never ever replace acoustics). Who ever heard of plopping a piano down in a rest stop?!? As I listened though, it was pretty expressionless... maybe a not very accomplished amateur was playing it?

So, I eventually arrived at the thing to find that it was a Boston grand (hence thinking of you), and that it was being played by a computer module of some sort, the keys locked in a clear plastic cover. Bummer!
_________________________
"...when you do practice properly, it seems to take no time at all. Just do it right five times or so, and then stop." -- JimF

Working on: my aversion to practicing in front of my wife

1978 Vose & Sons spinet "Rufus"
1914 Huntington upright "Mabel"

XXIX-XXXII

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#2128011 - 08/04/13 04:15 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
Saranoya Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/13
Posts: 632
Loc: Brussels, Belgium
Originally Posted By: aTallGuyNH
I've heard that those w/ perfect pitch often have trouble enjoying music because they identify an out of tune instrument/voice at an extremely high rate, and it sounds truly awful to them, whereas most of us are blissfully ignorant as long as the intervals are correct. Is that the reason you are grateful not to have it?


I know two people who have told me they have perfect pitch. They are both my teachers. Here are some of the things they reportedly don't like about having perfect pitch:

  • In much the same way that most people, once they've learned to read, can't *not* read anymore, it's apparently impossible for people with perfect pitch to *not* identify the pitches they hear. One of my teachers said to me once that this is very tiring. Basically, she can't listen to music on her way home from work at night, because if she does, her mind will constantly be busy identifying the pitches, and when she's already tired from six hours of teaching, or from a public performance, that's just too much.
  • Some people with perfect pitch will hear pitches even where us mere mortals would never go look for them. They are, for instance, acutely aware of the dissonance between the hum of the refrigerator, and that of the A/C. I imagine that, too, must be exhausting.
  • Once I have mastered a piece in the key it was originally written in, I can usually play it in a different key rather easily. Which is to say, it takes me a couple hours of practice, but that's still nowhere near the two weeks or so that it usually takes me to learn an entirely new piece. My piano teacher lacks the same ability: she can't transpose on the fly, and it takes her substantially longer than I would have expected, based on my own experience, to do it with practice. She attributes this to the fact that she has perfect pitch. To her, a piece of music sounds substantially different once it's been transposed into a different key. It's not *entirely* unfamiliar, but it's no longer entirely familiar, either.


And then yes, of course, there is the fact that people with discerning ears will pick up on each and every out-of-tune pitch. But I'm not sure one really must have perfect pitch (as in, the ability to identify any given pitch by its note name without reference) to be plagued by that. As you've said, I have a pretty good ear for out of tune pitches myself, and I don't have perfect pitch. I don't need to know the name of a pitch to know that it's too high or too low: I just intuitively compare it to whatever pitch came before, or is played concurrently with it. This is a matter of relative, not absolute pitch.

In other words, if someone were to re-tune my entire piano half a tone downwards, but make sure all the strings were in perfect tune relative to each other, I probably wouldn't notice anything was wrong with it. But when the strings on my piano go out of tune unevenly, as they are wont to do with changing weather patterns and such, I definitely notice. Because then some of the pitches just sound 'wrong' to my ears, relative to the other pitches my piano can produce.
_________________________
Beginner with some priors since 9/2012

Currently Playable
Bach 846, 926, 930
Beethoven 27/2 mvt. 1
Burgmüller 100/3, 4, 7, 12, 15, 19, 25
Chopin 72/1
Clementi 36/1
Grieg 12/1, 7
Tchaikovsky 39/9

Future
Burgmüller 109
Bartok Sz 56
Mozart K331

Top
#2128017 - 08/04/13 04:27 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: UKIkarus]
aTallGuyNH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/22/12
Posts: 509
Replies to various posts, going back a couple weeks:

Originally Posted By: Peter Leyssens
Finally, to give you experts some research work, the serial number:

That's 141574. I don't know which type of Baldwin this is or what age it is.

Going based on additional info in your other thread... Scroll up two sections above this link, and it looks like it is a 1949.

Originally Posted By: Peter Leyssens
The tuning, to my not entirely untrained ears, is okay though it could use a good retune.

Take all below re: your piano with a grain of salt... I know just enough to be dangerous. smile

I had terrible sympathetic resonance that was greatly diminished once it was tuned. I would do that first before worrying about the resonance issue. I still have an issue with some of the dampers plucking the strings as they come off -- not a problem for any given note, but a real problem when putting down the pedal. That would be another place to look. Mine has gotten better as it has been used more regularly -- either that or my ears are just filtering it out.

Originally Posted By: Peter Leyssens
If anything, it would do wonders for playing consistency to have the hammers replaced. All other thoughts and suggestions are welcome !

Your hammers actually look in remarkably good shape for their age. I would guess that either the piano wasn't used all that much, or they were filed at some point in the last couple decades. If you are having consistency issues, it's quite unlikely to be the hammers themselves, but the umpteen other components of the action that can get worn, bind, and so on.

If you are looking to make an improvement without spending any dough yet, one item you can adjust yourself quite easily is the letoff, which controls the point at which the hammer is released, no longer being propelled, but has only its momentum to carry it the last bit of the way to the string.

As that setting drifts, the hammer gets further and further away from the string at the point of release. When you try to play a note softly, the hammer is released, there isn't enough momentum, and it never makes it to the string, or it makes it but only barely, and you don't get what you expected given the force you put on the key.

I'm guessing what you are experiencing is that if you play all of your keys exactly the same, you get very different results. It's virtually impossible to have your fingers know what amount of force to use since each key is different. The let off is not the only factor causing this, but probably the largest on a pub piano that may never have had its action regulated, and definitely the easiest to adjust for those of us who are not technicians.

I would highly recommend posting to the Tuner/Tech forum, they are very generous w/ their knowledge. You can get more info on the letoff, although I'd of course recommend getting a good tuner/tech to come tune it and make recommendations. If you'd like the details of my amateur method re: adjusting the letoff to be consistent, feel free to PM me. My tuner/tech told me I did a good job on it, so I'm at least somewhat qualified smile

Originally Posted By: SwissMS
ATallGuyNH - I love the picture of your daughter at the piano. She looks like she is concentrating on her work!

She's noodling, pretending to read my sheet music of "New York State of Mind". As long as one did not have ears, she was very convincing! wink

Originally Posted By: WiseBuff
Tallguy, the saga of Mabel just shows how personally we see our pianos. So the tech guy says refurbish her?

Yes, that is what caused me to take her (free, from our church) in the first place. If she is fixed up, she will be a major upgrade over "Rufus", which is the name that we settled on for our 1978 Vose & Sons spinet. Even though it wasn't a popular baby name at the time, it seemed apropos for the era of disco, funk, and so on.

My daughter is beginning to get the picture that when we get rid of one of these two pianos (Mom's edict -- must be done prior to the holidays), Rufus has the potential to be adopted by a nice home where he will be enjoyed as a nice starter piano for a family that can't afford a better one. Mabel, on the other hand, will be going to the town dump if we don't keep her and fix her up.

Originally Posted By: JimF
ATallGuy - You are toast. Start saving up now.

LOL... I love your sense of humor.

I've found the solution for this already though... The Yamaha was only there temporarily, it was moved two days later, so I was back to using the horrendous and ancient baby grand (out of tune, bad action, missing a string, harp is falling apart, the mother of all squeaky pedals, etc.) that is normally in that space. After that experience for a few days, coming back home and playing Rufus was a delight!

Originally Posted By: JimF
it was actually comical somewhere around the 18th take when during the last phrase of a near perfect recording my cellphone (which is on the music desk) got a text and loudly announced "DROID"..arggghhh.

My recital recording steps are: 1) nobody else can be at home, 2) phone gets turned off. Dogs are still around though, can't get rid of them.

Originally Posted By: MaryBee
TallGuy -- So how did you swing that? Were you invited to play there, or did you find the door unlocked and sneak in?

Good question... closer to the latter. I was loaned a key previously by someone, unofficially, so that I could practice on the awful grand mentioned above. He's never asked for the key back (I visit a couple times a year), and I haven't volunteered either. smile I pick and choose my moments as to when to take advantage of this circumstance, i.e. when the "officials" are about, if anyone were to hear me and come in with questions, I wouldn't want to be in the position of throwing my benefactor under the bus, as it were.

I really should give the key back so that on a trip-by-trip basis I have to ask and he can decide if he's comfortable with me having the key for those days.

Originally Posted By: UKIkarus
Took me a bit by surprise especially since 2 of the notes were ringing several others without using any pedals making it sound like a constant sustain at times :P but the feel was not what I expected at all, a lot more gentle and nicer to play than I had first imagined... the sound of course was simply brilliant laugh

Where are the pedals?! I couldn't see any...


Edited by aTallGuyNH (08/04/13 04:35 PM)
Edit Reason: punctuation... I am so OCD re: that sort of thing.
_________________________
"...when you do practice properly, it seems to take no time at all. Just do it right five times or so, and then stop." -- JimF

Working on: my aversion to practicing in front of my wife

1978 Vose & Sons spinet "Rufus"
1914 Huntington upright "Mabel"

XXIX-XXXII

Top
#2128047 - 08/04/13 05:24 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Saranoya]
aTallGuyNH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/22/12
Posts: 509
Originally Posted By: Saranoya
  • In much the same way that most people, once they've learned to read, can't *not* read anymore, it's apparently impossible for people with perfect pitch to *not* identify the pitches they hear. One of my teachers said to me once that this is very tiring. Basically, she can't listen to music on her way home from work at night, because if she does, her mind will constantly be busy identifying the pitches, and when she's already tired from six hours of teaching, or from a public performance, that's just too much.
  • Some people with perfect pitch will hear pitches even where us mere mortals would never go look for them. They are, for instance, acutely aware of the dissonance between the hum of the refrigerator, and that of the A/C. I imagine that, too, must be exhausting.
  • Once I have mastered a piece in the key it was originally written in, I can usually play it in a different key rather easily. Which is to say, it takes me a couple hours of practice, but that's still nowhere near the two weeks or so that it usually takes me to learn an entirely new piece. My piano teacher lacks the same ability: she can't transpose on the fly, and it takes her substantially longer than I would have expected, based on my own experience, to do it with practice. She attributes this to the fact that she has perfect pitch. To her, a piece of music sounds substantially different once it's been transposed into a different key. It's not *entirely* unfamiliar, but it's no longer entirely familiar, either.

I had heard of that 2nd one, the 1st and 3rd are really interesting. I can't transpose simply because I rely almost entirely on muscle memory when I'm playing. I'm not thinking about what I'm doing on a music theory level at all... After much study I can slog through identifying chords and intervals and how/why they relate, but I'm a very long way away from what you are able to do -- which I'm assuming has something to do with the music theory aspects.

It's frustrating too... I'm working on a hymn arrangement right now, and have realized that what I would love to do is transpose up a whole step for the final verse. It would be a fitting finale, but it would basically involve learning it twice over, and I can't even play it in the first key ably to begin with. Frustrating.
Originally Posted By: Saranoya
In other words, if someone were to re-tune my entire piano half a tone downwards, but make sure all the strings were in perfect tune relative to each other, I probably wouldn't notice anything was wrong with it.

Makes sense, I was thinking that maybe you would notice, i.e. that you did have that portion of perfect pitch, to some degree anyway, without having the identification aspect.
_________________________
"...when you do practice properly, it seems to take no time at all. Just do it right five times or so, and then stop." -- JimF

Working on: my aversion to practicing in front of my wife

1978 Vose & Sons spinet "Rufus"
1914 Huntington upright "Mabel"

XXIX-XXXII

Top
#2128144 - 08/04/13 08:58 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
malkin Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2758
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
In English, we had to have a one syllable name for our sleeping brother because of how we have to ask the question in an inversion--

Are you sleeping? (4 syllables) /
Brother John (3 syllables)

rather than

Frère Jacques (4 syllables)/
Dormez vous? (3 syllables)

Sino raises an interesting point--(Okay, maybe it hardly qualifies as interesting) that is 'sonnez les matines' is imperative--Get up and ring the bells! while in English "morning bells are ringing" is passive.

I think maybe we scared poor Wouter away! Or perhaps he is sleeping. wink


SARANOYA
You're brilliant! And a hard worker!

Ikarus
I bet you had a grand time with the old instruments.

Everyone--I love reading your posts.

As for me--job interview tomorrow. Practicing has been a reasonably good distraction, but there are limits. All of the conventional wisdom says that women over 'un certain age' must color their hair and none of the conventional wisdom seems to mention anything about dreadlocks being ok, especially new and rather ratty looking ones.

The Star Spangled Banner came together miraculously (except the tremolos are a bit wacky) for my lesson. I'm not sure I have sufficient focus to record it--perhaps if the week settles down.

Onward!!
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#2128164 - 08/04/13 09:30 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: malkin]
Exalted Wombat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 1208
Loc: London UK
The other question is why anyone would feel a need to translate Frere Jacques in the first place! It's just fine in the original language.

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#2128172 - 08/04/13 09:40 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
FarmGirl Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 2036
Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
I have an achievement. I think I temporarily fixed page turning problems. I hope I have a page turner when I play this in SummerKey.



More papers on the piano. Orange marks show where my part is. Unlike 1 piano duet, for two piano duet, both parts shows up on the same page. I had been confusing the parts before I colored it in yellow.
[img:left]http://m1200.photobucket.com/albumview/a...=1&newest=1[/img]
_________________________
Solo - Rachmaninoff Elegie Op 3 #1, Schumann Op 12 Warum, Grillen and a few short pieces by various composers
Collaboration - Concerto in C for Oboe and orchestra attributed to Haydn edited by Evelyn Rosewell and some duets


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#2128177 - 08/04/13 09:51 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
FarmGirl Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 2036
Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
I recorded a Bach prelude for the recital. But no guarantee if I could figure out mp3 thing. I tried and spent 1 hour but could not even get it out of the Zoom. I put it in my company's laptop then there is no sound. It could be a control issue - they make it impossible for an employee to use it personally. My husband is on our family computer all day. I can hear the sound in zoom. So I just need non-company issued laptop unless there is a way to directly put it in iPhone. I need to buy personal computer. Anyway it's my first take since I decided go treat recital piece as though its a real performance. My finger scraped the neighboring black keys a couple of times and an odd silence when I forgot note. I wish I have someone to help me with technology. It's harder than piano.
_________________________
Solo - Rachmaninoff Elegie Op 3 #1, Schumann Op 12 Warum, Grillen and a few short pieces by various composers
Collaboration - Concerto in C for Oboe and orchestra attributed to Haydn edited by Evelyn Rosewell and some duets


Top
#2128181 - 08/04/13 09:55 PM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
dynamobt Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/07/13
Posts: 739
Loc: NH
How frustrating!!!! Hopefully, you can download from the Zoom to your home computer.
_________________________
1918 Mason & Hamlin BB





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#2128349 - 08/05/13 05:18 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: casinitaly]
Exalted Wombat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 1208
Loc: London UK
When you plug the Zoom to your computer with the USB cable does it show up in My Computer as an external hard drive? Look in the folders, your recording is there.

Or is there a card-reader slot on your computer? Take the memory card from the Zoom...

But some company laptops ARE "locked down" quite hard :-(

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#2128367 - 08/05/13 08:04 AM Re: Achievement of the week - what got you excited? [Re: Exalted Wombat]
malkin Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2758
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Originally Posted By: Exalted Wombat
...Is that the tune I always thought was called "Pharoh Sharker"? (You don't question things so much as a kid.)


This goes a long way toward answering your own question about why anyone would translate it.
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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