• Philip May

Unconfirmed and Incomplete

This is a list of propositions that are either a) not completely true, and/or b) something I was unable to write a complete post about. They are the kinds of ideas that announce themselves, incomplete and without warning, at any time of the day…

- ‘Summertime Sadness’ sounds best in a West Country accent.

- One More Chance by the Jackson 5 has so far the happiest bass line I’ve ever heard.

- The stops of an organ are often designed to imitate the timbre of brass and woodwind instruments. Conversely, the contrabassoon seems designed solely to imitate the lowermost parps of an organ.

- A dominant seventh is only ever a semitone away from a diminished seventh.[1]

- Ray Winstone would give an excellent, if slightly threatening, rendition of ‘It Don’t Mean a Thing’.

- The French have an unusual predilection for double flats and double-sharps.

- Trying to recall Haydn’s music is, for the most part, like trying to re-tell a good yet complicated joke: just like you can remember how fervently the joke made you laugh but can’t recall the important details, you can usually remember the character of a Haydn composition, but it’s not always that easy to remember the tune…

- Ivor Novello’s songs sound best in a Cockney accent.

- Pianists often write the best Lieder.

- Kathy Burke would make an exemplary third little maid.

- Skyfall sounds surprisingly chipper played faster and in the tonic major.

[First published Jul 1st 2016]


[1] I apologise if this is common knowledge. Nobody has ever mentioned this simple composerly sleight of hand to me before.

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