Monday, 2015 August 17, 23:44 — music+verse, technology


My new telephone has dozens of ringtones and I hate them all: Newagey lo-fi orchestral crap, mostly laden with snare drums for some reason.

My last phone played the sound of an old-fashioned mechanical bell; the one before that, a pizzicato passage from a Ravel string quartet; before that, the quick part of Pachelbel’s Canon – in frankly electronic timbres that did not pretend to be an orchestra.

I want a ringtone that says “a digital device seeks your attention,” not one that sounds like something overheard on a cheap radio belonging to someone with no taste.

Thursday, 2014 November 27, 21:16 — music+verse

need a pun here about music and cryptography

Given a piece of music written for just intonation, clearly you could derive another piece by replacing all factors of 3 with factors of 5 and vice versa (or pick some other pair of primes). Sometimes the result might even be good.

Thursday, 2011 May 26, 12:59 — music+verse

the tantalizing tune

I used to have a ringtone that, pardon the pun, rang a bell: I was sure it was from some modern string quartet, but couldn’t find it in my collection.

Years go by. Today I get in the car, turn on the radio and hear that musical phrase. I wait for the piece to end, but the title is not announced. Well, maybe the station webs its playlist. I get home, refer to the website and find, for the time in question, some song by Daniel Lanois (surrounded by other songs rather than string quartets). Argh.

An hour later I turn on the radio again and hear “Every Day Is a Winding Road”, which was on the list. So I scroll back an hour . . . .

It is in fact the second movement of Ravel’s string quartet in F.

Saturday, 2007 September 8, 19:51 — cinema, music+verse

signal interference

I tried to remember the title theme of Dexter and all I could summon was that of The Odd Couple. Hmm.

Saturday, 2007 July 7, 09:28 — music+verse

“So you want to write a fugue”

(by Glenn Gould)

2016: The embedding doesn’t work anymore, presumably because it used Flash; so here’s a link.

Friday, 2007 February 23, 22:46 — music+verse

I’m depraved on account of I’m deprived

Today’s Straight Dope responds to this inquiry:

Everyone is familiar with the song that goes, “There’s a place in France where the naked ladies dance.” What’s the origin of this mysterious song and its seemingly Egyptian melody?

So naturally I’m not familiar with those words; but they do scan to the tune quoted in Divers Ayres on Sundrie Notions: “Ask for P.D.Q., take a tablespoon or two.”

Tuesday, 2006 August 1, 19:38 — mathematics, music+verse

beauty’s where you find it

I mis-heard some trivial question as “What is Hamming music?”

For some of us, the name Hamming is strongly associated with information theory, and so I imagined that “Hamming music” must be algorithmic composition using error-correcting principles.

And that got me thinking vaguely about redundancy in art.

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