Wednesday, 1 February 2012

What is Music?

Researching my previous post, I came upon this short humorous verse which appeared as an introduction to the tunes collected in The William Vickers Manuscript - a collection of popular tunes which dates from the early 1770s. I'm sure one or two other readers who are also musicians will have a chuckle at this and think it's a case of "the more things change, the more they stay the same":

Musicks a Crotchet the Sober thinks it Vain
The Fiddles a Wooding Projection
Tunes are but Flights of a Whimsical Brain
Which the Bottle brings best to Parfection
Musisians are half witted mery and madd
And Those are the same that admire Them
Theyr fools if they Pley unless their Well Paid
And the Others are Blockheads to Hire them.


Argent said...

Plus ca change indeed!

Furtheron said...

Ditto Argents comment...

However the most bizarre thing for me is most of my material is about not drinking these days... although many misinterpret but then, whatever they may interpret in a lyric is for them to have for their reality... btw who the hell gets paid to play these days?

The Weaver of Grass said...

Brilliant. Nothing changes and therefore, by default, it stays the same.

Rachel Fox said...

We're all fools of some kind or another...

Niamh B said...

ha, very good

Pearl said...

Absolutely loved the poem; and as a musician from a long line of musician, I can only smile and nod.


Greetings from Minneapolis,


Friko said...

Oops. The musician in my household might actually agree. Having been a viola player (retired) he was the butt of many jokes anyway.

Medicine Vick said...

Chortle! Might have to steal this for something!

tony said...

Sounds Like Saturday Night At The Hebden Bridge Trades Club!

Dominic Rivron said...

Thanks for these comments, everyone.

Argent, Niamh, Pearl Friko: Years ago I did most of a Forestry NVQ. I learnt all sorts of skills from freelance teachers - how to sharpen a saw, put a point on a fencepost, use a chainsaw. Afterwards I realised that there was more and better paid work teaching the skills I'd gained than was to be had using them. It goes for many things, including music, I think, unless very hard work and luck conspire to give you a break.

Furtheron: You've reminded me of Christy Moore's song Delirium Tremens - a great song about not drinking. Who gets paid? If you play what you want to play, you don't but if play cheese all night you do. And the more people pay you the less they actually listen. There's a market for background music but not foreground music.

WG: Which is of course not true. Everything moves so fast nothing stand still, ever. If I understand Einstein (er, do I? I don't think I do) then the faster you travel the slower time passes for you. If something could stand still in relation to everything else, would time pass infinitely fast for that thing?

RF: You remind me of this. There is a truth there, but I always thought it was unduly pessimistic. It's a great madrigal:

The silver swan, who living had no note,
When death approached unlocked her silent throat;
Leaning her breast against the reedy shore,
Thus sung her first and last, and sung no more:
Farewell, all joys;
O death, come close mine eyes;
More geese than swans now live,
more fools than wise.

Medicine Vick: Feel free! (See message on your blog).

tony: Ha! I'm usually in Hebden Bridge during the day. I often think it must be pretty good at night.