Monday, January 12, 2015

Salieri and I

A couple of weeks ago, Salieri and I had something in common. We both wanted to bump off Mozart.

That's because I had managed, mainly by putting links on Facebook (via Twitter), to get over 100 people (each) to listen to about 8 of my Christmas postings--mainly piano improvisations on carols, and a few organ pieces of various mintings, and a little written piano music by my friend Marteau. I was hoping by the end of December to be able to look at my web stats and see all of the top ten as holiday selections. But that darned Mozart kept spoiling it. A few of you (very few, but's it's a very large file, so it packs a wallop) took it into your heads to listen to a set of variations on the tune popularly known as "Twinkle, twinkle" transcribed for organ (by myself) and it wouldn't leave the top ten. Even after Satie and Brahms and a few others had packed their bags and been replaced by Christmas fare, after nearly the entire list was clean of anything that was not Christmas, Herr Mozart's piece-out-of-season kept popping up. I continued putting up carols and other holiday fare, hoping it would go away. But it wouldn't leave. Then Beethoven got involved and I knew it was over.

I should mention at this point that web stats are pretty harmless. A few people I've mentioned web stats to in casual conversation get pretty freaked out about privacy and I should stress that I can't see you in your underwear. All I can tell about my listeners and lookers is how many pages they accessed, or files, or how much memory was taken up, and what the IP address of my most avid "fans" are. In most cases this is just a string of numbers that don't tell me anything. In a few cases, the cable company or the internet provider includes the names of the locality in the address so I know what city that anonymous user is from. "Oh, that's nice" I'll think. "A local." I can tell if somebody from Champaign, for example, listened to about a gigabyte worth of music (no telling what) yesterday. That's about it. And I can tell which pieces of music made the top ten in terms of number of requests, and how much memory was taken (i.e., whether most listeners listened to the whole thing or just a bit of it) but not who did the listening.

Are we good? ok.

As it happens, I count it as one of the successes of the season that so many people listened to so many of my pieces. I can't know if anyone enjoyed them, but at least I can tell they were listening. Thanks.

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I don't bite...mostly.