Friday, February 21, 2020

Your February Musical Doodle

I may have mentioned a time or two that I have no great fondness for February, a month everyone else seems to enjoy greatly when they aren't complaining about the snow and the cold. In the popular estimation, January is the great villain, and lasts inordinately long, particularly when the Christmas tree is on the curb by the 26th of the previous month. I will, however, stick up for its successor as a legitimate claimant for the title of suckiest month, at the very least on the basis of inertia, which is what happens when one's defenses are all gone after three months of cold and dark and all of the good holidays have been squandered by a society in too much of a hurry to wait until we actually need them.

It can also make you grouchy.

In the past, I've survived the worst weeks of the year by finding something cheerful to occupy me. I will customarily by a box of kid's cereal each February, like Fruit Loops or Lucky Charms (I abstain the rest of the year). I also make a cheery pie or two.

Then there are musical pursuits, which can be charming in their own right. This year one thing led to another and I came across a set of variations by a living Italian woman named Carlotta Ferrari on the old American tune "Yankee Doodle." It's a doozy. She's a very prolific composer, and she likes to use various synthetic (newly created) scales to put the tune into different guises.

It just so happens that all of her music is available at the International Music Score Library Project, and it is under a Creative Commons License, which means I don't have to worry about getting sued for sharing her music with you. All I have to do is tell you who wrote it, and, as a bonus (which is technically not required of me), where you can find the music if you want to play it yourself.

I spent a couple of days learning and recording this piece, which did make a positive difference in my mood. I hope you have a sense of humor so that it can act positively on yours.

listen to   Carlotta Ferrari: Yankee Doodle Variations

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