Thursday, August 20, 2009

pardon me while I have a strange interlude

I can't find a site that lets me upload a streaming mp3 large enough for this track. It's 13 MB. Sorry.

If you hit this link to Myspace (ugh), it should work. I hope. Dammit.

I'm not sure this is actually music. One might suspect I can't actually play a guitar (there are admittedly a couple minor flubs). But this is how I meant this to sound. Honest. This is a tune based on a scale I've been playing for years, and which isn't really a scale. All that I know about music tells me the intervals are totally wrong. It makes me very happy.

Working title was "Almost Music." Then I decided to name it after a weird bit of business in my favorite Marx Brothers movie. Groucho says, "Pardon me while I have a strange interlude," referring to the Theater Guild play titled Strange Interlude.

The tune is composed of chords and scales built on a scale starting at A and going as follows: A A# C C# E F G# A. People who know about music recognize the total wrongness of such a scale. Sorry about the flubs. Not sorry about the scale. Deal.

1 comment:

Robert Kirkman said...

I'll have to work it out, but the scale reminds me a bit of a weird Klezmer mode called Freygish (related, I think, to the classical phrygian mode) or "gypsy minor". For A Freygish, take a D harmonic minor scale and start on A . . . so, A Bb C# D E F G A.

The pattern for Freygish (in steps) is half, one-and-a-half, half, whole, half, whole, whole.

The pattern for your scale is half, whole, half, whole, half, one-and-a-half, half. I tried playing your scale E F G# A Bb C Db, which makes it half, one-and-a-half, half, half, whole, half.

So, not quite the same, but the big minor third interval (F-G#) is curious.

I'm not sure where you'd look, but it might be worth trying to find out if you've stumbled across some obscure Eastern-European or Middle-Eastern mode. It sounds like music, just not Western music.