Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Learning The Theremin To Play 'A Real Slow Drag' from Scott Joplin's 'Treemonisha'

[Piano Rags; Roy Eaton, piano; Sony SBK 833 (1995)]

On theremin playing...
12:31 am 9/17/08
purple bovine
Yes, I got a theremin. Don't ask me what I was thinking. I think I was thinking about playing ragtime on it. God help me. In any case, I've had said theremin for a month now. I was farsighted enough to not acquire a speaker for it - the only way for it to provide sound output is through earphones. I sound awful. Beyond awful. I sound like a tone-deaf five-year-old learning to play the violin. If the output were audible to anyone but me, I'd die of embarrassment - or I'd die of being strangled by my roommate. Not sure which one would kill me first.

But that said, I think I am progressing. I am presently working on a tune from Scott Joplin's opera "Treemonisha" called "A Real Slow Drag", which actually would sound quite good on a theremin if I knew how to play one. It's slowly getting closer and closer to being in tune. The nice thing about being a beginner, at anything, is that progress is very visible. One day you didn't know how to do whatever-it-is, and the next day you learned it and now you know it. At a more advanced level, the "lightbulb moments" don't come as often - though they still come. I had a piano-related "lightbulb moment" this summer, at the Scott Joplin Festival - all of a sudden, I figured out how to improvise. It was thrilling. And yes, the third year of law school is very relaxing. I've been looking forward to this for two years now. I think I've earned a bit of relaxation.  [The Ragtime and Classical Composer Scott Joplin (1868-1917) is profiled at]

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