The Hobgoblin of Little Minds

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds,” according to Ralph Waldo Emerson. This is a comfort to me, because I’ve just finished number 13 in the “piano things” series (I’ve got to find a name soon!), and it’s not entirely clear to me that it belongs with the other twelve. It’s also not clear to me whether that’s a bad thing.

The reason that “one of these things is not like the others” is that this piece is the only one that refers explicitly to a specific style of popular music—in this case, 80′s arena rock. (I’m envisioning the audience clapping along on the offbeats.) I had a great time writing it; I kept cracking up, because the backbeat sucks you into the rhythm and you know exactly what it reminds you of, but it’s being played on a piano instead of by a rock band, and the harmonies are all wrong.

Now, I know better than to think that it’s the first time anyone’s done that; but it’s the first time I’ve done it, so I’m still tickled. But I’m of two minds whether it belongs in the piece or not. Will an audience think, “Wow, cool,” or will they think “What’s the hell is that doing in there?” Since no two people hear the same piece of music, of course, the correct answer is both, along with “Reminds me of purple,” “Is it over yet?” and “The bees! The bees are eating my face!” So it’s up to me to decide whether it somehow detracts from or enhances the overall effect of the piece by being there. Or not.

Maybe it would make a good encore…

I haven’t been posting an audio of this anywhere, since Jenny hasn’t even seen this yet, but hey—why be consistent? Just remember, the others aren’t anything like this…

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One Response to The Hobgoblin of Little Minds

  • Mom says:

    I love it! I’l be in touch to find out if there’s a way to download it into my ipod. Then I can throw a hip out while I’m taking my daily walk!

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