Ever wanted to know the meaning of: "secondary sub-mediant appoggiatura six-four"
or "first inversion Neapolitan five-seven of five, sharp four plus eleven,
going to a half-diminished seven of six"? Well look no further folks for
this little book reveals all - or some of it! Now you needn't feel
diminished; and to misquote a current TV commercial, armed with this knowledge,
pleasure can follow pain.
To give you a sample of the erudition of this pocket volume I quote a few
Atonality: A pathological disease that effects many composers of modern
music. It's most noticeable symptom is the inability to make decisions -
such as what key we should be in. It's the advanced and sometimes fatal stage
Bagpipes: A Scottish instrument (of torture, war, mass destruction)
whose sound resembles that of a cat being run over by a car...
Counter-Tenor: The highest adult male voice currently available through
legal and moral means. Sings roughly (and roughly sings) the same range as
the contralto, although he can sing lower if pressed and higher if pinched...
Comodo: A tempo indication (from the Italian meaning "leisurely" or
"without strain"). Not to be confused with commode, a small chair
containing a chamberpot - the use of which may also be leisurely (and, one
hopes, without strain).
Glissando: The musical equivalent of stepping on a banana peel.
Lord Menuhin contributes an amusing preface in which he complains that there
is one omission - the piano - and then goes on to describe it in all its
glory and to say something of its remarkable non-musical uses.
So, music-lovers, remember, as in all walks of life, bullshit baffles brains;
and this wee tome will make you feel that much more bullish.