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On Monday an odd thing happened. I was somnolently watching TV after dinner (Rain King on FX, as it happens, as it was more plausible than EastEnders) and the power cut out. I'm not used to the power going out unexpectedly and I discovered that I am upsettingly addicted to technology.

For the first 10 minutes I wandered around the house, lantern in hand, muttering to myself "I'll just check my email...uh, no", "I'll just call a couple of friends... uh no" (phone through the cable company, mobile phone sadly lacking in charge), "I'll just listen to a CD... uh no", "I'll just listen to the radio... uh, no".

The lantern and candles didn't really give out enough light to read by and it took half an hour to dig up the battery-operated radio. Even then, the joys of commentary on Brighton & Hove Albion vs Reading were opaque to me.

By the time I realised this was a proper *long* power cut it was too late to go out anywhere like the cinema or whatever. So I drove up to Tesco, bought a torch powerful enough to read by and read Persuasion again, from Baronetage to Jane's navy fangirl parting shot until it was time for bed. I like the idea that Jane Austen was a Royal Navy fangirl and slashed naval lieutenants

I am too fond of things requiring electricity but I'm not sure what I want to do about that. I like things requiring electricity. Come the apocalypse, I'll be the one wandering around the burnt out wastelands, clutching my laptop to my wasted bosom, begging people for a power-up and pecking at the keys one-handed in the deluded hope that someday a light will blink on.

Then I will be eaten by a pack of wild dogs. Call it recycling.

The final shot will be of my mangled, gnawed corpse (slightly out of focus) and in the foreground, a laptop, a light winking on at last in the centre of the screen -- one last cruel irony -- before it begins to rain in a sulphurous and slightly carcinogenic sort of way.

And that's why I didn't get around to answering the comments in a prompt manner.



The results of the informal survey didn't really provide much of a theory to go at. I had this half-formed theory about the kind of minds that like baroque music, perhaps shading into classical, versus the kind of minds that like late classical verging into romantic. It was a bet with myself whether I could guess who would like what.

The star sign thing was just for laughs: I used to draw up natal charts but I was never a believer in the idea that your birthday can govern your personality, sharing a birthday with Hillary Clinton cured me of that -- however, there is plausible evidence that where you were born in the year does affect your personality and if only I could remember where that came from (aside from the Grauniad's front page last year some time) I would link. Basically, if you're born in October, you think life sucks, if you're born in May you believe you're lucky. In general. It was *scientific* and stuff.

So, these are the highly unscientific results, based on incredibly broad definitions of classical music categories and *astrology*, godhelpusall.

The respondents in the sample skew very heavily towards the Baroque and early classical composers. Of 28 responses, the first stated preference was for baroque in 15 cases, classical in 5 cases, romantic in 4 cases and 20th century composers in 4 cases. In a large percentage of those counted as baroque, the respondent also stated a preference for classical composers or 20 the century composers. Very few matched baroque with romantic.

Sagittarians seemed keenest on helping me construct pointless theories, with five responses and were the most divided of groups. Scorpios were the next most helpful and split evenly between those who expressed first preference for baroque composers and those who liked 20th century composers.

If I had had to guess, I would have imagined that most of the people I know through LJ (PIKTLJ) would like Bach, Handel, Vivaldi etc, music which is, as nestra put it, a puzzle to be prized open and examined, rather than music which is there purely to be *felt*, which is how I think of the romantic composers. I think of PIKTLJ as predominantly analysers, puzzle-solvers, writers, the kind of people who I imagine, in my rather unscientific way, listening to Bach etc.

This is not to say that the music of the romantic composers is not complex and beautiful, rather that it demands to be heard rather than to be understood. IMO, YMMV etc etc.

Of the people who answered the question, three choices surprised me.

(For reference: I'm a Scorpio and I like Baroque music and renaissance polyphony and minimalism and all that sort of stuff. I have no doubt at all that these things don't have a huge amount to do with each other)

In other news, work is killing me and they've not even called the election yet

Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
sophia_helix
Mar. 25th, 2005 02:22 am (UTC)
Okay, NOW we all want to know who surprised you. Naturally. :)
infinitemonkeys
Mar. 25th, 2005 02:36 am (UTC)
noelleleithe because I'd never have had her pegged for Tchaikovsky, SEP because I would have bet anything she preferred Bach and qowf whose disinclination for classical music is understandable but surprising somehow *g*
sophia_helix
Mar. 25th, 2005 02:40 am (UTC)
Heh. I guessed two of the three. I didn't peg SEP for opera. :)
noelleleithe
Mar. 25th, 2005 03:55 am (UTC)
Hee. Glad to be surprising. Now I wonder what made it surprising. *g*

(Also must go back and read the rest of the comments now. Fascinating stuff, eh?)
se_parsons
Mar. 25th, 2005 04:39 pm (UTC)
Ok, I'm a piano player, you either LOVE Bach or you spend a lot of time swearing at him in lessons. I'm also a CRAP piano player with a disinclination for precision, so guess which way that comes down?

And the mother who won an opera scholarship to college and the 5 years of voice lessons and singing in all manner of choirs, show choirs, madrigal groups and musical theatre is the thing that likely points toward opera. Had season tickets to the Chicago Opera, but was too disappointed in many of the ass-awful productions to renew. Opera's even more fun to watch than listen to, however.
pauraque
Mar. 25th, 2005 05:17 am (UTC)
This is not to say that the music of the romantic composers is not complex and beautiful, rather that it demands to be heard rather than to be understood.

I'd agree with this, and I think it's why I find Handel and the like to be mostly tiresome. Music is primarily an emotional pursuit for me.
fourteenlines
Mar. 25th, 2005 06:57 am (UTC)
Very few matched baroque with romantic.

Always the difficult one, aren't I?

I think the reason I am drawn toward both baroques and romantics is that they produce the same kinds of emotions when I listen to them - Vivaldi and Liszt are both sweeping in their own way. The climax is constructed differently, but the payoff is no less in either case.

(And I really only like Mozart when he's being moody. Like "Moonlight Sonata.")

But to draw from another pseudo-science I like to buy into, I'm very close on feeling/thinking in Meyers-Briggs. So the mathematical cycling of Vivaldi appeals as much as the deep emotional layers to be dissected from a romantic's work.
nestra
Mar. 25th, 2005 03:20 pm (UTC)
(And I really only like Mozart when he's being moody. Like "Moonlight Sonata.")

That's Beethoven.

(I hope I'm not missing a joke and being pretentiously oblivious person.)
muridae_x
Mar. 25th, 2005 09:42 am (UTC)
I know exactly how you felt with your power cut. I had one a couple of months back and it was curiously unsettling. The world seemed so wrong without power that the absence of it actually woke me up.

First thing I did was head straight for the torch. I then wandered around aimlessly with it for the next hour until the power came back; if only I'd thought to do something as productive as pulling Persuasion down from the shelf for a re-read.

And yes, Jane Austen was definitely a Navy fangirl. She wasn't half so keen on the Army though.
cofax7
Mar. 25th, 2005 04:37 pm (UTC)
I'm very sorry work is killing you.

May things improve soon.
se_parsons
Mar. 25th, 2005 04:40 pm (UTC)
I feel your work pain. I hope it eases soon.
sollersuk
Apr. 10th, 2005 11:42 am (UTC)
(For reference: I'm a Scorpio and I like Baroque music and renaissance polyphony and minimalism and all that sort of stuff. I have no doubt at all that these things don't have a huge amount to do with each other)

Leaving the star sign to one side for the moment (as I don't know how the associations on this work): how are you with things mathematical? Apparently baroque/early classical affect different parts of the brain from romantic, and are associated with the parts of the brain used in mathematics. I'm slightly sceptical because the mathematicians I know best are really heavily into romantic etc.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )