Thursday, March 20, 2014


Sometimes people who follow this blog contact me with questions or observations about some of the posts.  Nothing could please me more, considering the time and thought that goes into maintaining this connection with all of you out there, whoever you may be.

Yesterday a former student emailed me to the effect that she often does not understand the musical references I make.  How could she; she is just starting out on her independent musical life.  But for every arcane reference there is probably a much more accessible one lurking somewhere.

She brought up the issue of slurs, one of my favorite subjects.

I would refer anyone curious about them to consult Fuer Elise, another of my favorite subjects.  The opening tones, E and D# alternate, but when they return just before the "return" to the opening material after the "B" section, they are slurred in pairs: D#-E / D#-E / D#-E. This implies a completely different spacing of the tones and a definite upward motion repeated three times.

It is also a covert spelling of the real dedicatee's name: Therese.  Th in old German is one syllable, thus:
D# (consonant) E (the first vowel in the name)/ D# (consonant) E (second vowel) / D# (which is the enharmonic spelling of E-flat, which in German is called Es, pronounced like the letter "S", third consonant) E (third vowel).

I love it.