Grant's Congenital Amusia

Mark F. Jenkins

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Currently trying to decide whether I should get a mandolin, zither, fiddle or.....something.

At one of the 'jam sessions' at the Great Lakes folk Festival this past year, the mandolin player, talking about his instrument, said that some call it "the little guitar." A little later, he referred to a guitar as "the big mandolin."

Bluegrass musicians and humor seem to go together, I've noticed.

(Oh-- another example. Each act/event had a deaf interpreter. One of the musicians, observing this, suddenly said "My hovercraft is full of eels," and then watched the expression on the interpreter's face as she matter-of-factly began to sign that, paused momentarily, then carried on with a peculiar look... Encountering that musician later, I said, "I didn't know you could speak Hungarian!") (Monty Python reference)
 
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Carronade

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Nelson was also tone deaf - in fact, the Yankee Doodle quote from Grant may have been lifted from Nelson. He attended all sorts of theater and operas and once when asked how he liked the music he replied, "I only know two tunes. One is God Save the King and the other isn't!" He seemed to enjoy all sorts of music until he got whacked in the head with a piece of chain shot at Aboukir Bay.

That still puts him one up on Hornblower - during the brief period of peace, his ship Hotspur exchanges passing honors with a French frigate, and Lieutenant Bush remarks "I never expected to hear that tune from a French ship!" Hornblower asks what tune, and Bush replies "God Save the King, and if we had any music we'd have had to play their Marseillaise."

Guess that's why Forester didn't name his character Hornlistener :wink:
 

James N.

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That still puts him one up on Hornblower - during the brief period of peace, his ship Hotspur exchanges passing honors with a French frigate, and Lieutenant Bush remarks "I never expected to hear that tune from a French ship!" Hornblower asks what tune, and Bush replies "God Save the King, and if we had any music we'd have had to play their Marseillaise."

Guess that's why Forester didn't name his character Hornlistener :wink:

I've never read any Hornblower, but understand it has a reputation for authenticity. If so, the above quote *may* be a MISTAKE - assuming the mentioned brief period of peace was the Peace of Amiens in 1802-3, sometime around then Bonaparte forbade the Marseillaise as being to "rabble rousing" and revolutionary and therefore didn't re-introduce it until the Hundred Days in 1815 before Waterloo.
 

John Winn

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Discalcula person here...but no amusia. Daughter's the same. Diagnosed, signed, sealed and delivered. Luckily, I can read music and sing or play a tune on the piano by ear. Currently trying to decide whether I should get a mandolin, zither, fiddle or.....something.

I can highly recommend the mandolin. It's small so easily carried and because it's tuned in fifths all the way across and has only four strings (well, eight but they're all pairs) it's easier to play than a guitar (because you can move licks and chord shapes across the strings and they still work, although in a different key). The neck is small, too, which is good for smaller hands. While tuned the same it's easier than a fiddle because you don't have to learn how to bow and it has frets.

The only downside perhaps is that it doesn't have much sustain and isn't something you'd use much to strum along on while you sing. Like a banjo it's usually a lead instrument that's used to play instrumental solos in a group. Guitar is the better choice if you want something to strum or pick while you sing along although there are some mandolin styles where it can work. Just not as versatile as a guitar for solo vocal accompaniment.

There's also lot's of really good learning aids these days (DVD courses for instance). Anyway, let us know if you become a string head.
 

diane

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Forester once wrote that he wanted to give Hornblower different strengths and weaknesses than he himself had-- so he made him tone-deaf and a whiz at mathematics.

Couldn't beat him at whist! He also gave Hornblower weaknesses similar to Horatio Nelson - who was tone deaf (at least after getting bopped on the head at Aboukir Bay), deathly sea sick for at least three days after setting sail, and spoke really bad French. Nelson spoke French with such a heavy accent they usually couldn't understand him. But he understood them - after winning at Copenhagen, the Danes mentioned - in French thinking the British admiral wouldn't understand them - that they might have to resume hostilities. Nelson promptly rounded on them and exclaimed, "Renew hostilities! I am prepared to do so within the hour!" Surprise!
 

Carronade

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I've never read any Hornblower, but understand it has a reputation for authenticity. If so, the above quote *may* be a MISTAKE - assuming the mentioned brief period of peace was the Peace of Amiens in 1802-3, sometime around then Bonaparte forbade the Marseillaise as being to "rabble rousing" and revolutionary and therefore didn't re-introduce it until the Hundred Days in 1815 before Waterloo.

Interesting - the reference is indeed to the Peace of Amiens. Apparently Forester didn't know the Marseillaise was out of favor - or perhaps he did but his character Bush did not :wink:
 

James N.

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Interesting - the reference is indeed to the Peace of Amiens. Apparently Forester didn't know the Marseillaise was out of favor - or perhaps he did but his character Bush did not :wink:

In fairness to Forester, I'm not sure when it was that it was banned - it may well have been after Bonaparte became Emperor Napoleon in 1804 or even later. The "replacement" was an innocuous little tune that had nothing of the inspirational qualities of its predecessor, the reason it was allowed to reappear to rally the old Revolutionaries to his standard in 1815.
 

Sbc

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:dance:
In fairness to Forester, I'm not sure when it was that it was banned - it may well have been after Bonaparte became Emperor Napoleon in 1804 or even later. The "replacement" was an innocuous little tune that had nothing of the inspirational qualities of its predecessor, the reason it was allowed to reappear to rally the old Revolutionaries to his standard in 1815.
The song's composer allegedly had an affair with the Emperor's wife so just one more reason to have it banned.
 

James N.

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:dance:
The song's composer allegedly had an affair with the Emperor's wife so just one more reason to have it banned.

The only trouble with that is that he would hardly have been alone - Josephine's reputation was hardly that of a shrinking violet and Napoleon knew it; he took her off the hands of his patron who was tired of her. That was one of the major reasons his mother and all his many brothers and sisters loudly decried their union. (Madame Mere was a devout Catholic and her brother eventually became an archbishop!) It wasn't until after their marriage while General Bonaparte was away on his 1798-99 adventure in Egypt that she seriously endangered their relationship by taking another lover, Captain Hyppolyte Charles, who Napoleon never forgave; even once he was in power he didn't take revenge on Charles although the marriage had been fatally compromised, finally ending in divorce in 1809.
 

LoriAnn

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I see what you did there, LoriAnn.
naughty-smiley-face.gif


I love that joke. I wait and wait and wait to use it, and then when the opportunity arises, I pounce!
 

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Sbc

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Ye
The only trouble with that is that he would hardly have been alone - Josephine's reputation was hardly that of a shrinking violet and Napoleon knew it; he took her off the hands of his patron who was tired of her. That was one of the major reasons his mother and all his many brothers and sisters loudly decried their union. (Madame Mere was a devout Catholic and her brother eventually became an archbishop!) It wasn't until after their marriage while General Bonaparte was away on his 1798-99 adventure in Egypt that she seriously endangered their relationship by taking another lover, Captain Hyppolyte Charles, who Napoleon never forgave; even once he was in power he didn't take revenge on Charles although the marriage had been fatally compromised, finally ending in divorce in 1809.
Yes the French are notorious for liberal views on fidelity and marriage.
 
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