Eine kleine nachtmusik

Every so often, I forget how much I love music. I haven’t listened to the radio or my ipod in weeks. But tonight, after I hung up with my mother, I accidentally turned on some tunes in my iPhone. And then I didn’t want to stop. I had to take the headphones out while I drove, but I found myself singing. And I haven’t done that in a long time. I guess I haven’t had much to sing about.

So, tonight, I spent an hour playing my piano. I probably haven’t touched it in a year, but the other night, I caught J2 playing the piano at work, and it inspired me.

I realize that after years of not playing regularly, I have forgotten much. I can play a few songs I learned by rote, but I have a hard time reading music. And I know some chords, but I don’t know the reasoning behind them. I was thinking it would be nice to take lessons again, and then I remembered that I can get lessons on GarageBand.

I installed a couple lessons and enjoyed them immensely. The instructions are given by a cute guy named Tim, if that is his real name. The instruction is set at a good pace. Really basic stuff, but he reminded me of a mnemonic that I’d forgotten—Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge. Now, more than two decades later, we can’t talk about deserving food, so the mnemonic is Every Good Boy Does Fine. No matter, I’m just happy to know why I have that random sentence stuck in my brain.

I didn’t really learn much from the Garage Band lessons, but they were all free, and I played Heart and Soul. Another blast from the past! Also played a little Ode to Joy. Was bored with their arrangement, so I spiced it up a bit.

While a lesson was downloading, I tried a little Fur Elise. I actually tried reading the music. It was slow going.

During the next lesson download, I ventured into the depths of the piano bench. I have a deep-seated fear of what is in the piano bench. It is musty and I feel as though it shouldn’t be disturbed. However, I disturbed it tonight. I rifled through the sheet music my Great Grandmother had collected over the years. I searched desperately for a song that I might recognize. Failing that, I pondered what it was that Great Grandmother liked about the songs, which might be her favorites, and what inspired her to purchase each.

Hidden among the sheet music was an envelope with instructions that it remain with the piano. Inside was the purchase receipt from December 1, 1942. Great Grandfather bought the mahogany Acrosonic spinet from the Baldwin dealer in Boston and had it shipped to central Maine in time for Christmas of that year. I couldn’t tell if Great Grandmother had gone with him or if it had been a surprise. He paid $300 up front, and then another $145 was due on delivery. A second receipt was mailed to him on clearance of his check.

Also in the envelope is a simple guarantee. It is lacking all the legalese of modern day guarantees. It simply says that they guarantee the purchase against any defect in material or workmanship. Sadly, it doesn’t cover the small knob that the movers broke off in transit. The guarantee then advises against extreme cold and extreme heat, and in Maine, I’m sure it was exposed to each. And then the 4×6 folded piece of paper instructs me to keep my piano in tune. Something I haven’t done.

But I promise, I will do it soon. And I will play more. I need more music in my life.

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