Anything That Interests Me! :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Gem From Youtube

Recently, I have taken to listening to more Classical and Romantic music pieces, rather than pursuing my apparently "one track listening habit" (Fong) of listening solely to Mozart's Symphony No. 40 in G minor.

OK, OK. that's a bad joke from an old friend of mine; I certainly don't only listen to Symphony No. 40. I listen to a couple more songs as well.

So, how did I get more songs to listen to, and what gem from youtube am I talking about?

Wait, this is a good one; allow me to build up my story first.

Well, I went to youtube and started watching University Challenge. University Challenge is one of my favourite shows although I am not British and not a fan of Jeremy Paxman. It's basically a general knowledge quiz where Paxman fires esoteric questions at university students; it makes people with a lot of general knowledge feel good, that our skills are actually relevant for esoteric quiz shows. Actually Jeremy Paxman is quite cool; must be great earning tonnes of money hosting general knowledge quizzes.

Well, one of the sections was classical music in general. I basically flunk that one everytime it comes up on the show, because I keep on shouting out Mozart!! Beethoven!! Brahms!! Erm... Mozart!!

Come on, you know what I am talking about - you most likely play along to "Who Wants to Be a Billionaire" too and "Wheel of Fortune". Unless you don't watch them, of course.

This time, I decided to get the names of the composers. I can learn more about composers, and can get ideas for classical pieces to listen to. Why not?

So, I waited, pen in hand, for the answers (Paxman reveals the composers when the students inevitably give up). And for that one particular show on one particular day, the answer of the day was Sibelius.

Now, call me the world's greatest psychic, but the vast majority of people won't know who Sibelius was, unless

(a) they are Finnish
(b) they are experts in University Challenge
(c) they somehow learnt that in music school.

Hey, I am psychic!

No sweat - hey, I am here to learn - I went to search for music by Sibelius on youtube so as to improve on my general music knowledge.

And then I saw this comment, right below some beautiful piece by Jean Sibelius (I think it was Finlandia, most likely the national anthem of Finland, a very beautiful piece for a very beautiful country. I have edited the English to make it flow more, but I am really not making this up. It's lovely for those who know their history and can take a really good story:

Comment on youtube

I am Finnish and I remember a story my grandfather - who was a war veteran - told me a long time ago:

He was on his way to a veterans' meeting in Helsinki back in the late 1980s and when he got there, Grandpa noticed that he didn't have any money on him.

He naturally thought: "What now? I don't have any money." It was getting embarrassing as it soon became clear to the taxi driver that he didn't have any money to pay for the fare.

The taxi driver turned around and said: "Don't worry, this one's on me."

Grandpa was taken aback, and said: "Excuse me?" and he looked at the driver. He was a bit confused.

The driver smiled at him and said: "Thanks to you guys, I can drive a Mercedes, not a Lada!"

First of all, hahahaha! Lovely!! Second of all, so many people got the story, they clicked on the thumbs up button. Third of all, it's very nice because there are kind, appreciative taxi drivers who realise that they can drive Mercedes taxis rather than Lada taxis if Stalin had won! One comment on that story was: Great taxi driver; great Grandpa!


On a secondary note, I attended a church concert in London, and there was a viola player. [I think that's what he's called. Violist?] Anyways, he was really funny because he related to us some viola jokes.

What is the range of a viola?
As far you can kick it.

How can you tell that a violist is playing out of tune?
If the bow is moving.

Why do people dislike viola players instantly?
It saves time!

And my favourite:

Define a perfect pitch.
That's when you throw a viola into a dustbin without hitting the rim!!!

Notice: No offence to viola players. I thought that professional viola player played well actually!! The jokes were from the musician himself.

Anything that interests me!