Wednesday, 12 January 2011

I Am Scientifically Proven To Be Musically Perceptive

Since I scored so highly (see left) in the BBC's music test I hope you will now take me seriously when I talk about music because it’s now been scientifically proven that I’m 99% spot on. Well, when it comes to memorising melodies, noticing the difference between tunes played, whether a bleep is in time with the music, and being able to put genres together by hearing a one-second soundbite...those were the tests in that category. If you fancy taking it, the soundbite tests are fun, but the questions are rather boring. One asks if Lady Gaga is a) a genius, b) very talented, c) quite talented, or d) not talented. There’s a subsection in which you can type your own one-word appraisal. I wrote ‘C*nt’...which may explain the missing final per cent. OK, I made that up.
   Some questions related to watching ‘live’ music. I scored low there because I haven’t been to a gig in years and have little interest in seeing bands. I’m not sure why...perhaps because having seen such bands as the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Ornette Coleman, Art Blakey, and Aylesbury’s The Sore Willies (1978) I’ve been spoilt. They’re tough acts to follow, especially The Sore Willies, who I almost joined until the guitarist discovered that I couldn’t learn two notes on bass guitar, therefore falling short, by one note, of the musical ability required. If you’re musically perceptive you may be able to guess the type of music they played by the name and era. That’s right, Jazz-Funk.
   A lot of books have been written about music and psychology, as well as the science of what goes on in our brains whilst listening. I’ve been tempted to buy a few, but have’nt bothered. It’s science, innit? And I have no ability to comprehend anything scientific...other than Ornette’s ‘Science Fiction’ album and the works of J. G. Ballard which, as you know, aren’t really scientific...sometimes quite medical, yes. I read a lot of science fiction before the term ‘hard science’ started to be applied to certain novels. I’ve tried a few and, yes, you guessed it, never finished them. I’ m not interested in someone’s speculative physics, although I admire their ability to bullshit in a pseudo-scientific manner, kind of.
   I thought of devising my own musical test. It might go something like this:

K-tel’s ‘The Return of Super Bad’ is one of the best compilations ever created: True/False
99% of musicians alive today are not fit to be in the same room as a Miles Davis album: True/False
Sweep (Sooty’s mate) has sung with Herbie Hancock: True/False
Sun Ra is from Saturn: True/False
Ten seconds of Bernard Parmegiani is worth more than everything Aphex Twin has done: True/False
Radio 1 should be removed from the airwaves: True/False
Rock’n’Roll is dead: True/False
Drum’n’Bass is dead: True/False
There are no truths or falsities regarding musical taste: True/False

That’s enough of that.

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