Friday, August 26, 2011

The first thing you hear in the morning

On Facebook a lot of people like to post music in the morning. I think they should be careful about that.

What you listen to in the morning cannot be just anything. You have to be careful!

For one thing it can set your tone for the day. When I am on my way to work I try to be particular what I listen to. If I am in the car it cannot be anything too deep. This is not the time for Mozart's "Jupiter" Symphony or some soul-searching music by Schubert. If the classical station plays something too deep in the morning I get aggrieved. I try to keep CDs around for my drives in. My commute is short, usually only about 10 minutes. That is life in Buffalo!

This morning the station was playing Dvorak's Eighth Symphony. I tuned in during the last movement. So that was what I heard starting out. I was listening to it driving down Nottingham Parkway, and I was thinking about how there is one part in it that I always think Dvorak did not quite get right. He has this nice Brahms-like theme going and it's wonderful but for a minute there I always think it flies off the tracks. You can hear it here at 8:37, 8:38.

Ha, ha! That should be a whole separate post, criticizing the masters.

Somewhere during my drive it turned over to Mendelssohn's "Italian" Symphony, Semyon Bychkov conducting. WNED-FM is going over former music directors of the Buffalo Philharmonic.

I was thinking, the "Italian" Symphony is tremendous morning music. It is bright and full of energy and gorgeous but at the same time you will not crash the car. The slow movement is calming but not wrenching. That was what was playing when I got to work.

I am trying to think of what else I listened to during the course of my day. At one point at work I was riled and had a few minutes to take a break so I admit it, I listened to Pennario playing his arrangement of the Emperor Waltz.

I often self-medicate with music, who doesn't? Listening to Leonard makes me feel good and I am happy that when he decided to make an arrangement of a Strauss waltz he chose the one that has always been my favorite. I like that nostalgic main theme, then those sweeping middle melodies.

What other music did I hear today? It is interesting to ask yourself that and try to remember.

I did not do much other listening during my work day because I was doing other work.

After work I went to Zumba class and danced to a number of songs including the fabled "Pause" by Pitbull that we have been discussing.

Between Zumba and my mom's house I listened to Schubert, that new CD I may have mentioned by Gyorgy Tchaidze. Schubert is probably too deep for the car but I stayed away from the "Wanderer" Fantasy and listened to the sonata and the short pieces and they made me feel good.

My mom and I went to the movies and saw "Larry Crowne" (bad title, hard to remember). The soundtrack was rock and none of it stuck in my head.

On the way home from that I did not feel I would do the Schubert justice so I listened to some piano music on the radio, I do not know what it was, but it was calming and sounded like bells.

End result, as say here in Buffalo ...

Guess what was on my brain when I walked into the house just now?

The Dvorak Eighth Symphony! The first thing I heard in the morning. That theme, I was singing it.

After everything else I heard! And you know what, that happens a lot.

Watch out what you listen to first thing in the morning.

Choose it wisely!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Absolutely! Years ago, I experimented with my own "first-song setpoint", as mine seemed to be both pronounced and persistent - so much so, using a clock radio was NOT an option for me. The sooner after waking I heard or thought of a song, the stronger was its 'presence'.

    I've always wondered if that was a bona fide phenomenon: something along the lines of hypnotic suggestion, or if I was just a bit nuts. Likely both...

    Another thing I noticed: if I avoided listening to or thinking of a song, one would be provided for me. Most often, it's Count Basie performing Ellington's "Things Ain't What They Used To Be"; less frequently, Clapton doing "Further On Down The Road", and unfortunately, the occasional appearance of "Truckin'"...

    OK - one of my voices is telling me this is WAAYY too much self-disclosure for an Internet-bound ramble. So I won't mention that regardless of the unsolicited song, the rhythm is always the same: a shuffle. Invariably.

    I guess that makes me a syncopath, but hey - there are worse ways to get through the day...