Yes, I'm afraid it is true. I have a favorite note. Or perhaps more so, it is the resolution that this indicated note allows, that I love so dearly. It is the unexpected twist that a b-flat throws into the scheme - making a resolution imperative. It is daring and unusual and goes a bit against the grain - I guess you could say that in more ways than one I identify with that note. In almost every song I have ever written and in many of the songs I find myself drawn to, ever present is my beloved b flat.
I watched clips of Mr. Holland's Opus today. It is a great movie and it displays the span of life's challenges, emotions and range through high school music teacher - Mr. Holland. Oh yes, and the surprise "ta-da" factor for a CK post is that once again, I'm talking about music... ha. Sorry kids. Anyway... In one scene he sits on his desk and tells his class factoids of Beethoven, as they listen to the 7th symphony.
Many people know about this most remarkable composer - Yes, Mr. Holland rocked it too, but for now I'm referring to our buddy Beethoven. Similar to my b-flat, I love the 2nd movement of his 7th symphony - which is played briefly in the movie. I know it is not my beloved b-flat - but it's close - the 2nd movement is in b-flat's close relative, A minor.
Having spent 4 years in the arctic tundra of Southern Minnesota at a liberal arts college who just so happens to specialized in music, I picked up a few things along the way. A decent chunk of my time was spent in the Christansen Hall of Music... Now it is - or maybe is - widely known that Beethoven had serious hearing problems during his life and he eventually went deaf. This lead to Beethoven having an "off with its legs" moment - cutting the legs off his piano in an attempt to compose by catching the vibrations of notes through the wooden floorboards as he played.
... watching Mr. Holland's Opus, listening to my favorite movement of the 7th symphony had me scratching my head a bit... when did he go deaf and did he ever hear my favorite part in its final stages? So with my trusty pch.search.com (I'm up for 10-million folks) and with the help of wikipedia, I wanted to connect some "date" dots.
The story goes that Beethoven's health was not exceptional and that he actually began losing his hearing in 1793. In my deep diving into the details of the 7th symphony, it turns out he spent a good portion of his time writing the 7th symphony very ill, writing 3 letters to his "immortal beloved" while composing it. He finally finished the 7th and the first performance was held in December of 1813.
By 1818 Beethoven's hearing loss had become so severe he had difficulty engaging in conversation, yet he still composed. These facts have left me awe-struck. Not only could the man not hear a darn thing, he continued to make beautiful music which stirs souls even hundreds of years later.
Why is this relevant?
Throughout my life I have loved music. Almost every second of it. As an crying baby my Dad used to play his Linda Ronstadt record and the crying would turn to listening. My Mom used to take me to Lunch on the Lawn where I remember going after pre-school and kindergarten with a packed lunch, or a happy meal and just listening.
Grandpa loved classical music... and he too was a little hard of hearing. He listened to this music as much as he could.. via very loud a.m. radio on road trips I remember as a child; he listened to it as a patron and regular attendee at the Symphony - and a few times I got to be his second date... but the 7th symphony reminds me most of Grandpa - his classical CD collection is sitting behind me as I type this and I'm about to go get my upload on with the 7th. Next addition to my iPod... with b-flat's and A-minor's and everything in between.