A. Tiny Princess went back to the hospital earlier this week, but is scheduled to return home tomorrow (Friday). She was having breakthrough seizures, and, as it turned out, the reason was because Her Serene Highness has been packing on the poundage (-well done, SuperMommy!) and as a result, her anti-seizure dosage actually became too low for her bodyweight. So, now that has all been straightened out, and at-home snuggling will resume tomorrow. Obviously, Podcasting is near the bottom of SuperNerd’s list of priorities, as is meet and just, but we’ll be back with a new episode soon. Thanks for your prayers and support of SuperNerd and family.
In the mean time, I have to post the most delightful pic I’ve received in a while – this made by Tiny Princesses’ sister, The Princess Royal, posted on the door of their bedchamber in Schloss SuperNerd:
FROM THE MAILBAG: An Ode to C Major
Dear Ann –
First, please accept my thanks. Thank you first for your Mass intentions and second for the wonderful insights you provide. Reading you has played no small part in my own spiritual betterment, and I am eternally grateful for my exposure to your output.
Your April 23 post about the diabolical setting of the Stabat Mater played in the Sistine Chapel struck me deeply enough to prompt me to write you at last. It is clear from your website that you have good taste in music, but I’m not sure how much background you have. I might be able to provide some additional insight. Please excuse me if I am telling you what you already know.
Dissonance as “music” is nothing new. It goes back just over a century to the Austrian-Jewish composer Arnold Schoenberg. The late Romantic composers before him like Mahler and (especially) Richard Strauss pushed the rules of tonal music to their edge, and used techniques like mild dissonances, holdover tones, and appoggiaturas (leading notes) to convey movement and tension in the music. The key to expressing movement was that the dissonances always resolved to consonance.
Schoenberg decided he would experiment and take tonality one step further: he took all twelve tones of the chromatic scale and imposed the rule that he could not repeat a tone until he had used all twelve. The goal was to write music without a tonal center. Give his or his acolyte Webern’s music a listen and see how that worked out in practice.
Not surprisingly, a fairly explicit demonic component was involved. Schoenberg had a keen interest in the occult around the time he began developing his methods (see http://www.ibiblio.org/johncovach/asoccult.htm). Towards the end of his life, Schoenberg returned to tonal writing and appeared to regret his little compositional experiment. (“There is much great music yet to be written in C major,” he said.) But the damage had been done.
Composers after him adhered zealously to the twelve-tone technique, and convinced audiences that only their music was serious music. Anyone who wrote music with an ear towards beauty was simply laughed out of polite circles as outmoded or, worse, “reactionary” (even though it was the twelve-toners behaving like true reactionaries). Incidentally, if you want a textbook definition of “diabolical narcissist,” read anything written or spoken by Pierre Boulez or Karlheinz Stockhausen, two of atonality’s biggest champions (both now dead).
I found myself on the outside. Just over a decade ago now, I was attending a university with a world-renowned music program. I seriously entertaining studying music composition and had enrolled in my first composition course. It would be my last. Towards the end of the course, the graduate student mentoring me told me that I would have to change the way I write completely. I was “stuck in the past” and would have to write “the music of the future.”
With that, I stopped taking any more composition classes and entered a more mundane line of work. I continued to teach myself composition technique out of books and scores. I still compose, but only as a hobby – no reputable venue would consider debuting music like mine. They have let themselves be convinced that new music must be ugly.
As an artist, few things are more frustrating than seeing the absurd, the ugly, and the utterly demonic praised as “art,” while genuine works of beauty are ignored or, worse, derided. How easy it would be to sell my soul and write the trash that receives commissions from Soros- and Clinton-funded foundations. As with all “art” today, I would have to sell my soul to find acceptance.
It brings me back to Our Lord and His sufferings. He did not promise the easy path, and He Himself took the hardest path of all. How trivial is artistic rejection compared to what He endured, and it gives me some suffering to offer up in my otherwise comfortable life.
Thank you for all you do, and please keep me and my family in your prayers. You certainly remain in mine.
I love the line, “There is much great music yet to be written in C Major.” Indeed. C Major is described as: “Completely Pure. Its character is: innocence, simplicity, naïvety, children’s talk. Innocently Happy. Simplicity and naivety. The key of children. Free of burden, full of imagination. Powerful resolve. Earnestness. Can feel religious.”
So far away from our world today, arguably antipodal. And you can see why the Enemy and his filthy minions HATE C Major. But, Hope is the fruit of the Second Glorious Mystery of the Rosary – Our Lord’s Ascension into Heaven. And thus we are a “C Major people”.
May the Immaculate Heart soon Triumph, and may we all sing God’s praises together in C Major.
Here is a small selection of music in C Major. the first all lovers of “Master and Commander” will recognize. Why, oh why, didn’t they keep making those films in the series of the novels??