Losing a song in the sea of opera

Posted by me on Friday, the 17th day of August, anno domini 2007 at 12:02 AM, local time.

I listen to a lot of opera. It’s great stuff. Lots of very memorable songs and overtures, arias, etc. But sometimes, I think I listen to too much opera without concentrating on it. Later, I will find a particular tune is in my head and I know its from an opera, but can’t for the life of me remember what it is. I replay a bunch of the operas I listen to frequently over and over, hoping to happen across the familiar song, all to no avail. A year goes by. More. I begin to fear the worst: I will never hear the song again, except in my head, imperfectly reproduced by my horrible memory.

Then, by chance, one day your friend Jim starts humming a tune, then says , “Isn’t that a great piece from that opera we just saw?”

“What?” I say.

“Yeah, don’t you remember, when Cherubino sings his declaration of love for all women to the countess and hilarious hi-jinks ensue?”

“What?” I say.

Then he brings out Pam’s sheet music for “Le nozze di Figaro”, pages to Act II, scene II, and points out the notes, humming as he goes. “See?”

“Damn it Jim.”

Seriously. Good thing we went to see that opera (which I have to review on my blog yet… how long ago was that?). Otherwise, I may never have found that song again. Even though I have a nice recording of Figaro, and listen to it from time to time (more so since going to see the thing, but that’s a different story).

Anyway, lots of opera, lots of good songs. A pity I can’t remember where they all come from!

*Note: I’ve paraphrased Jim’s actual words. Mostly because I can’t remember what exactly was said, but also because it’s slightly funnier this way. Sorry Jim. Thanks though!

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  1. PAM said,

    August 20, 2007 at 12:30 pm

    you’ll have to make some kind of website where you can search of theme from a piece of music. maybe you can have a little piano that you can plunk it out on and then search…or a staff where you can place notes and hear them so you can get the melody on paper, then search it. then you’d always be able to place a song!

  2. me said,

    August 20, 2007 at 1:11 pm

    That might work… though I’m not too good at piano to be able to play it I don’t think. What I’d really like is to be able to hum the melody, and then it uses statistical analysis of the intervals and such to find a piece. But that would be a lot of work. I’d have to dip in to the local Mathematician Pool, likely.

  3. PAM said,

    August 20, 2007 at 6:54 pm

    wow now that would be a good idea. just have a mic on the computer, sing it in and it could pull it up…. luckily I happen to know a mathematician that would be able to help us out with all that

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