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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: July ::
Re: Thelonious Monk
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1565  Tuesday, 2 July 2002

[1]     From:   Martin Steward <
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        Date:   Monday, 1 Jul 2002 16:48:29 +0100
        Subj:   SHK 13.1595 Thelonious Mon

[2]     From:   H. R. Greenberg <
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        Date:   Monday, 1 Jul 2002 13:03:22 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1595 Re: Thelonious Monk


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Martin Steward <
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Date:           Monday, 1 Jul 2002 16:48:29 +0100
Subject: Thelonious Monk
Comment:        SHK 13.1595 Thelonious Monk

John Briggs and Garbiel Egan draw attention to 'Art Tatum's comment that
"There's no such thing as a wrong note, it all depends on how you
resolve it".'

This is much more useful than some of the other "there must be bum
notes" comments.

However, "wrong" notes sometimes sound "right" even when they are not
"resolved". Dodecaphonic music depends upon this fact (by establishing
its series before, not after, the composition itself).

The wrong notes that open up Tristan and Isolde are resolved, of course,
but not until four hours of music has intervened. Which draws our
attention to the other crucial difference between music and literature:
the former is much more constrained by its relationship with passing
time.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           H. R. Greenberg <
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Date:           Monday, 1 Jul 2002 13:03:22 EDT
Subject: 13.1595 Re: Thelonious Monk
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1595 Re: Thelonious Monk

IMHO you cannot really describe Monk's "bum" notes as bum. They are part
of an extraordinarily sophisticated musical mesh, transgressive, defying
expectation, unsettling and curiously satisfying. I have some musical
credentials, am not a musicologist thought, but I would be willing to
bet serious cash that a music scholar has researched this trope.

Best,
H. R. Greenberg
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