The remark about "tinkling" harpsichord sounds in the Black History thread
brought this to mind.
Back in December, a columnist in our local Spokane paper began her piece
with "I awoke to the sound of insistent harpsichords." I realized she must
have her clock radio tuned to the Gonzaga Univ. FM station, the only place
on local radio where one is likely to hear harpsichord music.
The term "insistent" to describe h'chd sound puzzled me until I mentioned it
to my wife who fully confirmed the characterization and added "penetrating
and irritating," especially when compared to piano tones. Well, duh...piano
tones are mostly dull fundamental, while h'chd tones are rich in higher
pitched overtones, many of them dissonant to the fundamental. All this has
to do with differences between the instruments in framing, stringing, and
plucking vs. hammering. It probably also has to do with her request that I
close the door while playing.
I had intended to email the columnist with my observations about h'chd tone,
but I forgot, and life went on. Then two weeks ago, a new Journalism
faculty member walked into my library office to inquire about purchasing
books, and I gradually realized that this was the columnist who had
mentioned "insistent harpsichords." My next sly remark, "I know what
station your clock radio is tuned to," just drew a blank stare; she didn't
recall her remark disparaging h'chd sounds! It's a shock to realize how
little one's true passion matters to others.
Deflated (and snowed under) in Spokane,