As a longtime professional musician, I’ve always felt that there might be ways to help the general public understand the kind of life we really lead. Since everybody knows how to type these days, why not have people use that skill to understand a musician’s life?
First, get an old manual (non-electric) typewriter. On an old Underwood or Remington, the pressure of the fingers shows up on the paper.
Next, find something really old to type, perhaps a random page or two of the Bible, or the first page of Milton’s Paradise Lost.
Start typing—make sure you don’t make any mistakes.
Then, you’ll have to type in a rhythm, let’s say: “Shave and a hair cut, two bits.” Keep it up, without making any mistakes. Have a friend (or enemy) indicate how fast to do this.
Now, all nouns should be made heavier than usual, and all adjectives should be lighter than usual. And make sure everything else is in between, and even.
How’s that working out for ya? Do your fingers hurt, is your brain perhaps a little taxed, is your “friend” a little too relentless about the speed?
Don’t worry, after an hour and 15 minutes of this, you get a break!
Monday, September 20, 2010
My friend Carrie sent me an e-mail message that included this article, but her message had a bit of extra commentary at the end (which appeared in one of the comments on the article). This analogy by a person who identifies herself or himself as "Violafire" is really worth sharing: