Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Painless Dentistry?

I'm not sure there is any such thing.

But while my kiddos were racking up several gas tanks worth of dental bills, I got to spend some quality time with a meaty issue of Smithsonian Magazine, and it took a bit of the sting out.

I enjoyed a fascinating article on Irving Berlin's amazing piano. Berlin wrote most of his songs in the key of F# -- a key that's not easy to play in, and not popular with many musicians, so he wrote on a "Transposing Piano. " It's a piano with a lever that shifted the inner workings to allow the pianist to play in any key. Very cool.

I happen to be very dependent on my guitar capo -- a device that changes the key I play in. And since I'm writing most of my songs in B flat these days, I can only manage it with the capo. But now when my daughter (The Music Major) hassles me for having to use a capo, I'll get to say, "If it's good enough for Irving Berlin..."

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